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Ambien Addiction Treatment that Actually Work

Since we opened our doors more than a decade ago, we’ve helped countless people overcome substance use disorder through our comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addiction treatment.

Our board-certified psychiatrists, physicians, and other experts create a custom treatment plan for each person we treat, combining state-of-the-art medical and psychological treatments with proven behavioral therapies. This, along with our continuum of care that includes inpatient, outpatient, and even virtual addiction treatment, allows us to treat the whole person for a lifetime.

Three column stats: 8% Recovery Rate, 5000 patients treated, and 1:5 Clinical staff to patient ratio.

Call today and get help. Our Ambien addiction treatment experts are here for you.


Treatment options for Ambien addiction

Research shows that a combination of therapeutic and pharmacological interventions is the most effective approach to restore the body and brain while simultaneously addressing any underlying mental health issues so those with Ambien addiction can regain a stable and productive life.

Enterhealth offers medical detox services for Ambien addiction, which includes medication-assisted therapy under the supervision of our round-the-clock medical staff.

Please note that medical detox is NOT considered treatment for Ambien addiction. It’s a crucial first step that removes the drug from the system, preparing patients so they can fully participate in a long-term treatment program of behavioral therapy, psychological counseling, and psychiatric treatment. Detoxification for Ambien should only occur under the supervision of a physician with formal training in alcohol and drug addiction treatment, because abruptly discontinuing Ambien after prolonged/heavy use can cause life-threatening seizures and delirium tremens.

Counseling occurs on an individual- or group-oriented basis and may include families when necessary. Continuing Care programs are also available and considered an essential part of any discharge plan, as they provide counseling and continued support over a number of years.

A treatment plan for Ambien addiction may include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy sessions
  • Pharmacotherapy (medication management)
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
  • Supportive Outpatient Programs (SOP)
  • Maintenance Outpatient Programs (MOP)
  • Wellness, nutritional, and stress management education

A range of treatment options based on you

Each person’s path to addiction is unique with different neurological, emotional, social and environmental contributing factors. That’s why the Enterhealth journey to recovery is personalized to meet individuals and families where they are. Whether you need immersive inpatient care or outpatient treatment, we offer a range of evidence-based treatment options and innovative therapies. Enterhealth is the only facility with highly trained on-site addiction specialists, including PhDs, MDs and Master’s Level Therapists, who coordinate care at every stage. Because we understand the science behind addiction, we are best equipped to assess and treat individuals and families. Contact us to see why we’re the only facility with an 84% success rate.



Enterhealth Ranch offers inpatient care that’s on your side, not on the clock. It’s a nurturing environment where treatment is highly personalized and intensified. Every patient has a private room and 24/7 access to addiction trained specialists who use evidence-based treatments and comprehensive care, including medical detox, in-depth medical and psychological assessments, individual and group therapies, life skills and more.

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Enterhealth’s Outpatient Center of Excellence, conveniently located in the Park Cities, is expertly staffed with board-certified addiction specialists. Our comprehensive program is designed for continued recovery care and provides individuals and families the support they need to reconnect with each other and thrive in recovery.

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The Enterhealth Alumni Association offers a unique opportunity for our patients to continue and thrive in their recovery by building relationships through shared experiences. This one-of-a-kind support environment provides a nurturing space where participants can gain understanding, learn from others and continue to rebuild their lives.

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Recovery is one of the most important benefits you can give your employees. Enterhealth provides comprehensive, evidence-based residential and outpatient programs and continued 24/7 technological support with Enterhealth Connect. It’s a tool employees can use to access expert care that fits their schedule for online consultations with highly trained addiction specialists, dynamic content including blogs, podcasts, videos, and continuously updated tools and resources that will aid in their recovery journey.

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How Enterhealth Makes a Difference

“FPO – When I first arrived here, I truly believed I would never be able to function without drugs or alcohol, nor be happy in general ever again. My family did not know how to help me. After being here, I’m a happier person. Laughter comes naturally. I’m repairing relationships I thought were irreparable.”

Hanna (former Enterhealth patient)

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Frequently asked questions about Ambien addiction

What is Ambien?

Ambien is a prescription medication for short-term relief from insomnia. Its generic name is zolpidem, and it is a type of medication called a sedative-hypnotic. Other sedative-hypnotics, under trade names such as Intermezzo, Lunesta and Sonata, help users fall asleep and prevent frequent awakenings.

Ambien can be habit-forming, which is why it is recommended for short-term relief from insomnia, typically no longer than six (6) weeks. Long-term Ambien use can lead to dependence and addiction, as well as other negative side effects.

How does Ambien work?

Ambien enhances the effects of GABA, a chemical transmitter in the brain that blocks impulses between nerve cells. This slows activity in the brain, making it easier for users to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Other medications that affect GABA levels include the sedative sub-class known as benzodiazepines, but Ambien’s chemical structure is distinctly different from these drugs.

