Halcion is a type of benzodiazepines. It’s primarily used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. It contains triazolam. This is the active ingredient responsible for the hypnotic effects associated with Halcion.
Halcion abuse statistics indicate that there are more than a million prescriptions written for this drug each year to treat insomnia. In 2008, more than 60,000 people sought addiction treatment for an addiction to benzodiazepines. Halcion is very addictive. It can be sold illegally on the streets under the street names:
If you have been abusing Halcion or if you are addicted to this drug, learn as much about this drug as possible. This can help you make a more informed decision on whether you need professional addiction treatment, and what steps you should take next.
Halcion is a type of benzodiazepine. The active ingredient in it is triazolam. This prescription medication is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. This means that it has a sedative effect, so it’s an effective sleep aid for treating insomnia. This prescription drug also has many hypnotic properties as well.
This medication is often white or pale yellow in color. It is also poorly soluble in water, which means that it cannot be dissolved in water and injected into one’s bloodstream with ease.
“Triazolam has a half-life between 1.5 and 5.5 hours.”
The chemical structure of triazolam, which is the main sleeping pill ingredient, causes it to have a fairly short half-life. This means that this prescription medication is not effective for those who frequently wake during the night or wake early. These patients should seek other alternatives to treat their insomnia.
Halcion is the brand name of triazolam. It’s possible to find a generic version of this drug as well. The generic versions may be cheaper depending on whether you have health insurance or not.
In general, triazolam is only prescribed in a tablet form. It comes in two doses: 0.125mg and 0.25mg. Patients are usually prescribed a dose between 0.125mg to 0.25mg at bedtime to induce sleep. Doctors will start at the lowest dose possible to see whether this medication works or not. The maximum recommended dose is 0.5mg. This dosage should only be used by patients who do not respond to the lower doses because it comes with a higher risk of several adverse reactions.
Patients who are over the age of 65 should take smaller doses to avoid adverse side effects.
If you are prescribed Halcion, you should only take it as needed at bedtime. Make sure that you do not take it with or shortly after a meal because triazolam may not be as effective if you do so. You should plan to go to sleep right after taking one of these sleeping pills.
You should also plan to stay in bed for at least 7 to 8 hours. Those who get up too soon after taking triazolam may experience memory problems.
In general, most patients will start to see an improvement in their quality of sleep after 7 to 10 days. Patients should not take Halcion for more than 2 to 3 weeks. Those who do will be abusing the drug.
Halcion is mainly used as a short-term drug for inducing sleep. But, how does this prescription drug achieve this? What mechanism of action does triazolam have on the brain?
Halcion is effective because it works its magic on several different receptors in the brain. They include:
The BNZ2 receptor also regulates anticonvulsant activity, motor coordination and memory. Basically, it relaxes your brain and overall system, so that you can easily fall asleep.
Other than attaching to the receptors above, triazolam is also believed to have an effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA) receptors. This medication causes GABA to have an increased affinity for GABA receptors. This means that GABA molecules are more likely to bind to these receptors, which will then open the chloride channels in the membrane. This prevents the cells and neurons from being further excited.
The main neurochemical being affected by Halcion is GABA. Understanding what GABA does is crucial to understanding how triazolam works. This chemical is also one of the primary molecules that is affected by alcohol abuse and misuse.
First and foremost, gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA, is a neurochemical that regulates activities between brain cells. When GABA is present, it will reduce or inhibit brain and neuronal activity. It’s essentially a stop sign or a yellow light that causes everything to slow down. When GABA is around, all other chemicals will slow down. This means that the brain will send signals at slower rates.
But, what does GABA regulate? GABA regulates human behavior, cognition and also stress. Some studies also suggest that GABA may play a crucial role in controlling fear and anxiety.
With that said, having too little GABA isn’t a good thing either. Low levels of GABA have been linked to the following disorders:
Those who have too little GABA, on the other hand, may want to artificially boost the amount of GABA that they have. This will help calm down their body’s CNS. It will also help them fall asleep faster and enjoy better sleep.
Since triazolam has a significant effect on the GABA system, it’s not a surprise that it can also cause co-occurring mental health disorders that are related to lower-than-normal levels of GABA. Common co-occurring disorders associated with Halcion abuse include anxiety disorders, depression and schizophrenia. Some people who struggle with these co-occurring disorders may self-medicate with triazolam in order to improve their mental state.
While self-medication may seem to work, the effects are only temporary. The only reason why the self-medication works is because it temporarily normalized neurochemical levels in the brain. With that said, this artificial boost will actually cause the brain to go haywire. It will believe that it already has sufficient amounts of certain chemicals. As a result, it will produce less and less of it. This will only exacerbate and worsen the mental health disorder.
“In 2014, approximately 7.9 million Americans struggled with a co-occurring disorder.”
