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"When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep, and you're never really awake" (scene from the Fight Club movie).

Ambien, a member of the class of hypnotic medications, was approved by the FDA in the early 1990´s, designed for short term use to treat insomnia, and was welcomed as a change from the prevailing sleep aid at the time, Halcion, which had been banned in several countries due to its implication in psychosis and suicide cases. Ambien works by activating the neurotransmitter GABA and binding it to the GABA receptors in the same location as the benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax. The extra GABA activity triggered by the drug inhibits the neuron activity that is associated with insomnia, slowing down the brain. Ambien is very effective at initiating sleep, usually working within less than 30 minutes. 

First used in Europe towards the end of the 1980´s, it became the sleeping pill of choice amongst individuals across all demographics, but was especially popular amongst those working in high-pressure jobs, thanks to its supposedly “non-groggy” properties (apparently leaving individual users feeling refreshed and revitalised, unlike many other sleep aids).

Zolpidem became available as a generic medication before 2010; becoming the most commonly prescribed sleep aid worldwide, with over 12 million  prescriptions filled out annually in the USA alone. 

When Ambien is Prescribed

When insomaniacs use Ambien intermittently and at therapeutic doses as well as supervised, it can ameliorate sleeping problems . Zolpidem is typically prescribed as a second-line treatment in cases where nonpharmacological treatment has failed.

Celebrity scandals and statistics linked to Ambien

Ambien has played a role in a number of high-profile celebrity scandals recently, with its sedative properties being blamed for various unacceptable tweets and other public messages supposedly written under its effects. 

Almost 70% of emergency cases involving zolpidem feature female patients.

The abuse of Ambien is highest amongst people aged over 40.

Ambien Addiction

But at higher doses, it starts to light-up a wider array of benzodiazepine receptors, getting you high.  So when you take them frecuently, it’s easy to grow dependent and addicted.  

The consumption of excessive quantities of zolpidem can cause overdose, which can lead to coma and even death.

As well as its recommended medical uses, zolpidem also has the potential to be used and abused recreationally because its sedative properties can produce an enjoyable “high” and mild euphoria, visual distortions and hallucinations, and various physically pleasurable sensations, which are boosted when grinding up zolpidem tablets and snorting the resultant powder or injecting zolpidem intravenously. 

Ambien Addiction Symptoms

In the beginning, some Ambien abuse side effects including sleep walking, “abnormal thinking,” and “strange behavior,”  were listed as extremely rare, and any anecdotal evidence of “sleep driving,” “sleep eating,” or “sleep shopping”, having sex and cooking/eating food—all behaviors now associated with Ambien blackouts—were characterized as unusual quirks, or attributed to mixing the medication with alcohol.   Most recreational users started out taking the drug to treat insomnia, but found that if they fought the drug’s sleep-inducing effect, they could get really high. Ambien lessens inhibitions and erases memories, an ideal combination for someone who cheats on his/her partner. The buzz created by the drug often enhances sex as well.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Overdose

Ambien Problems


Ambien Withdrawal

Ambien withdrawal can prove directly fatal, in the form of seizures and other extreme physical effects.

Ambien Overdose

Symptoms of a zolpidem overdose might include slurred or incoherent speech, drowsiness, hypotension, nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), ataxia, respiratory depression, and cardiorespiratory arrest.

Ambien Tapering

If you’ve been using this medication daily for longer than 2 weeks, you should not stop using it suddenly because it´s hard on your body and generally results in very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. A successful tapering regimen gets you past your physical dependency, but it doesn’t do anything to treat your addiction to getting high. We do not recommend making changes to your medications without medical supervision. At La Jolla Recovery we are glad to support the process to recovery from Ambien.

Ambien Abuse Consequences

One consequence of the lasting brain changes caused by Ambien is the experience of persistent cravings. Because of the way addiction hijacks the functioning of the brain’s reward, thinking and memory systems, a wide array of situations and stimuli can trigger intense cravings, for long after you quit, without you even realizing what triggered your sudden urge to use.
Ambien Treatment

Providing Ambien Rehab in San Diego

Ambien residential rehab provides the best chance for a full recovery.

La Jolla Recovery provides it in secure, calm, friendly and confidential environments designed to allow healing. 

We have years of experience treating zolpidem addiction and offer a variety of different approaches and methodologies. The great expertise in treating addiction which can be found in our agile and responsive environment can generally make the difference between successful treatment, or relapse and continuation under the burden of addiction. If needed to extend sobriety after rehab and detox, our staff may suggest a local sober living home to extend recovery.

Upon entering rehab you will get a complete medical assessment, designed to give doctors an understanding of the severity of your zolpidem addiction. Afterwards, we will compile an addiction treatment plan which will be the framework for your stay and it should be considered our roadmap. If combined with alcohol abuse, at La Jolla Recovery we can provide a parallel attention to the physiological and mental impact to alcoholism compounded with Ambien. At La Jolla Recovery we believe in taking me time to create a foundation for a life free from Ambien.

Get Treatment for Ambien Today
Ambien inpatient Rehab program

Attending Ambien Withdrawal Side Effects

La Jolla Recovery´s Ambien inpatient program takes addicts out of their daily environments during which zolpidem addiction has developed, and gives holistic treatment programs with components including detox, therapy, bespoke fitness and dietary plans. Ambien abuse may manifest in mental health disorders. Our mental health approach will provide insight to its effective treatment that combines substance use disorder as well as psychological. Detoxing from Ambien may lead to insomnia, so sleep disorders can be attended to support the the proper rehabilitation.

Detox from Ambien Now

Get Clinical Support for Ambien Rehab Today & Start Your Life Journey

Inpatient treatment for Ambien offers the advantage of 24/7 medical support; on-site therapy sessions and medication assisted treatment; a confidential, substance-free environment, on-site facilities such as gyms and kitchens and the support of a peer group familiar with similar hurdles and vicissitudes.