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Does Ambien get you high?

Yes. Ambien can create a euphoric high and can even cause hallucinations.

So is Ambien narcotic? No. We review the chemical properties of Ambien, plus how Ambien works on your body here. And more on how to tell if you are addicted to Ambien CR or Ambien. We invite your questions and comments about Ambien use at the end.

Ambien chemistry and use

Ambien contains a drug called “zolpidem,” a sedative hypnotic. Ambien is used to treat insomnia and enable users to sleep through the night. Zolpidem works by slowing activity in the brain. Ambien peak effect occurs 1.5-2 hours after dosing and is why Ambien should only be taken when you have a full 7-8 hours to sleep through the night. Because of the addictive potential of the drug, Ambien is only recommended for short-term treatment of sleep disorders.

Ambien and euphoria

While Ambien normally makes people drowsy and puts them to sleep, some people abuse the drug by resisting its sedative effects. When misused, Ambien creates a euphoric high. While euphoria is a known side effect of Ambien even when used correctly, only causes this side effect in about 1% of users. But when taken in higher-than-normal doses, or when users stay awake instead of going to bed after taking the medication, Ambien can create a high which may include hallucinations. Again, a very small percentage of people (less than 5%) experience hallucinations during normal use, and a smaller amount (1%) experience euphoric feelings while taking the drug as directed.

Ambien and central nervous system effects

Ambien’s effects on the central nervous system can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects. These include:

  • difficulty with balance, unsteady walking
  • dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness
  • headache, ringing ears, pain or itching in the ears
  • pain, numbness, or a burning feeling in arms, legs, hands, or feet
  • uncontrollable shaking in a part of the body

Mixing Ambien with other substances

Mixing Ambien with other substances can be extremely dangerous. Mixing drugs or chemicals with Ambien increases the risk of adverse effects or overdose. Other sedatives and central nervous system depressants are especially risky, as is alcohol.

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Risks of taking Ambien to get high

Using Ambien to get high has a few adverse effects. One immediate problem is that memory problems can occur if it’s not used correctly in conjunction with a full 7 or 8 hours of sleep. Ambien can also be dangerous because it can cause sleep-walking…as well as doing other activities in your sleep, such as driving, cooking, or having sex. People who experience this side effect will have no memory of their actions the next day. Taking higher dosages than recommended increases the risk of this and other adverse side effects. A third problem is that Ambien is extremely addictive. Tolerance and withdrawal symptoms will develop when it’s used for more than a few weeks. Withdrawal symptoms from Ambien can be serious, including:

  • abnormal or aggressive behavior
  • anxiety and agitation
  • confusion
  • hallucinations
  • insomnia
  • suicidal thoughts and depression

Am I addicted to Ambien?

It’s not difficult to know if you have an Ambien addiction, or not. This is a drug which causes strong cravings and drug-seeking behavior. If you have an addiction to Ambien, you will be unable to simply quit or go without Ambien due to its unpleasant withdrawal effects. Your risk of addiction to Ambien is higher if you’ve ever had a problem with drug or alcohol abuse in the past.

Help for Ambien abuse

If you’re addicted to Ambien, there is help available. After long-term use, however, this drug should not be stopped abruptly. If you initially began using Ambien to treat insomnia, and want to stop taking the medication, speak to your doctor about your options. A tapered dosing schedule should help you escape the worst effects of the drug.

Questions about Ambien high

Do you have any other questions about taking Ambien to get high, Ambien addiction or how to stop taking Ambien? Please leave us your questions below and we will respond to them in a personal and prompt reply. We are happy to help refer you to resources or services that can help you get the treatment that you need.

References Sources: PubMed Health: Zolpidem
DailyMed: Drug Label for Ambien Cr
NHTSA Drug and Human Performance Fact Sheets: Zolpidem

Photo credit: Veterans Association

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24 Responses to “Does Ambien get you high?
Betânia
1:26 am August 17th, 2014

I’m part of the 1% that experience euphoria during normal use, i always do. Is not a problem for me though, i get excited and do things and then sleep normally, and I take it only sometimes, 10mg. Is that a problem?

