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Message Board > Other Prescription Drugs > Ambien Is Ruining My Life.

Posted by: ambionica August 28, 2008, 2:05 AM
've been addicted to Ambien for 6 years now. I'm 23 and I have been known to go through 15 or 20 in one night. I also pop them two or three at a time to take the edge off any anxiety and for fun of course. I can't meet new people without it and I am out of control. Every time i go to the doctor i swear i'm going to tell him the truth and never have a script again but i panic and never go through with it. I've bought it through online pharmacies, stolen it from my Mom's medicine cabinet and even though i've done some terrifying and destructive things on it nobody knows about my problem. (driving, excessive drinking, suicide attemot that nobody found out about) Nobody, including my boyfriend even knows i have a prescription. I am so lost and i am so afraid i've destroyed my brain. No short term memory and i used to be really sharp. I never meant it to be this way, i never did drugs before and i only do now because when i don't have ambien i mix klonopin and alcohol to bide the time between refills.This of course can also be substitued with any benzos or opiates, cocaine etc... But Ambien is still what i crave always and i'm not right without it. I don't know anyone else that's like me. At least junkies and alcoholics have comrades. WHO is dependant on AMBIEN???!!! I'm not even a real person anymore. I just want to know if anyone eats these pills like PEZ too so i can get a grasp on this overwhelming problem. Thanks.

Posted by: chellebeans August 29, 2008, 8:35 AM
Hi there. I, too, have been addicted to Ambien. It is a terrible drug that should be banned, in my opinion. I started using Ambien in 1999 when I started working shift work. At first it was fine. I only took them when I worked graveyard. Then in 2001, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and put on some pretty heavy narcotics, which led to a major addiction. I come to find that, between my doses of pain pills, that I could use the Ambien to abide my time. I am now working hard to overcome my addictions. I have to. I've decided it's either life or death and if I keep taking Ambien, I'm going to die or cause someone else to die. Ambien is a hypnotic and people do things on this medicine that they normally wouldn't. I've wrecked my car three times in the past year while taking Ambien, not to mention the close calls I've had. This last time was my wake up call. I have decided to quit and I really feel that I will be successful because I feel different for some reason. I can't explain it. My doctor started me on imipramine (a tricyclic antidepressent) about a month ago and I am honestly feeling better than I have in a long time. I'm not having any pain and, for the first time in many, many years, I am able to turn my light out at night and have a peaceful, full night's sleep. I can't tell you how wonderful that feels. I also decided to give my problems to the Lord and that has changed my whole line of thinking. I wish I could tell you what the magic answer is, but everyone is different. I know your scared, but you have to come clean with your doctor. If they're any caring doctor, they will do everything in their power to help you. I have found that any addiction is there to cover up an underlying problem. You have to figure out what that problem is and start to deal with it. Otherwise you will be battling addictions for a long time. Like I said, Ambien is a nasty, nasty drug and I think it should be banned. There's reports all over the news about people sleep driving or doing other things that they have no memory of. It's dangerous. I know what you're feeling, but please get some help. Don't ruin 10 years of your life like I did. Take control over this now before something bad happens and you end up in jail, the hospital, and, God forbid, the morgue. I'm available if you would like to talk. Take care.


Posted by: ambionica August 30, 2008, 5:27 PM
Thank you Michelle. That's my Mom's name so your words were extra comforting. I am still not ready to tell everyone i know that i'm an addict but i know my doctor is the first step. I have an appointment in a month. I was wondering if you could tell me if you feel like your short term memory and general concentration have bounced back since your recovery. I am so hopeful that this fog i'm in is all related to the drug even when i'm not on it because i'm always in a limbo wating for more pills. I'm not even sure i have insomnia anymore so its not even about sleep. I'd rather not sleep for a few weeks and be well before i start my career, family, life etc... Thank you for your encouragement. I'll keep posting here for support however distant it may be because this is the first ad ONLY time I've told the truth about this.

