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Ambien Addiction
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Ambien Addiction

I'm 17 and was in a wreck back in December 2009. After my wreck i was have post traumatic stress and couldn't sleep because of the dreams from the wreck. My doctor prescribed me Ambien and I started taking it the way i was suppose to at first. Then i noticed if i didnt fall asleep right after i took it the effects were really weird. I started to like the effects it had on me so i would take it when i was around my friends just because it seemed fun. Eventually it stopped effecting me so i had to take more to get the same effects. Then my parents and i had a huge fight so i overdosed on the Ambien even more and took about 4 at the same time. After that i havent been able to go a single night without wanting to take it. I dont know how to get over this on my own.
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1349329_tn?1276988802
I'm sorry to hear you are suffering so.  I have PTSD and have major sleep disorder and was prescribed Ambien, but I've been afraid to take it more than once or twice a month for fear of becoming dependent.

I read about another person on this site that took 4 months to taper off the Ambien, and the information here about different supplements to take while trying to get off medications is helpful.

I just came across a Website "The Road Back" which addresses getting off Psychotropic, Anxiety and other medications like Ambien.  It had alot of good information on it.

Don't be hard on yourself.  It took awhile for you to get to this point, and recovery will take awhile too, but you can do it.  Can you talk to your Dr.?

You say that you cannot go a "single night without wanting to take it," but are you taking it every night, and how many do you need to take.

Exercise is good, and there are alot more people who are way more knowledgeable than I am that will answer your questions better than I can.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your support. I'm afraid to talk to my doctor about it because she goes to my church and is really good friends with my dad. I have been taking it every night and i usually take 2 or 3 sometimes 4. The only thing that made me realize i had a problem is my boyfriend. He's concerned because he is a former crack addict and has been through rehad himself.
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1349329_tn?1276988802
I understand about your concern about going to your Dr., but there is something called a "Dr./Patient Privacy Act."  However I'm not sure how it applies if your still under age.

However, if she is the one prescribing for you I think you should still talk to her.  Addiction is a Family Problem, and I don't know your parents, but I have a teenage daughter, and if she were going through something like this I would want to know so I could help her, not belittle her.

This will only get worse if you don't get help now.  You'll keep building up a tolerance and end up taking more.  I don't know if you can overdose on Ambien, but I would hope your parents would rather have their daughter alive and trying to get  help, then finding you one morning in your bed not ever waking up.

My heart goes out to you.  Is there anyone you can talk to about this?  A school counselor maybe.  I don't know where you live, but alot of communities have free substance abuse counseling, or you could try to go to some Narcotics Anonymous Meetings.

I know it's hard to believe, but there is no "Shame" in what's happened to you.  Considering what you went through, it's understandable.

Keep posting and if you ever want to message me privately, please feel free to do so.
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1218318_tn?1266812201
Hi alk14,

I'm the person who just tapered from Ambien over a 4 month period. I only used 10mg for 11 months. Ambien is very serious sleep medication. When I found myself hooked on it, and found out how hard it will be to become un-hooked, I went directly back to the Doctor who prescribed the Ambien for me, with absolutely no guilt about it what-so-ever.

Quoting your story "My doctor prescribed me Ambien". You didn't ask for ambien, apparently you were put on it. You didn't ask to become addicted to it, the drug itself comes completely equipped to do that for you. There is absolutely nothing to feel ashamed of. What happened to you couldn't be helped. When people take sleeping meds they are borrowing sleep from their future. When you stop using it, you simply can't sleep. Period! And, Ambien has many, many different withdrawal symptoms that must be dealt with by your personal Doctor, the prescriber. Mousing around web sites and avoiding your Doctor will only prolong your sleep deficit. I know from personal experience: continue to use it, it only gets worse. Tapering off disrupts your life for awhile, but not as bad as continuing to use a serious sleep med that states "do not use longer than 10 days" on the directions! I hope you get clean from the stuff.

Keep posting. I wish you the best and happiest life you can possibly have.
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Avatar_f_tn
I understand what your saying. Unfortunately all the couselors and administrators at my school also go to my church and are friends with my parents. So im worried of talking to them too. I have a therapist bc of my wreck and the anxiety and stress it caused me so I could talk to her about it. Its really hard but i've gone a few days without it. my boyfriend is very supportive and is really helping me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Glad that you are off the ambian....congrad's!!  Can I ask how you did it...lower the dosage or everyother night...how?  I am taking them....just as prescribed (the only thing that I seem to be able to take that way), but I have been on them for a while and want to fight that demon but don't know how.

Thanks.
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Avatar_f_tn
hey well my boyfriend was my accountability partner. Its still a struggle for me bc i still have the temptation and im not gonna lie and say that im completely done with them because im not. But I would start by lowering the amount you take and only take them when u absolutely need them.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks...I know about the temptation.  Keep up the good work!
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1218318_tn?1266812201
I'm at the very end of the taper. Not off yet. My final fraction of Ambien will be had on Sunday, August 8th. I could have jumped off last week but I have a couple of big work projects to get done first. When I finish I won't be able to sleep for awhile. Then I'll be on "vacation". I've never done this before so I don't really know what to expect. I do know that people who go cold turkey have a hell of a time. Many go back on because it becomes impossible to deal with.

I've followed a taper plan for 4 months, very slowly, and safely, reducing the amount per direction so I won't permanently damage my CNS. I stabilized on each new amount, sometimes for 3 weeks. Right now I take a small fraction of Ambien every other night. And on the nights I take it I actually sleep on it. I don't sleep very well on the off nights. I use OTC stuff to supplement, like valerian root. After the 8th I'm using nothing. I'm letting my brain catch up with sleep, no matter how long it takes. You see, when you take anything for sleep, anything, you're simply borrowing sleep from your future. The payback sux.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for the advice....I have a lot of paying back to do!  I think I will try your method when I work through that demon.  I will have my dr change my script and from the cr to regular ambian, as i know that you can't break the cr's up.

Thanks again and good luck over the next couple of weeks.  Keep me posted.  
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