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  #1  
Old 21-09-2007, 20:24
staples Gold member staples is offline
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legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Hello everyone.

I've been prescribed to ambien (10mg, not CR) for almost 2 years. I know that it's illegal to take ambien other than prescribed, i.e, taking more than the prescribed dosage, but does this include instructions from the doctor or advertisements?

The advertisements explicitly say "Do not take with alcohol" whereas my doctor doesn't really explicitly say this, but obviously she won't condone it.

Now, after a night of drinking comes to an end and I still can't fall asleep, is it illegal to take ambien?

When I first started taking Ambien, it worked after about 15 minutes, but now it's closer to 30-45 minutes. As a result I've resorted to some sort of night-time activity between taking ambien and falling asleep, such as reading or talking to whoever happens to be online. My doctor is aware of this, so I don't think that's illegal.

However, as a result I start to experience the popular recreational effects of ambien sometimes before going to sleep. That is, items on the screen will float around and warp, and there'll be a general feeling of euphoria. If I enjoy these effects for a while, I still find I sleep well and the next day I feel just as well-rested. Also, it seems difficult to realize that I am experiencing the effects while on ambien, so I will start saying strange things to people feeling that it is normal. Is this considered abuse, especially considering that once affected, it's difficult to tell I'm being affected?

I get the sense that the laws are in place to prevent addictive behavior, but there are nights where I won't want to take ambien because I just do not want the inebriation nor the recreational effects and would rather just not sleep than experience them -- so I do not think addiction is much of a concern.

What about when I get very sick? Most people, when sick, take a day or two to sleep and recover. Interestingly, my friend's mom, who is a doctor, often gives my friend ambien when my friend is very sick, so I gather that it's generally good for recovery. But I don't fall asleep on my own, and I'm only prescribed to take ambien "at bedtime." Is it healthy or legal to take ambien during the day to get some rest, and then again that night? I know my doctor would say no, and it may be illegal, but if SWIM does this, is there a danger involved? Are there other solutions?

I've already asked my Doctor what I should do if I throw up soon after taking ambien and she said it's "not a good idea" to take another at that point. Legal or not, would it be harmful if SWIM takes another in this scenario?

Finally, I've also noticed some people report that ambien sometimes works one night and not the next for SWIT. I've noticed that sometimes I'll take ambien and proceed to not sleep just as if I had not taken ambien. Is there any explanation for this? The last time I brought this up with my Doctor, I tried Ambien CR and it didn't work as well for some reason.

It's not a problem, but I noticed that I started getting generic ambien rather than name-brand ambien or whatever, while my doctor did not write anything different on the prescription -- is the pharmacy supposed to do this automatically? What if generic for some reason didn't work right (or is this ever the case?)? It's not a problem with ambien but I would like to know, in case it happens with some other medication, do I consult the pharmacy or my doctor? Or is it my insurance?

Thanks for any info
  #2  
Old 01-10-2007, 21:40
soma soma is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

First off, I'd just like to say that I don't think taking Ambien in a situation where your unlikely to fall asleep (during the day, rock concert, etc) is a good idea as it can make you VERY irrational and delerious. SWIM took 2 for kicks one day, and for reasons unknown ate the rest of the bottle. SWIM is a very methodical and rational drug user, and this was completely out of character.

If you have a trip-sitter, then possibly, but be aware of its delerient potential. Also, you are not obligated legally to follow the advertisement, only your doctor's advice. And even then, it really is only possible to prosecute if you are 1. DWI, 2. Publicly Intoxicated or 3. Dealing. In that regard, SWIM would venture to say that you are safe taking it at home, however you like, as I don't believe there is any charge for "misusing one's prescription in the comfort of one's home". And no, there is no law that will ever charge you for mixing legitamently obtained products (i.e. Ambien and Alcohol), though it may not be safe for many people (i.e. those with low depressant tolerances).

Also, most pharmacies will switch to generic when it's available (Ambien just came to generic). Should they, for whatever reason, not work, your doctor can write "DAW" or "DAW-1" on the prescription, and you'll get it prescribed in brand name (DAW = Dispense as Written). IMO, its too much more expensive to be worth anything.
  #3  
Old 02-10-2007, 22:27
staples Gold member staples is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Thanks for your response.

