Halcion, also known as Triazolam, is a benzodiazepine commonly used to treat insomnia. Because of its potency, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that this drug should only be used short-term, perhaps between seven-10 days. As a benzodiazepine, Halcion is easy to become addicted to, and therefore, you should only take as directed by a physician short-term.
Halcion has a short half-life, and withdrawal symptoms can quickly start when you stop taking the drug abruptly.
When taking Halcion, the brain goes through changes as the drug binds to brain receptors that would normally bind with the GABA neurotransmitter.
As a result, the brain quits producing GABA. Then, when you stop taking Halcion, the brain gets confused because it’s not used to producing GABA anymore. So, it takes time for the brain to re-balance itself, causing the body to undergo some uncomfortable symptoms.
During this time, Halcion withdrawal symptoms can occur, such as:
It’s easier to get through the withdrawal symptoms when you have a timeframe in mind so you will have a general idea of how long it can last. Doctors state that you should never try to quit benzodiazepines like Halcion “cold turkey,” but rather taper off of them slowly.
The withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person depending on various factors, such as:
The average Halcion withdrawal timeline is as follows:
Withdrawal symptoms can begin in as little as two hours from the last dose since Halcion has a short half-life. Early symptoms include feeling some anxiety and perhaps some rebound insomnia, which means the insomnia you were treating returns.
Symptoms may peak during the first couple of days, which can be uncomfortable. Common symptoms in this phase are muscle aches, nausea, shaking, headache, sweating, vomiting, insomnia, and anxiety.
Those that are heavily addicted to Halcion may still experience some uncomfortable symptoms on days 3 and 4. Those that are mildly addicted may begin to feel a bit better during these days.
Once you get to the fifth day, most of the withdrawal symptoms may have subsided. Your particular taper schedule can influence the pace at which you get through these symptoms.
Heavy users may continue to feel symptoms for weeks or months, but this will depend on the factors mentioned above. Usually, the detox will be complete within two weeks, leaving you feeling much better. But again, this can vary depending on the taper schedule the doctor sets up.
However, continued treatment in a comprehensive treatment facility is recommended to strengthen your recovery and prevent relapse. In addition, you can contend with any underlying issues that may be going on that could have led to the addiction in the first place.
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Detoxing is the first step to getting free from addiction. When detoxing from Halcion, it is important never to stop taking it “cold turkey” or abruptly. In general, benzodiazepines should be decreased or tapered over time under the care of a physician or addiction specialist to reduce the intensity and severity of withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox at Family Recovery Specialists provides a safe, sound detox program in which to begin recovery.
Most people are prescribed Halcion to treat insomnia. This medication is only to be used as a short-term treatment for insomnia, as those that stay on this drug can build up a tolerance. When you stop taking Halcion, the increased tolerance can cause what is called “rebound insomnia,” which means that insomnia returns. However, this should only last for two or three days during detox.
Detoxing from Halcion is the first step toward freedom from Halcion addiction. The physical detox usually takes about a week. This is done either in a medical detox facility, a treatment center, or hospital.
After this initial detox, it’s recommended that the next treatment step is to commit to continued treatment in an inpatient treatment center. Coming off benzodiazepines can be uncomfortable, and some withdrawal symptoms can linger.
For heavy users, entering an inpatient treatment center allows you to reside at the facility and solely focus on your recovery.
You’ll be monitored closely by substance abuse professionals and have access to a physician and counselor. Being able to leave home and be in a safe, structured atmosphere can increase your chances of a successful recovery immensely.
Many people opt to stay at an inpatient center for at least 30 days, but some commit to 60, 90, or longer terms. Your length of stay will depend on the level of care you need and desire.
Another benefit of attending inpatient treatment is that the physician may be able to prescribe a longer-acting benzo to help you wean off of the short-acting Halcion. This tapering down can help you experience less daunting withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re unable to pack up and leave home to attend treatment, you can opt to attend an outpatient treatment center or intensive outpatient program (IOP). The next level down from inpatient is IOP, which requires that you attend a certain number of hours of treatment at the facility – usually over 12.
For those that do not need that level of care, outpatient treatment may suffice. You may opt to attend a certain number of sessions during the week, ranging from three to seven depending on your needs and desires. Then, as time goes by and you become stronger in your recovery, you can decrease the number of meetings.
All three treatment modalities are helpful when wanting to get free from Halcion addiction. Once the detox process is over, inpatient, outpatient, and IOP can help you achieve long-lasting recovery. If you’re not sure what type would best suit you, we’ve got helpful professionals ready to assist you in determining your path to recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with Halcion addiction, know that you don’t have to tackle this alone. It’s important to have a game plan when quitting Halcion, which is a strong benzodiazepine. Professional support by your side can make the difference.
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Everyday Health. (2016, September 28)Triazolam. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/triazolam
JAMA Network. (1979, April 20) Rebound Insomnia A Potential Hazard Following Withdrawal of Certain Benzodiazepines. KAles, A. MD, Scharf, M, PhD., Kales, J. MD et al. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/364460
NIDA. (2020, June 17). The Brain & the Actions of Cocaine, Opioids, and Marijuana. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-addiction-science/brain-actions-cocaine-opioids-marijuana