Ambien is a medication prescribed to help people who suffer from chronic insomnia, however, it is not advised to use long term. Doctors are advised that after a few weeks of use, if the patient is still suffering from insomnia, they should be prescribed an alternative therapy and taken off Ambien.
In recent years, Ambien has become a medication that people are more frequently abusing. Ambien is the brand name for Zolpidem, and also goes by Intermezzo, Zolpimist and Edluar. Physicians have been advised that patients with histories of addictive behaviors, were more likely to develop an addiction to Ambien. However, a study in 2011 suggested that Ambien abuse can also be addictive for people with no previous problems with addiction because of the mesmerizing high it produces.
If used as prescribed, Ambien may help people with chronic insomnia fall asleep, however, it does not help them stay asleep. Ambien is prescribed to be taken within one hour before the patient goes to bed. When people abuse Ambien, they take the medication without the intention of going to sleep, they will take it in much higher doses and sometimes with alcohol or other stimulants, as it enhances the drugs mesmerizing effects.
The lowest effective dose of Ambien is always prescribed by doctors. Doctors are also advised to monitor their patient closely for and psychological changes that may arise. If the patient seems to have a need for sleep medication beyond a 10 day period, it can be an indicator that the patient has become dependent on Ambien or could possibly be abusing the medication.