Commonly sold under the brand name Ambien, Zolpidem is a sedative used for the short-term treatment of insomnia: particularly for those with trouble initiating sleep.
As a powerful Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, zolpidem begins working just one hour after consumption: leading to severe drowsiness which is the desired effect.
Zolpidem induces sleep by interacting with the neurotransmitter called GABA and enhancing its effects.
GABA is a naturally occuring amino acid that interacts with our neurons and helps the brain enter various stages of slumber. While similar in this way to benzodiazepines, zolpidem nevertheless has a different chemical structure.
The oral form of zolpidem comes in three forms: immediate release, extended-release, sublingual, and mouth spray.
Extended-release zolpidem tablets are for those who have trouble both falling and staying asleep, while the immediate-release form is for those who only struggle to fall asleep.
Due to its addictive potential and speed with which the body accustoms to the drug, doctors are wary before prescribing zolpidem. They’ll carefully consider a patient’s case and will give them the lowest dose needed to treat their insomnia.
What is Zolpidem Addiction?
As a sedative-hypnotic, people are often tempted to misuse zolpidem for the sense of relaxation and euphoria it produces. In addition to its sleep-inducing properties, zolpidem helps reduce anxiety through its muscle-relaxing properties: making it a popular way for anxiety victims to self-medicate.
While a milder drug, zolpidem has similar physical and psychological effects to benzos like valium and Xanax: which are sought-after street drugs for their mood-raising abilities.
For years, people doubted that zolpidem was as addictive as its counterparts – but any drug interacting with neurotransmitters to create a dopamine response has addictive potential.
As a result, taking zolpidem in higher doses over time leads to both physical and psychological dependence or addiction: a chronic illness named Zolpidem Use Disorder.
Many of these addictions begin when people develop an increased tolerance to the drug. This means they need higher doses to achieve the same effect.
When they consume higher doses outside of medical advice, people often notice the euphoric effects produced by the drug and will need more and more to chase this feeling.
Eventually, what was once recreational use turns into a dependency characterised by intense cravings.
Someone struggling with Zolpidem Use Disorder will undergo many physical, mental, and behavioural changes that are often noticed by Concerned Significant Others (CSOs).
These include taking more of a drug and using it for longer than intended, trying to stop using without success, and losing interest in things they once enjoyed.
Zolpidem Withdrawal and Detox
The time taken for zolpidem to leave the body (also known as half-life) is a mere 2-3 hours: meaning that withdrawal symptoms can occur with just one missed dose.
Withdrawal occurs when the body tries to adjust without the substance it’s dependent on varying in severity and length depending on the person and the type of zolpidem they used.
Extended-release zolpidem users will often experience withdrawal within the first 72 hours after their last dose. While most symptoms are psychological owing to the nature of the drug, addicted individuals may also experience shaking and vomiting.
Depending on the individual’s severity, zolpidem withdrawal can last for a few weeks up to a few months: with the longest persisting symptom often rebounding insomnia. In the first 7 days post-use, symptoms include paranoia, depression, nightmares, and acute cravings.
As time goes on, addicted individuals will notice the emergence of brain fog, changes in mood, and panic attacks. Cruelly, the symptoms zolpidem was initially prescribed to treat will reappear in full force.
To lower the risk of zolpidem withdrawal and optimize comfort, individuals should consider a medically-managed detox. These are typically residential: meaning they’ll be held on-site at a zolpidem rehabilitation centre.
With CNS depressants such as zolpidem, there are specific elements of treatment that must be included to optimize recovery: one of these being a medicated detox.
To avoid the aforementioned withdrawal symptoms, drugs such as zolpidem must be tapered down slowly so that the patient stabilizes safely.
Alongside gradually reducing the patient’s dosage, clinicians will make sure they’re supervised around the clock, and that any adverse symptoms are reduced or eliminated.
For instance, metoclopramide is often prescribed to help patients who experience nausea and vomiting.
Inpatient Zolpidem Treatment
An inpatient recovery programme for zolpidem addiction is a modality frequently prescribed by professionals. Residential rehab treatment helps the addicted individual stop using zolpidem, develop strategies to remain abstinent, and re-enter a healthier, productive life.
If someone has tried to quit zolpidem before with limited success, has a severe addiction to the drug, poly-drug addictions, or has comorbid mental health issues, an inpatient programme is strongly advised.
Unburdened by outside temptations and stresses, these individuals can rehabilitate with 24-hour professional supervision at a live-in clinic.
Here, each patient follows a personalised treatment plan that’s tailored to their unique therapeutic needs, addiction severity, and medical history. Throughout this intensive programme, patients will gain greater self-knowledge, and learn healthy relapse-prevention strategies to live a fulfilling life post-rehab.
One of inpatient rehab’s greatest advantages is how it removes patients from situations where they feel unsafe or prone to relapse.
This can be the home environment, social circles, or abusive relationships. By stepping away from these unmanageable situations, victims of zolpidem addiction can heal and learn how to re-enter their past lives with a healthy mindset.
