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Ambien addiction
I have been treated for depression since 1991 and am on lexapro and just started gabitril.  The problem is that I never sleep well and have become addicted to ambien but do not know how to tell my psych this.  I get the ambien over the internet and sometimes take 100mg or more at a time.  How do I stop on my own? I cannot afford a clinic and I know my psych will make me go to the hospital if I tell her.
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wow, Mandy, 100+mg Ambien? That's about 10 times the recommended dose, isn't it? I think we both know what "our" new MD is going to say about this one ...

Tell me, did you gradually ramp up to that dosage? And does the Ambien get you high before you sleep? Do you ever take it when you don't intend to sleep? Just curious. I've tried it a few times, and it always put me out before I knew what hit me.

Ambien is a schedule IV controlled substance, so your doc is bound to do something. Do you really think your doc would hospitalize you for this? Perhaps you could taper down over a few weeks. It seems to me that using a sleep aid over time would deprive you of your natural ability to fall asleep.

Thomas
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100mgs of ambien? holy ****. if that wasn't a mistype by you mandy then i am truly suprised you are not dead, or at least still sleeping. i have seen a lot of critisisms of ambien on this board, but it has helped me out incredibly. i was addicted to hydros and oxys for a few years and, like most addicts, had problems sleeping during and after withdrawals. my problem was restless leg and i took ambien every night for about 4 weeks or so and then found i could sleep pretty soundly without it. i took 10mg before bed - my dr.'s recommended dose (and he knew about my addiction) - and now only take it maybe once a month, if that. it didn't get me high (than again i wasn't taking 10 at a time) and i didn't have the urge to take it at other times or more than the amount prescribed. it is addictive to some, but much less than opiates so i am not sure i understand these people who are on and off tremendous amounts of pain meds but are scared to take ambien due to what they have read about it. i agree with Thomas that tapering would be best but if you feel you can't taper by yourself, then i do suggest strongly that you get some help, hospital or otherwise.  and i don't know your relationship you have with your dr. however if you are buying contolled substances through the mail then you might either get caught and get in trouble - where you might detox from jail - or at the very least your source would be cut off and you might be forced to detox cold turkey. i'm not sure what high-dose ambien detox is like but i don't think i'd want that just the same. all of us on this board sympathize with your problem of addiction, but you'll only get clean when you are forced or when you decide you have had enough. whatever you do please be careful. this is just my experience and i certainly maybe wrong on some things but i thought i tell you to hang in there just the same.
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My ob doctor gave me a script of ambien - after hearing about the addictive tendencies on this board, I was afraid to even take it.  I gave a friend of mine 5 about a week ago, and he's already begging me for more; I told him about the addictive warnings, but although he says he's not "jonesing" for it - it really does help him get a restful sleep.  Needless to say, I'm giving him the rest of my script tomorrow, but I'm still worried about him getting dependent on this drug.  Sounds to me like he's already liking it a "little" too much, but you know, who am I to judge?  Peace/Love, Lisabet
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I appreciate all the comments and I am going to try to get off this drug.  I wish there was a way to do it by myself at home because I do not want anyone to know my dirty little secret.  In all other areas of my life, I function fairly well, even with having depression.  I will try but I know I need prayers. Mandy
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i don't think i am out of line by saying lisabet, thomas and myself are all keeping you in our thoughts. stay strong and good luck.
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My dose is 100mg sometimes more.  I know that seems excessive but I guess I have built tolerance to it.  When I was 6 days in hospital for knee replacement (end of Jan), I did not get it and managed to get some sleep--of course, I was getting pain meds then.  I just want to quit cold turkey, but have this fear of going crazy if I do not get to sleep.
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Earlygrace,

Don't forget all of the others, and the lurkers that have been wondering and CARE as well.

Mandy,
I was wondering. Is you current intake 100mg? In other words, as Thomas pointed out 10x the normal dose? Nothing to be ashamed of or anything. Just wondering so it is easier for people to see where you are coming from and possible help with a way to detox via a taper.
As you might already know, Ambien isn't "technically" a regular benzo. At least from the literature that I have read. So I not sure if it will have the same titration rate necessary as will something like Zanax or one of the other "real" and extremely hard to detox off of benzodiazapines.

Just wondering. I hope you are doing alright. There are a lot of people here that are caring and will do what we can to help you get through this.
You just have to keep on posting and let us know how you are doing.

Regards,
Chad
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Hi all.  I was taking ambien for several months, of course, not at as high of a dose.  However, when my scrip ran out I just didn't get any more.  I am on celexa, antidepressant, and was also given trazadone, to substitute.  I did not notice any obvious signs of physical withdrawl from ambien, that I am aware of.  I don't think that I ever took more than 2 or 3 pills a night though, but I had other sleep meds.  I supppose I am kindof addicted to the idea of taking something so I can sleep, but I felt that as long as I wasn't physically addicted to something, that it was o.k.  I know that isn't the point, but I was so desperate for sleep I didn't care.  I was addicted to heroin and methadone for 11 years, and we all know what physical addiction is like.  Not sure if this is of any help, but I hope something is relavent.  Peace.
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forgive me chezz, just mentioning those who had posted to this thread that's all. i think mandy knows we all sympathize with just about any addiction here. ok, maybe not chocolate chip cookie addiction but who knows, right?

the 100 mgs does seem extreamly high, but the body can handle tremendous things - at least for a while - and that has been proven by many of people's experiences on this board with other drugs. like i said, i don't know if there is a significant withdrawal from high doses of ambien. at lower doses some have been known to not be able to sleep for a while though. sedativist, my experiences seem much like yours. i too have been on celexa and the ambien helped me sleep. once most of the 'post acute withdrawal' symptoms went away i seemed to be able to sleep much better and somewhat tapered, but basically just stopped without any problems. mandy, the reason i flipped at such a high dose of ambein is two fold. one, i have never heard of that high a dosage and due to the fact that they are sleeping pills - tolerence or not - i suspected that might be tremendously dangerous. two, and i have experienced this once, in many people ambien has a side effect of amnesia, especially but not only due to it being mixed with alcohol. for instance you take an ambien to sleep, realize you forgot to do something - take out trash, respond to an email, get something from the store etc... so you go do it. and when you wake up in the morning you find out you don't remember that at all or worse, you did something else while you were up or out that is either harmless or even possibly something you shouldn't have done. i know this both from experience and hearing about other cases from my doctor after i brought mine up to him. one time i took an ambien, stayed up on the computer, and realized two days later when i got the package that i had ordered 90 ultram on line(right now it is not a controlled substance, but probably should be, and can easily be ordered this way) - a former drug of choice for me and i had been clean several months. needless to say it took me a while to figure out what the hell happened and after speaking with my dr. we both agreed that if i do take ambien again, which i have, i should only do so while in bed right before sleep. this is just my experience and i don't want to alarm others because i think ambien's addictive potentil is extreamly low in most cases and at proper dosages and that it is wonderful in helping restore sleeping habits for former addicts who are having real problems getting a good nights sleep due to rls or other symptoms of withdrawal or their former addiction. the reason i mention this too you mandy is i was thinking at such high doses, maybe you have had more of an experience with this. but like i said i take ambien once a month, if that, do not mix it with alcohol, and haven't had a problem since. like most drugs, they can really help if taken correctly in the right situations. it is just as former addicts, many of us - myself included - have had problems doing that at times.

so ALL of us on this board wish you well mandy, and keep posting. take care sedavist, chezz and thomas. stay strong.
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Can anyone just tell me how I can stop or cut down from 50 -100mg  NIGHT AND do it quickly. Does anyone know professionally what will happen if I just stop cold turkey.  I have never been so desperate   Thanka
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i was talking 70 mgs every night at one time so i can see how its possible, im down to 20mgs now but i also take 60mgs of tamazapam and 20 of geodon with it, that puts me to sleep. I think you should try and taper off, take 1 less every 5 days and you should be ok.
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I take 20mg of Ambien everynight along with 2 to 3 mg of Xanax.  My doctor is aware of this (actually instructed me to do this) I have been doing this for the last 2 years.  My situation is:  I am a wounded combat veteran from the (first) Gulf War suffering injuries from a scud missile attack killing 28 of my fellow soldiers and seriously and permently (can't spell worth a darn).  As a result I now have Post Tramatic Stress Disorder.  My doctor placed me on Xanax for panic attacks, and flashbacks and the Ambien because I am scared to sleep at night, I have nightmares from the attack.  I am wondering is this a lifestyle I will have to adapt to and will I get to a tolerence Ambien?  I apprciate  ofany comments or similiar situations.  Thank you.
PROUD TO HAVE SERVED!
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Goldie,
     Thank you for your comment and your suport.  My heart goes out to you and your family for what your brother went throuh, he is a hero in my eyes and heart.
PROUND TO HAVE SERVED!
Sierra
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Dear Friend ... I have been taking 20mg's of ambien for 2 1/2 years and it is a good sleeping med. It was perscribed for fibromyalgia and to encourage a deep sleep. I wouldn't worry about ambien. You are on a low dose. After all you have been through,  you deserve a good night's sleep. My brother served in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam,  and saw alot of action. He was on Valium for the same condition. Unfortunately he developed complications from agent orange and passed away in 1990. Take the meds and get as much therapy as you can stand. You have a right to live a normal life. It will get better with time .... all my best you .. Goldie
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That would be: Klonopin.
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My guess is you could wean with Konopin for this.
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****** up keyboard.  But thanks for the attempt at invalidation.
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If you never heard that ULTIMATELY people can have better tolerance to pain after withdrawing from narcotics than I am now certain that you have no brain cells left (See, I can do that **** too).  Who the **** told you that you are going to be in pain the rest of your life?

Scholars passed by a dead dog. The disciples said: "How awful its smell!" Their master said, "How white its teeth!"
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One is definitely playing with fire when they switch to another closely related drug.  But that is also, paradoxically, the absolute key to tapering successfully.  Good Luck.
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And if someone who follows your formula eventually becomes addicted to "the helper drug", than, what, be damned?

To urge addicts to use other addictive drugs to get off their DOC is nothing short of that which you know all too well. Insanity.

Why do you insist on staying at a party where you are clearly not wanted?

Dancing

Have I been there?  Oh, yes.  BIG time.  I just switched from opiates, to valium & finally F3 (plain now only) & each time, I was convinced by addiction docs as well as my own & follow their recommendations.

In some circles, it's known as "switching poisons".

P.P.S.  Why don't you send all these heinous posts to medhelp?  We can too, to demonstrate the context.  And I'm certain I did call you a know-it-all a few times but I switched fast as I thought know-it-nothing was far more apropos.
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This is the first time I have seen you even attempt to deal with the content of my posts, instead of getting all bent out of shape.  See., I have even reached you, and thank you for disagreeing with the content of what I had to say.

