The active ingredient in Ambien is called zolpidem, a sedative, also known as a hypnotic, that is used to treat insomnia. It enhances the effects of a specific neurotransmitter called GABA. The extra GABA activity triggered by Ambien inhibits the neuron activity associated with insomnia. Ambien slows down the brain. It is not an anticonvulsant or muscle relaxer like benzodiazepines; it is only an asleep inducer.
Ambien is an immediate-release tablet used to treat insomnia for people with unbalanced chemicals in the brain. It is used to help people fall asleep when they first go to bed. It is not a narcotic, but it is a depressant that interacts with the brain to produce a calming effect for the body.
Is Ambien Addictive Like Other Narcotics?
While scientists thought when it was first discovered that it was unlikely that Ambien would cause tolerance, dependence, or be subject to abuse like benzodiazepines, unfortunately, it causes withdrawal symptoms when the person tries to quit. Ambien is highly addictive and should only be used as prescribed, with a lot of caution.
Can You Get High on Ambien?
Yes, and this is because Ambien is not only highly addictive, but it is hazardous if you take high dosages. It is only recommended to take it for the short term. The Ambien high within 30 minutes of taking it will hit its peak blood concentration. The time it takes for the medication to decrease by half, the half-life is 1.5 hours. Once you have started to abuse it, you’ll find that the effects are more intense and frequent by snorting or injecting Ambien. The amplified effects of feeling sedated are also accompanied by drowsiness and feeling tired.
Usually, if you are abusing Ambien, you will begin to hallucinate as well. These hallucinations could be but are not limited to auditory, visual, or tactile psychosis. Even though Ambien is a schedule IV-controlled substance, according to the Drug Enforcement Association (DEA), because people aren’t likely to use it recreationally, many users abuse it for its euphoric and hallucinatory effects.
What are the Side Effects of Long-Term Ambien Use?
Ambien has short-term side effects, including daytime drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, tiredness, loss of coordination, stuffy nose, and a drugged feeling. It has also been reported to cause rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, impaired vision, slow breathing rates, and muscle cramps.
The long-term effects of Ambien are but aren’t limited to digestive problems, chronic fatigue, frequent headaches, dry mouth, muscle pain, and chronic poor motor coordination. You can overdose on Ambien when you use enough of the drug to where it produces life-threatening symptoms and, ultimately, death. The National Institute of Drug Abuse explains the dangerous effects of Ambien.
If you or a loved one are addicted to Ambien or other prescription sleeping pills, contact us for confidential help. We have years of experience in helping men, women, and families get on the path to lasting recovery from addiction.