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Ambien Addiction

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Ambien is the brand name for the drug zolpidem tartrate. The drug is intended for use as a short-term treatment for insomnia. It is available by prescription only.

Ambien works by acting as both a sedative and a muscle relaxer. When taken, it triggers certain neurons in the brain to shut down and others to take over so that the user can fall asleep. Other neurons send a message to the muscles to enter into a relaxed state so that the body functions will slow down sufficiently to allow for a restful sleep.

When taken properly, Ambien can help people overcome temporary insomnia. However, if the true cause of insomnia is not determined and treated, a person may become dependent on Ambien and may develop an addiction to the drug. For this reason, it is important that health care professionals who prescribe Ambien do so only after having taken a thorough medical history, which includes finding out why the patient may be suffering from insomnia.

Ambien is most often used by adults, although there are some incidences when its use can be indicated in children. Adults usually take the medication in tablet form, while young children who cannot swallow pills can be given the medication in a liquid form.

Abuse most often occurs in adults, as parents usually oversee the taking of medicine by children. Sometimes, however, teenagers will abuse the drug, either by having it prescribed and then continuing to take the drug after it is needed, or in higher doses than have been prescribed or are needed.

When abuse does occur, drug treatment centers that specialize in substance abuse treatment can provide help. Assistance with withdrawal from the drug, as well as individual and group counseling sessions, are used to affect recovery.
If it was discovered that stress was causing a person's insomnia which ultimately led to taking Ambien and from there to addiction to the drug, addiction treatment can often include teaching the patient stress-management techniques. Once the person has learned how to control stress and puts the methods taught to practice, it may be easier to overcome the addiction and remain drug-free.

It is important that addiction treatment begin as soon as possible after it is realized that the user is abusing the drug, or that the possibility exists that the drug can or will be abused. In this way, the person can receive medical help while experiencing the withdrawal symptoms, which include rebound or re-occurring insomnia, and drug tolerance-needing to take a larger amount in order to achieve the desired effects. Further, the same withdrawal symptoms-depression, irritability, anxiety, and others-that occur with other drugs can also be present in Ambien withdrawal.

After a person has left finished substance abuse treatment for Ambien addiction, if insomnia still persists, it is once again important that the cause for the insomnia be found and dealt with. If it is not, there is the chance that a relapse into addiction may occur.

References:
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/index.cfm?fuseaction=Search.DrugDetails
http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_drug_treatments_insomnia_000027_8.htm

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