Yeah, I have switched meds numerous times and their is a lot of danger.  It's hard to continue to taper anyway.  The best "long term' results, i.e., fewer relapses, come from those who voluntarily go through WDs cold turkey.  But some can't do it that way, and some can't due a voluntary detox without other strong meds.  Of course you can get addicted to the other MEds, like Benzos (even Clonodine), and that is why you don't want to take them for too long.

And the reason that the secondary phase after "acute" withdrawals can seem so bad sometimes is because of the fact that the person who tapers never really feels that first acute stage, so psychologically the next 30-40 days seem harder than for someone who went to cold turkey hell.
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If your heart was in the right place when you posted then don't worry. Obviously, people use drugs to get off drugs and although it can work on a physical level (if done correctly) we need another approach to arrest the obsession. This forum is open to all members and is not a private place. Right or wrong, we should all be treated with kindness and respect.
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is that a anthony demello quote.

we have to share our experence, not say it with arrogance,
for we all know that arrogance is a mask for low self esteem.
also every person is different , thus each person reacts
different , to each method of getting clean.

some people are going to be in a lot of pain for life,
as we get clean , we all find out if that is the case.
one thing for sure is as we get older , the issue of pain
becomes more of a reality.
when i was younger and got clean at 24  i went cold turkey,
pain was not an issue.
now that i am 43  pain is now part of the equation,
during the past few years , wether im clean or taking pain meds.
i have hobbled around, and suffered a lot because of pain,
it is truely a difficult thing to deal with.
it has left me very frustrated,
peace hippy
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Dear Mandy & others
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OMG woman-----your post has left me w/ my mouth agape...You told his story of destrucion so well, and so vividly; I think it should be posted on every addiction board around.  Jesus Christ--and do you know there are STILL doctors that insist it isn't habit-forming??   I , myself, just read an article in a large-city newspaper that was written by a physician at a sleep disorders clinic.  He was explaining about various remedies, and mentioned Ambien as a solution that had VERY LOW (if any) addiction potential and was safe to use long term..... I swear to God--I wanted to write to him. Now, I would LOVE to send him a copy of your post!!!
      I have a sister who is an alcoholic: has been to the gutter and back, and is now doing fairly well.  But, at one point she was much like your fiancee---massive liver damage, no memory, short OR long term,hallucinations, and had such extensive brain damage that the doctors said it resembled an 80-yr old Alzheimer's patient. (she was 58 or so at the time).  Well, she detoxed and after several months, her liver improved dramatically, her hair grew back, the DT's stopped, and she began to make sense again.  I think there are certain things she can't recall (especially things about her detox, which may serve as an incentive NOW. WE certainly remember all of it) but overall, it's been a damn MIRACLE.  
       And that's the point of my post to you, gbjade: don't give up hope that he might recover.  If you would have told me,when I was feeding my older sister (who didn't KNOW me, by the way)  that she would now be a beautiful, smart, witty ,healthy person again, I would have laughed in your face.  Or cried: one of the two.  But she has made a TREMENDOUS comeback, and we have thanked God many, many times for that.
          After three months, she started drinking again.
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Oh yeah, and Paez, you are welcome to cut and paste my story anywhere, if you think it will help.
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Paez,

Thanks for your comment. I haven't given up hope. Things HAVE to get better for him, but even a year or two is too much time to loose when your young (he's 26 now). And of course, my life goes on without him.

I'm sorry to hear that your sister started drinking again.
My guy also had a history of alcohol abuse. He was recovering fairly sucessfully before the Ambien came into the picture.

To all...

I don't want to be entirely pessimistic about Ambien. It seems that there are a number of people who seem to be okay with it. Perhaps it is fine for them. But after seeing what I have seen, I personally wouldn't want to take the chance.

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday is that in addition to personal experience with Ambien, I have also worked in the mental health field at a half-way house. Many of the clients were taking Ambien for insomnia and anxiety. I did't see the clients beyond the few weeks they spent with us, so I can't really comment on any long-term effects they experienced, but I can say that within a few days people on Ambien were begging for thier dose ahead of schedule (which is totally opposite from most clients who didn't really like taking meds at all).

I really couldn't fathom how these doctors couldn't see these behaviors (we certainly made note in their charts), but then I guess the prescibing doctors really only saw the clients once a wekk for 15 minutes or so. It's criminal, in my opinion. This blatant ignorance about REAL drug side effects (that us direct care people saw every day) was one of the reasons I quite.
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Sorry to jump into this thread but I have a question about
Amitrypolene, I'm not sure if I spelled that correctly But I was prescribed this buy my doctor last week along with Hydrocodones. He also gave me something called Mobic for pain. The amitryptolene seems to be kind of a sleepy pill that's supposed to help with my back pain.I'm trying to take the Vicodin as space out as possible. The problem is they do very little to stop the pain for longer than a couple of hours at a time.I was also wondering about Luvox ann Klonopin. What puposes do these drugs do? Would they have any positive effects at reducing withdrawal pain if used properly? If so how could they be used? I'm looking to taper down the best I can and was wondering what drugs could help with that. I'm seem to be better than last week. I havn't had to count the hours as muchYesterday though I did make it a hole 24 hours. It really wasn't that hard this time.I just hope I can continue this way. Last week it was a challene going mor than 5-6 hours withou giving in.
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Today I went to my rheumatologist and switched from ambien to sonata. I want to thank you for sharing that story about your fiance. It scared me enough to make an attempt at quitting the ambien. I have been taking 1 or 2 before bed (as needed) for well over a year now ... goodbye to alzhiemers (haha) Goldie
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I totally and completely agree with you.  i have taken Ambien for two or three years now on occassion when I have trouble sleeping and it works wonders.  Sometimes I can spilt a pill in half and it works just as well.  I too think there is no real harm with it.  Just make sure you are tucked in under the covers than take it. DO NOT TAKE IT AND WALK THE DOG OR DO CHORES!  It is designed to work fast, very fast, like ten minutes or so.  Pammy
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Hey everyone I'm new and just wanted to throw in some clinical info on Ambien and also some advice since there is a lot of misinformation so far in this thread.

First, the reccommended dose is 10 mg for adults and 5 mg for the elderly or hepatically impaired.  No where does the PI say anything about 2.5 starting doses.
Second, Ambien is to be taken DIRECTLY before you are ready to go to sleep, this will avoid any problems like earlygrace had mentioned.
Ambien is in the hypnotic class but is NOT a benzodiazapene.  It has a chemically unique structure that helps to limit is addictive qualities.  Ambien and Sonata are currently the only two Non-BZD drugs on the market and are widely known to be the two safest sleep aids.  Since Ambien is a hypnotic you certainly should not mix it with alcohol b/c that would lead to more adverse effects that certainly could not be blamed on the Ambien.  ALWAYS REMEMBER TO TAKE IT AS IT IS PRESCRIBED, there would obviously be more problems with the drug if it was taken differently that it is supposed to be.
Just a couple more comments on this topic and I'll leave you all alone.  GBJADE, I am very sorry about your friends' issue and problems he is dealing with.  I would however suggest that some of the larger problems he is having would not be caused by an addiction to Ambien and perhaps there would be other drugs involved.  Ambien has been on the market worldwide for over 14 years and does not have stories like that associated with it.  It seems to me that perhaps your friend had larger demons than a proven safe sleep aid.  I wish him all the best in his battle.
Finally, I have heard a different opinion on the addictive side to Ambien that I believe.  You don't become addicted to the Ambien you become addicted to the sleep it gives you.  If you stop taking it you return back to baseline, b/c Ambien merely treats the insomnia, it doesn't claim to cure it.  So what most patients get addicted to is the sleep it provides them, not the drug.  People don't take AMB in the bathroom in the middle of the day to get by b/c it doesn't have any of those qualities.
Thanks for letting me respond and I just wanted to get some more info out for everyone.  I've taken Ambien for about 2 years off and on now and it has done wonders for my life.
Have a good week everyone.
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Can you elaborate on sonata? I have a script for 3 10 mil pills a night, but so far 2 have worked ok ... but ambien gave me deep restorative sleep. How do they compare?
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Hi,

I did a search under Ambien and brain damage, because I've been taking it for a while (10 mgs) and sometimes with a couple of glasses of wine, and I feel STOOPID.  I don't take it every night, but still...

I'm wondering if anyone knows whether this impairment could be permanent or not.  

Please email me at ktg_5000***@****!!!

thank you!
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One other question in additon to my prior dain bramage one...

I was mainly taking the ambien for insomnia due to muscle tension problems.  Is there a muscle relaxant that you would recommend?  I've tried Soma, but it just makes my head numb.  I wish there was something I could take at night that actually helped my muscles unwind.
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I am still in a sorry state--taking an average of 50 mg of ambien a nite--yes that is 50.  I am a mess and want this to end one way or another--it does not seem like I could take enough of this drug to kill me since I have been over 100mg and still w0ke up the next morning.  What would happen if I cold turkey stopped?  I don't know why I even ask that question since I am so addicted, I don't think  I will ever stop.  Oh I am a mess
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Don't be discouraged ... it's not all that bad. As that guy JohnQ said, ambien is an excellent sleep aid. Now that I am on sonata, I do miss the deeper sleep that ambien provided me with.
One of the "side affects" listed was depression. I have been struggling a little in that area, so maybe I will feel better now that I am off it. You sound kinda down ... take it easy on yourself. Forget about the ambien and work on other things in your life. Also ... tell someone close to you how you have been feeling. Maybe see a doctor. All the ambien could be causing depression. Give yourself time to get back on track. I hope you have some support at home .... let me know. ***@****
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Hey everyone I hope all is well.  Golden One, the main difference b/tw Ambien and Sonata is the half life of the drugs.  Ambien has a 2.5 hr half life and Sonata has a 1 hr half life.  This leads to the difference in their clinical indications.  Ambien is indicated to treat all 3 symptoms of insomnia: trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking too early.  Sonata is only indicated for trouble falling asleep b/c the drug runs through your body too quickly.  Also, AMB is the only sleeping drug on the market that allows you to get a HEALTHY SLEEP PATTERN.  By that I mean you go thru the normal sleep cycle getting all your stage 3 and 4 sleep as well as your REM sleep.  You can't get that with any other sleeper.  As far as the 3 10 mg pills a night that is probably to allow you to sleep through the night.  Are you taking them all at the beginning of the night or as needed throughout the night?  Also, I have never heard of depression being a "side effect" of Ambien, in fact it is often used to help TREAT patients with depression b/c depressed patients often have a hard time sleeping.  Could you tell me where you saw that listed as a  side effect?

