Dealing With a Family Members Addiction to Ambien PLease Help?

Question by smaceroni: Dealing with a family members addiction to Ambien PLease help?
OK my sister has been addicted to Ambien for about 4 years now. She has through detox and rehab twice and hasnt gotten better. She is still very much addicted and supoosed to be going into another detox/rehab. She has been supposed to go nor for 2 weeks but everyday comes up with new excuse or chickens out. I have been supportive or encouraging but now its getting hard for me to be that way cause it hard for me to believe that she is actually going to go. She gets mad when I try to give her “tough love”. She gets mad that my parents and I never went to some type of counseling to learn about her problem. She says that since I have never been addicted I dont know what its like. I understand that, but it doesnt take a rocket scientist to know that its going to be pure hell to go through detox and rehab and stay clean. I just dont know what to do or say to her anymore. Has anyone been in this situation? What should I say or do? She is 34 and Im 26

Best answer:

Answer by Mathieu
That is a terrible situation, Ambien addiction is rare and something as bad as what you describe is very unusual.

How much does she take a day? I assume she is taking it during the day and night?

First step is always detox with a drug like Ambien. If detox is done incorrectly the chance of relapse is almost 100%. When people are physically dependent (which is not addiction on its own) detox needs to be careful and the user really needs to set the pace. So that is a place I would focus on, unless she has detoxed very well and then the actual addiction aspect (psychological dependency or “craving”) kicked in and she relapsed. Hopefully they would put her on Valium (diazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), or even phenobarbital. Just keep in mind that detox should NOT be painful, it will most likely be uncomfortable but painful is not acceptable. If the place does “rapid detox” or works too fast for what she needs find another place, even if the detox occurs over months that is better.

Is she getting the Ambien by prescription? Is there any way in interrupting the supply of the drug?

Does she live with you, your parents, or anyone else? If she is dependent on support then you need to remove the support, all of it- money, home, moral support, absolutely everything.

Don’t feel guilty, got let yourself be manipulated, nothing is your fault or your parents fault. The argument that “you never went to counseling to learn about my problems” or “you don’t know what it is like” are not worth anything. Not to mention that no matter what happened in the past, it is the past and now she needs to get help.

You really need to take a hard line approach, think of everything she says and does as “the addiction” and not her. So if she cry’s or yells try to think that it is just the addiction. There is nothing you can say to her, that is almost always what happens, words mean nothing they are empty and pointless at this stage of addiction. She could easily have an excuse not to go every day for the next twenty years. You can’t fix the problem and neither can she, don’t nudge her you need to push her or walk away. And I bet she needs months of rehab, after a month people often feel on top of the world, they talk about “how great it feels” to be off drugs but a lot of that is the brain increasing production of “happy neurotransmitters” in the short term to counter the difficulty of physical and psychological withdrawal. It quickly goes away, the person enters a new low and often relapses. That is why several months in a residential facility is best, particularly in an advanced case of addiction.

You have to act for things to get better, they don’t just fix themselves.

Give your answer to this question below!



Marchman Act – Marchman Act: The Marchman Act is an act that is under the Florida statue and helps family members get a court …