Friday, May 05, 2006

Friends don't let Kennedys drive...

...or ski, or fly, or (I wish) vote!

This is the most amusing news story in weeks. Patches Kennedy, a diagnosed bipolar guy with a hobby of berating airport personnel, who has spent time in drug rehab in the past, drives his car into a stationary roadblock. Police on the scene claim he was disoriented and mumbled something about driving in for a 3 a.m. vote in Congress. Mysteriously, no drug toxicology tests are ordered and he is whisked away.

Ambien and Phenergan are blamed. Phenergan is a anti-nausea drug, a sedating anti-histamine he claims to have had prescribed for "gastroenteritis", which usually causes projectile emissions from the other end of the body. Ambien, however, is somewhat more interesting, as it has been reportedly associated with "sleep-eating" and even "sleep-driving".

I took some Ambien once on a trans-pacific flight. Got on a plane in L.A., waited for the meal, took an Ambien, drank some red wine, and woke up in Melbourne. That stuff works. I also prescribe it for a lot of patients who have migraine-related dizziness and insomnia, and have had no reported weirdness. So I take news reports of sleep-driving with the same grain of salt I reserve for loonies who think Ritalin is harming their psycho kids.

I am looking forward to a great news cycle. Scientologists and the trial bar in lock-step, demanding a moratorium on Ambien. Disgustingly trite "Kennedy curse" musings. Right wing ridicule, delight, schadenfreude, and relief at the distraction it provides from the historic loss of both houses of congress pending this fall.

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