Ambien Addiction... HELP!

Discussion in 'Downers addiction' started by Nicaine, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    This one may be hard to understand for some people... in fact, for most people who have stuck to using Ambien "as prescribed" for sleep. For those who have tried fighting off the "knockout" effect for awhile, some of you will be closer (to varying degrees) to understanding what's going on with SWIM.

    I believe he has a mild physical addiction to Ambien (i.e. dysphoria, mild anxiety, stomach pains if he goes without) but he has never before experienced a stronger *psychological* addiction to any substance... ever!

    I have recently taken to dropping 5mg Ambien in his cup of morning tea! Not to mention eating 'em like candy during the day, because he gets this peaceful/relaxed yet energized euphoria. Maybe he needs to look into frickin' alcohol! A few beers or something... :rolleyes:

    SWIM refilled his Ambien script (30 tablets) on the 19th, which was four days ago. He is now down to 2 1/2 tablets. That means he went through seven tablets/day (up from four/day on his last prescription). If the physical part of the addiction is mild, it sure won't remain so for long at this rate.

    I will be seeing his doctor on the 24th (tomorrow) and is going to request a switch to Lunesta. He thinks his doctor will go for it, as (A) it's FDA approved for long-term use, and (B) its half-life is 6 hours, which means you don't need to keep taking it and taking it and taking it and TAKING IT just to stay asleep, let alone for its relaxing/energizing qualities during the day.

    I will have to break this addiction, but in the meantime he's grasping at straws... like trying to cash out on some stuff so he can order from ridiculously pricey U.S. online pharmacies. If that doesn't work, he's fully willing to go "doctor shopping" & pay full retail price for Ambien tablets.

    Help...? :(
     
  2. Kristy

    Kristy Newbie

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    Wow, you's tolerance must be sky high!

    A while ago I got 100 Ambien (Zolpidem) from an IOP and took them every night, I think I was probably addicted too but when they ran out SWIM just didnt get any more.

    Has I tried to go without his Ambien at all?? Sounds like You could just gradually reduce his dosage to 0 and see how he feels then??

    I do know the effect from Ambien that You is referring too, but SWIM only took small doses so probably never experienced as profound as an effect as you.

    Sorry SWIM cant be of more help!
     
  3. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    Reducing dosage may be the best option if You has the self control to do so. I am wondering if ambien's similarity to benzo's would make it harmful to quit cold turkey. Is You able to go a day without ambien? If so, did he suffer physical withdrawal symptoms? If there was no withdrawal, then cold turkey may have to be the way to go. Lunesta may help for a while but You is really going to need to set some limits on how much he uses ahead of time. Rozerem (sp?) is another option You may want to look into for insomnia. It is related to the melotonin molecule and induces sleep that way...so its not like the GABA-ergic sleeping pills at all. From what SWIM hears Rozerem is pretty non-addictive, and indeed not intoxicating at all. It does help with sleep, but it is more mild and subtle; sleep seems to come more naturally with it than ambien so perhaps the lack of a perceptible "high" would discourage abuse.
     
  4. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    SWIM discussed this a bit further in his Lunesta experience report(s) thread... he thinks he's just going to drop Ambien like a hot stone, solving the problem. Otherwise he's headed into a very, very bad situation. He does appreciate everyone's input...

    P.S. in response to one specific question, SWIM ran out of Ambien last night and did experience some physical withdrawals today, but they weren't serious (he thinks it would take a lot more than 50-60 mg/day, given how short-acting zolpidem is). For the curious -- the symptoms are watery eyes, chills, sweating, stomach ache and anxiety/agitation. It actually feels a lot like mild opiate withdrawal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006
  5. AchaeaPerson

    AchaeaPerson Silver Member

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    SWIA had EXACTLY the same problem as SWIN about two weeks ago, and also ended up switching to Lunesta (which he had been on before he switched to Ambien.) SWIA was also forced to go cold-turkey, and it was a pretty difficult experience. What dosage of Lunesta is SWIN taking nightly? All SWIA really has to say is that he wishes you the best of luck in getting off the stuff, and hopes that the experience isn't as difficult for SWIN as it was for SWIA.
     
  6. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    Theoretically 3mg, but SWIM's gonna see if he can get to sleep on 1.5mg or so (which would help make the stuff last longer).
    Well... (A) I have little choice, unless he wants to "doctor shop" and get 10 tablets here & 15 there at full retail price (not worth spending every spare cent or risking getting busted). (B) It's mostly psychological, and I have dealt with a lot of psychological dependency in his day... enough so he's pretty experienced at dealing with it and it's rarely a terrible experience anymore. He's also got Klonopin (legally prescribed) which will help further. I say thanks for the well wishes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006
  7. AchaeaPerson

    AchaeaPerson Silver Member

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    SWIN is prescribed for 3mg, but is going to try 1.5? Sheesh, SWIA can't get to sleep with any less than 6mg, but if SWIN is assisting the process with Klonopin then SWIN'd probably need less.
     
