Ambien is a sedative with effects lasting about 8 hours after the medication is taken. The half life of Ambien is only 1.5 hours. This means the peak level of Ambien in the blood begins after 30 minutes which is important to note when taking the medication (which should happen immediately before falling asleep). There are effects which take place in the brain and body which impact how long it lasts in the system.
Insomnia is the main reason people begin taking Ambien which facilitates sleep. A central nervous system depressant, effects on the body include heavy sedation. Ambien can also cause a person to do activities while sleeping with no memory the next day. Some of the more dangerous activities can include walking or driving. Other effects of Ambien may include:
Ambien can last up to 8 hours and should only be taken when a full night’s rest is expected. If a person takes the medication and does not sleep or awakens too early, it may result in memory problems and drowsiness.
There is a side effect to Ambien which creates a ‘high.’ When taken to achieve a euphoric feeling or high for long periods of time, Ambien can become addictive. Some examples include the following effects:
An Ambien addiction can result in severe, uncontrollable cravings for the drug, withdrawal symptoms and compulsive use of the drug without thinking of consequences. For this reason, it’s use should be avoided except for medicinal purposes to help aid in sleep.
It is illegal to use Ambien without a valid prescription. It is also illegal to write or obtain a fraudulent prescription for Ambien. Ambien cannot be distributed to friends, families or others and selling or giving it away can cause severe harm to others with negative consequences for the seller. Penalties associated with abuse or illegal distribution of Ambien depend on state/federal law but can include prison sentences and fines.
Long-term use of the medication can cause severe consequences. Ambien should not be stopped abruptly or without help from a doctor. If Ambien was used to treat insomnia and it has become difficult to stop, a physician should be contacted to discuss options for tapering the dosage to reduce or quit Ambien altogether.
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