Benzodiazepines such as Restoril have a potential for addiction because they can cause physical and psychological dependence.
In addition to being dependent, an addicted individual will likely experience strong urges or cravings to use the drug and withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking it. Without treatment, these states can drive a person to abuse Restoril even more frequently and heavily.
Recovery from Restoril addiction is possible when a person receives the right care for their needs. Individualized treatment plans address the physical, mental, emotional, social, and even spiritual damage caused by addiction.
By receiving this personalized care, a person has a higher chance of regaining sobriety and a healthier life.
Understanding Restoril (Temazepam)
Restoril is the brand name of temazepam, a benzodiazepine drug that is prescribed as a short-term treatment for insomnia. As a sedative-hypnotic and central nervous system depressant, Restoril creates its sleep-inducing effect by slowing activity in the brain.
Temazepam accomplishes this by enhancing the action of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA blocks nerve impulses in certain regions of the brain, a characteristic that gives Restoril its sedative properties.
Restoril is recommended for short-term use, for a period of seven to 10 days. Taking this medication for longer than prescribed could increase the likelihood that a person become dependent or addicted. Long-term use also increases the risk of harmful side effects.
Restoril comes as an oral capsule in 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 22.5 mg, and 30 mg doses. Restoril is a low-potency benzodiazepine drug with a short half-life. This medication has been classified by the DEA as a Schedule IV controlled substance.
About Restoril Abuse
Restoril abuse can begin in several ways. A person may misuse their or someone else’s prescription to self-treat insomnia or anxiety. While misusing a medication to self-medicate these or other conditions doesn’t necessarily mean a person is addicted, these behaviors could set the stage for addiction.
Some people abuse Restoril because they enjoy the way it makes them feel. When taken for this purpose, Restoril may cause a buzzed feeling similar to alcohol’s effects, euphoria, or a sense of extreme relaxation.
Taking a medication to create these or other pleasurable effects is considered abuse and often leads to addiction.
Despite being weaker than some benzodiazepines, when abused frequently or in high quantities this drug can be dangerous and addictive.
People who abuse Restoril may abuse it with other depressants or downers, such as alcohol. It may also be mixed with stimulants or uppers such as cocaine or amphetamine.
The dangers of mixing Restoril with alcohol, prescription opioids, heroin, or stimulant drugs include a greater risk of addiction, coma, overdose, and/or death.
Restoril Abuse Signs And Symptoms
When a person is abusing Restoril to create a feel-good effect they may force themselves to stay awake after taking it. Not using the drug as a sleep-aid and taking the drug in greater quantities than prescribed can be telltale signs of abuse.
Altering the drug’s form can also be a red flag for abuse and addiction. As a capsule, Restoril may be opened up so the contents can be abused in other ways besides being swallowed. A person may mix the drug into food or a beverage or attempt to dissolve temazepam for an injection. Some people may also try to smoke or snort Restoril.
When a person is addicted, they will likely have all the following major signs of Restoril addiction:
- Tolerance: A typical dose not create the feelings a person desires.
- Cravings: Urges to find and use the drug become frequent and begin to interfere with important responsibilities in a person’s life.
- Dependence: Frequent use of a drug causes a person’s body to become reliant on it.
- Withdrawal: Physical dependence causes pain, sickness, or discomfort when a person discontinues a drug or substantially reduces their dose.
These states can drive a person to take Restoril more frequently and/or in higher quantities. To overcome a tolerance, feed cravings, or to prevent withdrawal, a person may continue abusing temazepam.
Continuing to use a drug despite harm to a person’s relationships, job, or health is a major sign of temazepam abuse and addiction as well.
As a person’s use becomes compulsive, they will often go to great lengths to find and use the drug. These behaviors may include buying or stealing pills from friends and family, buying pills off the street, doctor shopping, or pretending to have insomnia to get a prescription.
