Author: Charles Frank

Ambien & Alcohol: 4 Reasons Not to Mix Them

ambien and alcohol

Ambien carries an FDA Boxed Warning about the risk of complex sleep activities like sleepwalking, sleep eating, sleep cooking and even sleep driving, which can put you at risk of an accident. Even more, alcohol and Ambien can have unexpected interactions, as explained by the article. This can include unanticipated behavior, mood swings, and blacking out or being unable to remember activities performed while under the influence of both substances. If you believe someone is experiencing an Ambien overdose, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Overdosing on Ambien can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly if not properly treated.

  1. Combining alcohol and Ambien can also cause a person to unintentionally drink more alcohol.
  2. Combining the two drugs can leave you disoriented and confused, and it is very easy to unintentionally take more Ambien or drink more alcohol when you’re in this state.
  3. Once alcohol peaks in your system, your blood alcohol content (BAC) will decrease by approximately 0.015 per hour.
  4. Combining these two addictive substances may, therefore, increase your overall risk of addiction.
  5. Self-medication will do nothing to address the underlying insomnia and introduces an additional problem in the form of alcohol abuse.
  6. This is extremely dangerous since both Ambien and alcohol depress your central nervous system, slowing your heart rate and damaging your respiratory system.

The first step is to get emergency help if the person is still under the influence of both substances, to make sure that overdose hasn’t occurred. The drug is a hypnotic sedative that simulates a sleep-wake cycle in the brain; this simulation most often leads the person taking it to fall asleep. When taken together, Ambien and alcohol can have a number of side effects and potentially dangerous interactions. Alcohol can exacerbate the negative side effects of Ambien, and once both substances have been ingested, it’s impossible to control the effects these drugs will have. Dangerous drug interactions take place when these substances are mixed. Since they are both classified as depressants, the harmful repercussions of taking both at the same time cannot be controlled.

Is It Safe to Combine Alcohol with Ambien?

In fact, individuals who mix alcohol and Ambien are more than twice as likely to require medical attention than those who only take Ambien. If a young person has problems with alcohol, drugs or gaming, they can seek help from a youth station (nuorisoasema). The young person can come to a youth station alone or together with the parents. Our affordable luxury rehabs are located in Newport Beach and Long Beach. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Mar 2024), ASHP (updated 12 Feb 2024) and others. Ambien, the brand name for zolpidem, is a prescription drug used in the treatment of insomnia. This medication is a hypnotic substance that works by changing chemicals in the brain to relax the central nervous system (CNS). By relaxing the brain and CNS, a person is more likely to be able to fall asleep.

It takes a team of compassionate, trained professionals to get on the path to true healing. Prolonged Ambien and alcohol misuse can be a hazardous – and even fatal – mixture. If you suffer from an addiction to Ambien, alcohol, or both, addiction treatment programs are available. Contact The Recovery Village Palmer Lake to speak with a representative who can help you begin treatment for your alcohol or Ambien addiction.

Treating Addiction to Ambien and Alcohol

Combining two addictive substances like Ambien and alcohol is asking for trouble. Over time, you could end up with a chemical dependence on this deadly cocktail of depressants. If you or a loved one cannot stop using Ambien and alcohol, it’s time to seek professional help. However, some people mix Ambien and alcohol, which is a dangerous combination that can cause adverse health effects and can lead to an addiction. Unfortunately, people who are desperate to get restful sleep may go to great lengths to do so, even if that puts their health at risk. Because both Ambien and alcohol are depressants with similar and synergistic side effects, you may be at a higher risk of overdose by combining them.

Once alcohol peaks in your system, your blood alcohol content (BAC) will decrease by approximately 0.015 per hour. For example, if your BAC peaks at 0.08, the legal drinking limit in most states, it will take more than 5 hours for alcohol to completely leave your bloodstream. Per the Ambien package labeling, if you drank alcohol earlier in the evening or before bedtime, you should skip your Ambien dose that night. This is because alcohol can last in your system for hours, peaking within 45 minutes after a drink and slowly wearing off in the hours that follow. Z-drugs like Ambien work by binding to receptors on the brain that have a calming effect. These gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors slow down the central nervous system when a drug or neurotransmitter binds to them.

Consuming too much alcohol can have negative effects on a person’s health. At the same time, taking too much Ambien over an extended period can also have detrimental health effects. Ambien, which is the brand name for zolpidem, is a commonly prescribed sleep aid and is used to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia. It works by helping to entice the brain to fall asleep by relaxing the brain so that sleep will soon follow.

ambien and alcohol

It is not uncommon for people to combine Ambien and alcohol to enhance the effects of both drugs, and to possibly experience a deeper sleep, but this is a very slippery slope. Mixing Ambien with alcohol slows your brain activity and vital functions to a dangerously low rate. On their own, sedatives like Ambien are habit-forming after a short period of time, and as your tolerance to them builds, you’re more likely to overdose.

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Over time, abusing Ambien and alcohol can result in permanent liver and respiratory system damage. Combining the two drugs can leave you disoriented and confused, and it is very easy to unintentionally take more Ambien or drink more alcohol when you’re in this state. Along with irreparable damage to your liver, cognitive state and respiratory system, continued usage of Ambien and alcohol increases your chances of fatal overdose. People who are desperate to get good sleep may become dependent on the drug if they take it for longer than the prescribed length of time. With continued use, patients may increasingly seek out the help of Ambien for sleep, but with extended use, the drug may not be as effective.

Vertava Health has several alcoholism addiction treatment facilities that specialize in polydrug use and addiction. To learn more about our programs or the effects and dangers of mixing Ambien and alcohol, contact a treatment specialist today. Ambien and alcohol can also cause parasomnia, or participating in tasks while asleep. This can include eating, shopping, talking, and even driving while asleep.

If you mix Ambien and alcohol, combining these CNS depressants will increase the likelihood of Ambien overdose. Dangerous interactions can occur after a single episode of mixing alcohol with Ambien. Mixing alcohol and Ambien can also cause physical and cognitive harm, irreversible liver damage, and increases your risk of an Ambien overdose. Your doctor or pharmacist can provide you with more information about safely taking Ambien after drinking based on your specific medical history.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Ambien and alcohol, seeking help is the best decision you can make. Taking Ambien alone can result in a number of side effects, especially if a person is taking a higher dose than necessary. In fact, doctors do not recommend taking this drug unless a person is able to get at least seven hours of sleep, as Ambien can cause strong effects the following day after taking it. People who take Ambien and do not get adequate sleep should not operate machinery or motor vehicles.

The Päihdelinkki online service maintained by the A-Clinic Foundation contains information on intoxicant abuse and addictions. Some of the AddictionLink services are also available in Swedish, English and Russian. Seek treatment at an A-Clinic through the intoxicant abuse services (päihdepalvelut) of your area of residence. You can contact the nearest health and social services centre (sosiaali- ja terveyskeskus) if you have issues with alcohol or drug use. Different wellbeing services counties may use different names for health and social services centre, such as terveysasema, terveyskeskus or hyvinvointiasema.

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. There’s a reason doctors prescribing sleeping aids such as Ambien(zolpidem) forbid drinking while taking these pills.

Both alcohol and Ambien can cause withdrawal symptoms after a single use. Drinking too much can cause a hangover, while even small doses of Ambien can cause impairment the next morning. For this reason, taking the substances together can worsen your next-morning symptoms. Both Ambien and alcohol can slow your heart rate and breathing, especially when taken in higher-than-recommended amounts. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.