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Halcion (Triazolam) Abuse & Addiction | Side Effects, Withdrawal, & Treatment Options

blue Halcion (Triazolam) pills on a table next to empty blister packs

Halcion, also known by its generic name Triazolam, is a brand name benzodiazepine used to treat insomnia. It’s intended as a short-term treatment and usually isn’t prescribed for more than a month. 

Halcion is a schedule IV controlled substance that should only be taken if prescribed by a medical professional. Controlled substances have the potential for addiction, especially in those who have a prior history of alcohol or drug abuse. 

How Benzodiazepines Work

Halcion and other benzodiazepines work by slowing the central nervous system (CNS). Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos”, are a class of sedative psychoactive drugs used to treat generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders, insomnia, and seizures. 

Some benzodiazepines may also be used to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. 

Other commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include:

Halcion Side Effects

Halcion is used to treat sleep disorders, and side effects such as drowsiness can occur even at the minimum dose. It’s advised to only take Halcion at bedtime and if you’re prepared to sleep for at least eight hours. 

Some of the most common side effects of Halcion include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • memory problems
  • euphoria
  • relaxation

Halcion Addiction

Addiction is a chronic disease that is characterized by compulsive use and uncontrollable cravings. If you find that you try to stop taking Halcion and cannot or use it in ways other than directed, you may be addicted. 

Benzos such as Halcion cause feelings of relaxation and sedation. Those with benzodiazepine addiction may continually seek those feelings over day-to-day responsibilities at home, work, or school. 

Halcion Dependence

Physical dependence means your body relies on the dose of the drug you’re taking. Without it, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. You can become dependent on the medication even after short-term use of Halcion. 

The longer you use a drug like Halcion, the less effective it can become. As your tolerance increases, higher doses are needed to produce the same effect. An increase in tolerance increases the time it takes your body to process the drug. 

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an increase in tolerance is related to increased awakenings at night and daytime anxiety.

Halcion Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who have been on Halcion for a week or more may experience severe withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped abruptly. If you are currently taking Halcion and want to come off, it is important to discuss tapering your dose with your doctor. 

Withdrawal symptoms from Halcion may include:

  • rebound insomnia, which is when your insomnia gets worse in the first few days coming off the medication than it was to begin with 
  • anxiety
  • tremors
  • convulsions
  • muscle cramps

Learn more about Halcion Withdrawal

Halcion Overdose

It’s important to take Halcion exactly as prescribed to avoid a drug overdose. Both alcohol and opioids are central nervous system depressants, like benzodiazepines, which means they interact with the CNS to slow brain activity and function. 

Halcion should never be combined with alcohol or opioids because it greatly increases the risk of overdose. 

Signs of a benzodiazepine overdose include:

  • respiratory depression
  • coma
  • death
  • seizures

Treatment Options For Halcion Abuse & Addiction

Halcion withdrawal can be dangerous without proper medical supervision. There are many safe treatment options if you’re addicted and would like to stop taking benzodiazepines. 

Medical detoxification programs address physical withdrawal and will support you in finding further treatment. Behavioral therapy addresses the mental aspect of addiction and is offered in both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. 

Medical Detox

When coming off of a benzodiazepine like Halcion, a medical detox program can help you safely deal with the physical and mental aspects of the withdrawal process. 

A detox program is short-term with a supportive staff that monitors your health and provides any necessary medications. This is a much safer alternative to quitting benzodiazepines on your own. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

People with substance use disorders often have co-occurring mental health disorders and can benefit from treatment programs that offer CBT. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses the way you think about and react to stressful situations. This can help you learn healthy coping skills and diminish addictive behaviors. 

If you think you or a loved one is suffering from Halcion addiction or abuse, please contact one of our addiction treatment specialists to find the right path for you.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Halcion
U.S. National Library of Medicine: DailyMed - Halcion
U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Triazolam

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