Posted by: chellebeans September 5, 2008, 2:54 PM
I'm glad you feel some comfort. Keeping all this to yourself is horrible. You feel like you must be crazy because you can't imagine anyone else feeling the way you do. That's how I felt. I come from a very kind, normal family and I have always been a strong person, so for this to happen to me made me feel so ashamed. Just know this: it's not your fault. You did not go out and seek this disease. It is what it is. Some people's brain is just wired differently. You've taken the first step in recognizing and admitting that you have a problem. Now, you just have to fix it (sounds easy, huh?) As far as your questions, my memory has started to return to a somewhat normal state. Some of it is scary, though, when I start to realize what the Ambien made me do. My gosh, I could have killed someone!!!! My sleep has also improved. I think a lot of that had to do with the Imipramine, which is an antidepressent, that I take before bed. If you decide to go the antidepressent route, ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. I've never had success on them before because they were being prescribed by my family doctor who doesn't know a lot about depression. A psychiatrist can prescribe much more than the recommended dosage, which is what finally worked for me. It was scary at first taking that much, but it seems to be working so I'm not going to mess with it. Stay strong and if you like, I can create an email account so we can chat directly. The only email I really use now is my work one, and I really don't want this kind of talk going on here (never know who is watching).

Posted by: ambionica September 18, 2008, 4:07 AM
I've created a Gmail if you wish to e-mail me about this issue. Thank you again for your input.

Posted by: chellebeans September 22, 2008, 9:44 AM
I have sent you an email

Posted by: Nichole January 15, 2009, 12:48 PM
Hey, you are not a freak and you are certainly not alone. I guess I am a garbage head because I will honestly take anything that will alter my mood. ambien was my drug of choice for several months and I too would take 10 or 15 a day. This drug never put me to sleep, just made me feel stoned and I would also do some very strange things while taking it. It has a strong amnesic quality about it so that is why you are in such a fog. It did terrible things to my memory, and i finally got tired of it and switched to something that really made me go to sleep.

Posted by: Zipper February 19, 2009, 6:09 PM
I am so glad to see people posting about ambien! I agree, it needs to be taken off the market, in my humble opinion. I got my 2nd DUI while on Ambien...nothing else but 2 ambien that I took before bed. Next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed, crashed my car, totalled someone else's car, and ended up in the psych unit and rehab. That was in September 2006. I ended up even doing ten days in jail for the 2nd DUI.

Ambien is hypnotic and some folks (like me) can't metabolize it properly and they go into an amnesia state. It is scary stuff.

I am over on the alcohol boards mostly but just wanted to stop in and give me .02 cents.

Posted by: Court March 30, 2009, 10:30 PM
You're not crazy and not a freak.I was on 20mgs a night for 3 or 4 years but I found it very helpful in social pressure situations and high stress days at work.I too have gone through 30 in 3 days.I've been clean now for 1 month.I crave it like you do and am staying in recovery to keep myself clean.

Posted by: chellebeans May 29, 2009, 11:30 PM
IMO, Ambien should be taken off the market. I got arrested for stealing a friend's pills while being on Ambien. I drove to her house and took them and don't even remember it. That was in December and my case goes to court in October. I've done some research on it and it's pretty scary. People are driving all over the place and have no clue what they're doing. I think we should find a way to petition the FDA to ban it.

Posted by: kafo June 2, 2009, 10:40 AM
I totally agree about the market ban. Ambien was my last drug of choice and it almost killed me. At the end I was taking up to 70mg, and since it's a short acting
drug, I was in withdrawl when I was using. Totally messed up using a drug that makes you comatose. But I wanted to just fade away from the pain I was feeling and ambien was just the answer. Really crazy. It was pure hell going thru withdrawl, I was jittery, anxious, sick, my muscles were all cramped up. I lost 20 lbs quickly and no sleep for a long time.
Well today marks 5 yrs clean. I live in fear of relapse, so I cling closely to my sobriety.
I wish you well. This board was helpful to me when I first started. Today, I have a great sponsor, AA and my family to support me, but it's a daily thing. I still get cravings and want to fade away, but to returning to that hell keeps me sober.

Posted by: chellebeans June 4, 2009, 7:05 PM
I was more addicted to pain pills than the Ambien, but I was still addicted to it. It was a way to escape and not care about anything. It was scary waking up, though, when you realized the things you did while taking it.

I had a major breakthrough yesterday. I haven't taken any since December and I found a sandwich bag full of Ambien. I through away the whole bag. Didn't even want them. That felt so powerful.

