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lusia (@lusia)

Weaning off zolpidem (Ambien)

Sleep Health | Last Active: 23 hours ago | Replies (328)

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Please don’t misunderstand what I am about to say. The less drugs we all take, the more our bodies would function as they were meant to, but some people don’t have bodies that function in a normal method when unmedicated. My mother never wants to take anything that she could become “addicted” to. An addiction typically drives the need for more of something because you are getting something other than simply the medicinal benefits from the substance. My mother if 76 years old and if she needs 10 mg of ambien for the rest of her life, she will have a much better quality of life for what I hope are at least 20 more years than if she were passing that time groggy and half asleep because she did not take her ambien. Unless God decides to rewire my brain one night, I imagine I will be on a cocktail of 3-4 meds for anxiety and depression for how ever long I am still on this earth. without them, my quality of life would be far worse than current and I can’t imagine a friend who would still be within shouting distance if I were unmedicated. Am I addicted top them? My answer would be no because I get no sense of euphoria from them and don’t want to know if I would if I took a couple of extra one day. Am I dependent on them? Absolutely. I will turm over the soapbox to someone else at this point, but that is my take on meds that help us live better lives.

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Replies to "Please don't misunderstand what I am about to say. The less drugs we all take, the..."

I generally agree with what you wrote. The sleep problem is vexing. I took zolpidem regularly for insomnia for many years, but also read a lot of medical experts about sleep and had a sleep study done. What this accomplished is that I had more sleep tools in my toolbox than just a drug. In other words, I was able to continue to use zolpidem in certain circumstances at a lower dose, but the other sleep tools I used helped so much that they became my main go-to for sleep issues.

I am not implying by this that others can, or should, do what I did, but only saying what worked with me with the possibility that it may work for someone else. For purposes of full disclosure, I found Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia very helpful. I also was diagnosed with sleep-interfering restless legs syndrome (RLS), which thankfully is under good control.