Following a medically-managed detox, zolpidem rehab inpatients receive an integrated combination of alternative therapies, evidence-based psychotherapies, and motivational incentives.
These methods are carefully chosen to help recognize the emotional and mental root of someone’s addiction. Once these causes have been identified, patients can begin to heal in a supportive environment.
Part of laying the foundations for a zolpidem-free life in rehab is taking part in a structured routine of therapeutic activities. Inpatients begin their days early at around 7 am with some mindful meditation or journaling, followed by a healthy breakfast.
For the rest of the day, they’ll partake in individual and group therapy sessions, before having some downtime before an early night.
This daily structure helps to re-establish a sense of normality in the lives of addicted individuals, many of whom lost a sense of clarity during their zolpidem addiction.
Typically, patients will remain in their inpatient programmes for around 28-days: a time frame considered optimal for most moderate zolpidem addictions.
However, there’s always the opportunity to extend or lessen the time you spend in rehab. Many individuals with severe addictions will consider staying for around 60 days to receive supplementary therapy.
Outpatient Zolpidem Treatment
The other main style of addiction treatment in the UK is outpatient rehab: where individuals continue their daily activities and attend therapy in the evenings or after work. Rather than living temporarily in their chosen zolpidem rehab clinic, outpatients continue residing at home.
With this in mind, outpatient programmes are often offered to those with a mild zolpidem addiction, or who haven’t participated in addiction treatment before. For those with stable, supportive home life and responsibilities to uphold, outpatient treatment is a refreshingly flexible option.
Depending on how serious their addiction is deemed to be after an initial evaluation, patients can pre-schedule appointments to fit around work, school, or taking care of their family. Those with mild to moderate addiction might only attend therapy weekly or biweekly, while serious addictions require a more rigorous schedule.
Patients with a moderate zolpidem addiction or a previous history of poly-drug abuse are recommended intensive outpatient plans.
This means they’re encouraged to attend psychotherapy sessions and medical interventions every day, or every other day. Sessions in these intensive scenarios often last between 3-6 hours each day that they occur.
Those deciding to take charge of their addiction by enrolling in an outpatient programme will encounter multiple therapy styles. Standard practices include behavioural interventions to instil positive change, 12-step groups, motivational interviewing, and contingency management to improve treatment retention.
Many of these therapies for treating zolpidem addiction are available in an outpatient form via the NHS. This relieves patients of the financial burden often experienced when attending rehab for addiction.
As such, NHS outpatient programmes are an increasingly popular option: providing both flexibility and affordability.
However, in addition to longer waiting times experienced by NHS patients, outpatient treatment is rarely the best option for recovery. Unless someone has a mild zolpidem addiction, being able to return home can lead to distraction, encountering triggers, and ultimately relapse.
What is the Cost of Zolpidem Rehab?
When it comes to choosing a zolpidem rehab, the topic of cost is often at the fore of an individual’s mind. Oftentimes, media sensationalization has depicted rehab as unaffordable for the masses and reserved for the rich only.
What many people don’t know is, that the rehabilitation industry is full of surprisingly affordable options. Here in the UK, individuals looking to begin their recovery can choose between an upmarket rehab clinic, or a budget-friendly option depending on their unique preferences.
Furthermore, several different factors will come into play when calculating the cost of someone’s rehab experience.
Centres located in the countryside with extensive grounds will likely cost more, especially with the inclusion of complementary therapies and luxury accommodation. For these clinics, clients could pay up to £5,000 per week or 20,000 per month.
However, affordable clinics offering high-quality treatment, rooms, and meals are available throughout the UK. Individuals can choose somewhere between the cheapest and most expensive rehab options and pay £2,000-£3,000 per week.
Or, they can opt for the cheapest option at around £1,000 per week or around £4,000 per month.
It’s also well worth noting that an increasing number of clinics provide financial aid for their clients. In a bid to make treatment more accessible, many of our partners offer ways of splitting up payments so that they are more manageable, typically through monthly instalments.
They may also offer payment plans designed to suit an array of individuals and their budgetary concerns.
Types of Therapy Used in Zolpidem Rehab
At the zolpidem rehab clinic of your choosing, you’ll be offered both traditional and non-traditional therapy methods to aid the healing process.
Each style of therapy that features in treatment programmes offers levels of structure, accountability, and the chance to develop positive behaviours for your life outside of rehab.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Of the behavioural interventions and psychotherapies available in rehab, CBT is perhaps the most effective in treating zolpidem addiction.
While used to treat a variety of mental health disorders, CBT is used in rehab to combat destructive, addiction-inducing behaviours and negative thoughts known as cognitive distortions.
By examining where our negative thoughts come from and how we respond to them, before working to correct them, CBT makes recovery possible by replacing damaging behaviours with healthier ones. By getting to the core of their problems and increasing self-knowledge, CBT participants often notice that their lives improve in every aspect.
A course of CBT will typically last around 20 weeks for outpatients and far less for those attending zolpidem rehab as an inpatient.
