Does Ambien Create a High?

Ambien is not a narcotic but it definitely has an effect on the body. Depending on the person using Ambien and how much is used (as well as how often) it will make a difference how the person responds to use. Learn more about Ambien, how it is used and whether it can create a high.

Chemistry and Use

Ambien contains ‘zolpidem,’ a sedative hypnotic. The drug is used to treat insomnia and enables people to sleep through the night. Zolpidem works slowly in the brain. Peak effect takes place 1.5-2 hours after dosing and is why Ambien is only supposed to be taken when asleep for at least 8 hours. Due to addictive potential of the drug, Ambien is only recommended for short-term treatment of sleep disorders.

Ambien and Euphoria

While Ambien normally makes people feel drowsy and eventually fall asleep, some individuals abuse the drug by resisting sedative effects. Misuse of Ambien may create a euphoric high. Euphoria is known to have a side effect when used correctly but typically only occurs in 1% of people using the drug. When taken in higher-than-normal doses, it may create a high which includes hallucinations. Only a small percentage of people will experience hallucinations.

Central Nervous System

The side effects of Ambien on the central nervous system can create a variety of unpleasant feelings including:

  • Difficulty with balance or unsteady walking
  • Dizziness, drowsiness and lightheadedness
  • Headache, ringing in the ears or pain in the ears
  • Pain, numbness or a burning feeling in arms, legs, hands or feet
  • Uncontrollable shaking in a part of the body

Risk of Taking Ambien

Ambien creates a high and has few adverse effects. One problem is that memory problems may occur if it is not used correctly with a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Ambien may be dangerous as it causes sleep-walking, driving, cooking or doing other activities while asleep. People who experience this side effect have no memory of actions the next day. Higher doses than recommended increase this risk along with other adverse effects. Addiction is possible though it can come with symptoms such as:

  • Abnormal or aggressive behavior
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts and depression

Help is available for Ambien addiction. After long-term use, the drug should not be abruptly stopped. If a person initially begins using Ambien for insomnia, speaking to doctors is the best way to find options for quitting. A tapering dosage schedule may help escape the worst effects of Ambien and withdrawal.

Lead Recovery Center helps young adults who are addicted to Ambien and other drugs quit and start life over again, fresh and sober. If you’re ready to give up an addiction or have a loved one ready to quit, call us at (800) 380-0012. We’re ready to help.