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    Old 08-23-2004, 10:46 PM   #121
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Heh - Ambien is dope. But not in the cool, hip sense of the word.

    I've been an insomniac for about 4 years now. I can't STAND not being able to sleep - it drives me nuts.

    I took Ambien for about 6 months last year and it really did a number on me. When used responsibly it's a fantastic, relatively short-acting drug that gives you great sleep. When prescribed to a "user" like me it can tear your life to shreds.
    My fiance ended up having to take me to the ED one morning because I had taken most of the bottle (don't remember, of course) and couldn't stop puking. That was a real rough winter for us and he made me choose between him and the drug. I went to my doc and told him I was through with the stuff and haven't really found anything non-narcotic that works as well yet but I'm still hopeful.

    More hopeful, in fact, that I can sleep on my own someday.

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    Old 09-10-2004, 07:03 AM   #122
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Originally Posted by howard678
    I`m okay Mise. BP is okay. Am not taking betas, are only around for emergencies. Cut to 11.5. I am not like many of these "accidental addicts" that sat at the same dose for years then decided to come off for whatever reason. I hit tolerance within about a year, climbed from .5 mgs of Xanax a day to 4 (equivalent to 80 mgs Valium) over just a few months. Anxiousness is pretty constant and certain physical symptoms come and go. I am in tolerance. I do not even feel the little bit of V I am on. Would move this taper more rapidly to completion, if I did not have a lot of work to do this summer. Working has not been easy, but thus far I have done it, except for a short leave. Thanks for asking. Hope you are well.
    hey howard if anyone knows the equivelency of benzos it's you end of story right hope all is well love kelleigh

    Last edited by no patience; 09-10-2004 at 07:06 AM.

    Old 01-25-2005, 01:30 PM   #123
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    With regard to the Ambien: In these kinds of situations, I want people to address two questions. The first is what do they mean by addiction. The second is what is the evidence that they base their opinion on. With regard to the definition of addiction, many people confuse the concepts of dependency and addiction. Addiction is a pattern of drug abuse involving compulsive and often escalating use (definition from the National Institute of Drug Abuse). That clearly does not happen with Ambien. The second is dependency. We then need to define what type of dependency we are talking about. There is the dependency that can be associated with addiction (e.g., alcoholism, narcotic use) in which people go into withdrawal if they try to stop it. There are other forms of dependency. Having problems at discontinuation is not a definition of addiction or pathological dependency. Perhaps a better term for some situations is "therapeutic dependency." That can mean two things. In some cases, people simply have a return of the original problem when they stop the drug, giving them the impetus to continue taking it. People in chronic severe pain may require narcotics to control it. When they stop, the pain comes back and they want to go back on the drug. That clearly happens with Ambien (that is, it works so people want to continue it). That is not pathological and is necessary in some situations. The second way that we see therapeutic dependency is when people have discontinuation symptoms. This happens with some (short acting) antidepressants, but also with drugs that control high blood pressure and other things. That also is not an evidence for pathological dependency. As with hypertension treatment, we can usually get rid of that problem by tapering. By the way, there is no evidence of this for Ambien. Research on Ambien suggests that it can produce reinforcement in some animal models. However, this seems to only occur at fairly high doses and plasma levels - much higher than those achieved in people.

    So far, Ambien doesn't meet any rational definition for "addiction," or "pathological dependency" for that matter. Then, I would address the question of what the person bases their opinion on. Again, there are two typical things: First, is the "guilt by association" error. It goes something like: "Ambien makes you go to sleep, other drugs that make you go to sleep can be abused, therefore, Ambien can be abused." This represents a mistake in logic referred to as an error of composition, a type of syllogistic mistake. Stated simply, faulty reasoning. The second common statement goes something like "I knew someone once who..." typically followed by some terrible cause-effect statement (like: "took Ambien and got terribly addicted"). Again, a common but erroneous form of reasoning (although it is a mistake that a lot of docs make). This is an appeal to experience, sometimes called an "n=1" experiment. However, if one or 10 or 30 people abused Ambien, it does not mean that Ambien is inherently or commonly abusable. For example, some people have compulsive use of all kinds of things that we do not typically think of as abusable (e.g., doughnuts). One or another person may have a problem with overusing doughnuts, but I don't hear anyone calling for doughnuts to be withdrawn from the market. Something is considered abusable in this context if a sizable number of people have problems with overusing the drug establishing a pattern of drug abuse. As far as I am aware, there is no evidence of this. By the way, I have known people to overuse steroid drugs - again, not considered an abusable drug. Therefore, the definition is based on whether or not it has any consistent pattern of abuse/overuse/addiction, not that someone abuses it. Given the example above, if 10 people abuse the drug, but 10,000,000 people take it, it would not be considered a drug of abuse.