Tasman--Ambien is to be taken as you are GOING TO BED.  If you take any drug for anything other than its purpose you could have unwanted side effects.  Since AMB is a Central Nervous System depressant coupling that with alcohol is a bad idea.  It won't kill you or anything but you should NEVER leave your house while drinking and using AMbien.

Mandy--I'm sorry about your situation, it sounds like maybe you should talk to someone live about that.  There are plenty of hotlines you could reach or the best method would be to talk to a loved one.  I can tell you that you will never OD on Ambien, there is only one case of it ever happening in the 13 years it has been on the market worldwide.  You should try to stop cold turkey from the Ambien or at least just try and filter it down to 20 mg first b/c you'll have the same effect as you are with the 50 mg.  I hope you are able to work everything out Mandy and I'm sure there is someone who loves you very much and would love to help.

Have a good week everyone.

John
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John,
thank you for pointing out some helpful facts about Ambien, I have been concerned about contiuing to take it. After some of the more positive postings on it, I am going to hold out it is okay for now.  I just got back last night from 7 days in detox from Vicodin and feel much better physically, but still have terrible anxiety and agitation (taking clonodine and hoping that helps too).  I'm sure this will continue for sometime, but the Ambien (for now anyways) seems to help with sleep too.  I'm just afraid of building up tolerance and taking more to get the same effect (is that usually what happens?)
Any feedback is welcome for me (and all I'm sure)
thanks tons..

Bunches
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Thank you so much for the info on ambien and sonata. I take 2 10mil sonata's with a hot drink and sleep very well for 6 to eight hours. I am fairly fresh when I wake up .... ambien leaves me a little "hung over" ... my doc told me to take ambien a little earlier. I just did a "google" search and looked it up. Side affects were amnesia, clumbsiness, depression. In fact this was on the list of things to report to your doctor if they happen. It comes with your script from Rite Aid. So far ... I like to use sonata if I need to wake up early. I get a better, deeper sleep with ambien, but for me, I like to switch depending on how I am feeling. After all .... I need my human growth hormone! I don't know how I'm going to convince my doctor to change me back to ambien. He's going to think I am whacky! Oh well .... he warned me "never take them together!!" Why would he think that I would do that?Of coarse I had to try it ... out cold! Normally, I never mix drugs. Anyway... if I want to have the option of either sonata or ambien, I'll have to buy over the internet. Again my deepest thanks ... Goldie
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I have been taking 20mg of ambien everynite for the last 3 or 4 years and my memory is so inhibited!! I am about to began going back to school to get my masters but i am worried about my horrible memory. how can i learn my school with a memory that only functions at about 40 - 45%, Do I try to detox myself? I have tried to lower the dosages by chipping the pills and i stay awake all night, i went down to 1 10mg pill and nothing, i will not fall asleep at all. Any advice here because I need to be able to remember my schooling information as well as get a good nights rest.........Glazegyrl
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Hi..first time visiting here in 2 weeks. BTW what's the fighting about? Anyways, 100mg sounds like alot. It's not a benzo but a new drug classified as pyridine..yes, it's addictive with most people developing strong withdrawl symptoms if suddenly stopped. I checked with my Dr.  His opinion is that you should cut but 10% every week 1 pill a week cut down basically. until you reach 20mg and if you need them for sleep that's a sane dosage. 100mg is way too much. As far as addictive drugs go, an addictionologist recently shared with me that the US medical concensus is that the most addictive drugs are alcohol, opiates and nicotine, alcohol withdrawl being very dangerous without the first month on a decreasing benzo schedule...and you're still not out of the woods. Benzos are quite safe when taken properly, the difference being that stopping them should never be done suddenly, but tapered very gradually and definately for a year or more depending on your dosage, then withdrawl is quite tolerable if your prescriber thinks it's no longer necessary. Barbiturates are far worse, except for low doses of butalbital ( DEA Scedule 4) but with Schedule 2 seconal, amytal, nembutal, etc. being very problematic. Don't personally know and don't care to find out. I take about 6 vicodins a year from any dental procedure that's it. Of course I take my usual meds, as prescribed and use only one pharmacy for any prescription I get. Wish you luck cutting down on ambien,,,you're dose is too high now. Sorry I can only drop in occaissonally. Congrats to everyone trying and/or succeeding at going straight. Gods' Best, Steve L


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Ambien has ruined my mom.

She's addicted.

Someone wrote that people arent addicted to ambien they r addictied to the sleep ambien provides... right. and coke heads are addicting to acheiving that first high they got not the coke. yet they still want more coke they dont go out and find a hobby that makes them feel happier or drink more coffee. people start ambien and a lot of the time want MORE AMBIEN to sleep more. So much in fact that all of a sudden they want to not only sleep all night but during the day too- suddening makes up reasons in their head why its ok to miss work today.

Ambien is said to b a safe sleep aid with very little chance of becoming addictive... NO

what about the doctors that are too willing to write a script for a friend or collegue. These are TERRIBLE people. Go after the doctors or the drug companies? i dont know. all i know is my mom is so messed up wakes up doesnt know what day it is cant wait to go back to sleep doesnt want to be awake.

my mom is depressed n has been on Affexor for sometime and is medically documented to be weak t addiction has been in AA etc- now her doctor knowing this all WHY prescibe ambien?????? doing a simple search on google I know that if you are known to be vulnerable to additiction you need to be under close survalance by ur dr. if prescibed ambien..... THERE HAS BEEN NO SURALANCE but there has been plenty more refills....

unlike Tylenol PM or Nyquil that she has taken befor to go to sleep....Ambien has actually had her get out of bed go into my apartment and steal 15 pills of Zanax from my fiance take them and then deny taking them and till this day can not remmeebr taking them ...strange what that little innocent sleep aid can do
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This is my second day on ambien, I accidently took two I think, can't remember if I took on earlier. I am assuming I'll be ok. I also take klonopin for anxiety.
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I have been on ambien for several years, Currently on Ambien CR. 12.5 mgs. I find that I can't sleep thru the night without it, which is scary. I have never doube of 10x's the dose. Just one pill. I know that I have gone to bed dog tired and awoke 2 hours later when I miss an ambien. When I take them they work like a watch. I don't mix them, and I don't take more than prescribed, I cant imagine taking 100mgs a night. WOW! I do get a healthy case of the stoopids from them, I remeber nothing after about 10 mins of taking them. I have done some bizarre stuff, including falling down a set of stairs, and cracking some ribs. I have no memory of this. It scares me that people have drove to work on ambien hours before they are supposed to be there, My wife has found me in the shower in my undies in the middle of the night getting ready for work. This is some of the bizarre behavior I have experienced. Mostly when I am really stressed out. It can be a good but scary drug. I need it to sleep, and have no plans to go off it anytime soon, but my wife sleeps with oone eye open. Get that dose down now! 10 mgs is plenty. 12.5 is more than enough in th CR version. Knock off taking 100mgs, that is crazy!
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My mom has been addicted to ambien for over 2 1/2 years. she also orders pills online. last year she took 40 pills and had to go to the hospital and get her stomach pumped. she was taking between 15-20 pills a day. i think she wants to stop but she is just scared. a couple of weeks ago she threw a tantrum and ripped the phone out of the wall and got arrested and spent a night in jail and now has to go before the court sometime in the future. i just want my mom back. its pretty sad when a child can distinguish when their mom is high on drugs. i have been in the military for 3 years and they have been really hard because of family problems. Any comments would help. thanks
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I've been taking Ambien for about 3 years.  I was making straight "A"s in school.  It's gradually changed.  I feel like I can't retain anything.  I used to be so great at memorizing things.  I finished one semester of nursing school, and had started in the second.  I failed a "pass or fail" test...made an 88!  Now, I have until January )to start 2nd semester over) to get off Ambien.  I feel it has definitely affected my  memory.
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i take them in the evening when i am not going to bed just to relax..is there a problem withtthat?
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i find my self using them as crutch..oh i have anxiety and  idont wanna deal..so i take ambien..it sounds so bad, it makes me forget about my anxiety,,
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I am 21 years old, turning 22 in a few days. I've been on one form of Zolpidem or another for about 5 years. I've been told this medication isn't supposed to be prescribed to someone at 16, but I was given Ambien after having bad results for insomnia with trazadone, remeron, and amitryptaline. I've used several doctors to get this medication and have used over 200 mg at times. Currently I've burnt the majority of my bridges as far as sources go to try and restrict my access but it is an everyday battle as I have relapsed several times. I cannot get another script for ten days and am detoxing at home but have little faith I will get more than a couple weeks into this as I am not as motivated to quit as I used to be. Last week I was taking about 50 mg twice a day and went through a script of 60 10 mg CR in about a week and a half. I have three questions about this medication that I haven't been able to get solid answers for. The first time I got off Ambien I began buying Valium and Xanax from a friend on a regular basis. I got up to 16 mg of Xanax and over 100 mg of Valium, though not at the same time. I weigh about 250 lbs so I'm guessing my capacity for overdose is higher as I've heard these amounts can be fatal. Am i essentially doing the same thing to my GABA system using benzos or Ambien consistently? I quit the Valium and Xanax three months ago but went back to Ambien, tried to quit entirely but kept going back. Also, is there a major difference in how the addiction works with CR compared to regular or generic Zolpidem? Finally, I swallowed the pills for the first few months but started snorting them and have done it that way almost through the length of this addiction as I have found that I don't have to starve myself to keep my stomach empty and make the medicine more potent when I take it. I had my nose checked out as was told my capilaries were "pink and looking fine" so I don't think I've done any major damage there but wonder if the detox will be harder or easier after always insufflating my doses. If anyone can answer any of these questions I will be very grateful. Also I would like to note that it seems the detox gets better and worse every other day. I have days that I just feel uncomfortable and then days that I have shakes, cold sweats, extreme leg cramps and discomfort (almost unbearable) in my outer thighs and calves. I also seem to have terrible anxiety if I use another substance to substitue for a benzo or Ambien. If I smoke I get paranoid and almost dillusional, drinking is fine at the time but I get ridiculous hangovers when only drinking a little, and pain pills raise my blood pressure to the 150's over 90's and make my heart beat out of my chest. I absolutely reject the idea or religion and god (lowercase "G") and am totally opposed to the practices of the 12 step programs and most rehabs that I have checked out. I have asked god to give me a sign or help me or make me feel something that made me consider turning to god but continue to see the whole thing as a ridiculous way of feeling comfortable about the idea of dying and justifying ignoring primal urges. I would love to hear from anyone with similar principals who has dealt with this.
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a correction to my previous post: CR doesn't come in 10 mg, only 6.25 and 12.5, i meant to say 12.5
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  I was prescribed ambien nearly a year ago, as I was unable to sleep through the night ( I assumed it was from trying to go to bed before 10:00 as I needed to be up at 5.  I take 1/2 a 10 mg pill sun through thursday.  I had not needed to take it fri or sat as I didnt neeed to be up.  recently, I work closer to home and can get up substantially later, so I've tried not taking the med.  For about 3 or 4 days, I took a quarter of a pill (approx 2.5 mg) and it worked great.  then I started waking up at 2:00 regardless of when I went to sleep.  I know this is a very low dose, and not a particularly long time to be taking it, but I am very worried about not being able to d/c this med completely.  any suggestions would be appreciated.  On a side note, I have a medical history of cerebral hemmorhage.  Is there any real cause for concern with seizure d/cing such a low dose?
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Hi!

