itsi Atkins on Ambien Paints During Sleep! Did the drug cause Patrick Kennedy to appear drunk?

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Itsi Atkins, a retired Hollywood production manager with ten years of Ambien use, appears in a film recorded during his sleep. Atkins paints for 34 minutes. His experience is very similar to Sen. Patrick Kennedy's recently recalled events.

I simply do not remember getting out of bed, being pulled over by police or being cited for three driving infractions.

Sanofi-Aventis, is the maker of the sleep drug Ambien (trade name for zolpidem).

Many law enforcement officials believe there to be a link between Ambien use and sleep-driving automobile accidents. Ambien, the nation's best-selling prescription sleeping pill, is allegedly showing up with regularity as a factor in traffic arrests, sometimes involving drivers who later say they were sleep-driving and have no memory of taking the wheel after taking the drug.

In some state toxicology laboratories Ambien makes the top 10 list of drugs found in impaired drivers, according to Atkins. Wisconsin officials allegedly identified Ambien in the bloodstreams of 187 arrested drivers from 1999 to 2004.

And as more people are taking the drug — 26.5 million prescriptions in this country last year — there are signs that Ambien-related driving arrests are on the rise. In Washington State, for example, officials counted 78 impaired-driving arrests in which Ambien was a factor last year, up from 56 in 2004.

Sanofi-Aventis says the drug's record after 13 years of use in this country shows it is safe when taken as directed. However, Itsi Atkins has real time footage of his nightime wanderings as he paints his artwork.

Atkins has used 10mg of Ambien for over ten years. His story has been told on CNN and footage of his art will soon appear on a future segment of Inside Edition. In a soon-to-be-released documentary, Atkins has video, recorded during the night, in-which he paints for a full 34 minutes. Mr. Atkins experiences with sleep disorders are well documented by sleep specialists.

A spokeswoman for the F.D.A. said Ambien’s current label warnings, which say it should not be used with alcohol and in some cases could cause sleepwalking or hallucinations, were adequate. "People should be aware of that," said the spokeswoman, Susan Cruzan.

While alcohol and other drugs are sometimes also involved in the Ambien traffic cases, the drivers tend to stand out from other under-the-influence motorists. The alleged behavior can include driving in the wrong direction or slamming into light poles or parked vehicles, as well as seeming oblivious to the arresting officers, according to a presentation last month at a meeting of forensic scientists.

Patrick Kennedy recently stated that he used Sanofi-Aventis’s sleep drug Ambien to explain how he was involved in a late-night car crash has revived questions over whether the drug causes side effects like sleepwalking, binge eating, painting or driving.

Kennedy states, "I simply do not remember getting out of bed, being pulled over by police or being cited for three driving infractions."

Atkins and Kennedy both experienced the alleged effect of “Ambien drunkenness” which results in zombie-like activities. Atkins footage of his sleep painting show physical instability, creative painting with food, and a state of drunkenness very similar to alcohol.

For more information contact itsi Atkins,


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