Restoril Abuse Short-Term Effects
When a person takes Restoril orally, the drug is rapidly absorbed into their system. The effects of temazepam can be felt in as little as 30 to 60 minutes. When a person changes the drug’s form, such as by injecting, smoking, or snorting it, the onset of action may be even faster.
When a person takes Restoril in smaller doses, they may feel a mild buzz. With higher doses, the drug may create euphoria, a sense of deep relaxation, or an anxiolytic effect that reduces anxiety.
Depending on a person’s tolerance, Restoril may induce sleep at any dose. However, if a person takes a high dose they may slip into unconsciousness or have memory blackouts.
Restoril abuse may cause dizziness or confusion. A person may also develop ataxia, a state that can resemble drunkenness and cause slurred speech, poor coordination, and trouble walking. Elderly individuals or people taking certain medications may be more apt to develop these side effects.
Restoril Abuse Long-Term Effects, Risks, And Dangers
Two of the greatest risks of long-term Restoril abuse are addiction and overdose. In addition to these, people who abuse temazepam place themselves at risk of serious mental and physical harm.
When excessive amounts of Restoril are abused, the properties of the drug can become magnified. This psychomotor slowing can impair a person’s reaction time and make it difficult for them to drive a vehicle, a combination that can increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents.
The FDA cautions that sedative-hypnotics may cause sleep-driving, which could be dangerous to both the driver and others on the street. This risk is higher when Restoril is mixed with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants.
While taking Restoril, a person may make and eat food, make phone calls, or have sex while they’re not fully awake. Typically, a person does not remember sleep-driving or doing these things.
Some individuals who have depression prior to taking a benzodiazepine drug may experience new or worsening symptoms. Abusing this drug may be very dangerous for individuals struggling with thoughts of suicide (suicidal ideation) or who have previously attempted suicide.
Further, individuals with bipolar disorder may experience mania and hypomania under the influence of benzodiazepines such as Restoril.
Individuals with severe or chronic pain may have worsening symptoms if they abuse Restoril.
Taking benzodiazepine drugs for an extended period of time may cause problems with attention and memory. Memory problems could increase if Restoril is abused with alcohol. Further, research suggests that benzodiazepines can increase the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
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Restoril Overdose Dangers And Deaths
A Restoril overdose may be intentional or accidental. Within patterns of drug abuse, a person may take too high a dose and experience an accidental overdose. Though the risk of fatal overdose from Restoril isn’t as high as with other drugs, death is possible.
An overdose occurs when a person’s body cannot keep up with the amount of drug consumed. As a person’s body struggles to eliminate temazepam, toxic levels of the drug can build up in their system, causing an overdose.
When Restoril is taken with certain medications, such as prescription opioid painkillers, the risk of serious or life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, or coma can be much higher.
This can happen to people who abuse Restoril while taking opioid pain medications as prescribed. It can also occur when people abuse both Restoril and painkillers. When abused, a person may take high doses of both these drugs, a behavior that significantly increases these dangers.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a Restoril overdose could help a person get themselves or someone close to them potentially life-saving care at this time.
Restoril Overdose Signs And Symptoms
When a person first starts to overdose on Restoril they may appear intoxicated, as if they are drunk on alcohol. While alcohol intoxication can itself be dangerous, believing these symptoms are due to alcohol could prevent a person from receiving the care they need at this time.
Signs and symptoms of temazepam overdose include:
- clammy skin
- slowed reflexes
As an overdose from Restoril progresses, a person’s symptoms may become more severe.
Because it’s a central nervous system depressant, Restoril can make a person’s blood pressure and breathing rates slow, resulting in hypotension (low blood pressure) and/or respiratory depression.
Respiratory depression can be fatal and occurs when a person struggles to breathe, to the extent their breathing may become very shallow or even stop.
A Restoril overdose can be a medical emergency. If a person has difficulty breathing, will not wake up, has collapsed, and/or had a seizure, emergency medical services should be contacted.