Those who struggle with a co-occurring disorder will need dual diagnosis treatment. They will need a treatment routine that can take into account the neurochemical imbalances. Only when both disorders are treated at the same time will the patients be able to successfully recover.
Patients who do not receive dual diagnosis treatment are much more likely to relapse. If you’re unsure of whether or not you have a co-occurring disorder, consider taking our co-occurring addiction quiz. It’ll give you some insight into the situation.
When you feel as though you need Halcion in order to fall asleep at night, or even to get through the day, you may have an addiction. Halcion is both physically and psychologically addictive.
But, how do you know whether you’re addicted to Halcion? Well, for one, you can take our prescription drug addiction quiz. It should give you some insight into the situation. At the very least, it’ll give you something to think about.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) uses 11 different criteria to diagnose a substance use problem. The 11 signs that you have an addiction to triazolam include:
Those who only meet 2 or three of these criteria have a mild addiction. Those who meet four or five of these criteria have a moderate substance use disorder (SUD), an those who meet six or more of these symptoms have a severe addiction to Halcion. Even those with a mild addiction should seek professional help.
There’s a fine line between abuse and addiction. Someone who is abusing Halcion may not necessarily be addicted to the drug. However, they sure are close to becoming addicts.
Someone who abuses Halcion may take the prescription drug not as intended in order to get high. They may also think about the drug. However, they usually will not have developed a tolerance to the drug yet. They also will not have a physical or chemical dependence on the drug. This means that they will not experience any withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit.
If you take any type of sleeping pills, you need to consider the side effects of sleeping pills first. Weigh out whether the side effects are worth the benefits that you’ll reap.
Triazolam is a fairly potent drug. This means that it is likely to cause a wide array of side effects. Common Halcion side effects include:
In a recent study, 14% of participants reported feeling drowsy after taking Halcion. Another 9.7% of participants reported getting headaches. These appear to be the most common side effects.
Those who take a lower dose of Halcion will usually experience fewer of these side effects. The side effects may dissipate and subside with time. In general, the side effects listed above are not considered to be serious.
With that said, Halcion can come with some very serious side effects. They include memory loss and mental changes or mood changes. Those who hallucinate or feel confused should speak to a doctor immediately. The same can be said for those who experience new or worsening depression and suicidal thoughts.
Before taking any type of prescription drug, you should always read the warning labels on the bottle. Many people believe that prescription drugs must be safe because they’re prescribed by a medical professional. However, this is often not the case.
This sleep aid is not suitable for those with:
A precaution to take when using Halcion is to avoid operating heavy machinery. Those who take this prescription medication can feel drowsy even during the day.
Pregnant women should not take Halcion at all. This prescription drug can harm the baby. In addition, this drug can also pass into breast milk and affect a nursing infant.
Polysubstance abuse is never a good idea. Mixing two different drugs together can result in some very serious and adverse effects. The two substances may interact with one another and magnify the effects of each other. They can also suppress the effects of one another, which can cause a drug user to take more of both drugs. This can increase a substance user’s risk of an overdose.
Halcion is no exception. Much like with other substances, it is never a good idea to mix Halcion with other substances. Check out our drug interaction tool to learn more about the potential consequences involved with doing so.
There are many resources out there that can give you some information on how two substances will react when placed together. We have taken the information provided by TripSit and placed it here. The chart below explores the reactions between mixing a benzodiazepine with other substances. As you can see, mixing Halcion with some substances, like alcohol, is dangerous.
|LSD||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|Mushrooms||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|DMT||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|Mescaline||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|DOx||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|NBOMes||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|2C-x||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|2-C-T-X||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|5-MeO-xxT||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|Cannabis||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|Nitrous||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|Amphetamines||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|Caffeine||Low risk and decreased synergy|
|MAOIs||Low risk and increased synergy|
|SSRIs||Low risk and no synergy|
Despite all of the warnings, many people will mix Halcion with other substances. Unfortunately, mixing Halcion with alcohol or other illegal drugs can result in fatal consequences. Some of the most common substances that are mixed with triazolam include:
Never mix Halcion with any other illicit drugs. Those who are taking other prescription medications should first let their doctors know about the situation. Their doctors may advise them to stop taking one of the drugs. Or, they may switch them to another alternative.
Other than illicit drugs, there are plenty of prescription drugs that you will need to avoid if you are taking Halcion. Some of these prescription drugs include:
Taking triazolam with any of the above drugs can lead to unsavory interactions. It’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor or your pharmacist before taking the drug.
Another interesting thing about Halcion is that you should never take it and eat grapefruit at the same time. This may sound weird or nuts, but it’s true! There is a chemical in the grapefruit that will interact with the triazolam in Halcion.
When a person eats a grapefruit while taking Halcion, the triazolam concentrations in the CNS will increase. This makes the drug a lot more potent. Even a small dose can have a profound and significant effect on the patient.
