1 Indest-2008-1By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

You saw it on The Simpsons (Episode 19, Season 18). Homer “sleep-driving” and doing other stupid things without remembering them because he was prescribed “Napien.” (Note: “Napien” is the fictitious cartoon brand name for zolpidem, the main active in Ambien.)

You see it on YouTube with thousands of posted videos showing friends and family “ambo-tripping” or seemingly awake doing bizarre things while on a prescription sleeping medication. Although I have only viewed a few hundred of these, all the ones I have seen appear to be real-life occurrences.

I have never sleepwalked before. I have never been “hypnotizable” even when confronted by some of Vegas’s best magicians and hypnotists. I also always thought I was immune from any possible “Ambien moments” or “ambo-tripping” as the younger (and older) generation calls it.

Tom Brokaw’s Ambo-Tripping Inspiration.

It has only been since Tom Brokaw ambo-tripped through the halls at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and later admitted this, that I have found the courage to write about this. Mr. Brokaw, a news anchor of indisputable integrity, claims to have accidentally taken a sleep medication by mistake. Then, reportedly bizarre conduct on his part occurred, whence he was rushed to the emergency room to be evaluated (bizarre conduct at the Democratic National Convention being totally inappropriate!). Later, he bravely admitted to the event. What inspiration!

My Personal Napien Moment.

Now I can admit to my own “Napien moment” like unto Homer Simpson.

It occurred late one Sunday night, the eve of my wife’s return from an extended trip out of town. As in most cases when my wife leaves town, my son and I lived the bachelor’s life until the day before her return. However, in this instance, we even put off doing the laundry, doing the dishes and cleaning up until late that Sunday night.

I was finally able to put a load of my golf shirts into the wash, after taking a prescribed sleeping tablet and sat down to watch the late reruns of Nurse Jackie, Game of Thrones and other Sunday night favorites. All the while I was worried about how long it would take to wash, dry and immediately hang up all of those shirts, just so my wife would not know I wore any clothes while she was gone.

The next morning I woke in a start, in my bed, the alarm clock not having been set and late for work. “Oh no” I thought, “I still have to dry and hand up all those shirts.” Knowing this would only make me later for work, I ran into the laundry room to get them into the dryer before I showered.

I opened the washer door: no shirts. I opened the dryer door: no shirts. I looked around and there were all my shirts, perfectly laundered, hanging up on hangers, not a wrinkle.

During the night, without recalling it at all, I must have gotten up and finished all my laundry. I guess this is a good thing. I’m just glad that ambo-tripping George didn’t drive them down the street and donate them all to Goodwill.

Now you ask: “What does this have to do with zombie law?”

Answer: “Nothing.”

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Have you had an “ambo-tripping” moment? Have you witnessed any of these moments? Please leave comments below.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

  1. […] See my prior blog in which I discuss the hypnotic and mind altering effects of some sleeping medications from both first hand experience and from watching “The Simpsons.” Click here. […]

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