Over the past couple of decades, prescription medications have grown quite a reputation for their tendency to be addictive. As with addictions to alcohol, smoking or other drugs, nobody intends to develop an addiction to them; unlike these things, prescriptions are usually forced by a circumstance that renders not taking the medication a worse situation than without. It is near impossible to tolerate the pain of an invasive surgery without pain medication. Some people have little choice but to turn to prescription sleep aid when all-natural remedies are ineffective. As with any use of prescription medication, prolonged use of it can lead to even Ambien withdrawal symptoms.
Ambien Addiction Formation
Ambien works by increasing the neurotransmitter, GABA, in the brain. GABA works by reducing the effects of chemicals which otherwise induce brain activity. With this reduction, the brain also loses some of its ability to regulate neurotransmitter activity on its own. This creates the need for outside regulation of the system.
Patients with a history of substance abuse with alcohol or other drugs seem to be more susceptible to form a dependence on Ambien. This can easily cause those struggling with dependence to seek out an Ambien addiction treatment center in Portland, Oregon.
Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline
It only takes a couple of hours for Ambien withdrawal symptoms to begin. It loses its chemical effects between 1.5 and 4.5 hours. Often referred to as a “GABA crash”, the sudden dip in GAGA results in increased brain stimulation from activity.
Neurological symptoms experienced from this include restlessness, agitation, anxiety, fear, or feelings of dread.
Physiological symptoms experienced include body pain, difficulty breathing, vertigo, or flu-like symptoms. With continued use of the medicine, Ambien withdrawal symptoms increase in severity.
Insomnia is also likely to return, as the increased brain stimulation will not let it rest. Along with this, the physical symptoms of fatigue can exacerbate the other symptoms experienced during a time of withdrawal.
Generally, the worst of the symptoms occur between days 3 and 5, and the remaining symptoms begin to fade after 2 weeks. Depending on the length of time the medication was prescribed/taken, and the strength of the dosage, there may be post-acute withdrawal symptoms that can last up to 24 months. The most common of these symptoms being poor concentration, anxiety, irritability, mood swings and loss of appetite.
Treating Ambien Addiction
Tapering Off of Ambien
In most cases of Ambien prescription, as a patient desires to stop taking it, the physician will incrementally prescribe smaller doses of Ambien. Applied properly, this should make the process as symptom-free as possible of an experience.
Many patients fear that tapering off will lead to never quitting the medication, and will opt to just stop taking any more and get it all over as soon as possible. If taking a low dosage, this may be as effective as the tapering method. However, if on a high or long-term dosage, you should talk with a physician so that the doctor may monitor any progress.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
In tandem with quitting the consumption of the medicine, substance abuse may come from underlying psychological factors that need addressing to ensure the long-term success of quitting a substance. With cognitive behavior therapy, healthy coping mechanisms are also taught as a substitution for turning to substances.
How Crestview Can Help You
If you are in need of an addiction treatment center in Portland, Oregon, who can help you with quitting Ambien, Crestview Recovery can help! Our inpatient treatment center can monitor your progress as you face the symptoms, and provide support with services including:
- Inpatient treatment program
- Individual therapy program
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Dual-diagnosis treatment
Don’t wait until the dangers of addiction have taken more than you have already lost. Please call us at 866.262.0531, or contact us online, to learn more about Ambien, and signs of Ambien withdrawal, or how to get started on quitting today!