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  • Ambien Addict Seeking Advice... considering rehab

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    Old 12-02-2009, 08:56 AM   #1
    breakingpoint
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    Question Ambien Addict Seeking Advice... considering rehab

    Hello Everyone

    I am new to the board so I am giving my brief background first. Feel free to just skip to the bottom for my question. I really appreciate anyone's advice on this.

    My hell started 5 years ago during a visit to a new neurologist. I have had slight vertigo for most of my adult life and he was providing a diagnosis. His answer....I was not getting enough deep sleep which was causing all my issues. He prescribed me 20mgs of Ambien per night with 25mg of Seroquel. He told me that I should take it every night and never skip it. I had never taken sleeping medication before so I asked him if it was safe. His response, "Ambien is a miracle drug......there is not a safer drug on the market. I take it every night". Well, I should have known better!

    Here I am now, over 5 years later and addicted to these pills.

    For about a year, people were telling me that I was not the same old "Drew" and that they thought the Ambien was changing me. I denied it.

    More recently, I have started having mild depression, a foggy feeling like many of you describe, and the worst.....social anxiety??? Has anyone else experienced this? My whole life I have been a social butterfly....very outgoing! My job is in sales and I have always been one of the best at public speaking, etc. Now, I am scared to death to speak publicly. In addition, I can feel some physical effects of the drug on my body (and I am only 34).

    I now admit I have a problem and desperately want help. I had tried once to quit cold turkey and, after 5 nights of no sleep, I caved.

    My question to anyone willing to listen: Has anyone tried rehab?? I know that sounds extreme, but, having done research online, I know there are places that treat this.

    I am scared/ashamed about doing a 30 day residential program, but I fear it may help me get my life back. I am ashamed and embarrassed to tell my family (I feel like I am letting them down). I am scared that, when I would return from rehab, that my company will not look at me the same (I am not being cocky, but I am kind of their "Golden Child". I have won their top awards, etc). I am afraid I will be fired (but I am pretty sure my company understands (Fortune 100 company).

    Does anyone have any experience with rehab? I would love to hear anyone's advice on this. I am seriously considering checking myself in after Christmas (I don't want to ruin the holidays for my family).

    Thanks and God Bless everyone on this board.

    Last edited by breakingpoint; 12-02-2009 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Spelling

     
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    Old 12-02-2009, 12:59 PM   #2
    danmcd
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice.....considering rehab

    Hi...

    I haven't heard about rehab specifically, but I was just put on Ambien as of yesterday and my doctor gave me a looong talk about how dangerous it is if overused. The company's website claims that it takes at least 2 weeks of continuous, daily use in order to become addictive, but my doctor said that some of her patients have started having dependency issues with as little as 2 consecutive days (or nights, I guess...).

    It's important to seek out help with this sort of stuff, so definitely look into other options like rehab, and maybe try to seek out one or two other doctors.

    Best of luck...just stay proactive and attack it.

     
    Old 12-22-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice.....considering rehab

    If your doctor called Ambien a "miracle drug", I would seek another MD. There is no such thing as a miracle drug, and to refer to any as one is totally unprofessional, IMO. Definitely see another MD, and probably not a bad idea to get a 2nd opinion (two new doctors).
    It is never a good idea to go cold turkey on these meds.

    I don't have a real problem, but take Ambien about every 3rd night. My doctor told me I should not take it every night, and advised me about the side-effects, and that it could be habit forming.

    As for having the drug change your behaviour, I say yes, it can. I often feel more aggravated the next day after taking it. It doesn't usually leave me feeling foggy, like some drugs can, but I would understand that the reactions are different in different people.

    I wish you the best.

    FW

     
    Old 01-05-2010, 07:41 AM   #4
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice.....considering rehab

    Just throw away the Ambien.. that is what I did. I took it for a few weeks and it is addicting and caused me more problems that benefits

     
    Old 01-06-2010, 08:48 AM   #5
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice.....considering rehab

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SPORT46 View Post
    Just throw away the Ambien.. that is what I did. I took it for a few weeks and it is addicting and caused me more problems that benefits
    His problem is that he has become addicted over several years taking Ambien. he cannot just stop taking it at this point. It's a different story if you have been taking Ambien for a few weeks.
    He really needs to seek professional advice from someone other than the doctor who prescribed Ambien.

    As for the side-effects of the drug; I take Ambien (not CR) only a couple of times per week, to help me catch up on sleep. I think it's pretty safe to take on occasion like this, but then, some may have adverse reactions to any medication.

    FW

     
    Old 01-12-2010, 09:15 PM   #6
    JimB
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice.....considering rehab

    I've been taking Ambien 10mg for years, and I sometimes stop taking it for a few days with no side effects except rebound insomnia. It is the only med that helps with my chronic insomnia, so I plan to continue taking it. For me, it's better to continue taking it than not be able to sleep. Long term sleep deprivation can cause any number of problems.