Throughout each session, a therapist will be there to provide support and give the patients prompts. They also equip patients with the skills needed for them to identify their relapse triggers and work to overcome them.
Family Addiction Counselling
While Zolpidem Use Disorder is incredibly destructive for the person going through it, it’s also a harrowing condition that affects the individual’s loved ones.
As their family member’s addiction festers and their behaviours intensify, it’s common for feelings of frustration, anger, and resentment to grow: causing a breakdown of good relations.
Family Addiction Counselling is a unique treatment in its aim to improve the lives of not just the addicted individual, but of everyone in their sphere that has been affected.
It works on the principle that the family is the greatest supportive network in someone’s life and one that has great healing potential.
As such, Family Counselling is offered at most rehab clinics across the UK as part of a comprehensive recovery programme preparing patients for a healthier life.
Sessions, therefore, take place on-site at a rehab centre to provide support in the form of therapeutic guidance. This means that a trained therapist will be present in sessions to optimise communication between family members and teach them about zolpidem addiction.
Some key benefits of Family Addiction Counselling include regaining trust, improving communication, becoming aware of family dynamics, and better understanding the nature of addiction as a complex disease.
Families also have the option to resolve co-occuring conflicts, such as multiple addictions within to group, or past instances of trauma.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
The primary belief of Motivational Interviewing is that each individual has the base willpower to change for the better, even if this is permeated by ambivalence.
As a communicative counselling technique, MI taps into a patient’s reserves of intrinsic motivation and helps them resolve any ambivalence towards zolpidem rehab.
After feeling the benefits of sedative use for potentially years, many zolpidem users feel that the benefits of stopping don’t outweigh the consequences.
These individuals often know the reasons they want to quit but are nevertheless blinded by their addiction.
MI supports those with low motivation to overcome their worries and fears about what quitting zolpidem will mean for their lives. To help them achieve this, MI practitioners guide patients to find the inspiration to change from their thoughts: helping them to gain autonomy over their recovery process.
Three main processes drive the MI process and typically takes just a few workshops to boost someone’s motivation. The main parts of this structure are “collaboration, not confrontation”, “elicit rather than educate”, and “autonomy over authority”.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a type of counselling that teaches acceptance as a way to effectively deal with negative feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. The main guiding principle is that this increased acceptance will allow patients to be more psychologically flexible: meaning more open emotionally and in their belief systems.
While methods such as CBT treat zolpidem addiction through reducing cognitive distortions, ACT aims to reduce someone’s struggle to control or eliminate these thoughts or emotions.
Alongside this, ACT increases a patient’s participation in activities that mean a lot to them, such as hobbies, learning, or creativity.
During ACT sessions, therapists help their patients learn how to apply key concepts to their everyday life. These are cognitive diffusion, acceptance, being present, commitment, values, and self as context.
All of these help subjects develop a different sense of self that’s distinct from their unhelpful thought patterns.
For example, cognitive diffusion is the process of separating yourself from your inner experiences, allowing patients to see their thoughts simply as thoughts, and let them wash over them. This process is enhanced by being present: meaning staying mindful in your surroundings and shifting your attention from internal struggles to the external world.
Alternative therapies, also referred to as Holistic Therapies are non-traditional treatment techniques aiming to heal each individual as a whole. It recognises each person in its entirety and includes their mind, body, and spiritual health in the healthy activities it proposes.
Once shunned by academics, Alternative Therapies have become increasingly popular in recent times, with many private zolpidem rehabs integrating them into treatment programmes. Activities often revolve around physical exercise, nutrition, breathing work, and creative practices.
With such a broad definition, it can be difficult to pin down just a few Alternative Therapies, and anything that promotes a healthy lifestyle is included.
Some popular examples are nutritional counselling and cooking classes, yoga and meditation, art classes, and mindful martial arts such as tai chi.
Find a Zolpidem Rehab in Your Area
Entering treatment to tackle zolpidem addiction is a significant decision, and finding the best rehab centre for your unique needs is an important part of the process.
For those ready to start their recovery journey, or help facilitate treatment for a loved one, our team at Rehab Recovery are ready to guide your search.
We provide a personalised referral service to connect those in need of help with one of our leading partner clinics.
While many zolpidem rehab programmes exist in the UK, each of them has its treatment methodology, philosophy, and unique location, which makes for an overwhelming search without professional help.
Upon reaching out to Rehab Recovery, we’ll direct you to one of our psychiatrists who can gain an understanding of what you need for your recovery.
Oftentimes, this will be a phone call appointment wherein a consultant will gauge the type of treatment you need, the acuteness of your zolpidem addiction, and what kind of rehab clinic would suit you best.
After disclosing a budgetary preference and the location you have in mind, we’ll get back to you with a list of clinics that align with your needs.
To start your recovery journey from addiction optimally, simply give us a call us on 0800 088 66 86. We’re available at all times of the day or night, and uphold a strict confidentiality policy as our professional code of conduct.
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