Are People Purposely Staying Awake On Ambien?

The fight against drug abuse includes an Ambien alert. You will be surprised to learn that Ambien is being abused by users taking it to chill out. Staying awake on Ambien is something abusers are doing to experience an amnesic adventure.

While it isn’t an intended use for the medication, it does happen — and there are several reasons why purposely staying awake on Ambien can be dangerous for the user and others around them alike. Before we dive into potential problems that can happen from staying awake while under the influence of Ambien, let’s first explore the basics of this drug and what people need to know about Ambien today.

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What is Ambien?

Zolpidem has several brand name drugs it is dispensed under, which includes Ambien. Physicians prescribe Ambien for insomnia. This drug is classified as sedative-hypnotics and comes in pill form, sublingual tablet, or oral spray.

Brand names of Zolpidem include:

  • Ambien (pills).
  • Ambien CR (pills, long-acting).
  • Edluar (sublingual tablet).
  • Intermezzo (tongue spray).

Ambien is designed to be taken at bedtime, and the Ambien warnings STRONGLY advise against taking it under any other circumstances. The extended release form of Ambien has a layer that dissolves quickly that helps you fall asleep and then the next layer dissolves slowly to help you stay asleep for the whole night.

Many of us take Ambien honestly, thinking that we have enough time before going to bed to fold laundry or do a few dishes. However, there is a short window between taking Ambien and it taking effect. Staying awake on Ambien becomes nearly impossible.

Once it kicks in, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you will not have any memory of what you do. Sleep driving, sleep eating, and other risky behaviors can occur without you being aware of it. You put yourself in harm as well as others.

Statistics of Ambien Use and Overdoses

Let’s take a look at what the statistics show about the overall usage of and overdoses related to Ambien:

2010

  • From 2005-2010, there was a 220% increase in emergency room visits relating to Zolpidem.
  • 68% of emergency room visits in 2010 related to Zolpidem were female.
  • The use of Zolpidem as a prescription for insomnia increased as adults aged and became more educated.
  • More women than men used prescription sleep aid.

2016

  • Zolpidem was in the Top 10 overdose drugs.
  • 251 suicidal deaths in the U.S. were from Zolpidem.

staying awake on ambien

The Abuse of Ambien

The first sign of abuse is intentionally staying awake on Ambien. Aside from the purpose of using Ambien for insomnia, some of us began abusing this drug as a way to chill without any inhibitions. Our bizarre behaviors surfaced once the Ambien kicked in, leading to all sorts of things while in a state of sleep.

Such things included driving, eating, cooking, cleaning, sex, taking other drugs, hallucinating, posting leud/insulting/compromising content on social media, and shopping. Many Ambien abusers have a lighthearted attitude about their sleep-induced behavior after taking it.

Ambien hallucinations are perceived as comical while the abuser is recorded during conversations they may have with things that are not there. The intentional “setup” by staying awake on Ambien is done, so others are entertained by your behavior.

While this form of fun and entertainment may be worthy for some, for others, it presents the potential for addiction. Those of us who have a history of drug abuse are at higher risk of dependency.

Recognizing and Addressing Ambien Dependency Early

Spotting the warning signs of Ambien dependency or abuse is crucial for preventing long-term addiction and health issues. Ambien, while effective for short-term management of insomnia, can lead to dependency if used inappropriately or for prolonged periods. Early signs of dependency include increasing dosage without medical guidance, using Ambien to cope with stress or emotions, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms like anxiety or agitation when attempting to reduce or stop usage. A 2023 journal article said while zolpidem can be an effective treatment for insomnia, high doses of the medication can cause dependence, abuse, and withdrawal symptoms, bringing into question the advantages of using this drug to address insomnia.

It is imperative for individuals and their loved ones to be vigilant about these warning signs and seek professional help. Medical professionals can guide a safe, gradual tapering process, reducing the potential for severe withdrawal symptoms and facilitating a transition to alternative treatments. This proactive approach underscores the importance of using Ambien as a temporary solution while exploring and establishing more sustainable sleep health practices.

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Exploring Non-Medication Alternatives for Insomnia Management

Insomnia, a pervasive sleep disorder, affects a significant portion of the population at some point in their lives. It’s vital to explore non-medication alternatives for managing this condition, as reliance on drugs like Ambien can lead to dependency and other health complications. Lifestyle adjustments, such as establishing a regular sleep schedule, reducing caffeine and screen time before bed, and creating a restful environment, can significantly improve sleep quality.

Additionally, mindfulness practices, meditation, and yoga can help calm the mind and prepare the body for sleep. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) has emerged as a highly effective treatment, helping people modify behaviors and thoughts that contribute to sleep disturbances. This approach not only addresses insomnia at its root but also equips individuals with lifelong skills to manage sleep health without medication.

Side Effects of Ambien Use

Staying awake on Ambien can be extremely dangerous because of the potential for harm to self or others during sleep driving or sleepwalking, but there are more possibilities than that. Consider that other unintentional behaviors and actions can occur during this inebriated state, such as sleep sex, sleep shopping, sleep texting or posting on social media, sleep eating, or sleep cooking.

