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Sleeping Pills: Ambien Abuse and Addiction

Although patients with sleep disorders successfully treat short-term insomnia with sleeping pills like Ambien, many individuals become dependent on them. In today’s article, we’ll talk a little about sleeping pills and their abuse & addiction. If you’re using sleeping pills or wishing to use them, read this article, sincerely. 

Are Xanax and Ambien the same thing?

If you experience insomnia or anxiety, you’re not alone. The National Institute of Health “NIH” estimates that about 30 percent of the United States population struggles with sleep problems. At the same time, anxiety disorder affects 40 million Americans (adults) every year. Two main prescription drugs for these conditions are Xanax (for anxiety and panic) and Ambien (for insomnia).

However, sometimes, they may produce similar effects, but they are still not the same things in terms of their use and family.


It is a sedative or sleeps promoting a drug that works on receptors in the human brain, helping you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Some people refer to these types of drugs as sleeping pills. This medication slows your brain activity and allows you to fall asleep more quickly.


Xanax is in the benzodiazepine family of drugs, and also works in the human central nervous system. Benzos work by increasing the activity at receptors for GABA, a neurotransmitter. By doing this, they produce a calming and relaxing effect. A dose of Xanax begins working within one hour, and the results last up to five hours.

Is Ambien a narcotic?

No, it is a sedative or hypnotic medication that can be used to treat short-term insomnia disorder. It is an immediate-release IR tablet used to treat insomnia for patients with unbalanced chemicals in the brain. Ambien is used to help individual patients fall asleep when they first go to bed.

Ambien is not a narcotic, but it is a depressant that interacts with the human brain to produce a relaxing and calming effect.

How to get off Ambien? Ambien Withdrawal

An easy and effective way to reduce the chances of Ambien withdrawal symptoms is to taper off the drug. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend a tapered dose regimen that can wean you off the medication. You may initially be directed to take a smaller dose. It may then be instructed to take this smaller amount every other day rather than every day. The doses may then be spaced out even further until you are safely weaned off the drug.

Sudden discontinuation of this medication can lead to some withdrawal symptoms, including the following.

  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Uncontrolled crying
  • Sweating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Panic attack
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nervousness
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions, etc.

Ambien Abuse

The term “Ambien abuse” refers to taking Ambien without a prescription or in any way not directed by a healthcare provider. Even using an extra pill for a little help, sleeping is considered abuse. Once a patient builds a tolerance to this medicine, he may need larger doses to fall asleep. This increases their dependence on Ambien to sleep and causes many patients to escalate their doses without medical consultation.

Ambien side effects

Ambien can lead to specific unexpected results in some conditions even when used it as directed. These unintended effects can vary from one to another user depending on several factors, including:

  • Age
  • Dosage amount
  • Treatment duration
  • Physical and mental conditions of the individual.

Common side effects 

These consequences can occur while initiating the treatment and disappeared slowly without any further treatment. Common side effects can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Grogginess or feelings like you have drugged.

Serious side effects can include:

    • Trouble sleeping
    • Vomiting
    • Stomach cramps
    • Flushing
    • Panic attacks
    • Lightheadedness
    • Stomach area pain
    • Nervousness
    • Uncontrolled crying, etc.

We have mentioned specific common side effects of using Ambien, but it is not a complete list of Ambien’s adverse effects. You may contact us to know more about its consequences.

Ambien high

Yes, you can get high on Ambien, because it is highly addictive, but it is hazardous if you take high doses. It is only recommended to take this medicine for the short-term. The Ambien/Zolpidem high within 30 minutes of taking it will hit its peak blood concentration. Once you have begun to abuse Ambien, you will find that the effects are more frequent and intense by injecting or snorting it. The impact of feeling sedated is also accompanied by tiredness and drowsiness.

Is Ambien addictive? What happens when you stop taking Ambien?

While researchers or medical experts thought when it was first discovered that is was unlikely that this medication would cause dependence, tolerance, or be subject to abuse like benzos, unfortunately, it causes withdrawal symptoms when the individual patient tries to quit. It is highly addictive and should be used as prescribed, with several cautions.

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