Posted by: kafo June 8, 2009, 9:53 PM
Good for you!!! Big step. I wish the best for you. Life is so beautiful to turn away, we have such little time here. Enjoy everyday!

Posted by: Kim j February 5, 2013, 4:23 PM
Its great youre out here talking about it and getting (hopefully got by now) help but I dont understand the people saying ban it. Nobody is forcing you to take it... Personally, if I didn't have it I would go weeks on end with little to no sleep making it impossible to function. Have I done some weird stuff on it? Sure. But I'd rather have that then the insomnia. If you dont, then dont take it but it doesn't mean it should be banned. Just my thoughts

Posted by: Mattie June 16, 2013, 10:28 PM
I have also been addicted to ambien for ages. Chronic insomnia is cured with it so it is the best medicine in my opinion. Unfortunately, an ex and I used them to snort for the dreamlike effects and euphoria that results. Once you do this, seems there is no turning back. It becomes recreational...

I did pop something like 10 a day years ago and that led to accidents. Now maybe a bad day I take 5. But I'm taking maybe 2 a day on average. Still snorting them... They are so much fun to take I'm attempting to switch to Lunesta since it has no buzz. That really seems to be the way to get off ambien. I feel for your addiction... I wouldn't tell the doctor he'll probably stop giving it to you - maybe ask to try Lunesta out and try to avoid that dreamlike euphoria that sucks away our lives...

Posted by: tracey July 7, 2013, 2:49 AM
I too have had an ambien problem for about 11 yrs. had depression and anxiety and was going through a rough time so the dr prescribed it for me and ever since it has ruled my life. I get my pills . use them all up in a few days then count down the days until I can get more. I have found ways to get a 30 day script taken it to a pharmacy and then put it on auto fill and everytime it runs out of refills the pharmacy calls the drs office for me and gets more in the mean time I tell the dr I want a 90 day supply to mail out because its cheaper. he always gives it to me and refills the autos. I recently was getting ready to go on vacation and was afraid I would run out while gone. of course in my head the 30 day supply I picked up about a week before I left would be enough o yea that always works out. when it was running out I paniced asked the dr for a 90 day supply so I could have it mailed out. I took it to one pharmacy and they declined it saying I had it filled somewhere else usally too when you take 90 day scripts to a regular pharmacy they will only fill 30 at a time. of course I told them I had no ins so it couldn't be ran through ins but they caught it anyway so I took it to the next pharmacy they filled it and for the 90 days. when I got home. my auto fill was ready I picked it up. and I got a call from the first pharmacy that had turned me down before I left that said they had my ambien script ready . im thinking how could this be I asked for it back when they refused and got it filled at the other place. but they filled it and I obliged by picking it up. I also had doubled filled a script to klonopin before this and was caught and got a registered letter from my doctor saying it was brought to his attention what happened. damned one pharmacy turned me in. lol it said that from now on he would only call in 30 at a time once a month and it would have to be at the same pharmacy every time. I thought well ill just do without I still have my ambien. well I tried to refill it at the auto fill and the dr turned it down now realizing I had a 90 day one out there. and his office did some checking and found I had it filled aone pharmacy and at the pharmacy that filled it whose prescription I had taken and them filling it was as big as surprise for me as it was to anyone and they found I had filled 90 days of them in may. so too many prescriptions too soon overlapping each other. so now I am scared to death that I have finally ruined my life and will end up in jail or something. I did not doctor shop. the same doctor wrote the scripts when I asked for them every time for 11 years. his nurse called and said he was done writing any scripts for me for controlled substances. some I never even took. I apologied profusely and even wrote the dr a note explaining my desperastion , problems in my life that the drugs took away etc. the nurse said he wasn't mad at me when I asked and she said I wasn't the first one to do this and wouldn't be the last. I asked her if I was going to jail and she said no but the dr didn't want the dea knocking on his door. whih I understand. she said he would keep me as a patient but would not discuss this over the phone it would have to be during an appointment. which he has put in a new computer system and is not even scheduling appoints til august. there is always a long wait to get in to see him so with no one being able to even schedule anything until august I can only imagine how backed up he will be. they said they put me on a waiting list. I am determined to never do this again, but the craving for them scares the crap out of me. I just want to live a normal life again. and im afraid I have ruined it. I never doctor shopped, altered scripts or stole prescription pads to obtain these meds. the doctor wrote everyone himself. so I need an opinion. am I in deep trouble with the law? I even had myself believing I was doing nothing wrong because my doctor wrote the scrips. am I in trouble? is the doctor in trouble? I cant be in trouble I have a 27 yr old disabled child I have to be here at all times to take care of . someone please help me. I am going crazy and scared. thankyou tracey

