Safe Ambien detox involves stopping use of the prescription medication by gradually decreasing the dose over a period of time. Ambien detox is the first step in breaking the body’s physical dependency on the drug.
Ambien (zolpidem) is a sedative medication that reduces activity in the brain to allow a person to sleep. However, when a person abuses the prescription medication by taking larger doses than were prescribed, or by taking them for recreational purposes, it’s possible to develop a physical or psychological dependence on them.
When intake of the drug stops, the brain is unable to adapt to the lack of the substance. The result is that the person experiences physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms as the brain tries to adapt to functioning without the presence of drugs in the system.
Many people believe that stopping drug abuse is simply a matter of will power. They think they just need to stop taking the drug and go through the detox process in order to recover from drug dependence.
However, detoxing from Ambien can cause withdrawal symptoms that could require emergency medical assistance, including seizures, psychosis and deep depression. The person is at risk of causing injury or harm to themselves or others, so it’s advised that detox is always conducted under medical supervision.
A person going cold turkey off Ambien at home will also underestimate how powerful the cravings to take more of the drug can be. The risk of relapsing back to addictive drug use is highest during the detox process.
Natural detox, or cold turkey, involves stopping use of the drug suddenly. Due to the way the medication affects the central nervous system, it’s important not to stop taking it suddenly.
The most effective way to detox from Ambien is to taper the dosage down slowly over a period of time. Anyone trying to detox from Ambien should work together with a doctor or psychiatrist to reduce the dosage gradually in order to wean off the drug safely. Tapering also reduces the severity of any withdrawal symptoms that may emerge.
Medical detox is strongly recommended for people taking higher doses or with a strong dependency on the drug. The process requires admittance into an inpatient residential rehab center so the person can be supervised. Any acute withdrawal symptoms can be treated by medical staff as they arise
Withdrawal symptoms can emerge within a few hours after the last dose of Ambien and include:
Most people should notice that symptoms will subside within a few weeks of stopping use. However, those people who have built up a high tolerance to the drug may continue to experience psychological withdrawal symptoms for several months after the detox process is complete.
One of the biggest benefits of receiving professional assistance in a residential rehab center during the detox process is having medical supervision around the clock. Trained medical staff supervise the recovering person throughout the process and can administer treatment medications to help treat any withdrawal symptoms that may arise.
Detoxing from Ambien is only the first step in breaking a dependency on the substance. A person in recovery also needs to learn effective new strategies for living life without the use of sedative medications.
Individual counseling and therapy can help to address the psychological triggers behind drug abuse and addictive behaviors. Ambien rehab treatments may also incorporate strong relapse prevention strategies to reduce the risk of the person relapsing back into a cycle of drug abuse.
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