Having its place among a class of drugs known as the sedative-hypnotics it is potent sleeping aid. The components of this medication work primarily to activate the neurotransmitter GABA which slows down the activity of the brain and the central nervous system. It is widely prescribed for the treatment of insomnia and with the dosage not exceeding more than 2 weeks. 

There are two forms of Ambien available, the immediate release and the extended release. The former is helpful to initiate sleep while the latter helps the person to stay asleep. Excessive use of either form can lead to addiction and abuse.  


When the medication was developed, it was developed in such a way that it had the same effectiveness as Xanax. Though highly effective and treated the conditions that it is prescribed for effectively, on the downside, there are high chances that the user can get addicted to the medication. Ambien is safer when compared to other benzos because the onset of addiction is not as rapid as the other drugs of the class and the withdrawal effects are also less severe. 


Dependence on Ambien is characterized by the person developing tolerance to the components of the medication. Tolerance is when the user takes a high amount of the medication that their body is used to and no longer provides the necessary relief. This is when the user is forced to increase the dosage amount to feel the initial effects. Withdrawal effects are those that occur when the patient stops using the medication. It is caused due to the body being used to the drug’s components and in its absence, it no longer knows how to manage thus reacting badly that manifests as withdrawal symptoms. Cessation of Ambien or sharply decreasing the dosage amounts can lead to withdrawal symptoms. 


You will understand that a person has developed a full-blown addiction to Ambien when they have impaired control over the drug’s use, experience withdrawal symptoms, develop tolerance and continue to use despite it causing negative effects on the body. 


The following are signs of Ambien addiction;

  • Spending all their earnings refilling the medication
  • Refilling them quite often
  • Frequent Ambien cravings
  • Engaging in dangerous activities of which they have no memory of
  • Isolating themselves from family and friends. 


Survey has shown that almost all Ambien users were once prescribed this drug for treating and managing sleep issues which over time led to addiction. Due to it being prescribed by a doctor, the potency of the medication is underestimated. When one starts taking them for more than a couple of weeks, the effectiveness of the mediation slowly decreases which compels the users to increase the dosage amounts which then leads to a situation where they cannot fall asleep without popping a pill. 


Why is Ambien so popular?

Ambien is an effective medication that is recommended for people suffering from insomnia but despite its clinical use, the medication became highly popular due to its advertisement in pop culture. The components of the drug work on the body by binding themselves to the neuroreceptors in order to slow down brain activity thus inducing a sense of calm and relaxation which helps them fall asleep. 

Ambien is a controlled substance as per the Drug Enforcement Agency. Being a controlled substance means that it cant be used for recreational purposes. But despite that many users abuse the medication for its euphoric and hallucinatory effects. 


Ambien is most commonly used in combination with Alcohol. This is quite a dangerous combination as both are CNS depressants that can result in Coma or even death if timely medical help is not given. 


With more people becoming aware of the medication, its consumption rate has gone up. This led to a high number of ER visits that increased by nearly 220% between 2005 -2010 as per the latest reports by the SAMHSA. 


Getting Help:

Ambien addiction recovery can be done by means of a medically assisted detox. Undergoing this process helps prevent relapse. Contact your nearest rehabilitation center to help you aid in speedy recovery.