Ambien and Alcohol Substance Abuse
Ambien is the brand name for the prescription drug zolpidem. Many people take zolpidem for legitimate reasons, for example, it is often taken by those with sleep disorders in order to get a more restful sleep. However, like many prescription drugs, it has habit-forming potential.
Whether done intentionally or unintentionally, combining Ambien with alcohol is a sign of drug misuse and it can have severe consequences.
What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Ambien?
When mixed with Ambien, alcohol can cause the following dangerous side effects:
- Respiratory depression
- Memory loss
- Severe drowsiness
- Changes in heart rate
There have also been reports of people sleepwalking or driving in their sleep after taking very high doses of Ambien or mixing it with alcohol.
Can You Drink on Ambien?
Taking Ambien when drinking or after drinking alcohol is not recommended. It’s also a good idea to avoid other depressants that may interact with Ambien. Even on its own, Ambien can have potentially severe and unpredictable side effects, and these negative outcomes are more likely if you mix Ambien with alcohol.
How Long After Taking Ambien Can You Drink Alcohol?
You should wait at least 17 hours after taking Ambien before you consume alcohol because this it the time it takes for Ambien to leave the body.
If you take Ambien at night, be mindful of drinking the next day as it may still be in your system. You may also continue to experience side effects the next day, which may amplify the dangers of drinking, especially if you start driving. Combining alcohol with Ambien also significantly increases the risk of Ambien overdose.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Ambien?
In addition, some recreational users may take Ambien with alcohol to feel high or intensify the effects, and this dangerous combination can result in a person needing intensive care.
Some people with alcohol use disorders may take Ambien as a short-term sleep aid without realizing the dangers. Others may have an Ambien addiction alongside other drug addictions.
Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Ambien With Alcohol?
The side effects of mixing Ambien result from both Ambien and alcohol suppressing the central nervous system (CNS). Central nervous system depressants like alcohol and Ambien affect brain function, breathing, and heart rate. Therefore, mixing Ambien with another depressant can negatively dampen the CNS.
Because they are both depressants, combining alcohol and Ambien can lead a person to an Ambien overdose, which requires intensive care as it can be fatal. Unfortunately, since both alcohol and Ambien have sedative effects, a person can quickly experience a loss of consciousness after taking it, and you may not realize they are overdosing.
Alcohol and Ambien overdose symptoms include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Loss of consciousness or falling in and out of consciousness
- Pale skin, blue lips or fingernails
- Slow heart rate
- Difficulty waking up
It’s important to note that someone trying to quit drug abuse on their own without the help of addiction treatment is at a higher risk of relapse due to intense withdrawal symptoms. Due to the complexity of the withdrawal and detox process, relapsing after a period of trying to quit can increase the risk of Ambien and alcohol overdose, which is why professional help is valuable.
What Can Happen if You Drink on Ambien?
When mixing Ambien with alcohol, there is a range of side effects a person may experience. These relate to how the drugs interact and affect the central nervous system. Common side effects usually relate to cognitive impairment as well as mental and physical health.
Other side effects of Ambien and alcohol include:
- Memory loss
- Changes to heart rate
- Strange behavior
- Changes in the respiratory system, such as slower or stunted breathing
If you have an alcohol or Ambien addiction or have concerns over a loved one’s of your alcohol use, substance abuse treatments are available. Call Zinnia Health today at (855) 430-9439 to speak to one of our expert admissions experts, who can advise you about the different treatment programs available and help you take the first step on the recovery journey.
What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol With Ambien?
If you have a substance use disorder relating to Ambien or alcohol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue use. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms is a critical sign that you need help for alcohol addiction or Ambien addiction.
Common Ambien withdrawal symptoms include:
- High blood pressure
- Stomach problems, such as cramping
- Feeling nervous or shaky
- Difficulty sleeping
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Sleep problems
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
These are just some withdrawal symptoms relating to alcohol addiction and Ambien addiction. Detox should always be done in treatment centers, health care facilities, or under the supervision of medical professionals.
How to Get Help for an Ambien Addiction
It’s never too late to enter treatment for substance use disorders. Visiting an accredited rehabilitation center will give you the best chance of recovering from your Ambien addiction or alcohol addiction. Accredited healthcare providers will have a staff made up of a range of drug addiction professionals who are experts in the area of addiction and detox.
Many treatment options are available as well that are flexible enough to fit your needs and lifestyle. These include both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
- An inpatient program involves staying at a treatment center for an agreed period to detox from a substance and work on your behavioral health
- Some healthcare providers also provide outpatient treatment programs. These are usually better suited to people with milder addictions
- Outpatient programs are also more suited to those with substance use disorders relating to substances with less severe detox withdrawal symptoms
Regardless of what you choose, all treatment programs start with detox. This is where the person stops taking the substance and allows their body to excrete all traces of it. This can be an uncomfortable and dangerous process, which is why being treated by healthcare professionals is essential. During detox, a person may need prescription drugs to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. These are prescribed on a case-by-case basis.
Following detox, treatment usually moves towards behavioral health. This side of addiction is determined by a person’s learned behaviors, routines, patterns, and habits. This can be harder than a detox for some people, as it involves reshaping your automatic thoughts and behaviors and identifying triggers that fueled your drug addiction.
If you want to learn more about the treatment programs we offer at Zinnia Health, call us at (855) 430-9439. Remember, it’s never too late to seek treatment. Our team of accredited addiction experts are standing by, waiting to help.