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Insomnia drug Ambien being abused by NHL players?

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02-25-2013, 10:35 AM
  #1
LadyStanley
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Insomnia drug Ambien being abused by NHL players?

http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/...ers?source=rss

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Professional hockey players are no exception. Many have trouble sleeping and turn to prescription drugs such as Ambien. But like any other drug, Ambien can be abused and lead to harm. On May 13, 2011, New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard was found dead at age 27 from an overdose of alcohol and drugs, including Ambien. According to The New York Times, Boogaard had as many as 25 prescriptions for the sleep aid from 10 doctors.

When it came to problems associated with sleep, the NHL has had its wake-up call. The league, in accord with the NHL Players' Association, instituted rules this past offseason related to getting enough rest as part of its new collective bargaining agreement. Among them: Players must receive at least four days off per month during the season. Previously, days off were at the coach's discretion. Also, from the time a team's plane lands after a flight, no practice can be started before at least nine hours has elapsed.

The NHL and NHLPA formed a joint committee to study the use of Ambien by league players, and will make recommendations for monitoring and controls based on its findings by June 30.

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02-25-2013, 11:28 AM
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MuckOG
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With all the travel across time zones, one's internal clock can get really screwed up...I can see why players turn to drugs like this to get some sleep. Not condoning it, but it's understandable.

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02-25-2013, 11:30 AM
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I've used it, thing works miracles. You're literally out cold for hours upon hours. i'd condon it simply because a lack of sleep will literally make your body fall apart. If you cant sleep, and it helps your overall health, i dont see an issue using it when its needed.

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02-25-2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by zetterberg40 View Post
I've used it, thing works miracles. You're literally out cold for hours upon hours. i'd condon it simply because a lack of sleep will literally make your body fall apart. If you cant sleep, and it helps your overall health, i dont see an issue using it when its needed.
When I used Ambien, it was great for the first night or two, but I couldn't fall asleep thereafter. I ended up taking 3 or more a night and not sleeping at all.

Whatever works, I suppose. You can't let someone use Ambien uncontrollably as there are serious consequences. But for lack of sleep, if it works- sure, why not?

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02-25-2013, 11:39 AM
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madhi19
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Not a big surprise they play from 7 to 10 PM on the plane by midnight and on the ice the next day at 7PM for another game how many times a year? That not counting all the other travel during the season.

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02-25-2013, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetterberg40 View Post
I've used it, thing works miracles. You're literally out cold for hours upon hours. i'd condon it simply because a lack of sleep will literally make your body fall apart. If you cant sleep, and it helps your overall health, i dont see an issue using it when its needed.
I should've been more clear...I don't condone the abuse of Ambien...Not saying that it should be banned.

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02-25-2013, 12:01 PM
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TheMoreYouKnow
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I work a lot of late shifts, coming in at midnight you aren't sleeping for 3-4 hours after that.

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02-25-2013, 12:16 PM
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It's only trouble if you grind it into a vodka redbull

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02-25-2013, 03:50 PM
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I'm sure that sleeping medication is abused fairly regularly by NHL, NBA, and especially MLB players on a fairly regular basis. They have to hit the road and fly cross country all the time, oftentimes multiple times a week, so it's only natural that many of them are sleep-deprived.

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02-25-2013, 07:13 PM
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aemoreira1981
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What would be more interesting is the breakdown by conference; I would expect it to be worse in the Western Conference where teams have to fly to almost every game as opposed to the Eastern Conference (and especially the Atlantic Division), where teams oftentimes can take buses or trains to division games.

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02-25-2013, 11:25 PM
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The article doesn't provide any evidence of "abuse".
The fact that Boogard had a lot of different prescriptions implies he was taking too much at one time, but they provide no evidence for that.
Having 25 prescriptions from 10 doctors is not a big deal for somebody who travels tons. All it means is they ran out in 10 different cities. It doesn't mean they were overdosing on it. And I'd bet that article was counting empty pill bottles as another "prescription". Just means the guy was lazy about throwing out the empties.

The "abuse" was mixing it with alcohol.

If there's a drug you have to take daily and travel a lot it's not uncommon that you run out, or leave the medicine at home, or lose it, or drop it, etc, etc. So you go to a local doc or clinic in that city.

And most people I know are pretty lazy about throwing out meds. Their medicine cabinets are often filled with old forgotten prescriptions. The average person who takes daily meds most likely has multiple presciptions from multiple docs for the same meds. 25 from 10 is unusual, but the life of a pro athlete is an unusual life and probably more a reflection of his failing mental health and forgetfulness than a sign of abuse of ambien.

Article was sensationalistic and misleading.

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04-13-2013, 08:08 PM
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mic...b_3053870.html

Quote:
In response to reports of widespread use, the NHL and the NHL Players' Association are working together to study the use of Ambien by players in the league. The results of the study are expected later this spring, when the league is expected to issue its findings and make recommendations about use of the prescription sleep medication.
...
Sleep problems are a serious issue for professional athletes, whose intense training, rigorous schedules, and frequent travel across time zones put them at high risk for disrupted and insufficient sleep. Pro athletes crisscrossing the country, often flying overnight before waking up to an early-morning practice or next-day game, share risks for sleep problems with other high-frequency travelers and people who work non-traditional schedules. People in these jobs -- from law enforcement to doctors and nurses to airline personnel and air-traffic controllers -- are at higher risk for sleep disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. They also can be at elevated risk for health problems associated with poor sleep, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

In addition to studying the use of Ambien, the NHL has also taken other steps to address sleep issues among its players. In its most recent agreement with the NHL Players' Association, the NHL made changes to league policies that are intended to provide players with better rest during the season. The new rules include a minimum of four days off per month during the season, and a minimum nine-hour break between flight touchdown and the beginning of the next practice when players are on the road. While these changes may seem modest, they do appear to reflect a growing awareness of the need to protect athletes' ability to sleep. It is my hope that they also reflect an understanding that sleep medication is not the first -- nor always the best -- recourse for improving sleep.