Posted by: Debe December 11, 2013, 4:42 AM
I wanted to reply to Kim who thinks its that easy if you just do not take the ambien. I encourage you to read much more on ambien and how people have ruined their life with it. This hypnotic needs to be gone from everybody once and for all. I could tell you how I have destroyed my life with it and I am still taking it. I did do 6 months in jail and I hurt my family over and over again. My family did not know what to do so they became codependent. I have no memory of what I did when I got arrested in my own home but my family will never forget or forgive me. My husband of 20 years has filed for a divorce . I would be in a drug rehab right this very minute if I did not have a long list of things I need to do to save my nursing license and deal with-all of the things you have to do when you are getting a divorce. I still have a restraining order so I can not go near my home and my family. I would just like to write 1 letter to my daughter my husband and my dad to tell them how sorry I am and how much I need them now so I feel supported when I go into the residential program but that is not allowed. I thought 20 years being married I would have been able been told by him and have that discussion that comes with that. I had not taken any ambien while I was in jail and did not plan on it either but I can not sleep even with using the ambien. I would say now it does not work or even come close to what effect it had on me before. I have only a couple of times taken over the prescribed amount of 10 mg. Yes I was so ready for get help when I got out of jail but I have lost everything or should I say everybody. When my friends found out what happened either their husband said they did not want me around or it was to depressing to be around me. I know if I could have that 1 conversation or letter to write to my family they would know I would not choose the drugs over them and together we could get through this. I can not change what I let ambien do to me but we call can do something about making them take ambien off the market. I may only be taking ambien now every once in awhile but I wonder if I refilled my RX of ambien for that 1 last time.

Posted by: Saucy April 2, 2014, 6:47 AM
I have fortunately never put my husband or myself in danger by trying to drive or even leave our home while high on ambien or anything. I only take it at bedtime. However, since I never had a prescription (the ambien was originally given to me by friends to bring me down after nights of cocaine usage). I work nights so I can stay up all night and sleep though the day. I am now up to 100 mgs ambien/night and not one medical doctor or psychologist who I have approached will help me come up with a tapering plan and have even refused to medically treat me. My husband is at his wits end financially with my problem and we can't afford a rehab center, so I came up with my own tapering plan with my husband and am now down to 70 1/2 mg per night, but my nemisis remains cocaine. I just love to do it (as does my husband) and as I taper down my dosage of ambien, I have come to realize that I have to choose between one or the other, because they cancel out one another. Has anyone experienced a cocaine vs. ambien dual and how did you overcome it? What do you do when you have a spouse who wants you to quit one drug, but not another?

Posted by: Saucy February 23, 2015, 6:58 AM
Anyone here ever found themselves addicted to both Ambien AND cocaine? I'm looking for someone to talk to who has shared the same need for each drug on a daily basis and can help me understand it and help me get clean. I'm still dealing with this dual addiction after 5 years.

**please don't post personal contact information. thank you.***

- the moderators

Posted by: NoSnoozinIsLosin April 18, 2015, 8:41 PM
I started taking Ambien because I work shift work and noticed that my body was slowly dying when getting 2 or 3 hrs of sleep a night. My Doctor wrote me a script and said to ONLY TAKE THEM when I work the hardest shift for me to sleep.. He said they are NOT ADDICTIVE... BULL-CRAP!
Now, 11 yrs later, I am Stealing them and conning them from my 72 year old Father who has Rhumatoid Arthritis and bouts with Peripheral Neuropathy. When he finally gives me some I leave feeling like a scumbag, as I just begged him and when he says "NO MORE.. EVER!".. I reminded him who bathes him and who wipes his assistant for him and cleans him when he needs it.. I am CRYING as I write this, as I know what a piece of shot it makes me sound like, but I have guilted him into everything I ever wanted because I am his youngest son and never had to earn anything I wanted.. I would just go to Dad.. if he said NO... I'd go to Mom.. if she said NO, then I would blackmail, lie, cheat, & even steal something expensive and blame one of my other siblings or their friends! BUT I DONT BELIEVE I WOULD TRULY EVER STOP WASHING AND CARING FOR MY DAD IF HE REALLY STOPPED... BUT I HATE THAT I AM THIS PIECE OF s*** ADDICT...I HAVE TO HAVE 3 or 4 to relax me... with 4 to 6 Norco and Doze Off... I wake about 2 or 3 hours later and take 3 more Norco & 3 more Ambien.
I have been told I was caught cooking, at convenience stores, not to mention DRIVING, visiting people, & walking the neighborhood and I don't remember a damn second!