    Old 01-25-2005, 03:02 PM   #124
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    I'm not sure if Ambien is a benzo. I do know that when most addicts take something mood-altering then they'll generally abuse it. Some people can stop at just one donut....donut addicts can't stop. Benzos are dangerous drugs due to the half-lives/tolerance and all that. Stopping benzos abruptly can kill you. Ambien.....hhhmmmmm......if it walks like a duck...

    Old 01-25-2005, 03:05 PM   #125
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    This has been worrying me to death. Thanks for clarifying

    Old 01-25-2005, 04:31 PM   #126
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    I was taking ambien for about a year every single night..usually 5 mg's but occasionally 10. At one point I was using coke about 3 nights a week and coming down off of it with ambien. I eventually cut the coke out and then while later the ambien and had no ill effects whatsoever. Maybe a night or two of taking a bit longer to fall asleep. Unfortunately after the ambien was out of my life I got my hands on a steady supply of legal script norcos and that took me on a ride for a year. That leaves me where I am today. Clean, and admitting I am an addict for the first time in 20 years.

    Ambien is not considered a benzo but accroding to The Ashton Manual it acts in a similar way on the brain. It's considered related to a benzo.

    Just my two cents. Good thread.


    Last edited by Mike_NY; 01-25-2005 at 04:32 PM.

    Old 01-25-2005, 05:59 PM   #127
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Ambien makes me so dam groggy the next morning for hours
    I am in some sort of fog. And i don't like how deep of a sleep it gets me into. I have a three year old that gets up every now and then in the middle of the night, and i had a REAL hard time getting up with him. I am pretty sure it is a sleep aid, not a benzo. I take xanax at night to get to sleep and sleep a good 7 hours....i am NOT planning to detox from xanax....i rarely use it during the day or as ordered... 1-3x a day...that would have me in a very lazy mood, and very unalert....i prefer xanax over a sleeping pill. But i guess the ambien can be stopped abruptly unlike xanax.

    Old 01-25-2005, 08:58 PM   #128
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Ambien is not a benzo but does effect the brain in the same way as benzos. I think it misses one GABA receptor or something, which knocked it out of the benzo class.

    I think drugs like this mess up the brain's own abilities to try and sleep. Sometimes the brain can't sleep for one reason or another, but it will always try to right things, whereas when one decides to go the pill route the brain can't do it's job, in fact, it gets lazy in that department. Down the line, it's survival instinct kicks in and it starts setting up all kinds of receptors to oppose the chemical (Ambien, benzos, etc) which leads to an imbalance of sorts but it causes the drug to stop working (aka tolerance). Tolerance can be nasty too, when it produces withdrawal symptoms, yes, you can have withdrawals while still taking a drug if your brain has become hugely tolerant. The term is tolerance withdrawals.

    Sometimes this dependancy/tolerance event causes people to get desparate, either taking too much of the drug or adding more drugs or sometimes just drinking with them. This is very dangerous, but alcohol does help boost benzo effects, however, respiratory failure is a real possibility with such a combination.

    So when people get into tolerance withdrawals and start taking too much, they get blamed and referred to as "abusers" or "addicts"

    But they are accidental addicts.. IMHO, real addicts are those who take drugs to get surreal feelings, to socialize and experience euphoria/drunkness. They abuse to get certain effects/feelings/trips.

    So one cannot group a person who takes a drug to sleep into the addict catagory for sure, IMHO.

    I don't think at this point they have the sleep thing figured out, as alot of sleep drugs alter the sleep cycles, usually shortening stage 4 and REM and lengthening stage 2, so it's more of an anesthetic sleep than real, natural sleep.

    No matter how bad sleep gets, usually it will come back in due time if allowed to. Continued/sporatic use of drugs for sleep only hinders this.... take it from someone who's sleep was completely and totally ruined by pills and finally after several years is just beginning to sleep well again without so much as a cup of tea to drift off.

    Last edited by Jennita; 01-25-2005 at 09:00 PM.

    Old 01-26-2005, 10:19 AM   #129
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Accidental addicts....I've met a couple of those.

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