  8. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    Tomorrow begins day 3 of SWIM's cold turkey off Ambien. The last couple days have been unpleasant, but no really serious or dangerous symptoms have cropped up. Most gratefully, the time has been going by very quickly and SWIM looks forward to the end of this bullsh*t at around the one-week point.

    Withdrawal was worse today than yesterday, but hopefully has peaked. Most common symptoms have been muscle twitching, minor dizziness with eye movements, anger/aggression and unpredictable bouts of extreme agitation that come on suddenly and go away gradually. Also insomnia, of course... I have not slept in about 48 hours at this point, despite the use of Lunesta. He hopes he gets some sleep tonight, he will try a higher dose of Lunesta (thanks, AchaeaPerson... SWIM meant 1.5mg *after* he gets over the Ambien, not before).
     
  9. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    A combination of 4.5mg Lunesta and some "positive thinking" finally got SWIM to sleep, and kept him asleep for about 01:45. After which he woke up in an agitated state, and another 1.5mg (total 6mg) was not enough to put him back to sleep.

    Don't get SWIM wrong, he's very grateful for having gotten even this much sleep... he just decided to get out of bed, have a cup of herb tea & see if he can shake off this agitated feeling enough to be able to sleep some more. If necessary, he'll try another 3mg of Lunesta (although 9mg is really pushing the bounds of how much he's willing to take, he could do it once as a special occasion sort of thing). He will also take a few mg of melatonin in hopes that adds to the overall effect.

    Note that the taste in SWIM's mouth is bad enough to have Satan projectile-vomiting right about now. I recommend most people stay the hell away from Lunesta.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  10. AchaeaPerson

    AchaeaPerson Silver Member

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    SWIN could try crushing however much Lunesta he plans to take and parachuting it, (although he should be VERY SURE he uses slightly more tissue paper than he thinks he needs, because if he ends up with any amount of powdered Lunesta, let alone multiple mg of the stuff in his mouth, getting to sleep will be the least of his worries) which SWIA does when using it to go to sleep after taking stimulants;
    it seems to hit him faster and stronger than just swallowing the pills, although this could be the placebo effect. When SWIA does it, he uses anywhere from 3-6mg, and it usually gets him to sleep without fail. Be aware, though, that when SWIA does this, the 'visual disturbances' are more pronounced, it shouldn't be anything to worry about, just didn't want SWIN to be caught off-guard.

    SWIA would also recommend that instead of redosing 1.5mg (which SWIA isn't sure if SWIN is doing, but it seemed like it might be from SWINs last post) until SWIN is able to fall asleep, that he take as much as he thinks he will need at once, because the time to peak plasma concentration of Eszopiclone is one hour, so if SWIN took 1.5mg, then half an hour later decided it wasn't enough and took 1.5mg more, when the first dose was reaching its full effects, the second doses effects would still be increasing, and when the second dose reached its full effects, the first doses effects would already be decreasing.

    Lastly, as far as not wanting to take 9mg at once, SWIA has taken up to nearly 30mg with no negative effects or evidence of toxicity; unless SWINs concern is limited supply, not possible toxicity, in which case SWIA understands not wanting to take it in excess. If SWIN has any specific questions regarding Lunesta, feel free to PM me, as SWIA has been taking Lunesta for quite a while, and is quite experienced with its effects.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2015
  11. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    Thanks Achaea, SWIM appreciates the advice. He managed to fall back asleep, & then overslept until 2:30PM today. Not a bad thing, but it will make it more difficult to get back to sleep again tonight.

    P.S. yeah, the concern with Lunesta is supply more than OD'ing. I am limited to 30 tablets/month, so he has to be careful to conserve.
     
  12. OccularFantasm

    OccularFantasm Silver Member

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    I have insomnia 90% of the time and also has had to get off many a pills. As far as ambien goes the tolerence builds incredibly fast. Luckily the withdrawl isnt that bad.

    Swim thinks this withdrawl would be multiplied by the sharp lessening of sleep mixed with a probable headache. I would advise smoking a giant blunt before bed. I do this and brings a lil blunt to bed with him. If swim wakes up too early I will just light up the other blunt.
    If You is worried about legality here and wants to go for the pill approach, then I could advise a couple different pills. Thorazine is fast and easy and gaurenteed you will be able to oversleep weather you want to or not.