This post is from 4 years ago. It will get lost on the board and I don't want you to think you are being ignored.

Go to the bottom of this page. Hit the "back to the forum" button. Once there, go to the top left to the "post a question" button. Hit that and follow the instructions. Post exactly what you did here. You will find a lot of advise from good people here. Good luck. If you have any questions, click on my name and send me a message, I will help you with the post.

Hope to see you in the forum!
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Absolutely addicted to this horrid drug. I had to leave the US and go sit in a different country that didn’t dispense it so freely to TRY and get off of it and am STILL trying not to arrange to have my doctor FedEx a prescription. As if that wasn’t enough - my parents called to ask me recently how their new car was wrecked and I finally remembered that the night before I left the States, I took my parents car out, got pulled over by the SAME cop twice who I was somehow able to convice that I wasn’t “drunk” and ran over my neighbors mailbox. I didn’t even remember this until two weeks later! I have ruined relationships, lost friends, jeopardized work relationships (god forbid – please do not get near email when you are on it!) and generally just creeped a lot of people out with my bizarre behavior while I am on this.  It makes you very, very impulsive and if you are thinking about taking it PLEASE DO NOT START. Just deal with not sleeping  - if you don’t make it an “illness” it will probably work its way out over time. Taking this medication is NOT worth it and it is SO DANGEROUS. I’d rather never sleep again than have to face the consequences every morning of outrageously irresponsible behavior and amnesia. It has destroyed a lot of areas of my life.
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hi.. i just wanted to let you know you posted on a very old thread, and often times when this happens you won't get a response (if you want one.)

the best way to post (if you want feedback) is to Post A New Question (you will see the button at the top of the page.)

that having been said, I wanted to tell you having been a chronic insomniac for a very long time, there ARE other drugs and/or remedies to help for sleep.  no one should have to go wthout sleep... it ruins everything.

anyway, you likely already know this, but it's worth trying something else if this drug doesn't do well with you (which clearly it doesn't.)

i've even found some of the OTC's work quite well, having tried every sleep drug in the book.

give it a shot if you can.  it doesn't have to be Ambien or nothing...  i hope you find something that helps.  if you want any more input, just let me know...

take good care,
mj
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I started taking Ambien about 3 years ago. When my former doctor stopped refilling my prescription, I began ordering it online. This was generic Zolpidem or Zopidem tartrate from India & South Africa. I found that almost immediately after I took it I would relax, my anxiety would go away, but I wouldn't nec feel sleepy. I would take a 5 mg when I got home from work, and then take another 5 or 10 mg later to actually fall asleep. Sometimes I would take some at work, when in high-stress situations. I found that when taking a low dose, I would be very calm & I would "zone out" and could get a lot of routine, mindless tasks done without interruption (same with chores at home). My husband says sometimes I did things that I wouldn't remember the next day, like watch a TV show, or eat a meal, or talk to friends & not remember. One time I did order about $350 of it online, without recalling doing it. I never took it near a time when I would drive, and I never combined it with alcohol (it actually seemed to stop my craving alcohol).
This month, my new doctor prescribed me Ambien CR 12.5 mg. With the Ambien CR I am not experiencing the same instant euphoria/relief that I did with the generic Zolpidem. I have not been "craving" it, and now just take it about 15 minutes before I plan to go to sleep.
I don't know if this would prove helpful to anyone else, switching to Ambien CR? I feel better so far with it. Of course I still have to find a way to deal with my anxiety at work. However, giving it up all together has not been possible. I've had insomnia since I was a teenager, and I can go days on end (miserably) without sleeping. Every other sleep aid I've tried, has just left me with a headache, no rest & non-productive the next day. Take Care.
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I had taken ambien twice and I took 20mg, this is wat i experinced, my blanket was waving like the sea and my cable box geen light was waving up and down, i sreramed for help  got me groogy the next day, never took again

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I've been on Ambien since an episode of severe anxiety in Feb. 2006. I've had painful anxiety since childhood and was wary of meds until recently. But, at age 41, I have been so tired of dealing with it, over and over. I thought it would end when I got my dream job. It didn't. I thought a good relationship would fix it. It hasn't. I am in despair and anxious inner pain. Ambien is one of the few sleep meds that has really helped me get deeper sleep. I've been on 1-1/2 Ambien CRs nightly for 10 months. It has caused memory problems, making me spacey when I never was before. I forget things people have already told me. Occasionally I forget things that I do right before bed. This is highly abnormal for me, as I have always had a snap-trap memory. The deeper sleep has been very good for me in some ways. But now I crave taking Ambien during the day, to sleep the time away when I am severely anxious. I was "working from home" which has turned into "not working at all", living on my savings in my husband's house. I asked my husband to keep my Ambien in his work bag and take it with him during the day, but sometimes, when I'm very anxious in the morning, I have snitched an extra dose out of that bag before he leaves for the day! Pretty poor way to live. I recognize that the Ambien and the sleep it provides me is just the latest way I've tried to avoid/kill that pain. I thought 12-step groups were for losers and was put off by the God-talk. I'll just say that you don't have to believe in God to work a 12-step program. A "higher power" can be your own desire to get well.
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I have been taking ambien for 2 years now and have developed a tolerance to it. It was the highlight of my day the euphoria I used to get from it. I tried increasing the dose but nothing worked after a while.
What can I do?
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Mandy, do not stop cold turkey. I read about someone who stopped cold turkey and had seizures! The doze you are taking is far too big to be stopped cold turkey.
Take it half a pill at a time and allow yourself to adjust to the change before you go to the next step. I know this because I have had to take strong pills in my life and the doctor got me out without any side effects just like that. One baby step at a time.
You can do this. This is the good news. But you have to find the way to fight the psychological addiction. That is the hard news. Anyhow, it is do-able.
Good luck

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Mandy, do not stop cold turkey. I read about someone who stopped cold turkey and had seizures! The doze you are taking is far too big to be stopped cold turkey.
Take it half a pill at a time and allow yourself to adjust to the change before you go to the next step. I know this because I have had to take strong pills in my life and the doctor got me out without any side effects just like that. One baby step at a time.
You can do this. This is the good news. But you have to find the way to fight the psychological addiction. That is the hard news. Anyhow, it is do-able.
Good luck