Restoril Withdrawal Timeline
A person who is taking a benzodiazepine at therapeutic, prescribed doses may become dependent in as little as one to two weeks. People who abuse high doses on a regular basis may become dependent even faster.
Once a person is dependent on Restoril, they will likely experience symptoms of temazepam withdrawal. As a short-acting benzodiazepine, Restoril exits a person’s body fairly quickly. Because of this, withdrawal may set in faster than with certain other benzodiazepine drugs.
Withdrawal symptoms may be felt in as little as a few hours after a person quits taking the drug and last up to several weeks, however, the timeline of Restoril withdrawal can vary from person to person. Further, if benzodiazepine withdrawal seizures develop, they most commonly happen in the first one to three days of withdrawal.
The length of addiction and amounts regularly abused can both influence the timeline and severity of withdrawal. With tapering, or gradually reducing a person’s dose, withdrawal from benzodiazepines could take several weeks.
In certain cases, a person may have withdrawal symptoms for several months after they stop using Restoril, a condition known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS.
Also known as protracted withdrawal, PAWS happens when a person has withdrawal symptoms beyond what is known as acute withdrawal, or the period of withdrawal most people are familiar with.
Restoril Withdrawal Signs And Symptoms
If a person’s dose isn’t tapered gradually, withdrawal symptoms of Restoril can resemble those caused by alcohol and barbiturate addiction. They may include:
- abdominal cramps
- muscle cramps
People who have abused large amounts of Restoril for a significant length of time are more prone to developing severe withdrawal.
Quitting temazepam cold turkey may cause seizures or a severe, long-lasting, and potentially deadly type of seizure known as status epilepticus.
Individuals who abuse small doses of the drug may experience more mild and manageable withdrawal symptoms, such as dysphoria (unhappiness or unease) and insomnia.
Restoril Withdrawal And Detox Programs
Due to the risks and dangers of benzodiazepine withdrawal, an inpatient medical detox program for Restoril may be recommended.
Bearing in mind withdrawal complications that could occur, such as deadly seizures, a person should be monitored continuously to ensure they are safe and comfortable as they detox from Restoril.
Enrolling in a residential medically supervised detox program for temazepam allows a person to detox under 24-hour supervision.
During a detox from Restoril, a gradual taper using medications may be used to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by withdrawal. Other medications may be used to treat insomnia or dysphoria that accompanies withdrawal.
Withdrawing from Restoril can be emotionally and mentally challenging. Because of this, our highly-trained and compassionate staff will be standing by to offer comfort, guidance, and encouragement at this critical time.
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Finding A Restoril Drug Rehab Program
An inpatient drug rehab program for Restoril addiction offers intensive treatment for people who are working to recover from addiction and mental health disorders that accompany addiction.
The most effective programs provide a comprehensive evaluation so that each client’s treatment plans are individualized to their needs.
Many people who have addiction also struggle with a mental health disorder, such as those who first began abusing Restoril to self-medicate anxiety. When addiction occurs with a mental illness it’s called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis.
At The Treehouse, we offer compassionate and research-based dual diagnosis addiction treatment. Behavioral therapies and counseling help our clients build strong recoveries from both addiction and mental health problems.
We also use exciting and rejuvenating alternative approaches to treat addiction, such as adventure, expressive, and wilderness therapies.
Reach out to The Treehouse today for more resources on Restoril abuse, addiction, and treatment.
- Center for Substance Abuse Research — Benzodiazepines
- DailyMed — LABEL: RESTORIL- temazepam capsule
- Harvard Health Publishing — Benzodiazepine use may raise risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- MedlinePlus — Temazepam
- Prescriber’s Digital Reference — Temazepam - Drug Summary
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Substance Abuse Treatment ADVISORY News for the Treatment Field: Protracted Withdrawal
- U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency — Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide 2017 Edition
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration — Restoril™ (temazepam) Capsules USP
- U.S. National Library of Medicine — Benzodiazepine Pharmacology and Central Nervous System–Mediated Effects