Sleep is a precious phenomenon that people tend to take for granted. When you are asleep, your brain is busy categorizing and organizing the thoughts, smells, and sensations from the day. When you wake you tend to feel renewed and ready for another day in our busy society.
For those who have trouble sleeping, those who suffer from insomnia, they toss and turn all night hoping that their brain will slow down and let them rest. For insomniacs they rarely ever get the 8 hours or even the 6 hours of sleep the body needs nor do they experience the renewed feeling upon waking.
So when their mind is on overdrive and they have found themselves awake for 48 hours, you can bet the miracle of a pharmaceutical drug that helps them fall asleep would be welcomed with open arms. Ambien, aka Zolpidem, was that drug and with over 10 million prescriptions filled, you can only image how many insomniacs finally got the rest they deserved.
Unfortunately this drug was too good to be true and it was just a matter of time before something truly sinister came out of the use and abuse of Ambien. When people were told that Ambien was a sedative the insomniacs tossed their hands up and screamed finally; but this drug is also consider a hypnotic, something many people didn’t fully understand.
This pharmaceutical drug had destroyed numerous lives to the point where the FDA ordered a dosage reduction in 2013. Many found themselves incarcerated for the crimes they had no idea they were committing.
It all began with a meal.
During the drug trials no one thought nothing of the ‘rare’ side effects that Ambien had on those who used it frequently. So when reports of people night eating or fixing meals while under the influence of Ambien many laughed and gave those who began sleep walking on Ambien a nickname Ambien Zombies.
Many insomniacs who took Ambien feel asleep in 15 minutes, a true miracle for those who tossed and turned for hours. But when they would awake to find soup bubbling away on the stove under an open flame or crackers and cheese crumbs in their bed, they turned a blind eye to these odd habit. Other than burnt soup and food crumbs in the bed no one thought anything of it.
Until the Ambien Zombies learned how to drive and they were not very good drivers.
Frequent reports where documented of people fixing meals, having sex, and even getting into their cars and driving in the middle of the night. A few Ambien Zombies had wrecked their cars and even killed people in these accidents with no recollection of their crimes.
Image popping two pills with every intention of getting a good night sleep, only to wake up with your head oozing blood and your car wrapped around a pole with no idea of how you got there or why you were driving in the first place.
No longer able to turn a blind eye to the escalating occurrences, the FDA ordered a dosage reduction in 2013.
But not before the Ambien Zombies began to murder.
The year was 2012, one year before the FDA ordered a dosage reduction. A 45 year old man and a 62 year old woman suffered from sleeping problems as the stress of their lives had begun to take a toll on their sleeping habits.
To solve this problem their doctor decided to prescribe them Ambien to help them sleep and under the influences of Ambien they ‘woke’ up in the middle of the night and murdered their spouses.
The gentleman obtained a knife and stabbed his wife over 20 times. The older woman went to the garage, found a metal pipe, bludgeoned her husband to death in his sleep, and put a plastic bag over his head.
Both of these Ambien Zombies stayed alone with the bodies for hours and when questioned, denied any recollection of their actions with glassy eyes and confused demeanors.
Two lives lost and another was needed to change the mind of the FDA, the organization that allowed this sleeping pill to be prescribed and sold.
The last murder was in 2013, the tipping point.
A young man in Colorado reported taking 5 zolpidem pills the night he murdered his roommate with a hammer. Glassy-eyed and confused, he too have no recollection of the crime he committed and just like the other two, no motive or reason to end the life he took.
Pills are Not the Answer
There are more cases out there documenting the dark side of Ambien and unfortunately instead of pulling the drug off of the market and continue testing; they decreased the dosage and restrictions.
Decreased the dosages? Lives were lost, those people are now incarcerated for a crime they had no intentions of committing and must suffer with the blood that is on their hands.
There was 10 million prescriptions filled for this drug, 10 million lives affected by Ambien.
Before you go to your doctor about your abnormal sleeping habits, consider cognitive therapy, consider something other than a little pill and consider that the stress that you are experiencing will pass.