Ambien Symptoms and Warning Signs

Modified: 22nd Jul 2019

Ambien is a sleeping pill. It’s prescribed to help people who are having trouble sleeping.

Sometimes, people abuse Ambien and don’t use it as prescribed. This can be very dangerous. This article describes Ambien symptoms and what to do if you or a loved one has an Ambien problem.

Symptoms of Addiction to Ambien

Ambien can be a very dangerous drug when it’s misused. Even when it’s used as prescribed, Ambien can cause drowsiness after taking it.

People who use the drug as prescribed often wake up the following day feeling very drowsy. If you’re abusing the drug, you’ll likely feel drowsy all the time.

Ambien is a sleeping pill, but people who abuse it often use it without going to sleep. When you do this, it’ll almost certainly result in blackouts.

These blackouts can be very unpredictable. Some people will act normally in going about their business.

However, others might behave recklessly. This could include things like attempting to drive, which would be incredibly dangerous. Or it could involve making impulsive purchases online.

Blacking Out and “Autopilot” Mode

While some people might behave irrationally, others may go into a simple autopilot-like state when they’re abusing Ambien. You don’t know how you’re going to act until it happens.

When you enter this state, you’ll hardly remember anything the following day. This means you have no idea if you’ve ruined your relationships, spent excessive amounts of money, or broken the law.

When you abuse Ambien, you may start to suffer from significant long and short-term memory loss. This can make it very difficult to function in everyday life.

Ambien can make it very difficult to react appropriately to unexpected situations. For example, you might be able to work your job on “autopilot mode”, but if you get a call that your child is sick, you might not be able to deal with the situation.

If you use Ambien and don’t go to sleep, you can also start to suffer from hallucinations. Most of the time, you’ll have no recollection of these hallucinations. But they could cause you to behave erratically.

Warning Signs a Loved One May Be Abusing Ambien

Ambien abuse is difficult to hide from a loved one. While it’s possible to get away with being on Ambien when dealing with people who don’t really know you, a loved one will be able to pick up on it easily.

Ambien abuse will likely lead to obvious personality changes. For instance, someone who’s usually quite talkative might become uncharacteristically quiet.

Furthermore, your loved one might also start to have irrational or impulsive behavior. They might make inappropriate comments. Or they might attempt to spend excessive amounts of money.

Since Ambien is a sleeping pill, they might also pass out or go to sleep at inappropriate places or times. If someone is awake while on Ambien, they might give the impression of not being quite there. They may seem unresponsive to the outside world and might not always respond to things appropriately.

For example, you could ask them a question and they could take an uncomfortable amount of time to formulate a nonsensical response. Since Ambien is available with a legitimate prescription, your loved one might get started with Ambien abuse after being prescribed the drug.

Is My Child Using Ambien?

Since Ambien is only available by prescription, it’s somewhat difficult for a child to get a hold of it. Ambien is very rarely prescribed to children. The only way a child could get a hold of Ambien is by stealing it from an adult or ordering from an illicit website.

If you take Ambien, you should ensure your supply is locked down away from your children at all times. If your child is abusing Ambien, it’ll be very difficult for them to hide it from you. This is because they won’t be able to formulate a coherent plan to keep it secret for long.

If your child is sleeping a lot, this could indicate Ambien use. It’s possible, however, that you could mistake another more popular recreational drug for Ambien. For example, high strength cannabis could give you the impression that your child is taking something stronger.

Is My Parent Using Ambien?

Parents may be better at hiding Ambien abuse than children are, but it’s still obvious to someone who knows them. You may notice significant personality changes. Someone who is usually attentive to your needs might become withdrawn and distant.

If someone is on Ambien, you may get the impression that they’re half asleep or not all there. They may have difficulty expressing or understanding complicated ideas.

Another big indicator is if your parent is sleeping excessively in the daytime. They might even pass out somewhere other than their bedroom.

Generally, Ambien abuse begins with a prescription for sleeping problems. If your parent has seen a doctor recently for sleeping problems and you start noticing these symptoms, it could indicate Ambien abuse.

Intervention for Ambien Abuse

Ambien abuse appeals to people because it offers a sense of escapism. When someone abuses Ambien, they might have some issues in their life that they’re not addressing. Attending therapy to work on these issues is often a very effective way of tackling Ambien abuse.

With prolonged use, Ambien addiction can occur. When someone is addicted, they’ll experience Ambien withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop. In this case, it’s recommended you attend rehab in an outpatient facility.

Withdrawal symptoms for Ambien can include things like anxiety and increased insomnia. If you want to stage an intervention for a loved one who’s abusing Ambien, you should consider an intervention specialist.

Recognize Ambien Symptoms and Get Help

The nature of Ambien abuse means it’s very dangerous. When someone abuses Ambien, it’s only a matter of time before they get into some sort of accident or mishap. They might attempt to drive while under the influence, or they might accidentally overdose.

If you see Ambien symptoms of abuse in yourself or a loved one, help is available.

Need more information about outpatient treatment? Then take a look at our outpatient services page.