Triazolam (Halcion) Abuse and Addiction
Triazolam is a hypnotic agent and generic version of Halcion, which is most commonly used to treat insomnia. As you continue using Triazolam, you may rapidly build up a tolerance and more of the medication will be needed to achieve what would normally require a small or regular dose. As you develop a tolerance to benzodiazepines, you’re at a greater risk of becoming physically and mentally addicted to them.
What Is Triazolam?
Triazolam is similar to other benzodiazepines in that it’s a sedative classified as a central nervous system depressant. Triazolam is the most frequently used benzodiazepines for treating acute insomnia and other non-permanent sleep disorders. This is mostly due to its relatively short half-life of 1.5 to 5.5 hours.
Triazolam isn’t used to treat chronic anxiety, epilepsy or other mental disorders. Halcion has also been prescribed in dentist offices to help people sleep while enduring the agony of a toothache. Halcion has also been used to help a person sleep during long flights.
We can’t function without sleep and things like toothaches, back pain and acute insomnia can happen at any time. Medications like Triazolam have a legitimate medical purpose and when used with caution they can be safe—but only when used with the guidance of a medical professional.
Remember that Halcion is only a temporary solution. It is too potent and too risky a medication to take for long periods of time. Nonetheless, people still abuse it for the mild calming euphoria, sedation and sense of well-being.
How Many People Use Triazolam?
Benzodiazepines are a problem just about anywhere you go in the United States. From Maryland, down to Texas and over to to California, people of all ages and walks of life continue to abuse prescription sedatives such as triazolam. Reasons for abuse can vary between any of the following reasons from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
- to relax or relieve tension
- to help with sleep
- to help with feelings or emotions
- to experiment or to see what the drug was like
- to feel good or get high
- to increase or decrease the effect of some other drug
- because the respondent was “hooked” or needed to have it
In a New York Times article from 1991, there were more than seven million Americans taking Halcion as a sleep aid. Today there are more than 47 million people taking Halcion and it’s rapidly becoming a dangerous abuse of prescription medications.
Benzodiazepines had more fatalities in 2015 than cocaine, with approximately 9,000 deaths in the United States. According to research by National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly all of those deaths involved an opioid.
Can I Become Addicted To Triazolam?
Yes, addiction and dependence are likely with prolonged use of triazolam. Which is why they’re only prescribed for acute symptoms. So what happens when you continue using them? As with any benzodiazepine tranquilizer, you build up a tolerance—triazolam can have a rapid rate of tolerance in comparison to long-term benzodiazepines.
As your brain becomes accustomed to having a mood altering chemical around, it sends messages to your body via neurotransmitters and tells you that you need more of it. When your body craves more Halcion, you’re constantly increasing your dosage; thus building up a tolerance and becoming physically and mentally addicted.
Triazolam tolerance and dependence are further broken down by the Food and Drug Administration, “some loss of effectiveness or adaptation to the sleep inducing effects of these medications may develop after nightly use for more than a few weeks and there may be a degree of dependence that develops. For the benzodiazepine sleeping pills that are eliminated quickly from the body, a relative deficiency of the drug may occur at some point in the interval between each night’s use.”
Are There Side-Effects From Triazolam Abuse?
Physical addiction and dependence of Triazolam can consequently end in withdrawals when the medication runs out or use is ceased. It’s not uncommon for Triazolam to have painful side-effects either. These can include:
- problems with coordination
- tingling of the skin
- intense cravings
- muscle pain
- rebound insomnia
Rebound insomnia happens when a person stops taking triazolam and it results in continued or intensified sleeplessness. Rebound is essentially a reversal of the medication that leads to the very problems that were originally being treated. A major issue with a lot of benzodiazepines is that if they aren’t tapered off of, they can result in a drug rebound including intense anxiety, seizures, sleeplessness and panic attacks.
The symptoms of Halcion withdrawal and side-effects can be comfortably managed in a controlled environment. It can actually be dangerous trying to administer an at home detoxification for benzodiazepines, especially if you’ve been taking them for a long period of time—12 or more weeks.
A medical detox can help you wean off of benzodiazepines by starting with a safe amount (which is monitored by professionals) and decreasing it over time. During the detox stage, the physical complications of addiction are dealt with.
The next step is taking care of the psychological addiction. During this phase of addiction treatment, behavioral therapies have been proven to be some of the most beneficial treatment programs.
There Is A Treatment Program Right For You
If you’re tired of needing medications to function, but afraid of what will happen when you stop, contact The Treehouse of Texas to map out a safe plan to quit. Our addiction specialists know their way around benzodiazepines and can help you find freedom from addiction. Call us today to start recovery.
Food and Drug Administration – Halcion
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Overdose Trends
New York Times – U.S. Not Planning To Ban Sleeping Pill
Substance Abuse and Mental Health – Prescription Drug Use and Misuse in the United States
U.S National Library of Medicine – Triazolam