     
    Old 09-26-2010, 07:13 AM   #7
    Rorer714
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice.....considering rehab

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by breakingpoint View Post
    Hello Everyone

    I am new to the board so I am giving my brief background first. Feel free to just skip to the bottom for my question. I really appreciate anyone's advice on this.

    My hell started 5 years ago during a visit to a new neurologist. I have had slight vertigo for most of my adult life and he was providing a diagnosis. His answer....I was not getting enough deep sleep which was causing all my issues. He prescribed me 20mgs of Ambien per night with 25mg of Seroquel. He told me that I should take it every night and never skip it. I had never taken sleeping medication before so I asked him if it was safe. His response, "Ambien is a miracle drug......there is not a safer drug on the market. I take it every night". Well, I should have known better!

    Here I am now, over 5 years later and addicted to these pills.

    For about a year, people were telling me that I was not the same old "Drew" and that they thought the Ambien was changing me. I denied it.

    More recently, I have started having mild depression, a foggy feeling like many of you describe, and the worst.....social anxiety??? Has anyone else experienced this? My whole life I have been a social butterfly....very outgoing! My job is in sales and I have always been one of the best at public speaking, etc. Now, I am scared to death to speak publicly. In addition, I can feel some physical effects of the drug on my body (and I am only 34).

    I now admit I have a problem and desperately want help. I had tried once to quit cold turkey and, after 5 nights of no sleep, I caved.

    My question to anyone willing to listen: Has anyone tried rehab?? I know that sounds extreme, but, having done research online, I know there are places that treat this.

    I am scared/ashamed about doing a 30 day residential program, but I fear it may help me get my life back. I am ashamed and embarrassed to tell my family (I feel like I am letting them down). I am scared that, when I would return from rehab, that my company will not look at me the same (I am not being cocky, but I am kind of their "Golden Child". I have won their top awards, etc). I am afraid I will be fired (but I am pretty sure my company understands (Fortune 100 company).

    Does anyone have any experience with rehab? I would love to hear anyone's advice on this. I am seriously considering checking myself in after Christmas (I don't want to ruin the holidays for my family).

    Thanks and God Bless everyone on this board.

     
    Old 09-26-2010, 08:16 AM   #8
    Rorer714
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    Post Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice.....considering rehab

