At night, when most people are fast asleep, there are others struggling to fall into a peaceful slumber. For these people, zolpidem may offer a temporary solution – but at what cost? Zolpidem can quickly transform from a helpful aid to a treacherous addiction that takes over your life. If you are struggling with zolpidem addiction, it is important to know that you are not alone and that Linwood House can help you break free.
What is zolpidem?
Zolpidem is a sleeping pill used to treat insomnia, a disorder that prevents people from getting enough sleep. The medication is only available as a prescription from a doctor and comes in tablet form in two different strengths – 5mg and 10mg.
Zolpidem is only intended to be used for short periods because the body quickly gets used to it, reducing its efficacy and increasing the risk of addiction.
What is zolpidem addiction?
Zolpidem addiction is a powerful condition that pushes people towards uncontrollable drug taking, even when they don’t want to continue their habit. Whether using zolpidem recreationally or on a prescription, your brain eventually becomes used to it. This means that you develop a tolerance to the medicine, which results in the requirement of higher doses to get to sleep. As the tolerance increases, your brain begins to rely on the drug to function and this can swiftly result in zolpidem addiction.
What are the signs of zolpidem addiction?
People with zolpidem addiction may go to great lengths to conceal their drug-taking habits from others, making it difficult to spot from the outside. Zolpidem addiction also commonly causes people to deny there is an issue which is a clever trick played by addiction to ensure you keep feeding it.
However, there are some general signs to help recognise a zolpidem addiction, including:
- Experiencing zolpidem cravings
- Wanting to stop taking zolpidem but not being able to
- Being unable to sleep without zolpidem
- Finishing a zolpidem prescription before planned
- Seeing more than one doctor for zolpidem prescriptions
- Spending a lot of time and/or money trying to get hold of zolpidem
- Losing interest in activities that previously brought pleasure
- Being unable to fulfil responsibilities within your personal life and career
- An inability to focus due to cravings or a preoccupation with zolpidem
Side effects of zolpidem abuse
People commonly take zolpidem with the drug’s relaxing and euphoric effects in mind. However, there are also a number of unpleasant side effects that can occur when taking zolpidem, particularly if you use more than you should or for longer than prescribed.
Short-term side effects include:
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upset stomach
- Allergic reactions: itching, swelling, trouble breathing and swallowing, skin blistering
- Memory problems or loss
- Coordination issues
- Eyesight problems
- Trouble breathing
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Mood swings
- Slurred speech
- Parasomnia: sleep-walking, sleep-talking, sleep-driving
Long-term side effects are even more serious and can include:
- Development of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increased risk of developing a zolpidem addiction
- Permanent brain damage
- Increased risk of a fatal overdose
How is zolpidem addiction treated?
Zolpidem addiction is treated through a combination of detox (the process of breaking physical dependence and allowing the body and brain to heal) and zolpidem rehab (a comprehensive programme involving evidence-based therapies, counselling and holistic treatments). Linwood House provides all of these stages so get in touch with us for more information.
Myths about zolpidem busted
There are many myths about zolpidem and it is important to bust these myths to understand the reality of zolpidem addiction.
Some common myths and misconceptions include:
Zolpidem is not addictive
This is completely untrue and it is actually possible to become addicted to zolpidem after just a few weeks of use.
Zolpidem always helps people fall asleep
After repeated use or abuse of zolpidem, the body becomes more tolerant to it so the drug is not able to treat insomnia as effectively. This causes people to use zolpidem in higher quantities, often resulting in a cycle of zolpidem abuse and addiction.
It’s fine to mix zolpidem and alcohol
Zolpidem and alcohol are both classed as central nervous system depressants, types of drugs that slow down the functions of the body. These include heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and interaction rate within the brain. For this reason, combining the two is extremely dangerous and can increase the risk of a fatal overdose.
You can overcome zolpidem addiction on your own
Anyone who becomes addicted to zolpidem should seek out professional help as soon as possible. Zolpidem addiction is an extremely complex condition that gets worse over time and can result in death if not expertly dealt with.
How to get help for zolpidem addiction
Linwood House is a specialist treatment centre that can help you overcome zolpidem addiction and regain control of your life. We take a holistic approach to zolpidem addiction, focusing on healing the body, mind and spirit. To learn more about our approaches to zolpidem addiction, contact Linwood House today to take the first step towards a brighter future.