The worst thing you could do for a sleeping problem is to take a pill, something Americans are doing in greater numbers than ever before. There’s a price to pay for all that “convenience,” however, according to this awesome story in the New York Times. Instead of road rage, conventional medicine has spawned a growing group of Ambien-impaired zombies taking to the road in their cars.
Fact is, the use of Ambien is being blamed more regularly as a factor in traffic arrests, fender-benders and, of all things, sleep driving. The numbers certainly prove it. Ambien ranks among the top 10 drugs found in the bloodstreams of impaired drivers, according to some state toxicology labs. For example, 78 Washington State residents were arrested last year in traffic accidents in which Ambien played a role. And that’s a jump of almost 40 percent from 2004.
These bizarre occurrences have become so common, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences held a presentation on the odd effects of Ambien impairment on the body. They tend to stand out from other traffic accidents, in that patients typically slam into parked cars or light poles or drive in the wrong direction.
Another common denominator in many of these Ambien-related cases: The use of alcohol. Even the slightest amount before taking it can make a huge difference, but many patients obviously ignore the warnings. Considering one out of every four of you reading this will have trouble sleeping tonight, however, many turn to a one-pill-cure rather than more natural and effective solutions that get to the heart of the problem.
New York Times March 8, 2006 Registration Required