    BreakingPoint,
    Yes, I have experience being dependant on sedatives, and that was a long time ago, but I was 32 years old, and had been taking Methaqualone 300 mg. for almost 10 (ten) years, and developed a tolerance from one tablet for insomnia, over time, to 6 x 300 mg. of the William H Rorer Quaaludes, or the later Lemmon Quaaludes, as I became so dependant on them that I took them during the day for perceived anxiety issues, and, took at least 600 mg in the evening, worse yet, I added alcohol to the formula, as I was always running out of the sedative hypnotic, and the medication developed a stigma with ethical M.D.'s who would curtail from writing me the prescriptions that I had been accustomed to taking! In the earlier days I substituted immediate release barbituates, like ******** 100 mg, Tuinal 200 mg., and Seconal 100 mg., but the the last 5 or 6 years of my ten year dependency, no Medical Doctors would prescribe me any of those Barbs, I got cut off from the Quaaludes as well, and switched to high doses of Valium with alcohol, taking as much as 80 mg a day, or taking Restoril, which were very weak to me, and sometimes a 500 mg "Doriden" hypnotic when I could get them. I had to enter a 28 day treatment facility, which in my case, probably saved my life, as I had two serious car accidents the last two years, and yes, I worked for a Fortune 500 company as well, based out of midtown Manhatten, and, I was not as lucky as you, I got fired. I entered a 28 day treatment facility, and the staff felt like I needed 42 days of inpatient treatment, as well as a geographic re-location, which I moved 2,000 miles away, from the SE USA to Phoenix/Scottsdale for 8 years in exile. Why? I needed a completely new set of social friends, that did not partake in recreational drugs. I have been sober for 27 years now, much of it was due to the education I received in the treatment center. It was $4,200.00 back in 1982, now, it can run as much as $42,000.00 for 6 weeks at places (inpatient) like "The Meadows" of Wickenburg, AZ, or Sierra Tucson, of Tucson, AZ or Father Martin's Ashley, in Maryland. Addressing the Zolpidem, I have a Psychiatrist, who is a Addictionoligist, who knows that I have 25 years of unbroken sobriety in AA, and he has been prescribing me Ambien since 2001, almost 10 years. I believe your story, but, am befuddled as to what to say. The Ambien, or, now the generic versions, I take, also up to 20mg. at night, sometimes, I take one of the Zolpidem's on occasion, during the afternoon, because I have built up a tolerance to them, such that they are so very, very mild to me, that the tranquil effect to me, is so insignificant, that it sometimes often feels like I have taken nothing at all. In fact, I underdose the Ambien, and deliberately stay off of them for at least a week, at a time, so, "they begin to work again" for me, in my opinion, they are addiction proof, meaning, if I take more than 20 mg at a time, I am only wasting them, the Zolpidem always wears off in about 2 hours with my body chemistry. I take them during the day 2 or 3 times a month, when my co-morbid ADHD, makes me ill tempered, from drinking too much coffee on the amphetamines. Due to my history with very high powered drugs from the 1970's and early 1980's, ,many are no longer manufactured, (Methaqualone "Quaalude" "Sopor" "Parest" (USA) Pallidan (Spain) (Mandrax) Europe, Australia, Canada, "Toquilone" (Switzerland) discontinued the last Methaqualone in 2006. Doriden has been discontinued, (worldwide), as well as ******** capsules. Only Seconal is still made in the USA. I know from the school of hard knocks how addictive Schedule II barbs & hypnotics are, as well as high dose Alprazolam & Valium use "every day" beyond 120 days of use gets most folks dependant. I have a great fear of Alprazolam, IMHO, a very addictive benzo, and much respect for Klonopin & Valium, since I do not drink anymore, I take both of these meds sparingly. In fact, ethical dosing, has little effect on me with the latter two benzo's.....I just do not increase the dosing, because I know "self-medicating" only gets me in trouble. Regarding the Z drug's Sonata, Lunestra, and Ambien, you are the first person I have encountered that feels like you really need "Ambien every night"..are you sure is isn't just a habit? Do you experience withdrawals? I have had seizures coming off of Diazepam from 80 mg a day to zero over 48 hours cold turkey and that is scary, and it took me 4 months to feel half way normal, and I needed group therapy and a Psychotherapist to cope. It is simple but not easy. Your post is a bit dated, I hope you have worked somethng out with your M.D to substitute another med. Seroquel is too strong for me, and it is popularly prescribed by Psychiatrist's these days, like Trazodone, due to the low addiction liability. Have you tried Xyrem? I found it disappointing in my case. It would not keep me asleep for 8 hours straight. I honestly take my Ambien 10 to 20 mg along with Klonopin 4 mg in the evening, and the "Ambien" is really a psychological habit I have, if I skip a few days, I have a limited supply of diazepam 10 mg (Valium) to substitute.
    Chloral Hydrate is sometimes prescribed by a few shrinks, otherwise, the really dangerous, and super addictive sedatives, are no longer prescribed any longer. I wish you well in your endeavors. 12 step meetings, can be of some help, if you cannot afford private group therapy. I am not a M.D, but you may need a sleep study done overnight, to see, if another med can be substituted for you with your fears of the Zolpidem dependency. Believe me, the withdrawals are living hell, coming off of high dose Xanax or Valium, or extinct barbs, and they require a anti-seizure med and a slow taper for your personal safety. Ambien Addiction has been documented (rarely) on medline/medscape/pubmed but it is usually someone who takes like 7 to 10 pills a day of those ten mg I/R versions. Just my 2 cents worth.

     
    Old 01-31-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice... considering rehab

    IMO, Ambian should be taken off the market. It's a very dangerous, mind-altering drug. When I was on it, I felt like I was going out of my mind! I have friends and family who have also tried it and it drastically changed their personalities, for the worse! Ambian is no joke!

     
    Old 02-01-2011, 07:13 AM   #10
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice... considering rehab

    Ambien CR, IMO is much more dangerous than regular Ambien. I have taken CR, and while I never had any serious problems, and did not take it more than one night occasionally, I have read a lot of horror stories on it.

    I have been taking regular Ambien on an occasional basis for almost 2yrs, and it really helps me get to sleep. But, recently, I had taken it for several nights in a row, and started feeling very angry, depressed, and otherwise in a bad mood during the day.

    I have stopped taking it now, and will take Ambien only when I absolutely cannot get to sleep naturally. I like to take it the night before a race (running), since getting a good night's sleep for an athletic activity is important, and it has worked very well for me in this respect.

    FW

     
    Old 02-02-2011, 12:00 PM   #11
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    Re: Ambien Addict Seeking Advice... considering rehab

    Ambien works well for many people. Taking it off the market due to bad reactions by certain individuals, would hurt those for whom it has real benefits. Patients should be monitored by a doctor when taking any med, and if serious adverse reactions are experienced, the patient should obviously discontinue use. In my case, I have not encountered any adverse reactions, not even the short term memory loss, which seems to be the most common one. I have tried CR, but it didn't seem to work any better than the regular form, and it isn't yet available in generic, so I'm sticking with the regular. It certainly isn't a "miracle drug", but until something better comes along, it is my med of choice to help with my chronic insomnia. For those who haven't tried it, don't be scared away by those individuals who have experienced serious side effects while using it. Just make sure you report any side effects to your prescribing doctor right away, and if you experience serious side effects, simply stop taking it.

    Last edited by JimB; 02-02-2011 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Wording

     
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