The drug Ambien (Zolpidem) is primarily used in the treatment of sleep disorders. When an individual takes Ambien, it slows the activity in their brain. This allows the body to relax so that the individual is able to get a full night’s rest. The usual prescription dosage for Ambien is 10 mg once a day. Does Ambien work for everyone? What are its uses and side effects?
Uses of Ambien
Ambien is a prescription medication, which is a sedative. It is usually prescribed to treat insomnia, difficulty falling asleep or repeated waking up during the night. Typically, doctors only prescribe Ambien for a few weeks. This is because its main ingredient, Zolpidem, can have negative side effects.
People have been known to use Ambien for recreational purposes to try to get high, or enhance the sedative effects of other drugs. In 1% of users, euphoria can be a side effect of taking Ambien. If the drug is taken in doses higher than normal, or when the user stays awake instead of going to bed after taking the drug, then Zolpidem can make the user high and even cause hallucinations. It is dangerous to abuse Ambien, because it causes memory loss and lack of coordination. It is also potentially lethal if taken together with alcohol or other drugs.
Side Effects of Ambien Use
Taking Ambien is not without risk. Some of the major side effects of Ambien use are:
- Memory loss
- Lack of coordination
- Mood changes, such as depression
- Unsteady balance
- Unusual sleep
- Acting out activities while asleep
Most of these side effects are minor, but a couple of them can be extremely dangerous. Particularly, mood changes and acting out activities in sleep. Some users will walk, drive even cook while asleep on Ambien, and they wake up with no memory of their actions. In such a situation, these users are at a high risk of accidents.
Illegal Use of Ambien
Using Ambien without a valid prescription is illegal. Similarly, it is illegal to write or obtain a false prescription for Ambien. It is also illegal to distribute or sell Ambien or even give it away. There are penalties associated with the abuse or illegal distribution of Ambien, and they depend on state or federal law. Generally though such a penalty would be a prison sentence and fines.
Finally, it is not advisable to abruptly stop taking Ambien, or without consulting a doctor first. Tapering is the best way to gradually reduce Ambien use. The drug is addictive, which can cause strong cravings and drug seeking behavior. Thus it is generally not possible for an individual with an Ambien addiction to simply quit.
Quitting Ambien can be hard work. But you don’t have to do it alone. Call The Villa to find out how we can help you.