The use of Ambien in general has the potential for a whole host of side effects, including:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Impaired thinking and functioning.
  • Headache.
  • Drunkenness or a sense of being “drugged.”
  • Flatulence.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Heartburn.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Uncontrollable shaking.
  • Numbness in extremities.
  • Pain or burning in extremities.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Tinnitus.
  • Red eyes.
  • Muscle aches or cramping.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Vomiting.
  • Chest pain.
  • Blurred vision.

Long-term side effects of Ambien use over a period of time are also possible, including:

  • Dependence.
  • Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, panic attacks, anxiety, and uncontrollable crying.
  • Overdose symptoms, such as coma and unresponsiveness.
  • Death.

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Mental Illness and Ambien: The Link Between the Two

Having trouble falling asleep may be manifestations of mental disorders. Mental disorders and insomnia go hand-in-hand, and many of us who have depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or another mental illness have significant problems in falling asleep.

For some, Ambien provides no relief even after 7-10 days of treatment. Staying awake on Ambien becomes frustrating, leading to potentially abusing more drugs to seek sleep. Because of this, we may choose to abuse Ambien and take more than the prescribed dose in the hope of sleeping. We put ourselves at high risk of overdose and even death.

Let’s examine the results of a group study:

  • 63% (33 patients) had a mental disorder.
  • 43% of patients had a history of drug abuse.
  • 81% (43 patients) had withdrawal symptoms after stopping Zolpidem.

The Role of Support Systems in Overcoming Ambien Addiction

Emotional and social support is indispensable in the recovery journey from Ambien dependency. Navigating the path to recovery can be challenging, and the support from family, friends, and support groups offers the encouragement and understanding needed to persevere. These support networks provide a sense of belonging and a safe space to share experiences, setbacks, and successes, making the process less isolating.

Professional counseling and therapy are also pivotal, offering tailored strategies to address the underlying causes of insomnia and dependency, while reinforcing coping mechanisms to manage stress and triggers. Engaging in support groups, either in-person or online, can augment personal support systems, connecting individuals with peers who have similar experiences, fostering a collective journey towards recovery and healthy sleep practices.

Treatment for Ambien Addiction

You have the power within you to put the brakes on your dependence on Ambien. A place with other people going through the same thing as you is Resurgence Behavioral Health. You are not alone in your addiction to this drug. We want you to live a normal, healthy life free of drugs with the ability to experience a good night’s rest. Resurgence helps you to be the person you want to be. Are you ready? All it takes is a phone call. Our phones are manned 24/7.

Resurgence Behavioral Health is a family-like atmosphere where you get the help you need. Every person here will be behind you 100% of the way, encouraging you and helping you. From the moment you walk through our front door, you will gain a sense of being with those who care and love you.

The days of chilly institutional-like treatment centers are gone. Here you can relax in comfy, overstuffed furniture in front of a fireplace, or soak up the peaceful quiet out beside a pool.

Inpatient residents can choose a center based on the level of accommodations. Whether you prefer something standard (that most do) or more luxurious, executive amenities, we have it. Celebrities, homemakers, fathers, mothers, young adults, and the elderly have crossed our thresholds seeking help.

Our healing and spiritual-holistic therapies are available for those of you who seek to heal the body, mind, and soul. Detox is a part of a treatment plan that cleanses your body from the drug. You have the option of medical detox to make the process more comfortable. Once you complete detox, you will move on to partial hospitalization to help you ease slowly back into life.

Our approach to Ambien addiction treatment is centered on evidence-based therapies. We use cognitive-behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). During your other therapies, you will learn skills and strategies to equip you to seek other ways to relax and fall asleep.

Residents look forward to the outpatient part of the program. A sense of “graduating” is something that you will find rewarding. As an outpatient, you continue therapy during scheduled visits. If your job, school, or childcare needs to be considered when scheduling visits, we offer intensive outpatient therapy for such situations.

Payment and Insurance for Ambien Addiction Treatment

We strive to make every part of your time here at Resurgence Behavioral Health pleasant and positive. Our stress-free payment system allows you to make secure online payments. Payment plans are also available.

We will be happy to contact your insurance for you to verify coverage. A minute used to worry about contacting insurance can be a minute invested in getting better! We accept most PPO insurances. If you do not see your insurance in our listing below, give us a call.

  • Assurant Health.
  • Vista Insurance Partners.
  • Humana.
  • Ameritas Group.
  • Health Net.
  • Cigna.
  • Horizon Blue Cross.
  • Premera Blue Cross.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield.

We have confidence in you and your ability to get better. Your time here at Resurgence Behavioral Health in California will not only be healing, but a time for you to reflect, reprioritize, and rejoice in breaking free from the chains of addiction.

You no longer have to rely on staying awake on Ambien to relax. Being able to lay your head on a pillow at the end of the day and drift naturally off to sleep is something to cherish. If you’re ready to stop waiting and get help to do something about Ambien addiction, contact us today or call 855-458-0050.

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