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04-17-2013, 10:08 AM
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It's only trouble if you grind it into a vodka redbull
And try to walk around the block.

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04-17-2013, 01:37 PM
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So when players are getting hopped up on caffeine and amphetamines late at night before games, they have trouble getting to sleep? Shocker.

I've been saying this in the steroid panic threads for a while: Hockey does not have a steroid problem, which is not to say there are not serious drug problems in pro hockey. The cough meds get tossed around locker rooms like candy- that quick energy and attention jolt is much more valuable to a typical hockey player than what steroids can give them. If you've washed amphetamines down your throat with an energy drink before every period, you're gonna need chemical help getting adequate sleep.

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04-17-2013, 02:33 PM
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I don't doubt their use in the least bit. I'd be more shocked if they weren't being used.

"Abuse", however, is a whole different ballgame. I doubt they are being abused in the same fashion league-wide, compared to Boogaard (which the article hints at)

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04-23-2013, 09:23 AM
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I don't think it's an out of control abuse but it wouldn't surprise me if there were NHLers who used these sort of substances. Don't think it's as fully blown as steroids were in baseball though.

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04-23-2013, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotchex View Post
The article doesn't provide any evidence of "abuse".
The fact that Boogard had a lot of different prescriptions implies he was taking too much at one time, but they provide no evidence for that.
Having 25 prescriptions from 10 doctors is not a big deal for somebody who travels tons. All it means is they ran out in 10 different cities. It doesn't mean they were overdosing on it. And I'd bet that article was counting empty pill bottles as another "prescription". Just means the guy was lazy about throwing out the empties.

The "abuse" was mixing it with alcohol.

If there's a drug you have to take daily and travel a lot it's not uncommon that you run out, or leave the medicine at home, or lose it, or drop it, etc, etc. So you go to a local doc or clinic in that city.

And most people I know are pretty lazy about throwing out meds. Their medicine cabinets are often filled with old forgotten prescriptions. The average person who takes daily meds most likely has multiple presciptions from multiple docs for the same meds. 25 from 10 is unusual, but the life of a pro athlete is an unusual life and probably more a reflection of his failing mental health and forgetfulness than a sign of abuse of ambien.

Article was sensationalistic and misleading.
If you have 25 prescriptions from ten doctors, that tells me you were running to different physicians when They turned you down. If you have 25 prescriptions from ten doctors and you die from an overdose, that tells me you were abusing them. You can argue that, but you're dead so you're probably not right.

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04-23-2013, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony d View Post
I don't think it's an out of control abuse but it wouldn't surprise me if there were NHLers who used these sort of substances. Don't think it's as fully blown as steroids were in baseball though.
Not even close to the same thing.

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04-25-2013, 12:18 AM
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This was already widely known. At least I heard of this a few years ago.

I wonder if this was a factor in the alignment

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04-25-2013, 12:34 AM
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This is not exactly a secret.. Ambien has been used heavily for years by professional athletes in every single sport. When your nervous system and hormones have to be firing on literally all cylinders starting at 7PM, don't think you're exactly coming down by midnight when it's time to go night night. Anybody that's played mens league or shinny knows this phenomeon, it's exaggerated by 10x when you're an NHL player.

The other dirty little secret is Sudafed. Players take this like candy before games to get amped up. Not to mention a variety of other pre-workout supplements/caffeine pills/you name it. Anything to get a physical edge or mental edge is what these guys' livelihood depends on. If you've seen Joe Thornton's locker on TV he has boxes of Sudafed piled up in his locker and a ton of other guys do too, not unusual for guys to have 5 Red Bulls per game night either. When you're that amped up to begin with and combine that with the highest level of physical competition possible night after night, hard not to take an Ambien unless you want to wake up for morning skate or practice with 3 or 4 hours sleep every night.

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04-25-2013, 01:35 AM
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I wouldn't be as worried about ambian as adderal, alot of athletes are using this drug especially in baseball

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05-14-2013, 11:49 PM
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LadyStanley
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http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/51884319

FDA recommending lower dosage of Ambien. (video)

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05-15-2013, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilsp1ll View Post
This is not exactly a secret.. Ambien has been used heavily for years by professional athletes in every single sport. When your nervous system and hormones have to be firing on literally all cylinders starting at 7PM, don't think you're exactly coming down by midnight when it's time to go night night. Anybody that's played mens league or shinny knows this phenomeon, it's exaggerated by 10x when you're an NHL player.

The other dirty little secret is Sudafed. Players take this like candy before games to get amped up. Not to mention a variety of other pre-workout supplements/caffeine pills/you name it. Anything to get a physical edge or mental edge is what these guys' livelihood depends on. If you've seen Joe Thornton's locker on TV he has boxes of Sudafed piled up in his locker and a ton of other guys do too, not unusual for guys to have 5 Red Bulls per game night either. When you're that amped up to begin with and combine that with the highest level of physical competition possible night after night, hard not to take an Ambien unless you want to wake up for morning skate or practice with 3 or 4 hours sleep every night.
Not to take this too far off topic, but you have to wonder if most of the crap after the whistle that goes on is really more due to this fact than anything else.

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05-15-2013, 07:31 PM
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I used to have brutal insomnia. For a while I was taking sleeping pills but I found they messed me up. Then I found out if I put some peppermint oil in a humidifier in my room I slept like a damn baby.

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