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answered 04:26 PM EST, Thu May 29, 2014
anonymous anonymous
I am a recovering alcoholic with 8 years sober. I am heartbroken because my dog (a beautiful greyhound) died and this has been very upsetting to me actually it has knocked me into very severe insomnia. My dog died 2 weeks ago after getting hit by a truck when she was chasing a rabbit. My doctor says I should take a short cycle of Ambien to get back into a normal sleeping cycle. Is a 5 days of Ambien very dangerous for me since I have a history of substance abuse? I feel like I am on the edge of taking a drink.

Jill Edwards Says...

When I looked the Ambien up it was quite clear that Ambien should not be taken by someone with a history of alcohol or drug misuse. You can use some herbal medicines perhaps like Valerian and Hops and Chamomile. Sometimes you can get Herbal remedies which have a number of herbs in them. You can go to sleep at regular times.

But my feeling is that you are very upset and this is what is hurting. It would be useful to find a friend you can talk about your grief with. You may sleep better after a good cry. Spending time valuing what this dog has given you in life and being up front about the loss you have had, may very well help to break the cycle.

You will definitely not feel better by having a drink.

Alcohol does not provide proper sleep and it is not a solution to loss and grief.

Do what you can to provide a memorial for your pet. A book of his pictures, some writing about him, perhaps a poem.

This dog needs honoring, and you will not be doing that if you take to drinking.

Try to make sure that you spend a fair amount of time with people and not on your own which will make you feel worse and put you at risk.

Be strong for yourself, honour the dog and honour your own 8 years of sobriety. Ask your sober friends for support.

Best wishes to you

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Page last updated May 29, 2014

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