In an overview article in the journal Drugs, researchers suggest that Ambien (zolpidem) pills are rapidly metabolized inside the body, taking hold in mere minutes and moving through the body in about 2.5 hours. This means that people who take Ambien often feel restored to normalcy quite quickly. However, even though these people might feel clean and sober, they might also have damaged cells left behind due to the Ambien exposure, and those cells can cause big problems when people try to get sober for good.

A formal Ambien detoxification program can help. Here, people can get the support they’ll need in order to get sober without experiencing a serious medical complication.

Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms

The sedation Ambien can cause comes about due to the suppression of chemical signals deep inside the brain. With repeated use, the brain cells may become accustomed to functioning at a slower pace, and when the drug is no longer available and these cells ramp up to a more normal speed, a variety of terrible symptoms can manifest, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Skin flushing
  • Crying
  • Insomnia

A product brochure created by the manufacturers of Ambien suggests that these symptoms tend to disappear in a day or two. However, it’s likely that this is true only for people who take the proper dose of the medication for a short period of time. People who take Ambien for a few nights in order to help them move through a difficult period may only need a few days of adjustment in order to return to normal. Addicted people, on the other hand, might have more damage to recover from because they take bigger doses for longer periods of time.

People like this may find that their symptoms last for weeks, not days, and they may even see their symptoms increase in intensity. Without help, they may begin to experience hallucinations, and some might even develop seizures.

Detox Timeline

Since Ambien is associated with symptoms that could be life-threatening, few experts recommend an at-home, cold-turkey detox approach. Instead, most experts recommend that addicts enter a formal detox program that uses medication to manage symptoms. In a program like this, people are moved from Ambien to another medication that’s similar, and over a period of weeks, they take tapering doses of that medication until they’re taking nothing at all.

It might seem unusual to enter a detox program for drugs and keep on taking drugs, but it’s vital to allow the brain to adjust to sobriety over a long period of time. This is the sort of approach that can preserve life and prepare people for the healing that’s to come in a rehab program.

If you’d like to know more about how you can recover from an Ambien addiction, or you have a family member who needs this kind of help, please call us at Black Bear Lodge. We can explain how detox works, and we can even arrange for your admission to our program. Just call and we’ll tell you more.