I don't intend to take ambien publically during the day (or ever, really) -- I was just ridiculously sick for over a week and I attribute the extended length of being sick to my inability to fall asleep normally. I would like to know that it's legal and safe to take it during the day if it would help me recover when sick in the future.

I don't drink often but I have found that I have an extremely low tolerance lately and don't feel like drinking much more by the time I get to my second beer. So given that, I'm going to assume that if I'm having trouble sleeping an hour or two after my last drink, there shouldn't be any danger with using ambien to sleep at that point.


Thanks for the info regarding generic brands. With my health insurance, it's not ridiculously more expensive to have name-brand, but until lately I hadn't had a problem with generic. Today however I switched to Ambien CR because I have been waking up after 4-5 hours of sleep (at exactly 4:30 am, like clockwork).
  #4  
Old 04-10-2007, 00:43
soma soma is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Hola,
Just wanted to make a note about Ambien CR- Swim doesn't think the ER mechanism in it is very effective. He finds a crushed and orally consumed 12.5mg much more effective. Let me know what you think about the CR, as I'm curious. BTW, SWIM meant this for sleep purposes only, an oral CR feels no diff to SWIM than a 10mg regular except its duration is longer (for recreation purposes)
  #5  
Old 06-10-2007, 19:07
staples Gold member staples is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Since I already refilled my normal ambien just a week or so before seeing my doctor, she wrote my Ambien CR prescription for the future, because some insurance companies I guess would get angry or something (mine wouldn't).

I've still been having very short sleep durations on normal ambien and have resolved to just not take it lately. I also am prescribed to Ativan, which I've used for sleep before I was prescribed to ambien. Ativan will help me sleep but it will also make me very drowsy in the morning. Since my anxiety has been overall much better lately, I've been able to use Ativan for sleep instead.

I've also been prescribed to trazadone, which also leaves me drowsy, I went from 25mg to 150mg before stopping it because I was just too drowsy in the morning. I have a bunch left over, though it's kinda old so I suppose it'd be super potent. I'm betting it's illegal to take expired medication, too, so i'll probably just stick with Ativan for now.

I've also been prescribed to Lunesta (didn't work until my doctor increased the dose twice, to 3mg. I often woke up in the middle of the night but was able to fall back asleep. However I also had very twisted, disgusting, horrible nightmares and discontinued lunesta), and klonopin (also had the dose increased 3 fold, but didn't help at all). But I've gotten rid of those.

I'll fill my ambien CR in 2.5 weeksish. I'll let you know how it works. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it: Is there any general rule where pharmacies can fill a prescription up to x amount of days before the date on the prescription? I know I can REFILL a montly prescription up to 10 days before I need to, and I know my doctor has accidentally written the wrong date before (she wrote the date as the next day), and they filled it anyway as if they didn't even notice. If this is the case, maybe I'll be able to fill it closer to 2 weeks?

In one case, I had ambien refilled very early by explaining to the lady at the pharmacy that I was going out-of-state for several weeks and that particular pharmacy didn't have any branches where I was going. I believe they could've transfered to another pharmacy but I also wouldn't have my own transportation, and preferred to keep my medical information private (meaning I didn't want to have to explain why I needed to go to a pharmacy). The lady explained this to my insurance company and the prescription was allowed. I post this for information purposes, since this could be exploited because I didn't have to provide any documentation, such as an itinerary for plane tickets.

As for the pharmacokinetics of ambien cr:
It makes sense that it should feel about as effective as normal ambien but last longer, according to this document (second page, there is a graphical comparison of the mean plasma concentration time profiles of 12.5mg ambien cr vs 10mg zolpidem tartate (ir).) You can see that normal ambien attains a slightly higher drug level about 45 minutes after consumption, but drops down so that ambien CR catches up (at 1.5 hours), rises once more and then falls below ambien cr for good after slightly over 2 hours.