Posted by: FirstSteps April 21, 2015, 7:55 AM
NoSnooze - Hey there! Take a deep breath! You will be fine; you are not a terrible person but you are in an awful situation that only you can fix. You will find wonderful support here; and I recommend talking with your doctor about what you are dealing with! Consider AA or NA; a therapist. You have to take one step at a time and that first one is the scariest. I am not familiar with Ambien so I can not relate to the specific drug - but I am very familiar with addiction. I am a newbie on my own journey to health and recovery; I want you to know it is possible. My hope is that someone familiar to Ambien recovery will see this and post specifics. But until then, I wanted you to know someone is listening and sending hope your way. I spend a great deal of time on this board as part of my personal distraction while I am recovering, so we can keep in touch here as you make this journey!! You may consider starting a new thread asking for Ambien support (you can find more on my story in the pain pill section).

Posted by: Karen July 8, 2015, 9:29 AM
I too started to get hooked on ambien, but instead it turned into a disaster for me...I ended up in an emergency room because I flipped out on was awful, when they were wheeling me into my room I read a sign that said something about kidney's or something, and I thought they were taking me to remove all my organs. I waa terrified, I also thought they were gonna keep me doped up and never let me go home.
Believe me there IS help out there go to any NA meeting narcotics anonymous or even aa- today aa is all people addicted to pills. They can get you in touch with a rehab facility that can get you slowly off of them.
I will pray for you...good luck and keep- in touch.

Posted by: Michelle August 8, 2015, 11:15 AM
Hey! I hear you! I am you and probably worse and it has repeatedly destroyed my life and relationships. I didn't drink till I was 21, have never done illegal drugs, but I have always had insomnia brought on by night time anxiety mostly due to childhood trauma. I was introduced to ambien in 2004, of which at that time I did not have a drinking problem. After ambien, and like you already know the cycle, I used alcohol and whatever else to get to the next refill. ambien was a magic pill that made all that anxiety go away . . . for me . . . for a little while. Meanwhile, I scared the people in my life, probably endangered people and OH!, self harmed like crazy sometimes while on it. An issue I had when younger was triggered one night when I was in the greatest of moods, took too much, went to take a shower and proceeded to cut my arm up. Wasn't depression. As the years have progressed, I have done so many incredibly stupid things. Front of my van is trash. I have blown many tires. Lost jobs. Destroyed trust with the people that loved me. I have been arrested and had many, many more bad things happen that I just don't want to think of it. A week ago I fell from an 8 foot loft, off of the top of the ladder to it in the garage. I busted my head open. I don't know how I'm still alive but I got lucky. However my husband who was the man of my dreams has been torn down and can no longer deal with my ambien binges. My body can't take it anymore either. I wish it wasn't too late for our marriage, but I do know I have to deal with this now or it will get me killed. Last week I gave my doctor full disclosure and talked about a place I had researched to get help. It's called Valley Hope and I have an appointment for them to get me in on Thursday and hopeful that will help. I know it's scary telling your doctor because yes, there goes one source. But like you pointed out, when addiction comes calling, you find other sources. Family, friends, co workers, online, etc. I use to get it from my mom! I eventually had to tell her about my problem, since she had to bail me out of jail and also had the pleasure of coming to a psych ward after a severe cutting incident while having taken way too much ambien. I recommend learning from my continued use. The last 4 of these 10 years have been the most costly. I lost my license, been arrested countless times, the expenses due to all the damage I cause while on it?! I damn near burnt my husbands garage down! I set some leaves on fire while on it. I am also very unkind when on it. But that's enough rambling. Tell your primary care doctor. If necessary, have him help you get the help you need. It's not as uncommon as you think, but it just feels too shameful to admit we do this. Wishing you luck!

