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Welcome to The Hills

A Unique Experience

Ambien Addiction Information

Ambien is a highly addictive sleep aid categorized as a “hypnotic” drug. As the national website for Drug Abuse states, Ambien is the brand name for zolpidem tartrate, “a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic of the imidazopyridine class, available in 5 and 10 mg strength tablets for oral administration.” Due to the fact that insomnia is on the rise in our nation, Ambien addiction has become a more prevalent issue. People run from place to place throughout a typical day, fulfilling work obligations, family responsibilities, and taking care of vehicular and home maintenance in today’s society. By the time the sun has set, stress levels have spiked. Individuals with a genetic predisposition for anxiety and insomnia are evermore likely of finding themselves unable to come down from the adrenaline pumping through their veins and the thoughts coursing through their mind. A combination of anxiety disorders and insomnia exacerbates the likelihood of this issue.

Victims of Ambien addiction often start out with benign intentions, filling the ‘script their psychiatrist writes for them. Over time, they realize the signs of Ambien addiction ” dependent on the hypnotic to fall asleep. Ambien addiction can creep up quickly and insidiously before the person realizes that they are completely reliant on the hypnotic drug to fall asleep.

When someone wants to kick Ambien on their own, they often find themselves unable to do so. Once addiction has set in, the situation no longer involves a simple matter of will power. People have been gripped in the arms of a real disease, in which recovery is a slow and difficult process. However, the benefits of being drug-free and addressing the underlying causes of insomnia contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Many professionals recommend that Ambien addicts pay attention to their sleep patterns throughout the withdrawal period to fine-tune their sleep hygiene. Recommendations include:

  • Don’t bring food, computers, or TV into the bedroom.
  • Avoid stimulants from TV, cell phone or computer lights one to two hours before bed time.
  • Abstain from eating food two to four hours before bed.
  • Try to fall asleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time every morning.
  • Keep a fan handy to drown out white noise .
  • Wear a sleep mask to eliminate sources of light that can be extra-disruptive during the withdrawal process.
  • Drink a glass of warm milk before bed.
  • Take a hot bath one to two hours before bed.
  • Take a book into the bedroom to read before falling asleep, rather than turning on the television.

Taking action against the addiction will help ensure success in the longevity of Ambien abstinence. Withdrawal effects are debilitating, and support is often necessary to get the addict through the recovery process. The phenomenon of “whiplash insomnia” is a very real ramification of Ambien cessation. Whiplash insomnia is the manifestation of adverse effects from suddenly stopping narcotic medication for insomnia. When the body is accustomed to rapidly inducing chemicals in the brain to promote sleep, the body goes into a “shock” period for 2-3 days following cessation. Users report high energy throughout the night, hunger pangs at three or four in the morning, obsessively checking the clock while unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep organically, and feeling restless and irritable the next day. The viscous withdrawal power of Ambien often drives people back to the drug despite their best efforts to stay clean of the drug. Hence, rehabilitation or professional intervention is extremely helpful and more successful in treating Ambien addiction than relying on a person’s willpower to fight the addiction demon.

Many rehab programs offer non-narcotic substitutes for Ambien so the client can detoxify from Ambien safely and effectively. Counter-indicative, non-narcotic drugs carefully administered by staffed clinicians help to mitigate the patient’s insomnia-whiplash symptoms and overall comfort level. Trazedone is commonly prescribed for the withdrawal period from Ambien. Ambien is very addictive psychologically as well as physically, so an emotional detox is recommended to help the client cope with emotional effects of quitting Ambien. For example, a woman who is used to reaching into her nightstand every night to take one pill before bed as part of her relaxation routine, may become depressed and saddened at the loss of Ambien in her life. Rehabilitation centers address both the physical and emotional issues associated with cessation of Ambien.

For those kicking Ambien addiction on their own volition should be patient with themselves. Withdrawal effects can be severe and very uncomfortable. Users report the inability to sleep for approximately three to four days following their last Ambien dose. They may feel more restless, anxious and discontent throughout the day as well. An addiction encompasses an obsession of the mind as well as a physical component; racing thoughts about Ambien are common. Be assured that after three or four days of discomfort, the side effects of Ambien cessation should start to subside. After about two weeks of abstaining from Ambien, users report feeling content with a regular sleeps cycle. If possible, talk to a professional substance abuse counselor to help navigate the road to recovery from Ambien addiction.



Our mission at The Hills Treatment Center is to offer a unique combination of educational and therapeutic drug and alcohol rehabilitation. In that spirit we present answers to some frequently asked questions. However, don’t stop here. Our knowledgeable and compassionate admissions specialists are available to speak with you personally 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I know if someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Diseases of drug and alcohol addiction are complex and impactful. We encourage you to speak with your physician, or refer to the symptoms checklists offered by respected agencies in the field of addiction research and treatment like The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA .
What drug and alcohol treatment choices do you offer?
At The Hills, we offer a wide variety of treatment choices ranging from residential drug and alcohol treatment to intensive outpatient treatment, each applying the latest and best addiction treatment therapies. Plus, at every level there are counseling and support groups from which to select to maximize the process of recovery.
Is detoxification a painful experience?
Not if you’re detoxing from drug or alcohol addiction in a residential setting at The Hills, where you’re given round the clock care and attention every step of the way, safe and secure in a private room with counselors, message therapists, and world class chefs to aide and advise you in comfort.
What if your detox program doesn’t work for my needs?
That’s not possible at The Hills Treatment Center because all of our treatment plans are personalized to specifically support the rehabilitation and recovery of each individual client.
Can I receive treatment for more than one addiction?
Yes. The Hills recognizes that many people suffer from multiple addictions compounded by mental and emotional health issues. Our Dual Diagnosis program addresses all of these compounding issues.
Won’t drug and alcohol treatment put me behind at school?
We understand how important it is to achieve your academic goals, but that will not be possible without addresses the challenges of addiction. Through our Young Adults program we will develop a rehabilitation schedule that allows you to continue your education.
What happens to me after detoxification is complete?
You are not left alone after drug or alcohol detox. We offer a myriad of counseling and educational programs to support your rehabilitation and recovery including Relapse Prevention, Sober Living and Sober Companions, Family Outreach, and New Lease on Life.
Who comprises your staff?
The staff here at The Hills is led by eminent addiction expert, Dr. Howard C. Samuels; columnist, published author, television talk-show guest on the leading edge of drug and alcohol treatment modalities. Our team of experienced professionals and paraprofessionals often know first – hand what drug and alcohol treatment and recovery are all about. Our team is here to assist and support you at all times.


A guide to locating appropriate treatment, entering a rehab and more. Includes questions and answers, and a California Drug Rehab Guide.

• Family Involvement • Specific Drugs • Treatment Facilities • Financial Issues • Before Entering Rehab • After Drug Rehab • California Drug Rehab • Legal Issues

About Dr. Howard Samuels

Howard C. Samuels, PsyD is a leading drug and alcohol addiction expert. He is a licensed therapist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with years of experience running two successful treatment centers, and is the founder of The Hills Treatment Center.

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