Ambien

Know the facts about Ambien and connect with help and support to keep your child safe.

What are some slang terms?
No-G pills, Zombie pills, Tic-Tacs, Sleepeasy, A-minus

What is it?
Ambien (zolpidem) is a barbiturate, which is a prescription sedative or “sleeping pill.” Sedatives act as a central nervous system depressant.

What does it look like?
Ambien comes in tablet form.

How is it used?
Ambien is prescribed to treat insomnia. When misused, the tablets are swallowed.

What do young people hear about it?
Prescription sedatives can cause euphoria.

What are the risks?
These drugs slow normal brain function, which may result in slurred speech, shallow breathing, sluggishness, fatigue, disorientation and lack of coordination or dilated pupils. Higher doses cause impaired memory, judgment and coordination; irritability; paranoia; and thoughts of suicide. Some people can become agitated or aggressive. Using prescription sedatives with other substances — particularly alcohol — can slow breathing, or slow both the heart and respiration, and possibly lead to death.

Continued use can lead to physical dependence and — when use is reduced or stopped abruptly — withdrawal symptoms may occur. Because all prescription sedatives work by slowing the brain’s activity, when a person stops taking them, there can be a rebound effect, possibly leading to seizures and other harmful consequences. Tolerance to the drug’s effects can also occur, meaning that larger doses are needed to achieve similar effects as those experienced initially. This may lead users to take higher doses and risk the occurrence of an overdose. Prescription sedatives can become addictive, meaning a person continues to take these drugs despite their harmful consequences.

Sleep medications are also sometimes used as date rape drugs.

What are signs of use?

  • Slurred speech
  • Shallow breathing
  • Sluggishness
  • Fatigue
  • Disorientation
  • Lack of coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Impaired memory, judgement and coordination
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Thoughts of suicide
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

Next Steps

Look for Warning Signs

Do you think your child may be using drugs? If so, have you noticed any of these changes or warning signs?