As for crushing it... did SWIY chew it or crush it before consumption? How did it taste? I may try this to tell you how it affects me (I don't think it'd be illegal, going back to the whole, 'what you do with your prescription in your own home is your business' thing. If it is, however, I'll ask SWIM to try it, where SWIM is of course also prescribed to ambien cr.)
  #6  
Old 09-11-2007, 05:21
staples Gold member staples is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Quote:
Originally Posted by soma View Post
Hola,
Just wanted to make a note about Ambien CR- Swim doesn't think the ER mechanism in it is very effective. He finds a crushed and orally consumed 12.5mg much more effective. Let me know what you think about the CR, as I'm curious. BTW, SWIM meant this for sleep purposes only, an oral CR feels no diff to SWIM than a 10mg regular except its duration is longer (for recreation purposes)
I cannot find information ANYWHERE that explains how much zolpidem is released initially and how much is slowly released. I believe in the 12.5mg pill, from taking it for a couple weeks, must release less than 10mg initailly, because it definitely took longer to take affect than normal ambien. However, I found the controlled release mechanism afforded me a great, full night's rest.

Also, SWIM has cut up his Ambien CR tablet and noticed that the inside, looks just like it does in the commercials, he wonders why chewing/smashing it would defeat the controlled-release mechanism, since the "controlled-release" part of the pill seemed to be a powder just like the non-controlled-release part? What would chewing break that stomach acid would not?
  #7  
Old 05-02-2008, 02:07
purplehaze Gold member purplehaze is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Dunno about ambien but swim has seen people crush xanax bars and snort them to bypass the controlled release. Swim does know that licking and rubbing an OC will rub a coating off from it and that indeed does bypass the controlled release. Personally to be honest with you I (purplehaze) have never taken an OC (oxycontin) before nor a ambien. My doctor wrote me ativan and it seemed to work pretty good for the cause. Might swim ask what is the goal?


I'd also like to add that from trial and error its not a very good feeling to snort a xanax. There not very water soluable and they...... well it sucks just dont do it lol. (some people may prefer oddly enough)

BTW xanax is horribly bitter tasting
  #8  
Old 05-02-2008, 02:51
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
Dunno about ambien but swim has seen people crush xanax bars and snort them to bypass the controlled release. Swim does know that licking and rubbing an OC will rub a coating off from it and that indeed does bypass the controlled release.
Are either of these mechanisms the same or similar to the one in Ambien CR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
Personally to be honest with you I (purplehaze) have never taken an OC (oxycontin) before nor a ambien. My doctor wrote me ativan and it seemed to work pretty good for the cause.
"the cause"? For sleep, or for anxiety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
Might swim ask what is the goal?
for me? sleep and general health.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
I'd also like to add that from trial and error its not a very good feeling to snort a xanax. There not very water soluable and they...... well it sucks just dont do it lol. (some people may prefer oddly enough)
You mean, the trial and errors that SWIY performed. I never really understood insufflation as a route of administration, isn't that damaging to the cilia in the nasal cavity, among other things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
BTW xanax is horribly bitter tasting
I get the sense that many psychoactive drugs are. I'm not too keen on the chemistry as to why that is.
  #9  
Old 05-02-2008, 03:13
purplehaze Gold member purplehaze is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
Are either of these mechanisms the same or similar to the one in Ambien CR?
I thought you didnt have CR but anyways the xanax (bars) thing dont work because its powder (swim believes and he used to take alot of them and didnt ever believe it worked)

After looking at a picture on google the texture appears to be that of a chalky tablet so honestly i would feel bad giving you false information but im gonna have to say no. Usually a pill that the control can be rubbed off from has sort of a gel cap feeling to it but a pill under it. Kind of like a M&M when you get them wet the color will rub off and they will be white.

