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Ambien Addiction

Ambien is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic.  It is a central nervous system depressant.  It is also illegal to take Ambien without a prescription and is classified as a Schedule 4 drug in the United States.


Ambien was first made available in the United States in 1993. Since that time, it has been prescribed pretty regularly to treat individuals who suffer from insomnia.  It is best for the short-term treatment of this condition.  In order to avoid complications, drugs such as Ambien are only recommended to be used between 7 and 10 days, after which the patient discusses further use with their doctor. It is generally not recommended that a person be given a full month’s dose of Ambien uninterrupted.

As stated above, Ambien is prescribed for the legitimate condition of insomnia. However, there are those persons who use it recreationally with no medical basis or need. These individuals often crush up the medication, snort it or cook it so that they can take it intravenously.  It may also be consumed orally.

Common effects of Ambien include lightheadedness, drowsiness, coordination difficulties. Overtime, a person may also develop a tolerance to the drug and then an addiction.  Vomiting, headache, upset stomach, pain of the muscles and constipation are also possible side effects.  


There are dangers associated with the use of the drug. They include tolerance, addiction, amnesia and black outs.  Persons with mental illness may find that exacerbates those conditions.  If a person overdoses on Ambien, they may experience extreme drowsiness and may even fall into a comma.  If an individual mixes the drug with other depressants, this combination can be lethal.


It is possible for A person to develop an addiction to Ambien. The longer they take it, the more prone they are. Even when taken at suggested doses, a person may become psychologically dependent on it.  When 4 mg or higher are consumed per day, individuals are at an increased risk of both physical and psychological dependency.  A tolerance may also develop and can occur in as little as a few days.  Medical detox and drug rehabilitation may be necessary for those who have developed an addiction to Ambien.


It can be dangerous mixing Ambien with other drugs. Drugs which should be avoided or at least discussed with one’s doctor include anti-depressants, rifampin, chlorpromazine and itraconazole. Mixing illegal drugs with Ambien can also be problematic.

Questions and Answers
a.    I thought Ambien was a pain reliever. Is that true?: No, Ambien is prescribed to treat short term insomnia.

b.    Is Ambien addicting?: Yes, it can potentially be quite addicting. Typically, a doctor won’t even prescribe the drug for a month at a time. Often times, they will only prescribe it for between 7 and 10 days and then the doctor and patient will revisit the use of the drug.

c.    Is Ambien effective in treating insomnia?: Yes, Ambien is quite effective in helping individuals who have problems falling and staying asleep.  

It is illegal to use Ambien without a prescription. Individuals without the proper credentials can not legally distribute it.

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