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Both Ambien and alcohol are central nervous system depressants, acting as messengers sent through the nervous system to slow down certain bodily functions.  When both substances are used together there is the potential for overdose, as respiratory rates can become dangerously suppressed. Understanding the risks involved in drinking alcohol and taking Ambien is important information for avoiding an accidental, possibly fatal, overdose.

Why People Combine Ambien and Alcohol 

Individuals who struggle with sleep-related issues may attempt to increase the effects of Ambien by chasing the medication with an alcoholic beverage or two. Combining alcohol and Ambien can result in overpowering effects, such as:

  • Lack of motor control
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Loss of hand eye coordination
  • Breathing problems
  • Impairments in decision-making and judgment
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Mental fog
  • Loss of consciousness

Why Drinking Alcohol and Taking Ambien is Dangerous

The infamous vehicle crash involving Tiger Woods in 2009 was directly correlated to the Ambien that he had taken that night. Although he had no alcohol in his system, this event created new awareness of the odd effects of Ambien. In fact, any activity that requires an alert, clear mind should be avoided if taking Ambien, as accidents can very well happen.

When alcohol is combined with Ambien the risks only escalate. In addition to the disturbing sleepwalking or cooking behaviors reported, adding alcohol can make these even riskier by increasing the potential for slips and falls, burns, and serious accidents.

Individuals who decide to abuse Ambien as a recreational drug may crush the medication and snort it in order to achieve an enhanced high. Adding alcohol to this routine adds a more intense effect, which can be very risky with the inhaled Ambien. Side effects of this recreational use of Ambien and alcohol may include chest pain, memory loss, blurred vision, hallucinations, vomiting, and significantly slowed heart rate and breathing. According to the DAWN report, more than 42,000 emergency room visits were attributed to Ambien in 2010,  double the number from 2006.

At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addition and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.