Addiction to Ambien and Drug Abuse


In the U.S, Ambien is a federally controlled drug with a Schedule IV classification by the U.S.

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as outlined under the Controlled Substance Act. This type of

classification registers between a Schedule I and a Schedule V, with the last rating for the most

addictive types of drugs. Because of the Schedule IV classification, it’s against the U.S. law to

share Ambien with anyone other than the person it’s prescribed to.


People who continue to use Ambien beyond the recommended limit of four weeks, or who take

zolpidem to get a “high” usually develop a dependency for the drug. Continual selfadministering of

the drug often leads to the urge to take doses higher than the 10 milligram limits prescribed to

patients by physicians, especially if recreational use leads to attempts to inject or inhale the drug

for purposes other than trying to end insomnia issues.


Usually addiction to zolpidem takes place with those who have a history of drug abuse, but

a drug dependency can evolve with patients without such a background. Prolonged abuse of

zolpidem, including large overdoses, usually results in a physical dependence on the medication.

In these cases, if taking zolpidem is suddenly stopped, severe medical symptoms occur, not

limited to seizures and death.


Those who seek zolpidem for recreational use say that this “downer” drug—known on the street

as A-minus, zombie pills, or no-go pills—produces a sense of hypnosis on the person whereby

they see intense visual hallucinations and an extreme high that makes them experience joy and

decreased fear.


Anyone who drinks an excessive amount of alcohol can take larger doses of Ambien before the

drug affects such an individual. So, a person with alcohol abuse in their background has a higher

chance of becoming an Ambien addict.

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Concern about the illegal use of Ambien is increasing. As reported by a 2013 article in the

Huffington Post, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports

a 220 percent boost in incidents of Ambien-related emergency room visits from 2005 to 2010 in

the U.S.


If you think that the abusers of zolpidem are the typical drug addict, think again. The former U.S.

Congressman from Rhode Island, Patrick Kennedy, whose father is the late Edward Kennedy,

crashed his vehicle into a Capitol Hill barricade in Washington, D.C. on 2006 and later admitted

himself to Mayo Clinic’s drug rehab facility after releasing the fact that he was addicted to

Ambien and Phenergan. At the scene of the accident, Kennedy told police officers that he was

late for a vote. Later, he couldn’t remember the getting up out of bed, the accident, or talking to

the police after the incident.


Another aspect about illegally used zolpidem is its employment in instances of date rape. These

are cases where zolpidem is slipped into the beverages of unsuspecting victims in an attempt to

perform sexual assault without the victim’s knowledge. The DEA in the U.S. says that zolpidem

is a common drug used in date rapes.