Honestly i dont see why you need the control crap off from a ambien, its time controlled to last all night, are you having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Also be honest with your doctor if its not working dont be ashamed to tell him your taking double the prescription if you are (and thats what it takes) and maybe he will work with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
"the cause"? For sleep, or for anxiety?
Both, at first swim was written ativan for anxiety or stress and he was written an ssnri for depression the doc suggested that if he had a anxiety attack to take a ativan and to take them regularly throughout the day and a increased dosage at night. Ativan really works well maybe you should talk to your doctor about trying it. (just not longterm, benzo's are addictive. very, swims mother was actually believed to be epileptic from xanax withdrawl (meaning she wasnt epileptic it was just the withdrawl effects). Jatelka said if i remember correctly that benzos are addictive if taken regularly for 14 days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
You mean, the trial and errors that SWIY performed. I never really understood insufflation as a route of administration, isn't that damaging to the cilia in the nasal cavity, among other things?
Yes, its been a long road for swim , about 15-18 were the worst years or his dumbiest. Never put nothing up your nose man, swim knows some people will definately disagree but it hurts swim so bad and then having to walk around snorting loudly for hrs sucks ass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
I get the sense that many psychoactive drugs are. I'm not too keen on the chemistry as to why that is.
Because your body forms a dependency on them, like some drugs cause your body to release extremes of dopamine and then you will feel horrible without the chemical making your body release that much dopamine, i think its coc that this happens too.
  #10  
Old 05-02-2008, 03:35
staples Gold member staples is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
I thought you didnt have CR
I was prescribed to Ambien, and it stopped working very well during a time of extreme anxiety (long long story), so my doctor gave me CR while my anxiety got worse. It happened such that ambien CR didn't work at all because of my anxiety at the time, and i just went back to normal ambien pretty quickly which started working as my anxiety went back to normal. Repeating the same part of the year brought back some anxiety but not as bad, so Ambien CR worked this time. Then, about a month ago it started even keeping me asleep too long, and i went back to normal Ambien.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
After looking at a picture on google the texture appears to be that of a chalky tablet so honestly i would feel bad giving you false information but im gonna have to say no. Usually a pill that the control can be rubbed off from has sort of a gel cap feeling to it but a pill under it. Kind of like a M&M when you get them wet the color will rub off and they will be white.
So, this is xanax you're talking about, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
Honestly i dont see why you need the control crap off from a ambien, its time controlled to last all night, are you having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Also be honest with your doctor if its not working dont be ashamed to tell him your taking double the prescription if you are (and thats what it takes) and maybe he will work with you.
First, crushing the CR was a suggestion from a different reply, I don't need it off. Second, the only way you'd "need" more than one per night is if you shouldn't be taking ambien -- your tolerance rises too high under normal dosages. I believe higher dosages are not approved for treatment, because they shouldn't be out of the system fast enough. But I've been taking ambien just fine once a night for over 2 years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
Both, at first swim was written ativan for anxiety or stress and he was written an ssnri for depression the doc suggested that if he had a anxiety attack to take a ativan and to take them regularly throughout the day and a increased dosage at night. Ativan really works well maybe you should talk to your doctor about trying it. (just not longterm, benzo's are addictive. very, swims mother was actually believed to be epileptic from xanax withdrawl (meaning she wasnt epileptic it was just the withdrawl effects). Jatelka said if i remember correctly that benzos are addictive if taken regularly for 14 days.
I've been on Ativan for 2 years. I must not have much of a propensity for addiction to it, one day last summer I dropped my dosage from 30 to 10 per month.


Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
Yes, its been a long road for swim , about 15-18 were the worst years or his dumbiest. Never put nothing up your nose man, swim knows some people will definately disagree but it hurts swim so bad and then having to walk around snorting loudly for hrs sucks ass.
Yeah I never really planned to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze
Because your body forms a dependency on them, like some drugs cause your body to release extremes of dopamine and then you will feel horrible without the chemical making your body release that much dopamine, i think its coc that this happens too.
Weren't we talking about the bitter taste? That theory on drug addiction isn't fully understood, as far as I know, because dopamine is also responsible for mediating negative affect emotions.
  #11  
Old 06-02-2008, 07:33
purplehaze Gold member purplehaze is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Damnit, swim replied to this post when he first logged into DF today, it must not have took or something, luckily he had it notepaded, still a major pissoff to go through and do the qoutes again. Anyways.......




Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
So, this is xanax you're talking about, right?
No, i googled a picture of ambien CR and it looks similar to a Tylenol tablet (chalky). Most pills that swim has seen people rub the controlled time release off from have been like M&M's and when they rub the original coating color off the pill looks like a white (color rubbed off) M&M and its like a circle piece of chalk, usually crushed and snorted. Ambien is most likely made like a xanax bar, which is chalky but unusually hard. Xanax bars can be broken into 4's, this is sometimes recommended by the doctor. I highly doubt he would recommend it if it would interfere with the time release.

