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Mama Said There'll Be Days Like This - Part II

This article is a follow up to a previous post, "Mama Said There'll Be Days Like This." In that article, a woman was charged with wrecking seven vehicles as well as DWI.

Turns out, she may have a legitimate excuse - the pharmacy gave her the wrong prescription.

To me, this story reinforces the importance of taking charge of your own health, instead of handing it over to others. 

Also, find the root cause rather than treat the symptoms - in this case, severe migraines, and use a natural cure, instead of pharmaceutical drugs.

Woman Claims Pharmacy Mix-up Caused Wrecks

By Joe Lamb
Log Cabin Staff Writer

A local woman claims a series of fender benders Friday morning was the result of a pharmacy mix-up.

Conway resident Jennifer Starkey Spaeth, 32, damaged seven vehicles, including her own 2001 Saturn, at and around a Sonic Restaurant on East Oak Street. Spaeth said Monday that she started her Friday morning with a trip to Vilonia Pharmacy and Florist to get prescription migraine medication, which she had been taking since December.

But instead of migraine medication, she claims she was given Ambien, a drug used to treat insomnia.

She took one of the pills, she said, which look similar to her usual migraine medication. She said the next thing she remembered was being released from Conway Regional Medical Center and being charged with reckless driving and DWI-drugs.

Spaeth was on her way to work at Jlynn Salon on Locust Street. Jlynn owner Janet Bainter said her employees received numerous calls Friday morning from the pharmacy, saying they urgently needed to contact Spaeth.

"They kept calling and telling the girls they needed to get in touch with (Spaeth) and that it was an emergency," Bainter said. "Finally one of the girls asked what the emergency was and they said they had given her the wrong pills."

A pharmacy employee said the business was bound by HIPPA law not to disclose any information about the incident Monday.

A report of the incident states that a Conway Police Department patrolman found Spaeth to be "very confused and disorganized" while she was being treated at Conway Regional and that she fell asleep five times while being read the DWI rights form and four times while blood was drawn.

The vial of blood was taken for evidence, Lt. Danny Moody of CPD said, though it could be several days before the sample is processed to determine what caused of Spaeth's apparent intoxication Friday morning.

If taken improperly Ambien is known by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to produce complex sleep-related behaviors including "sleep-driving," which is defined by the FDA as driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic product, with no memory of the event.

A notable instance of alleged Ambien-induced "sleep driving" occurred in 2006, when Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy blamed Ambien and anti-nausea medicine Phenergan for an early morning crash into a Capitol Hill security barrier.

Spaeth said that "as bad as it was, it would have been 10 times worse" if her actions had seriously injured any of the motorists she hit or her son, who was in the car at the time.