Patrick Kennedy To Enter Rehab
Bump and Update: Patrick Kennedy announced today he will be entering rehab due to a prescription drug problem.
Kudos to him for acknowledging a difficult personal issue and dealing with it.
Original Post 5/4/06
Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted Kennedy, drove to the capitol last night around 2:30 am believing he had to vote. He had taken Ambien and Phenergan for gastroenteritis.
He crashed his car into a security guard rail and was not hurt. He also got in a car accident three weeks ago at 10:00 a.m. He is adamant no alchohol was involved. He says the drugs made him disoriented.
Ambien has been known to cause both sleep driving and sleep eating.
In addition, researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Mayo Clinic recently found that Ambien causes some people to gorge on high-calorie food while sleeping in the middle of the night, and there have also been reports of sleep-driving and sleep-sex, with no memory of it afterwards. "It seems as though this so-called somnambulism affects a small number of patients and has not been seen with the newer drugs like Lunesta and Indiplon," said Amusa.
You're not convinced? Read on.
â¢ Ambien was linked to 99 traffic accidents reported to the Food and Drug Administration between 1998 and 2005, according to an analysis performed this month by Charles Bennett, a professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Bennett notes that the total number of Ambien-related car accidents could be much higher, because, on average, only about 1% of drug problems are ever reported.
â¢ Nineteen patients were eating in their sleep after taking Ambien, according to a June 2005 article in the journal Sleep. One found a near-empty tub of margarine on her kitchen counter, with no idea who had devoured it overnight. Two started small fires while trying to cook.
One more stat:
Ambien showed up in 187 drivers arrested by Wisconsin police from 1999 to 2004, according to a separate analysis by the state lab.
Some people are at higher risk:
Cramer-Bornemann says his research suggests that some patients may be at higher risk. In his study, almost 90% of sleep eaters were also taking antidepressants. Other risk factors could include sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and a history of sleepwalking. He says it's important for doctors to talk about Ambien's risks before prescribing it.
My post Driving While Ambien'ed from March is here.
Patrick Kennedy did undergo drug rehab before college, but that was a long time ago. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
He says he is cooperating with the police and denies he received special treatment.
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