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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

Addiction & Recovery Board Index


It is easy to get addicted to them if you take them every night for a month or so. At some point, you can't sleep without them, and if you quit cold turkey, your body goes crazy for them, but only at night. The withdrawal symptoms are horrible (night terrors, seizures, racing heart, little if any sleep, jimmy legs...)

It wasn't long before I was taking a little more late at night to finish sleeping. When it wore off in the morning, I felt a little crappy, so would take maybe 2 mgs to feel relaxed, kind of like taking a valium---better than I felt without it. Soon, I was taking 2-5 mgs every 3-4 hours to avoid feeling like crap and taking 20 mg to get to sleep. Hence, I had a constant amount of ambien in my system 24 hours a day. Taking small doses in the day helped me to relax more than sleep.

When I went to the doctor to tell him that I had traded addictions (I am a recovering opiate addict) and was in withdrawal, he gave me a three day supply and said that he would not give me any more and to use what I had to taper--alas.

The withdrawls were horrible and lasted 24 hours a day until i fully detoxed in about a week (shakes, couldn't sleep, racing heart, hot and cold sweats...)--almost as bad as an opiate detox, which I have done as well. After a few days, I started feeling better and sleeping 4 hours a night. My sleep was back to normal in about two weeks.

Ambien is a short-acting benzo (2 hr half-life), and the doctor told me that withdrawals would be similar to but not as severe as valium and other long-acting benzos. He was right! It was a nightmare coming off them damn pills.:mad:


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