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i too am having the same issue with the 20 mill a night and also the same thing is happening with my memory *** well......and also i do the same try and take 1 and a half and guess what ..........no sleep.....when there is no slleep in your life its constantly feeling uptight tired deppressed and stressed....and yes im in my fourth year of taking this stuff and i am also at the end of my line with taking these things...but sleep is soooooo important now what am i going to have a ball and chain for the rest of my life i dont know what the hell to do...in fact i took 20 mills at 10 tonight and look at this its 314 and im awake .........and thinking about taking another....im tired of being tired....
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I don't even know why I was ambien. I must have told my doctor at some point that I had insomnia. And he prescribed 20 mg a night of ambien. I would take 30. It was not good. I would get up and have conversations with my husband that I didn't remember. I even went on a plane ride that I can't remember. At one point, my doctor had me on ambien, xanax, percocet and oxycotin. I have a chronic backaches. I nearly killed myself on that combination and since January have been on nothing but Ultram. I can fuction again. I think again. With ambien, I was in a haze that lasted well into the day. And when I would run out, I was left with days of insomnia. I do use over the counter sleeping meds, occasionally, but for the most part, I sleep.
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while on ambien, my husband left our house walking (in a nice neighborhood) in his underwear, and thought he was following a bunch of people (they were make believe) down the street. This is at 3 AM. He stops at a house a few down from ours and bangs at the door for 5 minutes, until they answered, scared out of their wits. They ask my husband what he wants...and he said he was there to do their landscaping!!! Needless to say, they called the cops, he was picked up...he did manage to get the cops to drive him 4 houses down to our house, where I was awoken and PISSED beyond belief. My dad is a cop and the officers knew him so they let my husband go. My husband had taken 40mgs and was totally psychotic. I had to physically hold him from going in the kids rooms. He wanted to wake them up and to go outside to play. He was doing things he would NEVER do when not on ambien.
he has to take it to sleep, but he only take 1 now and goes right to bed. evry now and again, he will get up and do some weird things...like make crazy lunches for the kids or paint pictures with our girls art sets... i even take one at night b/c i have anxiety issues and have a had tme falling asleep and it helps sooooo much.
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also...i love vicodin. it makes me happy and a better person when i am on it. it is just the time you come down that really sucks. so then, i take an ambien and go to bed. what is the best way to get vicodin? i am so much more productive at work when i take just 1 vike every 4 hours or so. is this so bad??? I am happy and fun with my kids and i dont feel tired...is there really harm in taking say about 4 a day? and what is the best place toget them?
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If you take above 40 per day of ambien, this is for you. First your fight or flight kicks in, your'e then feeling a bit anxious, can't get around quite as well, and even if you breath into a brown paper bag, doesn't help. still tingling all over, you are more frightened because you can have a seizure. That doesn't happen for a day or two if you can drink down some small amount of alcohol, but you still feel crappy. Drink water, and don't drink much alcohol.   You can't lie down, you can't stand up, or so you feel,  and you can't seem to form complete thoughts or sentences, regardless of how fast your brain is going. Hang in there, you're half way, for in two to five days you'll feel okay.  Way better than okay.
  If you don't go CT just taper , taking 90% of your dose.  If you take it throughout the day (unfortunate one) taper the amount so you won't get so dysfunctional, and keep your time to take.  After you taper half way, stretch out the hours, and keep telling yourself"you can do this" Keep a log, and keep your nose in your progress!
And you will make progress. When you're at 1/2 every 12 hours now cut one out and stay there a while, a good while at 1/2 a day until you find benedryl works and use the 5 mg as backup.  During all this, keep something you can take like aspirin or a vitamin, or a tylenol...then just candy eventually, because you are just as addicted to taking a pill, and that takes time.  Excercise like crazy
Hang in there, God Speed.
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i have been taking ambien 12.5 and i have found that i absolutely cannot sleep without it- which means that yes it is habit forming and im addicted. i also find that it doesnt work as strong as it use to for me because my body has gotten use to it. if i take it at 9 i wake up at 2 or 3 am and i will be up until 8 or 9 in the morning unless i take another. i have to say that i am truly addicted because i feel loopy about 30 minutes after i take it and i love the feeling. I do agree with all of the comments that ambien has you doing wired things that you cannot recall after you take it. i was in the kitchen the other day and a bottle of hot sauce fell from the cabinet and shattered. i remember while it was happening my reaction was delayed and i just felt numb. i read something about alzheimers related to ambien and this scares me because im only 34 and there are times where i will forget what im getting ready to do and im forgetting names. im thinking this is related to the ambien. i heard about people having addictive personalites and i just know that i love the feeling i get from pain relievers and sleep aids. i know this is wrong but how do i break free from it?
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I took Ambien for ten years, and I was very addicted; probably as bad as it gets.  I was taking 3 Ambien CR's at night, then waking up and taking three more, then often taking it during the day and going back to bed. In the end I was taking about 12 tablets of 12.5 mg. Ambien CR a day. The reason I decided to make a very diligent effort to stop was because it caused me to lose interest in my life.  I thought maybe it was depression, and maybe it was to some extent, but I realized that the Ambien was robbing me of everything except sleep..and the sleep was never enough.  I realized the Ambien was actually causing me to not care about anything..except getting more Ambien.  My doctor told me how to get off of it, and it worked.  She told me to go to the drug store and buy a large bottle of Melatonin.  This is a substance that your brain is supposed to produce naturally to help you sleep..but since taking Ambien, my brain was producing hardly any.  I took two 5 mg tablets of Melatonin every night, while I was using the Ambien..I did this for one week.  I STOPPED ALL CAFFEINE after noon.  None.  I bought caffeine-free diet coke and stuck with that after lunch.  On the eight day I was supposed to stop the Ambien; so I planned for a sleepless night..knew I would be up all night..afterall I had forgotten how to fall asleep on my own.  I rented some movies, got some good food..and stayed up all night. That was the hardest night because I wanted the easy high..but I stuck to my guns.  I took the Melatonin only.  I was sleepy, but didn't go to bed.  Finally the next day around 1:00 pm I was tired enough to go to sleep.  I slept for 4 hours straight..and I woke up feeling wonderful..better than I had in years.  I stayed awake all day, then prepared for another all nighter..took the Melatonin, and watched movies.  The next  day I slept another 4 hours of natural sleep.  Low and behold..the thrid naight I was tired!  I went to bed and slept all night..it was wonderful.  I continue to take the Melatonin every night..it took me a while to "learn" to fall asleep again, but I'm getting the hang of it.  This was not a fun process..it's more fun getting high on Ambien and sleeping all the time..but I have something new..I have interest in my life again..I wake up in the morning and I feel good.  I don't have the shame and guilt and drug-hazed days anymore. The melatonin does not come over you like the Ambien..you don't feel anything because it's not a drug.  But, it does re-set  your sleep clock and help you feel tired enough to sleep.  I had no side affects from quitting although I did have a headache.  I haven't been tempted to go back to the Ambien because this new sleep for me is so great, I don't want to give it up.  Quitting Ambien is not hard..not like quitting something physically addictive..the hard part is the first few nights staying up all night.  But, if you really want your life back, that is a small price to pay.  Be prepared for some sleepless nights along the way..but you have to know they will come sometimes..but you have to stick it out through those..take a bath, read a book, stay off the caffeine..and most importantly don't reach for the easy fix..don't take the Ambien.  You will sleep..the Ambien habbit has convinced you that you can't sleep..but you will get tired enough and you will re-learn how to fall asleep.  The Ambien high is very tempting for those of us who aren't into the hard-core addictions..but it's time to stop.  Ambien comes out through your skin througout the day..it causes depression, and probably an entire array of kidney and liver problems that we don't know about.  Most importantly, it takes away your interest in everything else.  If you try to stop and you go back to the Ambien..try again.

I wish everyone with Ambien addiction would post here..because it would help people understand that this is a wide-spread addiction..and it would hlep people know that quitting only involves a few sleepless nights and some good old fashioned determination.  Any questions or comments email me if you would like and I will answer ***@****.  
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thank you so much for your advice and comments. i bought the melatonin and i am back to my regular sleep habits. ambien is very addictive and habit forming and i advise all those who take it to stop. true- my first few days were so rough. i was tempted to run to the medicine cabinet but i took all i had left and flushed it. if i didnt i knew i would end up taking it. i cut out the caffeine and after i got off work i went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical. then i went home, took the melatonin, a hot shower and i was in dreamland. i have my life back. i dont know your name but thank you!!!! how do i email you?
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518798 tn?1295215879
Hey!  I wished I would have found this site in January when I went off the Ambien.  I have now been totally CLEAN of any sleep medications for 5 months now and I feel like I have gotten my life back in order now.  
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I too have been addicted to Ambien for about 8 years.  The most I have taken at any one time is 25 mg, I also crave this Ambien-induced sleep during the day.  Can't decide whether this is due to depression or just the craving for the Ambien.  I used to "freak" out whenever I ran out and couldn't think of where to get my next prescription.  I have spent a small fortune going around town to get one.  Now, however, I have 90 with a script for 30 more and am "freaking" about when I run out.  This is insanity.  I get extreme anxiety when I think about a sleepless night and become really agitated and nasty to my family.  My husband  is at his wits end.  I applaud those of you who have found a way out of this vicious cycle.  My husband had me in treatment about four months ago and they substituted Trazodone, but this made me feel really strange.  I wanted them to taper me off this drug, but they refused.  I would really like to try the melatonin to try and get off this drug, but the sleepless nights aren't something I can handle.  I almost lose my mind.  I have awaken during the night and taken more Ambien and and then don't remember doing it.  My pill count is the only tell-tale sign.  Does somebody know any way to taper this drug that will work?  I too am afraid to tell my doctor (or any doctor) or ask for help from them as I am afraid they will blow me off and I will waste yet another co-pay.  Please help, I am desperate.
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518798 tn?1295215879
Have you had any problems with driving while under the influence of the ambien?  I did, I wrecked my vehicle 3 times in 4 months.  I am so thankful that no one was ever hurt and I didn't get arrested.  January was my wake up call.  My dad died and I can't even remember much of the events surrounding the funeral.  

I just went cold turkey off them and didn't have many problems.  Just the rebound insomnia.  Like you I still, even after 6+ months clean, crave the wonderful sleep that I could get with the ambien.  I went to every doctor in our area and provided them with a letter I wrote saying that I do not want those drugs prescribed to me under any circumstances.  So far so good.

Good luck to you
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I have never wrecked my car, thank God, but I have found evidence the next day that I had been out driving while under the influence of this drug.  I',m sorry to hear about your father. My father passed away in December 2007 right here in my house.  I had been taking care of him for aboout 18 months and that makes trying to sleep off the Ambien worse.Thanks so much for the words of encouragement.
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518798 tn?1295215879
Not only did I sleep drive, I also would eat and carry on converstations with people that I would not remember.  My dad had been in a wheelchair since I was born, but the last month of his life he was in and out of the hospital.  The last time we talked the doctors into letting him come to my house for Christmas because we knew it would be the last one we had with him.  He came to the house and I was taking pills and I don't even remember him being there.  It totally breaks my heart because about a week after we celebrated he had another stroke and died a few days later.  I pi$$ed off the last memory I could have had with my father over something so stupid.  I am determined to remain clean for him.

Good luck to you.
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My heart goes out to all of us who suffer with this..but it is possible to get off of it..and it's far easier than you would expect.  You have to come to the point where you realize that the sleep and the "high" are not even good anymore.  If you can get a week off of the Ambien you will realize how much your life has been "dulled".  I promise life comes back to you..and it's wonderful.  The melatonin helped me so much..especially after I realized that all I wanted was to feel sleepy and I didn't need the high anymore.

When I tried to put my email on here they deleted it as soon as they recognized it was an email..so if you want to email me try this..contact me at LLSDaily "at" aol "dot" com. I would love to hear from anybody who wants to join me in encouraging each other.

Don't give up..you are not physically addicted..you can do this..I promise.  I'm still off of it, and I am so grateful to be able to say that.  Chin up everyone!
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I think I need help too. I have been on Ambien for about 5 months and I started noticing about a month or so ago that if I did not take it at bed time I couldn't sleep. I am on 10mg which is the normal dose. But here lately the last few weeks I have noticed that a few nights I've started to double the dose. When I noticed it about a month ago I thought I would stop taking it so I didn't take it for three days. It was horrible I did sleep one night out of the three but the two bad ones I had horrible dreams and I gave up and filled the prespcription. I feel the anxiety at night wishing I could fall asleep with out it but. But I have my self convinced I can not. I also think I am depressed. The worst part about this for me is I have never been addicted to any thing in my life. I don't smoke and have never even smoked pot, I don't drink but maybe a beer a few times a year if that. I feel for all of you I can't beleive I'm in this spot. I went to the doctor because I couldn't sleep and she prescribed ambien. I thought I'll take it a few times and be done with it now its going on six months.
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It's amazing that so many people are feeling so bad and alone because of Ambien.  It is a very scary place to be, especially because the majority of us have never had a problem with addiction..and we never wanted to use drugs.  Please don't lose heart..I was about as bad as it gets..taking it all day every day..and I am doing well now.  It takes some determination..but it is possible.  I have huge gaps in my memory from things I did and things I said..but I'm doing better and you will too.  I am convinced the Ambien caused my depression and lack of interest in my life, because the depression went away immediately after I was off of the Ambien.  

Does anyone remember having severe shoulder pain at any time on the Ambien????
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518798 tn?1295215879
Yes, I did and I still have the shoulder pain.  As a matter of fact, I have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor tomorrow because of it.  I have been off the ambien for over 6 months now, but still have the shoulder pain.  Never made any kind of connection to the ambien though.  

