Sunday December 21st 2014

Is Ambien a narcotic?

Is Ambien a narcotic?

Is Ambien a narcotic?

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No, Ambien is not classified as a narcotic in the U.S. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) classification under the Federal Controlled Substance’s Act (CSA), Ambien is a Class IV substance on par with other prescription medicines. Drugs in Schedule IV have low potential for abuse, limited physical, and limited psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III. The drugs in Schedule IV also have current medical use.

What is Ambien?

Ambien is the brand name for zolpidem, a non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic, central nervous system depressant that is mainly prescribed as a sleep aid. Ambien is usually prescribed for short-term treatment of insomnia and can be taken for up to 4 weeks to treat sleep problems. Ambien might also be prescribed for the treatment of particular types of brain disorders.

Is Ambien addictive?

Although research has shown that tolerance and dependency usually do not occur after 4 weeks of therapeutic use, tolerance to Ambien (the need to increase dosage to achieve the same effect) may develop with chronic use of the sleeping pill. Physical dependence can also develop, as indicated by withdrawal following abrupt discontinuation of Ambien. However, simple developing a tolerance or a dependence on a drug does not mean that you are addicted to it. In order for addiction to occur, you must experience at least one of the four characteristics of addiction:

1. You begin to crave Ambien.
2. You cannot stop taking Ambien.
3. You take Ambien for non-medical or recreational purposes.
4. You continue to take Ambien despite negative consequences.

Discussion

Should Ambien be classified as a narcotic in the U.S.? Personally, it doesn’t seem like a wise decision. I think that other prescription medications, like the ingredients in Tramadol, show more dangers than Ambien in terms of addictive qualities, and although people can overdose on Ambien (especially when seeking suicide), it seems to be clear-cut as a medical aid. What do you think?

Can you not get to sleep without Ambien? Do you use Ambien to calm down, or have you used Ambien without a doctor’s prescription? Are you afraid that you might be addicted to Ambien? Post your comments and discussions here and we’ll respond to you in a video. You can also learn more about how to help prescription drug addicts here.

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19 Responses to “Is Ambien a narcotic?
Leoma
6:54 am April 25th, 2011

Hi, thanks for the info. I used Ambien myself to help me sleep, and it works great, so far this is the best sleeping medication I’ve ever used, just make sure you don’t take alcohol while using this!! because if you mix alcohol and ambien together it will act like a date rape drug! and you won’t remember what happened.

Ed Childers
1:46 pm June 23rd, 2011

Is ambien really a narcotic

Narcotic Not
3:08 pm September 27th, 2011

It seems more than clear that Ambien it NOT physically addictive if taken for more than 4 weeks or for that matter any length of time and the article concludes it should not be rescheduled as narcotic as it simply is not narcotic nor addictive.

mj
1:02 am December 15th, 2011

Should this med be under lock and key with all other lock down meds?

10:26 am December 15th, 2011

Hi mj.

Thanks for your question.

Ambien is stored at controlled room temperature 20°–25°C (68°–77°F). Yes, you can keep Ambien under lock and key, especially if you have children in the house or are around those who may misuse it. Ambien does have side effects, and is listed on this FDA medication guides page:

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm085729.htm

Does this help?

Esther Everett
9:30 pm January 15th, 2012

I want to know what the long-term effects of taking Ambiem every night for five years or longer.

12:56 pm January 16th, 2012

Hi Esther.

Using hypnotics such as Ambien for more than 4 weeks can lead to damaged sleep staging or insomnia. Additionally, Ambien acts on the central nervous system and slows the brain’s activity. That’s how it works. So if you want to stop taking Ambien, you must seek medical help. Activity in the brain can rebound and race out of control to the point that seizures can occur.

Do you want to get off Ambien for good?

Anne
7:30 pm August 24th, 2012

My spouse has taken Ambien for 4 years and I truly believe he is ADDICTED. He has even managed to get two scripts from two different Doctors because he had reached his max dose. He orders hundreds of dollars worth of STUFF on line in the middle of the night and does not always remember ordering it or how it was paid for. His Dr. is aware of this, but he does have joint pain. He also takes this while driving and with pain meds. I do not know where to turn, but this addiction has ruined my marriage.

4:36 pm September 5th, 2012

Hi Anne. Yes, drug addiction can lead to major disruptions in intimacy between couples. You may feel like your husband simply hasn’t “shown up” for the past few years. So…where to get help?

