As with other benzodiazepine drugs, Halcion is habit-forming. The longer you take Halcion and the higher the dosage you take, the more difficult it will be to stop because of potentially severe withdrawal symptoms.
Halcion is a potent brand name benzodiazepine medication containing the drug triazolam.
Like other benzos, including Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam), triazolam works by stimulating the brain to release more of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA.
GABA slows down brain and central nervous system activity and can be useful for treating anxiety disorders or depression.
In the United States, Triazolam is approved by the FDA to treat insomnia due to its short-acting effect. Once taken, triazolam works quickly to relax the brain and body, allowing you to quickly fall asleep.
Halcion, like other benzodiazepine drugs, should only be taken on a short-term basis and most doctors will only prescribe it for 7 to 10 days at most.
If Halcion is taken for longer periods or at higher doses to enhance its effect or get high (often done in combination with other drugs), you are likely to develop dependence on the drug.
Long-term Halcion dependence is associated with a number of different health-effects:
- cravings for the medication
- sleep disorders and difficulty sleeping without Halcion
- tolerance to the drug’s effects
- damage to mental health including concentration, memory, and mood
- sexual dysfunction
- withdrawal symptoms that begin as soon as the medication’s effect wears off
- increased risk of dangerous overdose
Halcion Withdrawal Symptoms
If you have developed a physical dependence on Halcion and want to stop taking the drug, you may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts.
These symptoms are generally more severe when you’ve been taking the drug for a long time, in high doses, or in combination with other central nervous system depressants or sedatives like opioids or alcohol.
Symptoms of halcion withdrawal can include:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- irritability and mood changes
- loss of appetite
- muscle cramps, pain, and stiffness
- nausea and vomiting
- rebound insomnia
- shakiness, sweating, and chills
Halcion Withdrawal Timeline
Because Halcion is a fast-acting drug with a brief half-life of between 1.5 and 5.5 hours, withdrawal symptoms tend to kick in quickly—though mild, Halcion withdrawal doesn’t generally last as long as withdrawal from longer-acting benzodiazepines.
A rough timeline of the triazolam withdrawal process is included below, however each person’s experience and symptoms will likely be different.
You may experience minor, increasing discomfort as withdrawal symptoms begin to appear only a few hours after the last dose. These often include anxiety and rebound insomnia that can make the first few nights difficult.
24-48 hours after the medication is discontinued, acute withdrawal symptoms often hit their peak severity. The physical and mental symptoms listed above can be intense during this period, and are frequently made worse by exhaustion due to insomnia.
Halcion withdrawal symptoms continue, but steadily wind down through this period.
While some patients report no symptoms at this point, others may experience some mild, lingering symptoms for another week or longer.
Medical Detox For Halcion Addiction
Withdrawal is an extremely uncomfortable process and the cravings and other symptoms can push you to relapse, and symptoms can be harmful or even life-threatening.
If you’re addicted to benzodiazepines, including Halcion, medical detox can help you successfully and safely recover. While detoxing you’ll have full-time medical supervision with healthcare professionals on-site to monitor your symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed.
Depending on the severity of your dependence, these professionals may recommend a tapering off schedule, slowly and regularly lowering your dosage to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This is often a safer and more comfortable method than going cold turkey.
You may also be moved to a less-potent, longer-lasting benzodiazepine like Klonopin or Valium during the tapering process to ease your body through detoxification.
Behavioral Therapy & Other Treatment Options
Medical detox programs should always be supported and followed by other inpatient or outpatient services to help you fully recover and avoid future drug addiction relapse.
These treatment options include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to help you learn healthy coping skills
- Group therapy in which you can share your experiences with others going through the same challenges
- Psychiatric care to help you deal with any co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety or depression
- Supportive classes and programs including meditation, yoga, exercise, and support groups
If you or a loved one is struggling with Halcion abuse, addiction, or dependence, reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist and ask about our benzodiazepine withdrawal and addiction treatment programs today.