Stopping a drug like Halcyon on your own, without professional support involved is never recommended for anyone. Doing so can result in a variety of negative withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms usually only emerge among those who have developed a physical or chemical dependence on the drug. Without it, their body and CNS cannot achieve the right chemical balances.
Since triazolam is a potent drug, the withdrawal symptoms can be very intense and overbearing. They can be so uncomfortable that they cause drug users to relapse. Just remember that relapse happens. The goal is to never give up. Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms involved with Halcion addiction include:
The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will vary from one patient to another. It all depends on the length of time that Halcion has been abused for, as well as the dose that the user took. Other factors that can affect the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will include the frequency of which the substance user took triazolam and whether they mixed it with other substances.
Knowing how long to expect the withdrawals to last can be very useful. Researchers have yet to boil the timeline down to an exact science. With that said, many experts can give you an approximate timeline.
The good news is that Halcion withdrawal symptoms may be intense, but they don’t tend to last very long. Those who are able to bear through the physical withdrawals will usually be able to recover from their addiction. Most Halcion abusers have reported that the withdrawal symptoms last anywhere from 5 to 14 days.
An interesting thing about Halcion is that it can lead to rebound insomnia. Those who take triazolam do so in order to get a good night’s sleep. However, those who are addicted may find that Halcyon only worsens their sleeping habits.
Those who are coming off of Halcion may experience a phenomenon known as rebound insomnia. This means that they will experience insomnia once again. This time, the symptoms may be even worse. They may have difficulties sleeping even if they take a sleeping pill like melatonin.
Rebound insomnia is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms to expect. This condition will usually only last about two to three days after the last dose. Once this time period has passed, the addict will usually be able to sleep better again.
Another thing that benzodiazepine abusers should keep in mind is that they are likely to experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome. These withdrawal symptoms can linger around for months after the physical symptoms disappear. They can also pop up out of nowhere and cause substance abusers to get hooked on benzodiazepines again.
Some symptoms of PAWS include:
Those who have abused benzodiazepines for a longer period of time are more likely to experience PAWS. A solid relapse prevention plan can equip recovering addicts with the tools that they need to deal with the symptoms of PAWS.
Halcion is one of the many anti-anxiety meds that are highly abused in pop cultures. There has been some media attention on this drug over the past several years. Not only is the average American getting hooked on this type of prescription medication, but so are many celebrities.
“In comparison to the 20th century, studies show that the total number of celebrities who died from a drug-related overdose has increased significantly in the 21st century.”
Many celebrities and other professionals feel as if they have a tremendous amount of pressure on them. They are always in the spotlight, and all of their actions and behaviors are heavily scrutinized by paparazzi and the media. Anti-anxiety meds, like triazolam, may help them sleep or feel more relaxed.
Celebrity drug addiction is usually made very public. To show you that anyone can get addicted to this drug, here are some notable cases of celebrities abusing Halcion.
Burt Reynolds, the award-winning actor, has been quite open about his struggle with addiction. He hopes that he’ll be able to help and reach other people by being more transparent about his addiction. He has been most transparent about his addiction to Halcion.
Reynolds revealed that he was addicted to Halcion for more than 4 years in 1992. He took five to six pills at a time, and took over 50 pills in a day to maintain his addiction. Halcion helped him sleep and helped him relax. Reynolds first started taking Halcion after he broke his jaw and shattered his temporomandibular joint. The medication was prescribed by the doctor to help dull his pain.
“The pain was worse than a migraine. It is like having an army of people inside your head trying to get out through ears, eyes, your nose. It never stops.”
Although it was effective, Reynolds started to misuse the drug and abuse it. Before long, he had a full-blown addiction. When Reynolds wanted to quit, the withdrawal symptoms that he experienced were so severe that he was immediately transported to a Los Angeles hospital. There, he struggled to maintain consciousness. Fortunately, he was able to power through the withdrawal symptoms and recover.
Reynolds mostly credits his success to getting professional drug detox and addiction treatment. It saved his life.
Actors and actresses are not the only people who abuse popular drugs. Many other professionals who have stressful jobs will often abuse prescription medications. Another notable celebrity who abused triazolam is Hunter S. Thompson.
Thompson was a famous American journalist in the 70s. His schedule included taking drugs, like cocaine and alcohol, to get his creative juices flowing. When it was time to go to sleep, he would take Halcion as a sleep aid. This was usually at about 8am. It was a miracle that he survived for as long as he did.
Surprisingly, Thompson did not die from a drug-related overdose. Instead, he committed suicide at the age of 67.
Mike Nichols was one of America’s most celebrated directors. He had a long resume of popular work both on Broadway and in Hollywood. Nicholas also wasn’t shy about talking about his drug use when he was alive.
