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Effects - Will Ambien help to treat alcoholism?

Discussion in 'Downers and sleeping pills' started by VinoB, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. VinoB

    VinoB Mercury Member

    Reputation Points:
    Mar 16, 2011
    from U.S.A.
    I have a friend who has a very serious drinking problem and I know that they prescribe benzodiazepines to help calm the stress from the with drawls.

    Now I know this medication is a sleep aid and not ideal to treat this condition, but this is all this friend has at the moment as he ran of his colanzepam - But I know sedative hypnotics like this work in a similar way to benzos by bonding with your GABA receptors

    I'd hate for this friend to have a seizure and pass away. So will someone knowledge about Ambien let me know if these for work for alcohol withdrals?

    Thank you for your time.
  2. Potter

    Potter Platinum Member & Advisor

    Reputation Points:
    Apr 1, 2005
    from U.S.A.
    call your doctor.
  3. moke64916

    moke64916 Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Oct 5, 2010
    from Texas, U.S.A.
    No. Believe me. My dad drank more because of ambien withdrawals. One time bobs friend picked up his dad at the gas station. The cops were there. Turns out he was on ambien sitting at the gas station for 1hour then phoned the police saying there were three masked arm robbers holding people hostage at the gas station. The reality was that there was nobody at the gas station in the first place. Just the cashier. No customers, people whatsoever. Luckily the police have seen this kind of behwvior all the time with people on ambien. They let him go. Because they knew it was just the ambient. And he wasn't conscious of any of his actions he took that night. Best thing for alcohol withdrawals is to get prescribed to librium. Best detox benzo for alcoholism at least at the detox places and hospitals bobs friend has been to.
  4. Troppo

    Troppo Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 17, 2010
    from Australia
    Besides bizarre reactions, zolpidem/Ambien is also very short acting, so its levels in the system vary quickly. This alone could make it a poor choice for alcohol withdrawals, unless it could be administered very frequently, which would have to be kept up for days since alcohol withdrawals take time to go away even if treated. Drugs like these also don't affect the GABA receptors exactly the same way as benzodiazepines, so they may be less useful for alcohol withdrawal due to that.

    Diazepam (Valium) is the drug of choice for alcohol withdrawal treatment here in Australia, and it is similar to Librium due to being a very long acting benzo. Either of these would be better than something like Ambien, and your friend should be able to get treated with them simply by declaring himself a serious alcoholic at a hospital emergency department. If he could wait a bit longer, a general practicioner or alcohol treatment clinic could also help with this. Basically they HAVE to give treatment, due to alcohol withdrawal being recognised as a potentially deadly medical situation.
  5. miffytherabbit

    miffytherabbit Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Nov 2, 2009
    43 y/o from U.K.
    As other posters have sensibly pointed out, it's essential that your friend consult medical professional on this matter. Z-Drugs are not suitable for alcohol withdrawal, especially as, compared to Diazepam or Chlordiazepoxide, they have a relatively short half life and it would be nigh-on impossible to structure a dosing regime that would safely eliminate the risk of convulsions.

    Further, another poster correctly asserted that Z-Drugs can reinforce alcohol-seeking behaviour, which in the event would make two problems instead of one. I do not recommend what I am about to say to say for a moment but in theory it would be safer that your friend continue an alcohol intake rather than mess about with Z-Drugs in such an unstructured and unsupervised manner.

    My best friend died of alcoholism. Once, on a visit to his house, I found him on the floor on the verge of a convulsion. I telephoned his brother who was a doctor and he ordered me to get some spirits from a neighbour, which I did and he drank this from the bottle with a straw. The ambulance took forty minutes to arrive. The paramedic said that his brother's advice may well have saved my friend's life. He then went in to rehab, but relapsed again shortly after.

    Having to give my best friend the very thing that was killing him was a horrible experience, but it taps into the theory that giving him a Z-Drug will be an incredibly short-term and unreliable fix - taken to stave off convulsions or DT's, which paradoxically alcohol would do anyway. This is why it is absolutely crucial that this person receives immediate and complete care from medics and doctors who can put in place a detoxification plan that will mitigate the risks associated with abrupt withdrawal.

    Good luck.
  6. IAmAnAussieFromBrissy!

    IAmAnAussieFromBrissy! Newbie

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    Jul 16, 2011
    27 y/o from Australia

    Hello sir!