Swims opinion is that most people get confused on time release and snorting because when taken by oral ingestion it takes a while for the stomach to break down and absorb it were as it is almost instant when taken nasally. When taking xanax nasally it gives an instant high, then the pill drips down in mucus(nasty slimy spit and powder it doesn't mix well with water hence not water soluble but it does to a point, a low low point) slowly in the back of your mouth and is either swallowed (and absorbed by stomach to give effect) or is spitten out and leaves the mouth with a bitter dry taste.

Swim doesn't know that much about ambien as he does the ways of ingestion with pills in general, textures and effects (from other people usually, swim has only snorted xanax he has never really been a pill popper like oxycontin and heavier stuff not to be misleading xanax is bad enough)

Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
First, crushing the CR was a suggestion from a different reply, I don't need it off. Second, the only way you'd "need" more than one per night is if you shouldn't be taking ambien -- your tolerance rises too high under normal dosages. I believe higher dosages are not approved for treatment, because they shouldn't be out of the system fast enough. But I've been taking ambien just fine once a night for over 2 years.
Maybe it is that your tolerance has gained and your body has became less poisoned (lack of better word) and you do need something stronger, most likely with the ativan as well as benzo tolerance goes up pretty quick as swim has seen. His tolerance went up so fast that he could take handfuls of xanax for days and stop until he got another prescription and never become addicted, also his tolerance would return always higher than the normal dosage and his body would not react to the dosage on the bottle until he hadn't taken one for months.

Swim was just advising to be honest with the doctor because that is what he is being payed for, and he needs to know how your body really reacts to each thing he prescribes you or he can not give a good analysis and be able to correct the problem.


^^^^^^after having to do this twice and re-read it if the ambien is working please don't reply to this part


Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
Yeah I never really planned to.
^^^^^^ LOL, I like that answer
Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
Weren't we talking about the bitter taste? That theory on drug addiction isn't fully understood, as far as I know, because dopamine is also responsible for mediating negative affect emotions.
Yeah we have a lot of studying to do as far as that goes. But we do have sort of a general explanation (and understanding) to give the public which is given at a lot of help centers, NA meetings and rehab as well.

Last edited by purplehaze; 06-02-2008 at 07:38. Reason: fixed spelling errors and added ed to some things
  #12  
Old 06-02-2008, 08:33
staples Gold member staples is offline
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Re: legal and other questions about ambien (zolpidem)

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
No, i googled a picture of ambien CR and it looks similar to a Tylenol tablet (chalky).
Ohhh, that's probably deceiving. The blue shell is not chalky at all, I think I remember reading that the casing for ambien is designed so that clumps of zolpidem stick to the shell, so that if one wanted to insufflate, it would be much more difficult to separate the zolpidem from it's encasing.

Under the casing though, ambien CR looks exactly like it does in the commercials, if you've ever seen one: one face of the pill is white (presumably IR) and the other face is yellow (CR). From what I've heard, both sides are a fine powder that flakes off easily, so I'm not all that convinced that crushing a CR tablet would defeat the CR mechanism. My own speculation is that zolpidem was paired with an amino acid for the CR formulation, which would then require a certain stage of metabolism before the zolpidem is broken off from the amino acid and delivered into the blood stream -- like vyvanse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
Swims opinion is that most people get confused on time release and snorting because when taken by oral ingestion it takes a while for the stomach to break down and absorb it were as it is almost instant when taken nasally.
I think much more of the drug is absorbed from the small intestines, the stomach doesn't have to break it down otherwise it wouldn't work (the same) when insufflated because it wouldn't be broken down. Snorting wouldn't be effective if my speculations above are correct, at least not for the CR portion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
^^^^^^after having to do this twice and re-read it if the ambien is working please don't reply to this part
Haha, yeah, I was confused about that... I think in one of my posts in this thread I explain briefly that I've also been given klonopin, ativan, lunesta, and trazadone for sleep, but ambien is the one that works well for me (most of the time).

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
Yeah we have a lot of studying to do as far as that goes. But we do have sort of a general explanation (and understanding) to give the public which is given at a lot of help centers, NA meetings and rehab as well.
Well, I think even then it comes to a point where they just have to say "it's complicated," because the process isn't the same for every drug.

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ambien, ambien cr, anger, drugs-forum, laws, promethazine, snorting, time release, zolpidem

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