    It would also make a difference if swyi was having trouble getting tired or just trouble sleeping, as different drugs would help these conditions. take between .6 and 1.2 grams of gabapentin if this is a one time thing. this drug is bad for continued use, although it will make you in a permastoned condition, the tolerence builds faster than any other drug I has ever taken. Also the withdrawl would be about 100 times worse than ambien.

    Depakote works similar. Klonopin I couldnt tell the difference bewteen taking it and not, even if swim were to take it in the middle of the day. As far as rozerem goes, I has never tried it but in the commercial they say may effect some hormones. With this I would hypothesise that this drug will do more harm than good.

    Alcohol is no good becuase your sleep will not be restful, not to mention the hangover the next day will be no better than the withdrawal the day before. vicodin and oxycontin work well but again, you want a drug with not as bad withdrawal, and these definately have signifigantly worse. I find some helpfulness when he smokes some salvia.
    I find sort of a mind soothing opiate buzz. Also has swyi tried taking any kava or magnesium before bed, these could potentiate the effects of whatever you decide to take and will probably help with the sleep, as well as anxiety.

    Oh yeah swim almost forgot if swyi injects some haloperidol swyi will sleep very hard. This also occurs with risperidal. The downside with these is noticable pschological changes with constant mild hallucinations. Altho this could be fun depending on your mood. If none of these work, go to a psych hospital, act up, and enjoy the mystery cocktail they inject you with. The downside to this is your locked up under constant surveilance, and this could be intimidating without weed. So all in all, swim guesses he advises some weed, opium, magnesium, and kava.

    Oh swim almost forgot (damn swims adhd) that if swiy's main trouble is more sleep regulation then perhaps mushrooms would better suit you. I has had great success taking between a half eighth and an eighth of psilocybe cubenis around 9PM. Swim noticed taking them earlier that since the effects woud wear off before bed I was actually fairly energized. I did find however when taking it later, by the time swimw as rewady to sleep I had to wait to stop tripping.

    This works for swim, hopefully it'll work for swyi too. Oh almost forgot again if mushrooms are not taken with lotsa weed then the effects are totally different. I use lots of weed everyday so incorporate anything I say with that supplemental information. As with the mushrooms weed will potentiate the trip as well as add a calming effect.

    Alright swim cant rememeber what he's typing about so swim out. Damn swim guesses that I was about a year too late on this post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2015
  13. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    Thanks for the reply... this was an old post/thread though, I haven't taken any Ambien since last December.
     
  14. allyourbase

    allyourbase Palladium Member

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    when I was younger he loved ambien. but after a year or so of taking it very sporadicly say maybe once or twice a month, swim developed an aversion to it. it causes some very severe discomfort in swim. it starts out with a tingling of the skin similar to extasy, then ratchets up to feeling like one is being crawled upon by millions of centipedes. I will then have problems breathing followed by bouts of projectile vomiting...often black vomit regardless of what I has eaten. thus, swim no longer likes ambien, and encourages others not to take it.
     
  15. eltimmy

    eltimmy Silver Member

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    Ambien (and the other new-generation prescription sleep meds) affect the activity of a receptor called GABA-A. Now, pretty much anything that touches GABA, from benzodiazepines to alcohol to GHB to chamomile tea to these medications, have a possibility of tolerance/withdrawal.

    If I have studied benzo/alcohol withdrawal some, you know that the effect is strongly physical and toxic. Reactions could include seizure and death at the most extreme.

    In the future, I should know that cold turkey with these meds is not a good idea. One way to deal with the problem is to titrate the dose downwards slowly. As I suggested above, things that stimulate GABA in a mild way are also a good idea. Chamomile, L-theanine, meditation, tiny doses of GHB, valerian and phenibut could all suffice for a time, if it could be ensured that the individual in question would not develop toxic use patterns with regard to these substances.
     
  16. cyndi

    cyndi R.I.P. Silver Member

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    Swim also had gotten dependent on ambien for a while as I had always had issues with insomnia. I didn't misuse it, but felt she needed it to sleep. The commercials are misleading as the wds are very benzo like if one has ever went through that lovely experience. However, not as long. Benzo wds can last a looooong time as wds from ambien last usually 4 days max depending on how much is used. Be careful with Lunesta, it was available in Europe before coming to the us, under a different name which escapes me at the moment. But it too can be habit forming. I didn't care for the after taste so never got dependent on Lunesta. Rozerem is a lot like Melatonin and didn't help swim sleep:(