Sarah
3:09 am September 27th, 2014

Hi, I need help. My husband takes ambien almost every night and he takes it long before he goes to bed. So for sometimes a couple hours he is doing things around the house, talking to people on the phone, eating …..a lot, and so on. Sometimes I wake up the next morning to find a mess he’s left in the kitchen or other rooms. I’ve asked him several times to please only take it when he is getting ready to go to bed, but for some reason he refuses. I am convinced he is doing this for high. He has even taken twice the prescripted does before (I have counted the pills) I don’t know what to do. We have an infant in the house and I’m honestly sick of his behaviour and feel like it’s ridiculous that he is doing this. What should I do and am I over reacting?

11:38 am October 2nd, 2014

Hi Sarah. Ambien rarely produces feelings of euphoria and a high in people. You can talk to a pharmacist about dosing and potential risks. Also, try talking openly with your husband and leave all judgement and pressure aside. Then, if there is need look for adequate help options.

Steve
3:42 am September 28th, 2015

I’ve been taking Ambien for approximately 6yrs now. The first couple months I took it normally. After taking to a friend he told me to stay up on it. I did and loved it. For the next few years I would take one or two have me a beer and head to sleep. It was to the point where that wasn’t enough. So one day I decided to take a pill before work so I was taking about 4 a day. I liked how it was making me feel. That leads to the past 6 months. I start my morning with 2. During the week I can make my monthly subscription last about a week. If I get them on the weekend I will stay up all weekend (with the help of 30mg Adderall also one of my prescriptions ). My ambien is gone by Monday morning. Then I have a very long month to go. I love how it makes me feel. I don’t know if I can stop. I would love to. I don’t know where to turn. Thank you for reading!

3:22 pm October 9th, 2015

Hi Steve. It’s normal that after some time Ambien would stop producing the the same effects as it used to, and their intensity would get lesser and lesser. It’s called tolerance. But, the problem is that when you increase doses or take it more frequently than prescribed, your organism will also get used to that amount and Ambien will stop really working soon again. You have to lower doses and eventually stop using Ambien completely. Also, seek help and treatment if you have a hard time staying off.

MCsleepy
3:39 am October 27th, 2015

I just took ambian from my mom. I usually take advil pm. After taking it, I was sitting on my couch playing with my phone and just started hearing voices of other people with southern accents. Men and women both. Then I looked at my couch and it appeared to have leather fish scales…. is this normal?

dhiraj
8:13 am November 6th, 2015

How can I stop Euphoria. I cannot sleep as soon as I take 10 mg Zopidiem I get Euphoric and bit energetc. So I am unable to sleep. If I dont take Zopidiem I ajso cannot sleep. Is there any other medicine I can take with Zopidiem that I can sleep and not be euphoric. Few months back I did not have this problem. I have insomonia the zopidiem was helping me to sleep. But this euphoria does not let me sleep.

What should I do. It is urgent.

dhiraj
8:21 am November 6th, 2015

I ussedto take 10 mg Ambien twice a night and fall asleep.
For last 6 months I have strange experience.I cannot feel drowsy like I used to. In fact I feel euphoria and energetic and cannot sleep. Do you know any medicine which will allow you to get drowsy and sleep and keep you awake euphoric. It is very pai8nful. Your kind help appreciated.

1:56 pm November 6th, 2015

Hi Dhiraj. Your organism has grown a tolerance to the Ambien (zolpidem), so the medication no longer produces the same effects as it used to. I suggest you speak with your doctor or a pharmacist about dose adjustment or switching to another medicine that will work for you.

1:02 pm November 10th, 2015

Hi MCsleepy. General side effects including hallucinations have been reported after using Ambien (zolpidem). How are you feeling now?

dhiraj
7:47 am November 14th, 2015

I cannot get zopiduem witjout Euphoria. So my slrrp spoiled. My problem is 3 mont old. Please tell me what sleeoijg pill put me to sleep witout EUPHoria.

3 months back Zopidiem does no gave euphoria and I was comforatably sleep.

