Posted in Drug Addiction on March 6, 2017
Last modified on May 8th, 2019
Ambien Addiction in Women
While it is still not talked about much, Ambien addiction is a growing problem among the American adult population. Because of differences in the way they metabolize the drug, women are especially vulnerable to Ambien dependency, and many women are taking unsafe doses of the drug in a futile attempt to conquer their insomnia.
Ambien as a Sleeping Aid
Ambien is the trade name for the drug Zolpidem, which is recommended by doctors as a cure for short-term insomnia.
Ambien prescriptions exploded in the early 2000s, based on the belief that it was far less addictive than other types of sleeping pills. As it circulates through the brain, Ambien activates some of the same neurotransmitters as anti-anxiety medications like Xanax, Valium and Klonopin, but it does so more subtly and gently and, therefore, has a reduced capacity to produce dependency.
While it is true that Ambien is less addictive than drugs like Xanax, it can still be addictive if taken for an extended period of time. As tolerance develops, users have to take more and more of the drug to feel the same effects, and once that happens changes in the brain occur that make addiction a strong possibility.
Why Ambien Can Be Dangerous for Women
In the past, women given Ambien for insomnia were prescribed a dose of 10 milligrams per day. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently lowered the recommended dose for women to just five milligrams per day in response to studies that revealed the heavy impact that Ambien can have on a woman’s body.
Women metabolize Ambien much more slowly than men, and as a result they are more likely to develop an Ambien addiction. When women take the drug at higher-than-recommended doses (as they often do if their insomnia is persistent), significant traces can remain in their body until the next day, which puts them at risk of impaired driving.
Between 2005 and 2010 the number of people seeking treatment for Ambien overdose at hospital emergency rooms in the United States jumped by an astounding 220% — and 70% of those patients were women. It was this statistic that prompted the FDA to issue new dosage guidelines, but word about the dangers of Ambien addiction in women has been slow to spread.
Treatment for Ambien Addiction
In addition to therapy and wellness programs, substance abuse treatment centers can offer vitally needed medical detox services for those suffering from Ambien addiction. Ambien withdrawal symptoms can be highly painful and dangerous if addicts fail to taper off the drug at a gradual, controlled pace.
Women unable to control their Ambien consumption should seek help for Ambien abuse immediately, before their chemical dependency wrecks their health and ruins their lives.
Why the Ambien Dosage for Women is Lower
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