1. A family addiction treatment professional. Schedule a consultation with a psychologist with experience working with couples or families. Go in with a goal: identify the next steps in your relationship, try to work things out, set limits. Whatever it is…talk with someone who has experience and they can help guide you through.

2. Al-Anon. It’s not just for families of alcoholics. Here, you can learn how to find happiness for yourself, whether you stay in the relationship or not. You learn how to stop enabling addictive behaviors and start to stand up for yourself. Plus, you get support from a group of peers.

3. A physician. Consult with your family doctor about what’s going on and seek a medical opinion or referral to other solutions. The more open you are about what’s going on, the more doors will open to you!

Does this help?

stejac
2:27 pm April 20th, 2013

This site has been very informative. I have been on ambien for slightly over 2 years now. I have had episodes were I might want to try and get high from the drug from time to time. Whenever I do this activity, I wind up regretting it. Every time I have taken the drug in order to get “HIGH” I never know what has happened until I wake up and I am told a unbelievable story of all kinds if real stupid things I do after I took the dose. I have absolutely no memory of any of the events that happened while I was on the drug. When I finely come to my right mind, I am there to face the consequences of what I did while I was under the drugs effects. Needless to say it is NEVER good. I have done some crazy stuff while under the effects of this drug. Things that I would have NEVER have done if I was in my right mind. Beware.

akear
4:46 pm May 4th, 2013

I had to go a week in detox to get off ambien. I am now a outpatient. They do urines screens. A delayed order of ambien came in the mail several days ago and I took 10 in two days. My screen is 48 hours away will it show up on the screen. I hear it leaves the body fast.

Annie Jordan
8:02 pm May 22nd, 2013

After taking 20mg of Ambien for sleep for years, I was told I would no longer have it. It was time to lower the dose and eventually stop using it altogether.

It is a drug that should be classified in the most dangeroous category. I have ha a multitude of psychological problems which are associated with withdrawal. I have not felt well, I have been very angry, and felt very lost. And of course…have not been sleeping.

Those of you who are going to be withdrawing from Ambien,,,beware, I do not think physicians understand the gravity of the withdrwal effects. All of a sudden we can no longer use it for sleep, beecause the FDA has decided it does not clear fast enough from the body. I am angry that I have been ill for two weeks…unable to work. Beware…

akear
4:46 pm May 28th, 2013

Ambien is extremely addictive.

GinaP
6:05 pm June 23rd, 2013

I have been on Ambien for insomnia for roughly 3 years….it had just become a part of my routine…10mg….but I would break it in half and try to take the smallest amount to get me to sleep….I ran out before it came in the mail a few days ago…..I decided to just go off cold turkey….I didn’t like having to rely on something and take control of my life….I have been off for 4 nights….and have been ill ever since….shaking, vomiting, stomach aches, headaches, fogginess, terrible dreams….just trying to get through the withdrawal…..I wish I had never started taking it….you either have to stay on it forever or never take it….I knew about the side effects, i.e. getting up and doing strange things before I started them, but that never happened to me while taking it, but never knew just how it affects the brain and how terrible the withdrawal symptoms would be…..I just want to get through this and be well….hope this helps some people here….

Sharon
3:58 pm January 16th, 2014

I have been on ambien for about 5 years, on and off. I have slowly weaned myself off. Have not slept for 3 nights. Doctor has no answer. really starting to effect me. I don’t know what to do.

Lisa
9:13 am March 15th, 2014

I have been taking ambien for a little over 7yrs. It controls my life. I take more than I am supposed to because the 1st one isn’t enough anymore. I have done some crazy things and not remembered the next day. My family fears for me. I just want sleep. I sometimes go for days without sleep. I have 2 prescriptions a month one of them mine and the other belongs to someone else. This is 60 pills and I still run out and have a couple of days that I have to do without. Those are the worst days. I get sick and very irritable.I never would have believed that I would become addicted to a drug. I hate the feeling. I have cried many tears over Ambien. My best friend & worst nightmare. It is a crazy thing and I wish I would have never started taking them. So if you have never taken and you are just thinking about it………RUN in the other direction!!!!!!

mike
12:11 pm June 9th, 2014

I went 3 days without any ambien i was taking about 50ms then ran out i became tearfull aggitated hot dizzy it wss terrible i have some now but will lower my doeses will that help

beverly paredez
2:37 am September 5th, 2014

I use ambien to sleep at night and sometimes I use it to calm down

Dan
12:33 am November 16th, 2014

Is it illegal to have 2 prescription of this drug with 2 different Insurence I don’t know how to put a stop to this do I contact her doctor or medical Insurence

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