What are the side effects of Ambien?

Like any prescription medication, Ambien may cause side effects even when taking it correctly. The following Ambien side effects are common:

  • Headache
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Serious side effects include:

  • Next-day motor or cognitive impairment
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Abnormal thoughts and behavior
  • More outgoing or aggressive behavior
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Worsening of depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • “Sleep-driving” and other complex behaviors while not fully awake

What are other dangers of Ambien use?

Complex sleep behaviors: Ambien and other sedative-hypnotics were initially marketed as safer and less addictive than other sleeping medications; however, reports of what are known as complex sleep behaviors led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add a boxed warning in 2019.

The warning warns that these complex sleep behaviors (such as sleepwalking, sleep-driving, sleep-cooking, and engaging in other activities while not fully awake) may occur when taking Ambien, possibly leading to serious and potentially fatal injuries.

Next-day drowsiness: Even before the boxed warning, the FDA began lowering its recommended dosage because of the risk of next-day impairment. The FDA also suggests that those taking extended-release Ambien (Ambien CR) refrain from driving or participating in activities that require full alertness the day after taking the sleep medication.

Depression and suicide risk: Research shows that Ambien and other sedative-hypnotic use may worsen depression or suicidal thoughts and behaviors in those already struggling with depression.

What are Ambien withdrawal symptoms?

Those who are physically dependent on Ambien will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop their Ambien prescription too suddenly. In most cases, the most noticeable symptoms are anxiety and insomnia – the very things that most people start taking Ambien for in the first place.

Ambien withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Delirium and hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Emotional disturbance

These problems vary in severity and duration depending on the dosage and duration of use. With mild benzodiazepine withdrawal, you typically only see restlessness, anxiety, shakiness, and intermittent weakness, but these can often be accompanied by dizziness upon standing, nausea, cramps, and vomiting.

Note that physical dependence and/or experiencing withdrawal symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you are addicted to Ambien. Addiction also includes a loss of control, cravings, and tolerance for the drug.

How do you treat Ambien withdrawal?

Sedative withdrawal symptoms, Ambien included, are similar to those seen with alcohol withdrawal, and the treatment is also quite similar. Treatment for Ambien withdrawal needs to begin with supervised medical detox to remove the drug from the body.

During this detox phase, the patient’s dose of Ambien will be gradually tapered down until they are no longer taking any of the drug. This helps to lessen some of the more unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and prevents life-threatening ones such as seizures.

While there are no medications approved by the FDA specifically to treat Ambien addiction and withdrawal, certain non-addicting medications can be helpful for treating the intense rebound anxiety and insomnia that many people experience. These include certain antiseizure/antiepileptic medicines, atypical antipsychotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants.

How long do Ambien withdrawal symptoms last?

Ambien’s half-life (the amount of time it takes the body to metabolize 50% of the dose) is shorter than most sedatives. Most users will be symptom-free after 2 weeks, with the worst of the withdrawal symptoms falling between days 3 to 5.

The amount of time a person will experience withdrawal symptoms depends on individual factors like how long they’ve been taking it and at what dosage, but the typical timeline looks something like this:

Initial withdrawal phase (~48 hours) – Common symptoms include anxiety and insomnia.

Acute withdrawal phase (~3 to 5 days) – This is when withdrawal symptoms are often the most severe.

Post-acute withdrawal symptom (PAWS) phase (~1 to 2 weeks) – Symptoms typically start to fade slowly during the second week. Patients will begin to start feeling normal again and have less difficulty getting to sleep.

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may last up 18-24 months depending on factors like dose and duration of use. however, these symptoms usually reduce in severity compared to the first few weeks.

How do you know if someone is addicted to Ambien?

Any use of Ambien outside of a doctor’s instructions is considered drug abuse. This includes tampering with Ambien pills by chewing, crushing, cutting, or dissolving them in order to ingest, snort or inject a higher dose than prescribed. Even if the Ambien pills are not tampered with, taking more pills than prescribed is also considered abuse of the drug.

Ambien addiction signs include:

  • Taking more than the prescribed dosage
  • “Doctor shopping” for multiple prescriptions
  • Tampering with Ambien before taking it
  • Mixing Ambien with other sedatives or alcohol

Can you overdose on Ambien?

Overdosing on Ambien is possible if taken in excess of the prescribed maximum dosage, and the likelihood of a severe or fatal overdose increases greatly when it’s mixed with alcohol or other CNS depressant drugs.

Ambien overdose symptoms include:

  • Extreme drowsiness and loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression (slow, shallow, or irregular breathing)
*State standard is 1:10 clinical staff to patient ratio