The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Drug users beware: aid adds to problem

Viewpoint by Kendra Ludwick/reporter

Hallucinations, abnormal behavior or severe confusion all can occur from one anti-insomnia pill—Ambien.

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi Aventis should stop distributing Ambien, also called Zolpidem. This sleep aid is causing people to have side effects they cannot recall once they wake up the next morning.

According to warnings on www.ambien.com, this pill can cause sleepwalking. Or the user could eat or drive while not fully awake.

Some other side effects include short-term memory loss and accidents involving patients who drive the next day while still feeling drugged.

“The daytime sleepiness—that drugged feeling that people may have—is probably the most worrisome because of the (vehicular) accidents that can occur,” Donna Arand, president of the American Insomnia Association, said.

These accidents are a problem with how society is today. Car wrecks happen everyday. But now drivers have to watch out for people drinking and driving and people who are driving while drugged on a pill that is supposed to help them sleep.

Celebrity Heath Ledger was recently found dead in his apartment with prescription drugs nearby, including Ambien, according to www.msn.com. Suspicion has risen in his death regarding a non-intended drug overdose of different prescription drugs.  

Other celebrities, such as Jack Nicholson, have spoken out after hearing about Heath Ledger’s use of Ambien.

“I tell people about Ambien. I almost drove off a cliff 50 yards from my house,” he told reporters.

About 30 million people in the United States take sleep medications, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This number has jumped 50 percent since the beginning of the decade.

According to www.msn.com, doctors also recommend not stopping the use of Ambien right away because it can cause withdrawal symptoms and possibly seizures.

More research is needed to find out what is causing these odd behaviors and ways to make Ambien a safe prescription drug to take.

Until this pill can be safe, it should be taken off the market.

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