Posted by: Papa Bear August 8, 2015, 1:34 PM

Look up the NA & AA meetings in your area and attend a few of their "open" meetings.
You can take your husband with you.

The general public is welcomed to the open meetings and you are not required to participate.
You can just sit and listen to the speaker(s).
You will hear your story told repeatedly and you will hear what the folks are doing to recover.

I wish you the best.

Bob R

Posted by: Jerry September 14, 2015, 2:24 PM
I have used ambien for about 5 years. I am smart but I can't add 2+2. I have fallen uncontrollable several times and AND NEVER ONCE looked carefully at ambien side efecta. Guess what, especially with alcohol your falling can be very dangerous and uncontrollable. I fell last week in the kitchen and could NOT get up! I then did use a chair and did get up and went straight to bed but in my bedroom I fell very hard against the corner of a bureau! The black and blue eyes are still there! The feeling of falling without your control is very very scary~ Just though I'd pass this on and DON"T DRINK with ambien it will make it a lot worst and very dangerous!

Posted by: Mackie October 27, 2015, 3:51 AM
Is anyone out there addicted to ambien? It's ruining my life. Please offer advice and help.

Posted by: angielala October 28, 2015, 12:34 AM
Hi my name is Angela i am going through the pain you are the last 3 years has been the worst. I have lost 3 jobs because of going through withdrawals to sick to go to work. I have been on ambien for 7 years nobody around me understand i don't half the time have been in 2 accidents from driving on whole family is scared i am usually the saint of the family i have not been that for the lat 3 years my family wants me to go into a treatment program i am doing it Thursday. I am so agiastdrugs to me a doctor started me on ambien so i had it in my mind it was not bad .i have been to different counselor has not helped they keep saying i am fine i wrecked my car don't even remember getting in the car woke up in the hospital. I don't take anything else but go through a whole script in 4 days i am loosing alot of weight and scared this is going to kill me i got a lawyer so i can file a lawsuit against whoever gave me the ambien and whoever got it in the public in the first place doctor's don't care only to get paid i hope you get better soon just wanted you to know your not alone.

Posted by: Diewalrus January 13, 2016, 6:27 AM
Ambionica- I'm going through the same things you're explaining. Could we email or text?

Posted by: Ambiegirl August 31, 2016, 11:05 PM
I can understand where you are coming from taking them with narcos and falling out for a few hours then waking back up taking more of both drugs, this is a sure sign of addiction, sure you know this already but what you don't know already is that eventually it's going to get worse and worse and only you can make it better. if you're threatening family members and friends to give up what they are holding to help you out is only going to make it even worse. You need to get medical mental help asap because it's the only way to get out of this vicious cycle. Trust me, I know from experience.

Posted by: Papa Bear September 1, 2016, 8:42 AM
I needed the "spiritual help" of AA/NA to treat my alcoholism/addiction.

Medical help is of little use.

One of the first people I met at a meeting in 1989 was a doctor.
He needed AA/NA as much as I did.

All the best.

Bob R

Posted by: Seb September 16, 2017, 2:21 PM
Guys, im just wondering how is your recovery after stopping to take them and now i mean brain functions like memory or thinking abilities, and also sleeping, also if you can say how long it took before you noticably recovered.

Posted by: HQH November 30, 2017, 1:02 PM
Wow! I am so glad to see this. I am on day 23 off Ambien. I am also on leave from work and doing rehab after 1 night in hospital and 6 days in an inpatient psych hospital after a year of heavy ambien abuse (4-6 10 mg tabs for about 8 months; 10-16 10 mg tabs for 3 months) left me delusional, mildly psychotic, suicidal, in full blown delirium (I was convinced I'd had a stroke, car acdident, and was dying of kidney failure). My memory was so messed up because if the "stroke" that I figured I'd die from the stroke/kidney failure or I'd be permenanetly disabled. I am a psychologist and truly believed ny IQ had dropped 100 points. To make things worse, I texted, facebooked and called everyone including my boss. Several fellow psychologists and friends showed up expecting to see me post car accident and stroke.