Sleep… it’s a natural and necessary bodily function. You brain and body know what it needs. You need to trust that fact. People have grown to embrace what the world has to offer, rather than to receive those things that God naturally gives to us. The world, in the spirit of money and greed, has used the media’s power to brainwash – through repetition and subliminal feeds. In this manner, it can indoctrinate the public into believing there’s a quick fix to everything and anything. Know this reality: everything that matters is worth spending a little time waiting for.
Sleep will come. It has to. Let your body rule your sleep – not pills. Medication leads to dependence. Dependence leads to addiction. Addiction leads to suffering and and your untimely death. You are simply trying to trust the medical community out there rather than God. Doctors and Big Pharma are filled with greed. They work hard at convincing the public – YOU – that you absolutely need sleeping pills or your life will become unbearable. Don’t believe those who are just trying to make money on you! Give your rational mind the opportunity to make sense out of an industry that is destroying lives and killing people. Your peace will never ever come from a pill; it comes from Jesus Christ and Him alone.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL sleeping medications are similar in respect to dangerous side effects and ultimate death. I’m using ambien as an example because it is so popular.
What Is Ambien?
When taken for prolonged periods of time – even at a prescribed dose – Ambien use can be habit-forming.
Ambien is a brand name for zolpidem tartrate, a sedative drug that is prescribed to treat insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep).
Other brand name formulations containing zolpidem include:
Edluar – a sublingual tablet.
Intermezzo – a sublingual tablet available in different doses.
ZolpiMist – an oral spray formulation.
As a short-acting, non-benzodiazepine hypnotic drug, Ambien is effective in initiating and maintaining sleep.
When taken as prescribed by a doctor, zolpidem allegedly helps patients with insomnia. However, it also caused undesired side effects–especially in those who abuse it.
Remember that abuse can be ‘accidental’ because you made the (unknowingly) lethal decision to trust your doctor.
The unwanted effects of Ambien use differ between individuals, but may include:
Nausea and vomiting.
Delusions or hallucinations.
Amnesia or short-term memory loss.
* Concerns about next-day drowsiness are particularly pronounced for extended-release formulations of zolpidem such as Ambien CR.
In 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its labeling requirements for zolpidem to recommend lower initial doses to avoid next-day impairment and to warn patients taking extended-release formulations not to drive or undertake other dangerous activities the day after taking the medication.
Effects of Ambien Abuse
- Ambien abuse can lead to a number of negative consequences, which include:
- Physical dependence.
- Withdrawal symptoms.
- The risk of overdose–potentiated when taken in a setting of other substances such as alcohol or other medications.
Dependence, which can eventually result from prolonged abuse, is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress manifested by such signs as tolerance, withdrawal, a persistent desire to use Ambien, unsuccessful efforts to stop using the drug, and large amounts of time spent acquiring the drug.
When you’ve become dependent on Ambien, you’re may meet diagnostic criteria for a substance addiction (or “substance use disorder”).
American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V identifies some of the symptoms of a sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder as:
- Taking the drug for longer than intended.
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or cease use.
- Compulsive desire to obtain the substance.
- Abandonment of once-enjoyed activities in favor of obtaining and using the substance.
- Continued use despite negative social, interpersonal, legal, or financial consequences caused by Ambien use.
Overdose is a common danger associated with the abuse of many drugs, including zolpidem. Overdose may be an accidental consequence of trying to achieve a more intense high or overcome tolerance to the drug. Additionally, an overdose is more likely to occur when an individual has taken Ambien in addition to drinking alcohol, or consuming other intoxicating substances.
Another consideration is that sometimes after taking Ambien, patients’ memory and cognition are impaired, causing them to forget having taken the pill. If they do not remember the first dose and ingest more, they are at risk for an overdose.
Symptoms of Ambien overdose include:
- Excessive drowsiness.
- Dangerously slowed breathing.
- Bradycardia, or slow heart rate.
- Withdrawal Symptoms
Abrupt cessation of Ambien can cause withdrawal symptoms, especially after using the drug for a prolonged period of time and at high dosages. Withdrawal symptoms may last for weeks depending on the degree of use.
Withdrawal symptoms in someone abusing Ambien may include:
- Agitation and irritability.
- In severe instances, convulsions or seizures.
Seizures, if present during withdrawal, can present a medical emergency. Evaluation by a qualified medical professional is highly recommended prior to attempting to detox from Ambien. Withdrawal shouldn’t be attempted on one’s own if the risk of seizure exists–a period of closely monitored, or medically supervised detox/withdrawal will be necessary. Call 911 and get to the hospital… do not drive yourself!
Who’s Abusing Ambien?
Some relevant statistics about Ambien abuse in the US include the following:
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated that in 2013, more than 250,000 people were abusing Ambien and other sedatives.
According to a report by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), the number of emergency-room (ER) visits attributed to the misuse or overdose of Ambien increased from 6,111 in 2005 to over 19,000 in 2010.
More than two thirds (68%) of zolpidem-related ER patients are women.
Patients over 45 years old accounted for 74% of ER visits due to Ambien use.
Half of zolpidem-related ER visits involved combinations with other drugs, especially narcotic analgesics (26%) and other sleeping or anti-anxiety medications (16%).