How to know if someone is addicted to Ambien?
Although Ambien is generally taken to treat sleep disorders and is not considered addictive when taken as directed, there have been several reports of abuse and dangerous intoxication over the years. Ambien can be habit-forming, meaning that the person who takes it may feel like they rely on the substance to treat insomnia or sleep disturbances or to manage their life. While they do not seek intoxication, they may become anxious if they have to stop taking the drug.
People who feel like they rely on Ambien may escalate their dose, struggle with tolerance to the substance, and feel anxious or panicked when they cannot take the drug. They may be in denial that they need or crave the substance. They may feel ashamed of their struggle.
Signs that a person struggles with Ambien addiction include:-
- Taking the drug a lot
- Losing the drug and needing constant refills
- Going to more than one person to acquire the drug
- Frequently talking about the drug
- Getting in financial trouble by spending money on the drug
- Spending more time away from work, school, family, or social obligations in order to take the drug
- Appearing intoxicated or fatigued frequently
- Getting hurt because of drug intoxication
- Lying about how much they’ve taken
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop taking the drug
Ambien overdose symptoms and dangers
Ambien, the brand name of Zolpidem, induces sedation and is prescribed for the short-term treatment of insomnia. The overdose can occur when more than the prescribed amount of Ambien is taken.
Overdose can be especially severe if Ambien is taken with other drugs or alcohol.
Symptoms and signs of Ambien overdose
Ambien overdose can result in symptoms, such as:-
- Memory loss
- Impaired ability with driving, cognition and work performance
- Shallow breathing
- Slowed heart rate
What causes Ambien overdose?
The primary cause of Ambien overdose is the intake of this medication along with illicit drugs or illicit intake of prescribed drugs.
Overall, Ambien has mild toxicity similar to that of benzodiazepines.
However, when a person combines alcohol and other drugs with Ambien, there are cases of respiratory depression and coma.
For people with a history of alcohol and other drug abuse, there is an abuse potential with Ambien, similar to that of some benzodiazepines, producing similar effects of reinforcement.
Co-occurring mental disorders
Cause of death from overdose, in which Ambien was involved, have been reported in females with a history of major depressive disorder and paranoid disorder.
While Ambien overdose was reported as the cause of death, the subjects had also been treated with risperidone (Risperdal). Opioid/opiate intake was also evident.
Health issues in older populations
Insomnia is a frequent proper for older adults, potentially prompting the prolonged or excessive intake of non-benzodiazepine hypnotics such as Ambien.
Additionally, even when taken as directed, a liver impairment may cause problems with the drug metabolism of Ambien in an elderly population, resulting in toxic blood levels.