Did anyone else experience hair loss with the ambien?  Mine was so bad that last summer I wore a wig.
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Thanks for the comments. After I posted that night. The next day l lost it and ended up in the hospitial. I went and seen my doctor the next day and she said it was a combination of the ambien and being depressed. I have not taken the ambien for two days now and they have me on something for the depression I am starting to feel a little better. I know I don't want to ever go through what I have went through in the last 4 days. Thanks for every thing. I have only experianced loosing my thoughts and my short term memory has been every where.
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Well, I just had a horrific fight with my husband and he is very adamant that I stop the Ambien.  I have already gone out and bought the melatonin and plan to stop right after my husband's back surgery in a week.  I am terrified, but I want my marriage more.  Please, y'all pray for me, this may very well be my  last hope!  Thanks to all of you and your insights.
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Hang in thier, It is really hard for loved ones to understand what a spouce or partner is going through if they can't or haven't experianced it on thier own or thier selves. My husband is being really supportive but I don't think he understands what I am actually going through. It has been about four days since I have taken any ambien and I am so happy that I stopped. I am starting to feel like my self again. I have some areas that in the last couple of weeks are really blurry and that makes me so angry. The first couple of nights are really the worst. My doctor said that you need to take your ambien pill and cut them in half even though their small andd for a couple of nights maybe three take the half pill so you can gradually wean your self off. My suggestion would be what ever your on reduce it by half for a couple of nights and keep doing that until your down to the normal dose and then stop. It;s shocking for the body if you just quit it all at once.
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I am so glad I found this web site.  You are all so supportive and give me hope.  I hope that one day I too will be able to encourage somebody with my story of how I was able to quit this terrible habit.

Thank you so much.  You are an inspiration!

Becks194
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175734 tn?1225138040
I took Ambien to help when i was going thru W/D from pain pills.....I quit for q while and i stopped losing hair and felt alot better.....But for some reason i am taking them again every nite befor bed.....They are like a security blanket for me. I have to wake up every morning at 3:30 am...no matter what and due to my job I CANNOT BE LATE NO MATTER WHAT !!!!! So i take the Ambien so that i can go to sleep at 8:00 pm.

They work great and i love them....but i know they are bad for me....
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I was taking a half tablet a night of Zolpidem and decided toquit. I am now on my fourth night of no sleep. Just tried to take a nap and couldn't do it - how much longer will this last? I am a teacher and can't even concentrate on getting ready for school to start.I'm going to get some Melatonin and try it tonight. Right now, when I try to sleep, it's like my brain is on speed with a million different random thoughts firing through my head that I can't sleep. I've also had increased urination at night since quitting. I appreciate any insights.
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this is burningup, i also have difficulty sleeping sometimes.Whether it's my mind raising or the moons out, or i just had a **** day.If you check out my profile you'll notice i take a lot of benzodiazepines and i'm very addicted(one of the reasons i take them is to sleep well, in a sence sleep is priceless) i think tapering would help, though you might want to be straight up w/ your psych or doc. If you don't tell them everything you will never get the answer you truly need, i get my meds like you so i know the paranoia. I've used ambian recreationally before, 100 mgs, sounds out of my ball park but if you read some of my questions in the aniexty forum and the substance abuse forum i'm just as bad off as you , i didn't read all your responces but i have used a variety of stuff especially rx meds, there the only drugs garenteed to work..lol off track i know , try to taper and check out different sleep aids , i'm assuming benadryl dosn't work, none the less you need to take action on the self medicating, i've done it for so long i forget when i started
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I am amazed at how much my depression has lifted since being off the Ambien.  I was to the point where I didn't feel life was worth living..even though I wasn't thinking of suicide, I was very unengaged in my life.  I had some problems in my life, which is probably why I was using the Ambien to escape into sleep, but the Ambien sure did make me depressed and having a horrible feeling of dread.  I had only been off of it for a few days when I started feeling interested in my life again.

All of you who are trying to quit, please please stick with it..it is affecting you more than you will know and it is so worth it to find out what life is like again when you are off of it.

From now on I will suffer through a few sleepless nights before I will ever go back on it.  It's just not worth it.  I am rooting for all of you to be able to make it through your sleeplessness and find your life again.  I just can't stress enogh that sleep will return, and it will be better sleep than you are getting with the Ambien.  My heart is with all of you (and me) in this struggle.  Who knew this could happen?  We can do this.  People have beat drugs much worse than this, and we can too.  Chin up all...
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I used to take vicodin the same way, i felt so happy and what was wrong with that? I was nicer to my kids my husband, everyone. what happened after 2 years is my body built up a tolerence and needed more and more, that is the nature of this drug is that you just keep needing more and eventually you dont feel happy any more. the drug turns on you and you will not get that euphoria any more. i got up to many vicodin a day and i became depressed , suicidal and no matter how much vicodin i used , i could never get that happy feeling back....it stops working after a while and that is when your life starts to fall apart....i spent months feeling suicidal depressed and couldnt understand what went wrong, nothing in my outside life had changed, it was just that the vicodin stopped working!!!!i went off it cold turkey and i am very lucky i didnt have seizures. if you decide to go off it, get some medical support you cant do this alone, you can get off the drug by your self. but it is very hard to stay off and not relapse. if you want to stop, go to NA or a treatment center, that is what i did and it is working. it sounds like you might not be ready to stop, but if you are reading these forums than you are probably worried about your drug use. It is not worth your life or those 3 kids of yours, trust me, i put my kids in tremendous jeapordy by taking those happy pills. and if you have not done that yet, then you wlll at some point because at some point you cross over a line where getting that high is more important than the life and welfare of your kids.
There is no happy ending if you continue to use vicodin.
good luck to you!!!
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Just a quick post to say my sister is finally off the Ambien 10 days now !! I have been sooo worried about her.  She went to doc and got one month xanax to take at bedtime and she says she will be done with that and never use anything again.  I'm so relieved. She and I were both in the Ambien nightmare together. I hope we can both stick with it.
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I have been taking ambien for 5 years, every night, small dose.  My doctors know, and no one has ever said a word. I dont sleep well, and I have anxiety.  Sleep is a needed thing in life, so in my eyes, this is a helpful drug and a needed drug.  I take only 5-10mg at the most.  Ambien is a wonder for me, and i guess I am addicted, but my psychiatrist has never expressed a heavy concern....I am aware this will have to taper when / if I get preggos.
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473384 tn?1210209842
I also have been taking ambien for almost 3 years. I take the prescribed dose, 5-10mgs/night and have not needed to increase it except in extreme times of stress when I take an extra 5mg, very rare), and it is a Godsend, as far as I am concerned. I have PTSD big time, after growing up in a violent family with much mental illness. I would never want to take this drug for a high b/c personally it is not a high that I find enjoyable. I just crave regular sleep so badly, and remember how miserable and mentally ill & emotionally wrecked I was when I went for years with chronic insomnia, and I am very happy to have this medication to help me fall asleep every night. I used to not be able to sleep if I had ANYTHING scheduled for the morning (like something simple like going to work??) because I would lie awake allnigth obsessing about whether or not I would fall asleep soon enough to be really rested for what I had to do the rest of the day. HORRIBLE. I would go night after night for weeks and months lying in bed, crying, heart pounding, tossing and turning, mind racing....I got on lexapro which helped, but the ambien really put the little (sleep) cap on the disaster that was my night(s).

I take it when I am in bed with the covers tucked up and usually fall asleep almost immediately w/ the tv on. my husband usually takes the remote out of my hand and shuts it off. I have suffered insomnia for almost 30 years -- I used to be so desperate I would drink a bottle of nyquil at bedtime to sleep, and that has a butt-load of side effects!

bottom line -- I think FOR SOME this is a very useful medicine. I think this is a very dangerous med to take for kicks, or for any other purpose other than getting some well-needed shut-eye. ppl who take it when they are not in bed prepared to go to sleep and then go out to party or otherwise are taking other ppl's lives in their hands, not just their own. not a good idea. I think if you take it when you are not in bed, prepred to go to sleep, there is a good chance you will go off somewhere like a loose cannon and do some damage.

I also think it sounds extremely dangerous to take the amount originally posted here -- 100mgs, or any of the other high doses mentioned, or to take to "mellow out" -- that's where you will end up doing things you don't remember (and probably wouldn't want to anyway).

maybe someday I'll go the melatonin route, but for now, I am a pretty happy camper with this very helpful medicine..
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I absolutely agree.  I do not like the feeling of ambien for daytime, it is strictly for sleep and I have never needed to increase the dose, maybe once in a blue moon when I am really anxious.  YEs, I feel the same as you, Ambien is a drug that has saved me in a lot of ways, and I suppose any drug that you abuse is dangerous, even nyquil.
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Am a little confused about the above  2 posts.  I was thinking this was an addiction board, for people looking for help.  Am glad Ambien works for you, but that is not the issue for many of us.
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What are you confused about?  Isnt this a free forum?  Isnt the subject "ambien".  I could see if I came here discussing my most recent shopping spree, but I am talking about Ambien on an Ambien forum.  Everyone's experience with AMbien is different, and we have the right to talk about our own individual experiences.  ANyone who takes more than the recommended dose of Ambien is asking for trouble.  Yes, it is habit forming, but there are far worse things that can ruin one's life.
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526311 tn?1229289930
well i was with you up until that last line. Your happy experience with ambien is great and you are free to tell about it but please dont belittle those who have problems with the drug.  I know there are many members on this site who feel ambien has ruined their lives, and that it IS the worst drug out there.
Though my experience was small and most of it I remember none of I can relate to the danger of this drug.  It took me to a far different level then most prescription meds have.  I am an avid prescription med user (wow ive begun to say it like its a hobby, didnt mean for it to come off that way) and I must say that the most bizarre few days of using came from ambien and lunesta.  I stopped very shortly after using.  Its not something to brag about but coming from me, someone who regularly uses prescription heroin (fentanyl) in mass amounts and has almost had her life ended twice due to it, I have to say that when a drug scares me like ambien did, it MUST be a little more dangerous then just "habit forming."
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Could it be that there are other things that are ruining your life and Ambien is just one small piece of the addiction puzzle?  Just throwing it out there.  I have a hard time believeing that people who take Ambien the way it is meant to be taken will have problems with it, other than the memory lapses, which are a side effect. Like I said, if you are taking 10x the recommended dose, yes, Ambien will cause you problems, but so will Tylenol.  I think many people who are addicted to drugs are also depressed....you see, I believe there is a mental illness or emotional problem that leads us to start using drugs, and most likely it cannot be blamed on one drug, but a myriad of different factors.  There are many pieces to this puzzle, but we should think about the reasons behind why we become addicted in the first place...
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Didn't mean to start a conflict, honestly, and I apologize if it sounded that way.  It's just that I doubt any of us went into this whole ambien thing ever thinking it would cause the problems it has caused in our lives.  Most of us need information and support, not a lecture.  Honestly, we did not have a clue we could end up in the mess we are in.  I just didn't understand why you would post on an addiction website if you have no addiction issues, that's all.  Please just keep in mind that many of us are in a very painful place...and believe it or not, the Ambien is at the root of it.  I also doubt any of us would have gotten on this merry-go-round if we knew this could happen.  Please have a little compassion and understand that our issues may not be the same as yours.
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The reason I am here is because I dont want to become an addict but I have chronic pain issues, and anxiety... which is the root of the problem for many users.  Getting to know people with similar situations helps me, I have endometriosis, which is the primary reason I came to the site, and I am a member of a few forums.  The fact that you are trying to limit who should and shouldnt post here is kind of non- compassionate of you.  I am not trying to be insensitve to anyone.  I am pointing out the medical facts about ambien.  I am reliant on ambien for sleep, and I have clinical experience which makes me knowledgeable about the drug.  I am not saying it hasnt ruined people's lives, but I would bet that in 99 percent of the people you are talking about there are other things going on besides ambien.  Let me ask you this....If you had cancer, would you take chemo?  If you had diabetes, would you take insulin?  If you had heart disease, would you take heart medication?   Ambien is prescribed for insomnia, just the same as other medication is prescribed for other medical conditions.  I think a lot of people on this forum need to figure out whether they are on ambien for sleep or to get high.....
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199177 tn?1332183097
I don't think she is being uncompassionate at all she is just trying to understand where it is you are coming from if you are not an addict .This is an addiction forum . People can become addicted to ambien as easily as any other drug .I have  "real " cronic pain however because I am an addict I have had to find other alternative to reduce and handle my pain because pain meds are not an option for me .Not everyone who has insomnia if they have a dependency or an addiction to sleeping aids have to find an alternative . This thread is about ambien addiction so it would make since that they are trying to find help and support for there addiction .
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526311 tn?1229289930
I agree with you OffAmbien, this forum is called Substance Abuse.  We all post and answer questions because there is something that we all have in common, we have or have had substance abuse issues.  Obviously it doesn't help someone abusing a drug to hear about how someone else doesn't abuse it.  We know it works for people who take it according to the directions, thats why its out there.  The questions that the original poster and most of the other posters are about abuse and addiction.  This forum is so that we can help others with their struggles and relate.  Being condescending about addiction in itself, and about the drugs that fuel the addiction do not help.  Maybe there is another forum out there for you.  I dont think I am alone when I say this is not the one for you.

