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“The Devil’s Aspirin”

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“The Devil’s Aspirin”

Addiction and Ambien “The Devil’s Aspirin”
Addiction and Ambien “The Devil’s Aspirin”
The January issue of Marie Claire included an article about a woman who began taking Ambien for sleep deprivation after the birth of her daughter but ended up addicted to it. She describes shame in being addicted to the sleep aide, as it relates to Charlie Sheen rejecting the pill as he has openly called Ambien, “the devil’s aspirin”. The woman admits that she did not take Ambien as prescribed, “5 minutes before bed,” but instead would take it and stay awake. The activities she participated in while intoxicated with Ambien left her feeling ashamed and unclear about what had really taken place. She would wake up to emails she sent, spent thousands of dollars Internet shopping and gained 25 pounds from uncontrollable eating throughout the night (none of which she remembered).  Her husband eventually left her. Ambien is a sleep aid which is prescribed by doctors and is meant for short term (up to 6 weeks) use only. It can be extremely unhealthy for a person to become reliant on the pill for sleep. Ambien replaces the natural sleep cycle by artificially inducing sleep. Side effects of Ambein are hallucinations, sleepwalking and amnesia. Getting off Ambien once the body is dependent is much like detoxing from other similar substances. Detoxing from Ambien should be monitored under the supervision of a medical doctor just like in a drug detox center. Sleep issues should be addressed with behavioral interventions such as meditation and relaxation techniques. Medication for sleep should never be the first option for treatment as addiction can arise.  Drug rehab and addiction treatment should not be a side effect of trying resolving sleep issues.


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