I urgently need euphoria free sleeping pills. I have not been able to sleep for 10 days. Finally
is there any medicine that can be taken to eliminate Euphoria whiletaking zopidiemj

6:15 pm November 16th, 2015

Hi Dhiraj. Every medication acts differently on each person. Maybe, you’ve built up a tolerance to zolpidem, so it doesn’t work as before. I believe you should consult your doctor to either adapt your dose to your needs or change your sleeping pills.

Ambiannette
8:03 am January 3rd, 2016

Hi! I take Ambien usually twice in an evening. I actually like the euphoria and it makes me feel better and more productive so I can get some important stuff done before bed. Is there REAL harm on taking it for the rest of my life, because I feel like the benefits are worth it. I sleep better too and don’t feel hungover. (I took trazedone and I couldn’t function the whole next day.)

Precious
7:25 pm January 5th, 2016

I have a major case of insomnia so my doctor just prescribes me zolpidem y do people not want to sleep? I wish I could go to sleep without medication

Linda
5:23 am January 24th, 2016

What are the risks of taking ambien together with Valium (double dose on each)?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:02 pm February 1st, 2016

Hi, Linda. Please consider that it is illegal to consume medications other than prescribed, and you put yourself at risk.

Jen
4:50 am April 3rd, 2016

I’ve been taking ambien for 15+ years. It was funny at first. I saw an ardvark selling tickets to use my bathroom and monkeys pooping in my bed. When in hospital I wandered to an elderly man’s room and made him get up bcz I thought it was my room. In all seriousness I am sickened from my behaviours, but I have NO recollection. I did get a euphoric high and would clean the house. I’ve cooked terrible concoctions and also swiped a parked car when driving. Again…no memory. I ended up going to rehab and I’m so glad I did. I still don’t sleep at night but at least I’m not in danger of hurting someone.

William
5:57 am April 25th, 2016

I’ve been taking ambien for 2 years without a problem. Other mental health problems arose and without taking my ambien I got flashbacks, reaccurring memory’s. I started taking the ambien again but grew an immunity to it so I decided to take a higher dose because it stopped working. It makes me feel relaxed and tired at the same time. I still have the nightmares and flashbacks. What can I do? By the way I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

Don
9:25 am April 27th, 2016

I’ve been taking ambian for about 8 years and haven’t had any effects that other people have reported. Sometimes I’ve even taken 2- 10 mg tabs, when I can’t get to sleep. I’ve never felt the euphoria that other people have experienced but wish I had, it just puts me to sleep but I do sleep alone so I don’t know what happens while I sleep. How can I feel the euphoria that some people have experienced.

Olivia
1:57 pm April 30th, 2016

Why is it used for short term use for sleep disorders, (I.e. I have acute insomnia) & insomnia isn’t supposed to be treated short term. My insomnia is every night. It only takes 1 ambien vs. 4-5 melatonin or a ton of Benadryl!!

Dhiraj
4:39 pm May 5th, 2016

I hve take Zopide for few yers but for about an year does not work even if I take multiple 20 to 30 mg. Also causes euphoria and feels very strange. I also type strange emails late night. What can be done to help. Is there any thing that can supplement. I have mentally ill kids and uder tremendous stress. Is Ambien works better. I live in UK and only Zopidem available. Please help.

Keeton
11:02 am May 8th, 2016

Just Google “ambien high” and the positive side effects are too tempting for the potential abuser.

Shabbir
2:54 pm August 4th, 2016

I got depression and insomnia. Dr prescribed me anti depressants and zolpidem. I noted that no doubt zolpidem gives me sleep but also energy, joy and hope……my children named it happy pill. Now I utilize euphoric effect for earning money for running house hold for few hours. Rest of the time I am stuck in bed.

Shabbir
9:41 am August 12th, 2016

I am on anti depressants. I was given 10 mg zolpidem for insomnia too. I noted gradually that I get high whole night with this tablet and sleep in the morning. I discussed this matter with my psychiatrist professor.
I am still unsatisfied with the answer….Now I take 5mg zolpidem at 4 pm to get high and able to work and 5mg at night to sleep and it is working….anyhow it is medicine and I want to have clear information. I am 50.

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