And on a side note we all know that the root of our addiction is not the drug.  I was trying to explain to you how a drug CAN be a dangerous thing, but I shouldnt have.  I can see now that you are obviously not an addict nor someone who sympathizes with us.  For that matter I wonder why I am even writing this post.  I dont think anything could get you to look at it differently.  It is simply a moot point and like I said there are plenty of other forums out there.
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How do you know I am not an addict if I have addictive tendencies?  Just because I dont take 100 pills a day does not mean I am not reliant on the ones that I do take.  Yes, this is a substance abuse forum, and for the most part I am very sympathetic toward the others, however I do have a strong opinion about Ambien.  The last I checked, this is a free country and people can state their opinions.  Maybe this is just a hot topic for me since I have been on ambien for many years and I happen to thank god that the drug exists. If it were not for ambien, I would not be able to function, so you have to put yourself in my shoes from a perspective of someone who uses the drug with effectiveness.  By the way, you tend to neglect the fact that I am a social worker, and in order to keep my job, I have to feel compassion;...You dont know me, therefore you should not judge me.  I work with addicts everyday, so I am fully aware of the turmoil and the sadness that goes on...as well as the other personality traits that addicts have.  I am allowed to have opionions just as you are.
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526311 tn?1229289930
yeah, like i said, moot point. i didnt expect you to get it. agree to disagree.
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wow, does the person who sent this original post care at all about what you guys are saying?  am i wrong or does it say 2003?
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199177 tn?1332183097
yes its an old post but many of th posts are new and asking for help.
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473384 tn?1210209842
I have addiction issues w/ pain pills -- I have been posting here for the past 3+ months to get off of narcs for a pain problem -- and I am a former alcoholic (haven't had a drink in 20 yrs)....I use ambien for sleep and have not had a problem with it and I thank God for that b/c insomnia was a huge probem for me. I am not criticising anyone who does have a problem with it, but I don't understand it either, b/c I have never had to increase my dose in 3 yrs,and as someone else said, I don't think I would be awake long enough to know whether or not the high was/is enjoyable. the one time I took it before going to bed I nodded out on the couch and since then, I just take the 5 or 10 mgs after I get inder the covers and out I go. I'm not sure how it became a good idea for anyone here to use 10 pills and I don't know how they stay awake to even know if they enjoy it or do ANYTHING, but I do believe that being under the influence of ambien and being out walking around (or doing anything besides sleeping) would be a very dangerous thing.

I would think the best thing would be to just start tapering down 5 mg at a time at bedtime and not use it at other times of the day. is anyone still bothering with this thread in 2008 anyway?
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I see where you're coming from Kittykat.  It's a strange thing with this particular drug..one day you're using it the way you're supposed to, and then it just gets out of hand.  It's strange too because it's kind of a "secret" kind of addiction, meaning there isn't anyone doing it with you, and you're not doing it for recrational purposes...so you end up feeling really alone in the whole thing.  It's scary.  I sure do appreciate all of you who have been so understanding..and those of you who are trying to understand.

Ali..please stop..we get it already.  
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Well, Iam glad someone else kind of sees what I was trying to say. I aplogize if my approach was alittle cold, but basically I am trying to say what Kittykat says.  I dont understad an addictive high to ambien....doesnt clinically make sense at all....agree to disagree,,,,,
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352798 tn?1399301754
The truth is that people abuse almost every substance out there. It may seem strange to over use Ambien or cold medicines etc. But people do and they need help getting over it.
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Thanks GoinToMakeIt, I agree.  When I first realized I was in trouble with Ambien I looked all over the web for someone to help me, and this particular board seemed to fit because nobody talks much about their problems with Ambien anywhere else.  It made me realize there are probably many out there like me who are just dumbfounded how this could have happened.  I'm guessing many read here without posting; probably families of Ambien users read here too.  So when someone starts postings that say we should have known better, it bothers me.  If some people use Ambien and it works for them without problems, I'm glad for them, but my perspective is that it can ruin lives.

I suppose it's kind of like going to an alcoholic website and saying how great and safe alcohol is, and people shouldn't drink too much.  It just hits a nerve.

This has been a day to day struggle for me..I struggle every single day..it's been the hardest thing I have ever done.  I have given up a few times and used the Ambien and had to start all over again.  In the beginning I prayed so hard to be able to get off of it, and I prayed so hard to be able to sleep.  I thought I was going to die.  I didn't know if I should go to rehab, if I would have siezures, etc.  So I wanted to share what has helped me, and I never intended to judge anyone.  

I think 907baby said it best a few posts up.  

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352798 tn?1399301754
With any addiction there are some principles to act on.
Recognize and acknowledge your problem.
Seek ways to change it.
Get aftercare support and maybe counseling to find out why you do this behavior.

>>f you think you have a problem, then you do. It doesn't matter what others think.<<
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199177 tn?1332183097
Off , I am glad you found this board you are very welcome here your addiction is no different then anyone else's it just has a different name .  People dont have to understand how you got addicted to ambein .Only you need to understand that ,so you can heal and get better .If you ever need to chat feel free to PM me .
avis
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Thanks avisg..I appreciate your support.  I have been browsing around on the web after seeing a thing on ABC news about Paxil, and it seems sad to me because the people posting about Paxil are saying the same things we are saying about Ambien.  They are saying they can't get off of it, but the withdrawl is physically torture with Paxil.  It's too bad that doctors are not really informed about these drugs; I guess there's no way they could know until the problems come out.  After this experience with Ambien I will never again take a medication until I have researched it myself.  I guess that's why it's so important that people post their experiences.  I know many people find these drugs useful, but for me, it's not worth the gamble ever again.  
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I wonder how everyone dealing with their ambien addiction is doing? Why someone would come to an ambien addiction forum and say they don't get why we are hooked to ambien is just stupid. It's not helpful in any way. Of course you don't get it you're not addicted to the drug. I agree with Off it's frustrating to hear. Medication affects everyone differently this is a known fact. That's why for some people ambien works and they take it only to fall asleep. Some people take it and it does nothing for them. And then their are people like me who abuse this drug because it gives me a high. I hope anyone who is trying to deal with this issue knows it's real and finds help. Good luck and please update to give others hope.
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I was just recommended Ambien.

My short history:  my kidney was removed for cancer (thank God, it hadn't  spread), and then about a month later I had a hernia surgery. I have, between the two, taken about 2 1/2 months of Percocet and Lortab.  Well, the withdrawal from that stuff was pretty bad, the peak, though, only lasting about 30 hours.  But,it left me with RLS and insomnia.

I am in AA, long time.  I found that I can still after many years, get into the "high" of pain meds.  On a certain level, if you can believe it, I was looking forward to the pre-op versed, the morphine in the hospital, and then the pain meds after.  Still sick, after all these years!

Well, now I have a new prescription of Ambien.  I took one last night.  It didn't really get me to sleep.  I had eaten something, and that, according to the directions, can lessen the effects.  Maybe I wasn't tired enough, I don't know.

But, that's not the issue, now.  What I would like to know, and it still confuses me, is what is the difference between a "physical dependency" and and "built up of tolerance."  I know what a build up of tolerance is.  I had it when I drank, and I had it to a minor degree with the pain pills.  Let me ask the question another way:  If I was to take Ambien, let's say for a long, long time, but never increased the dosage, or took more than prescribed, what happens when the person quits after a long time.  (Just for argument, let's say the person has taken it for 3 years.  Not that I have any intention of taking it more than a month or two, but I am trying to get at the principle.)

Ok, it probably won't work as well as it did earlier.  But, never the less, if one never increased the dose, stated exactly with the original program, what happens after a long, long time.

Now, would that person have worse withdrawal symptoms because of the length of time?  Or, because the person never wavered from the dosage, would it be the same withdrawal symptoms as someone who had taken it only for a month or two.  Remember, I assume that it doesn't work the way it used to.  I know that.

My addiction "profile", if you will, is that of an alcoholic, primarily.  Wasn't too much into pills.  Did a lot of grass, but no much more.  But, I am finding that I am "too" interested in the nice little side effects of all this stuff.  So, my long winded question, above, was trying to determine if a strict adherence to the original dosage is viable.  That is, if it stops to work at the smaller dosage, so be it, either quit or get used to the effect at that dosage.