During one of his many interviews, Nichols revealed that he too had used Halcion to help him go to sleep. Unfortunately, his misuse of triazolam caused him to develop suicidal tendencies.
Halcion overdose cases have been reported at dosages over 2mg. This is four times over the maximum recommended therapeutic dose, which is 0.5mg. Common overdose symptoms include:
In extreme cases, those who overdose on Halcion may also go into a coma or experience seizures. It’s much easier to overdose on Halcion if the user abuses it with other drugs and substances, like alcohol.
Those who are taken to a hospital for a Halcion overdose should be under constant supervision. The medical staff should keep an eye on the overdose victim’s pulse, blood pressure and respiration.
Much like with opioids, benzodiazepines also have an “antidote”. This benzodiazepine receptor antagonist is known as flumazenil. It will either completely or partially reverse the side effects of Halcion.
This medication comes in the form of an injectable solution. There is 0.1mg/mL. To reverse the effects of an overdose, a doctor will administer a 0.2mg IV dose over 15 to 30 seconds. The overdose victim should start to feel better within 30 seconds. If there is no response, a licensed professional should administer another 0.3mg over 30 seconds to 1 minute. Once again, if there is no response, a repeat dose of 0.5mg should be administered over 30 seconds at 1-min intervals. The medical staff may up the max cumulative dose to 3mg/hour.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 10,684 Americans overdosed on benzodiazepines in 2016. That’s quite a hefty sum. It shows that benzodiazepine abuse is a huge problem in America.
If you or someone that you know constantly abused benzodiazepines, it’s crucial that you learn what to do ahead of time. Quick action can save lives.
The first thing that you should do is call 9-1-1. The overdose victim needs immediate medical help. Immediate medical attention will reduce the amount of damage that they sustain.
Upon calling 9-1-1, you’ll need to provide the operator with information like:
After getting off the phone, try to stay with the victim if possible. Keep him or her as comfortable as possible, and place him or her on their side and in the recovery position if he or she loses consciousness. The recovery position will, at the very least, keep the victim’s airway open.
If possible, look for the overdose victim’s medical card. It will come in handy when the emergency responders arrive.
Anyone who is addicted to Halcion should highly consider seeking professional help. This is largely because the drug is so addictive that it can be very difficult to recover from it. The right drug rehab will have the tools and skills needed to help patients get back on the right track.
A comprehensive addiction treatment plan can be separated into two parts: detox and addiction treatment. The detox part of the substance abuse treatment program will help remove toxins from the body. It will also help ease withdrawal symptoms among recovering substance abusers. This way, they’ll have a more comfortable recovery.
Although detox is very important, it also needs to be paired with other types of addiction treatment services, like behavioral therapy and counseling. Behavioral therapy can help patients recognize their triggers and determine how to change their behaviors, so that they don’t relapse. Counseling can help patients work through any underlying struggles and issues that caused them to turn to drugs in the first place.
When choosing which type of alcohol and drug treatment center to go to, you’ll need to consider whether you need inpatient or outpatient care. They differ in the level of care that they can provide. Each type of care possesses its own unique benefits and disadvantages.
With inpatient care, patients will move into the rehab facility. They will stay there for anywhere from 28 to 90 days. There, they receive around-the-clock supervision and access to medical professionals.
In general, patients will need to stick to a strict daily routine while at the rehab facility. They will receive behavioral therapy and counseling every day, and take part in independent living classes.
This type of addiction treatment care is best suited for those with:
With outpatient care, patients receive the same type of addiction treatment as inpatient care. The only difference is that they do not need to live at the rehab facility. Instead, they can choose to travel to the rehab center whenever they need treatment.
Outpatient care can go on for months, if not years. Patients can opt for as much or as little treatment as they want. For example, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) will require a commitment of at least 9 hours of therapy a week.
This level of care is best for those who:
One of the most important parts of any addiction treatment plan is detox. There are two different types of detox services to choose from: medical detox and holistic detox.
Medical detox involves the use of medications to clear the drugs from the body. The medications can also stabilize neurochemical levels in the brain and body. A wide variety of medications may be prescribed. It all depends on the intensity and severity of the withdrawal symptoms experienced by each patient. Usually, detox will only go on for 5 to 14 days. It depends on each patient’s withdrawal timeline.
Holistic detox services involve taking natural approaches to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Techniques include eating healthy foods, exercising more, staying hydrated, learning how to relax, and becoming more self-aware.
If you notice that you may be addicted to Halcion, it’s time to seek a professional opinion. Give our professionals a call, and they can give you a free addiction assessment over the phone. Everything that you share with us will be kept 100% confidential. The information shared will only be used to help determine whether you need professional help, and, if you do, the type of help that will best suit your situation.
We know that facing an addiction can feel very scary and overwhelming. This is why we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Check out our testimonials for more information. We’ve had the honor of helping many people get back to their normal self. If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you, contact us.