Citation: Lastmarine. "Overdose Is Frighteningly Real Possibility: An Experience with Zolpidem (after MDMA) (exp107443)". Erowid.org. Jan 5, 2016. erowid.org/exp/107443
During my late teen to early twenties, I was fully immersed in the recreational drug scene, perhaps more dangerously than I cared to admit at the time. Through connections I had made, it was fairly easy for me to get hold of most abusable pharmaceuticals from Opioids to Benzos. Though my true love of chemicals came from stimulants and to a lesser degree psychedelics, I grew a fond attachment to the Benzo family and Sleep drugs for their potential for psychoactive effects when combined with other stimulants, most notably MDMA.
On this occasion I had returned from a rave to a friends house locally, already beginning to feel the latter stages of an MDMA high, and the onset of the comedown. Upon arrival my friend was keen to enter into a higher state having also been up using MDMA, and produced a 20 tablet packet of zolpidem 10mg tablets.
We had both abused this drug before, and both agreed that the effects were enjoyable. I myself had previously experienced very strange hallucinations through the drug, and was more than happy to reattempt to create such a sensation.
We started by taking two tablets each (20mg), and began the events by simply sitting and chatting on his bed for a length of time.
I remember redosing only once. We took one more pill each around around one hour after the first dose.
I am always aware of the effects of zolpidem kicking in once I start to lose the ability to walk. The lower dose effects I liken to that of alcohol, in that ones ability to walk in a straight line becomes impaired. We used to term this state, 'on the ship' since there was a strong sensation that one is trying to walk along a ship that's caught in rough seas.
I knew the drug was really coming on strong when I could no longer fully concentrate on my friends conversation as his face was becoming extremely....well different. This wasn't the result of a psychedelic visual morphing, it was more subtle, his face simply did not look like his anymore? His voice did not change though so it wasn't hard to stay focused on the fact that this was indeed my friend. This wasn't unpleasant in fact it was fairly amusing. However I cannot stress enough how odd it was to be looking at someone you don't recognise but know exactly who they are.
I'd also point out that whilst I've experienced similar things through the later stages of an MDMA high ie visual distortion of peoples faces to quite extreme degrees, such visuals have always returned to normal after a short period, usually with the aid of a lighting change or physically moving myself somewhere else. On this occasion, it made no difference where I went, my friend remained looking alien to me until the next day.
It would have been instantly apparent to anyone who had been with us that things were defiantly deteriorating as time went by. Our conversations were become more confused and bewildering. At this point I should mention that we were not alone in the house. A further two friends occupied the living room and had on numerous occasions popped in for chats. These visits were becoming less frequent as we became less responsive to 'intruders'. Much of this was retold to me the next day, but supposedly we both became quite aggressive in our nature towards people entering the room even to the extent that at one point we had tried to barricade the door with chairs. Although this had appeared funny to the others, I was told that they had forced their way in, in order to extinguish the alarming amount of candles we had decided to light around the room, perhaps there to aid the Seance with were illegibly trying to commence using a photo of my friends recently deceased grandfather in the Centre of the table??? -I did say things had deteriorated !
These events were only retold to me, I nor my friend have any recollection of any seance or attempted one, so frankly I cannot confirm nor deny, however the people who told me are certainly trusted friends, who I have no reason to doubt.
Some things I do remember, and gladly so, since they were rather special, took place during a period where I was very much caught up in my own mental state. There was a piano in my friends room in corner, and I remember realising how messy I was getting upon trying to play it. Whilst I remember no audio hallucinations, there was defiantly very vivid visual ones. The keys were all sinking into the centre of the keyboard, a bit like a whirlpool of piano keys. Partly this was my vision becoming hopelessly blurred and cross-eyed, but there was most definitely a distorting visual hallucination that accompanied it.
Clearly coherent playing of the piano was going to be impossible, and I retired to the bed once more, laying down looking up at the window blind. I'm not sure how this delusion came on, but I strongly remember the thought cycle becoming so concentrated on the slats of the blind that everything else became completely irrelevant. It was then that I began to see the civilisation that lived on this blind, the intricate and detailed societies that function on each level of the slats for this blind. How Aristocrats and Nobles adorned the highest levels, whilst the peasants and working men hurried about near the bottom.
I liken this sensation to that of when you are just about to fall asleep and your previously sensible train of thought suddenly wonders into the abstract. This hallucination was completely internal. I saw no signs of these things I described actually on the wooden slats of the blind, however I was completely immersed and dumfounded by its brilliance of the delusion none the less. Certainly I was in absolute conviction of its legitimacy, no question about that whatsoever, so I feel justified in describing this AS a hallucination even if it was only in my mind.
Following events are really little more than fragments. There was a discussion at one point, involving my zolpidem'd friend and the others. At some point we had migrated back into the living room and this particular event involved my zolpidem'd friend angrily wavy his hands at his speakers in disgust at the others inability to not see the people of our local highstreet going about there business within the speakers cone. 'It's just dust mate, go to bed' was a response that only confused and annoyed him further, I have to admit I only saw dust in the speaker myself, but I've no doubt he was really seeing what he thought he was, after all I'd just spent a hour with the people in the blind!
Awaking the next morning on the living room couch I was horribly confused. At that moment all I had memory of was returning to this house after a rave, taking 2 zolpidem and falling asleep on my friends bed. How had I awoken on the couch? I literally had NO recollection of the previous nights events. No people in the blind, no piano, no alien faced friend. It was only after a similar reaction from my friend on awaking that we decided to call the others who had been there last night can get some answers.
Whilst the description of our behaviour seemed completely unbelievable, what was far more alarming was the empty packet of zolpidem we found of friends bedside table! I knew the packet was full when I arrived. 20 tablets, potentially 100mg each maybe more for one of us!!! That was not the kind of territory I ever wanted to be in, the idea that I was abusing such a high dose without even realising it was frankly quite terrifying. Further knowledge that supposedly the two of us had threatened to push our sober friend off the balcony for not being 'part real'?? was a further nail in the coffin of Z drug abuse for me. In reality my friend laughed this event off, informing me of the fact that we were both so far gone, we'd have struggled to push a feather off the balcony, yet I found this did little to comfort me, the principle alone was very unnerving.
This was the final time I abused Z drugs to high levels. It is a dangerous game especially combined with other drugs such as MDMA, and the overdose risk is way too real for me to want to try it again.
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