A lot of stuff here on this forum is scaring the hell out of me, and I might not take it much Ambien, or maybe none at all.  My first pill last night did make me drowsy, I felt relaxed, but I was in no way "removed from reality."  It felt like a light dose of Valium, or something similar. I would not call if euphoria, less so than the pain meds I was on.  Those, I started to like, and I'm glad that when I didn't need them, I stopped.  But, maybe Ambien develops into the same kind thing.  

Thanks.
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hi stopped Ambien Cold Turkay and I had two seizures ended up in  
E.R. Humiliating!!!! I will never take another drug I am going to see a psycholgist for addiction  and going to A.A. because I was addicted sometimes taking several doses a night. Be cautious when quiting. It was hard to detox felt better after 2 weeks. Just started sleeping better.   I am no longer depressed either. Good Luck everyone!!! Ambien Addict
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Wow I didn't know you could have siezures from detoxing on Ambien, and I am so sorry to hear that happened to you.  I totally believe that can happen though, but because it didn't happen to me I posted earlier that it wouldn't happen..I wish I wouldn't have said that now.  

For those of you in AA or with other addictive problems, I can tell you that for me trying to take one dose and sticking to that was impossible.  The high you get from it right after you take it is just too tempting.  I think more than anything I was addicted to sleep, and my depression was increased so badly when I started taking Ambien.  I just lost interest in my life.  I didn't realize how depressed I was until I finally got off of it.  Although I didn't go through physical withdrawl, I was so addicted to it emotionally.  My advice would be to stay away from it if you have ever had addiction problems.

I think the worst thing about it is that once you start taking it, you lose the ability to fall asleep without it, and the real nightmare begins.  Anyone out there who is involved in the Ambien problem has my deepest concern.  But...just because my experience was so bad doesn't really mean everybody's will be.  For me, anything that makes me feel high now is off limits..and trust me..it's so very hard.  I wish more people would post so that everyone can know about different experiences with Ambien.
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I originally posted in March, 2003.  My life is so different now.  After my husband found me passed out cold on the garage floor, I started the long odyssey to get off this and all drugs. From Jan,2007 to May 2007, I was in 4 treatment centers. I finally learned that I am an addict. I cannot take any drug or alcohol.  I am sober since April 30, 2007 and it is wonderful.  I go to AA mtgs almost daily and while life still has major challenges, I no longer need to numb myself. My husband trusts me again. I still have a lot of nights when I don't sleep well, but it is no longer an obsession. If I can get off 100(yes 100 pills!!!) a day, anyone can.  For me the only way was AA.   Mandydl
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897400 tn?1303332748
Way to go! I'm happy for you to have succeeded in staying clean. I read this thread with great interest and I'm glad that you came back to give an update.
Thanks and best wishes

Ginsa
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my best friend that was married to a obgyn was addicted to ambien.  He took olther narcotics but his intake of ambien was at least twenty a day.
Im sure they were the strongestsones avaliable,  he was sleeping alot and drove very dangerously.  He was stopped many times but talked his way out.  When his wife finanlly kicked him out of the house his addiction got worse.  He was going to doctor after doctor to support his habit.  He was extremely depressed.  We tried to get him help but being an addict he was a professional liar.  It depressed him so he took his own life while he had everything to live for.  Ambien is a very very nasty substance.  I hear that once you get addicted you really dont sleep but get high expecialy in super high doses.  His wife said he was taking around twenty a day.  he didnt drink and i think in his addiction he might of been even taken more since i found scripts empty that were just picked up at the pharacy..It seemed to fuel his depression.  If anyone can explain or describe the effects of cronic ambien addiction please email me at ***@****.  It seems ambien is a very very nasty substance thanks
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897400 tn?1303332748
Sorry to hear about your friend. That is tragic.

I did a lot of reading about Benzos which includes Ambien. It is potent and has a very short half-life of about 2-3 hours. That's probably why it's useful as a sleep aid. It's my guess that the short half-life is why it's so easy to get addicted to if abused for a "high". It would take massive quantities to maintain the buzz since it leaves the body so soon. It's dangerous all right.

It was not intended for daily use nor to treat anxiety. I am no expert on it, but I was taking it every night for 3 years. It got to the point where one didn't make me fall asleep, especially while I was having slow withdrawl from Opiates. What it did do was give me a sense of well-being and my brain stopped working in hyper-drive. A couple of times I took another 5mg just to sleep ( total 15mg.). When I got to that point I decided that I was going to go to a detox facility and just quit everything. I was afraid of the drugs by then.

I started to have gripping anxiety that would wake me up from a sound sleep while I was trying to do that taper off Opiates. I woke up every day and that's the first thing I felt. I have been clean of all Benzo's and Opiates for 31 days and I still wake up like that. I take Buspar and Vistaril, but if they help with anxiety it is very minor. I sleep 4-7 hours a night, but I never feel refreshed because I wake up with anxiety. I suspect that the Ambien addiction is causing me to have this problem. It seems more consistent with Benzo Withdrawl than Opiate. It really is nasty stuff. It is dangerous to detox from too. I wasn't taking a high enough dose to make detox life threatening, but for someone using it all day, it could be disaster.

In order to help a person wean off one Benzo, another Benzo with a longer half life is sometimes prescribed. Here's a sight with some information about Benzo addiction and withdrawl. Maybe you can glean some insight from it that will help answer your questions.

http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha03.htm
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Just wondering how everyone is doing since trying to get off ambien.  Such an issue these days.  Was wondering about what kind of withdrawls people are having, and how successful it has been for posters.  Seems like people are havimg four or five days of insomnia before natural sleep kicks in.   i feel so bad for anyone dealing with this.  if any one wants to email privately, please feel free to email me at (i have to list my emial without the software kicking my email address out automatically..so try to follow this) my email is LLSDAILY "at" AOL *******.  Would love to hear from anyone struggleing to get off of ambien.  You are all in my prayers.
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I can help.  I have a prayer conference line.  This line is for anyone that desires prayer.  I was led to this site by God for people to be set free.  I know some don't believe and that is your right.  This is for the ones that is not close to the possibilities.  What do you have to lose?  However, what if I am right, you have your whole life, freedom and piece of mind to gain.  I know about the addiction of Ambien among many other drugs.  Jesus is a healer and I deliver and I have a personal relationship and work for the Almighty.  Please call God wants you freed more than you want to be free.  He desires to deliver you from the grips of that drug.  My brother was addicted to crack/cocaine and alcohol and if he told you, you would not believe him.  God took it away in an instant, with no rehab.  He is now, with the help of God, a success.   I say all that to say, JUST TRY HIM.  Call the prayer line on Thursdays (soon will be more nights) 9:01pm EST (for the convenience for the ones whose cells are free after nine.)  The number is 269-320-8000 access code 688577#.  When you call the operator will ask you to state your name, but you don't have to, you can be anonymous. You can call and listen then I will ask for individual prayer requests, at that time you can still anonymously state your reason for prayer and no one will even know who you are.  DISCLOSURE: THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE, IF YOU WILL CALL TO HECKLE OR DISPROVE, PLEASE DON'T CALL.  THIS IS FOR THE ONES THAT IS WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE WITH THEIR LIVES.  I PROMISE YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Yours in Christ,

Minister Buchanan
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I am 32 and have been taking "something" everyday to help me to sleep since I was 19 but the last 4-5 years it has been ambien CR 1or2 12.5mg. I have taken it with pain meds I have taken it with xanax but mostly I just take it by its self. I have done super freaky things on it cleaned eaten have had sex and don't remember. Thank god I have never got behind the wheel. Other people have put that the love the feeling they get from it I hate it. The only thing I love is the sleep but now its not even doing that anymore so I'm done it scares me to think of what my body and mind are going to go through without it but it scares me more to think of what I'm don't staying on it this long. I have memory problem I Have gained 40 pounds and have withdrawn from my life and IM DONE! I want my life back. Reading all the stories have helped me so much thank you all for sharing. Today will be my 2 day without it so far so good.
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890982 tn?1259094785
I've been taking Ambien for about 10 years.  I never take more than the prescribed dose (10 Mg).  It helps me fall asleep but doesn't usually keep me there more than a few hours, so I often take 3 benadryls at bedtime, and save the Ambien for waking up in the middle of the night.

FWIW, I am an addict, a grateful member of AA since 1/24/1986.  I haven't found that my addiction to booze extends to painkillers or sleep aids, although I am careful not to increase dosage. The availability of anesthesia is a major blessing, and while I long ago blew the benefits of booze, I am grateful that others are still possible in case of need.

My most effective and reliable aid to well-being, health, sobriety and equanimity is running.  I've been running 40 or 50 miles a week for the last 18 years, and have participated in many beautiful trail runs of 50 kilometers and upward.  It's probably not for everyone, and I've been fortunate in resistance to injury.  I've found it the best stress-reducer ever, although, as most runners will tell you, it can be somewhat addictive!
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  I think some of the confusion in the messages going back and forth about whether a person who isn't addicted to Ambien can post or not, can be cleared up pretty quick. People are confusing chemical dependence to chemical addiction. It seems some are dependent upon Ambien to get some sleep at night but others are addicted to the anti-anxiety properties or the "high" they get when using Ambien.
  I personally appreciate hearing from those who take this drug in both manners as both points of view contain useful information. What I don't appreciate are the Prayer Line trollers who have nothing to add to this forum in that format! Please refrain from preaching on this forum. I have nothing againt God, just against people trying to snag members of this forum in that manner. Thanks.

LOKI
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I started taking ambien after a painfull surgery I had so I could sleep.  When I stopped taking it after about a week I had bad insomnia, so I continued.  Big Mistake.
I would not recommend this drug other than once a month.  I had to continually increase the dosage over time to get the same effect.  When it no longer worked even at 20mg, I knew I was f  ked excuse my french.  I went into a psyce word severly deprived from sleep and the usage of this drug and the negative effects it had on me...lethargia, poor memory, no appetite, anxiety, worsening of my depression.
All I can say is be very carefull, I am done with ambien, it ruined a better part of 3 years of my life.  Yes I still experience occasional insomnia, I just have to deal with it the best I can.  I know I need to increase exercise once again especially now with winter and fewer hours of daylight, I suffer from Sad, so I know when winter approches what I am up against.
Mandy, dont give up or anyone struggling with this drug.  I never thought I was going to have my life back again, when I was in the grips of it, I wanted to die I was so sick.  But I did get it back, and I do think it does have an effect on ones brain, because I have memory issues also.  But you will get there.  Keep the faith, dont stop the drug cold turkey , gradually decrease it over the weeks especially with the extremely higher doses.  I am extremely appalled at 100 mg usage of this stuff, I truly feel bad for anyone on this so high, but you have to do something about it or it is going to take over your life at some point if it hasnt already.
Please people dont dabble with this drug, BE CAREFULL!
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