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Halcion Addiction

Sleeplessness—have you experienced it? Well, you’re not alone. An estimated 70 million people in the United States struggle with a sleep disorder. There are 80 different types of sleep disorders, insomnia and sleep apnea are the most common. Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder in which individuals can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. It is estimated that 50 percent of adults will experience insomnia at some point in their life, but 1 in 10 will struggle with chronic insomnia.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that consists of unrefreshing sleep or waking up too early. This can lead to accidents at work or while driving, and it can be dangerous if the proper amount of sleep is not achieved. It can occur on its own or happen as a result of a psychiatric condition. The disorder can also come and go. Because of conditions like these, researchers and people with insomnia have sought out treatments to help manage these issues. Even two weeks of missed rest can be dangerous if you were to get into a car accident.

Benzodiazepines such as Halcion were created to help people with sleep disorders, but as the medications gained popularity for those it helped, it also started to be abused. For someone with a disorder as debilitating as insomnia, finding relief is unprecedented when they feel rested the following day. The problems lie in forgetting how to fall asleep on your own. When you reach for a pill each and every time you can’t sleep, poor habits are being created. 

Taking medication for sleep disorders is one of the most difficult habits to break because sleep is the fuel for life. This is especially true when strong drugs like Halcion are consumed without knowing the dangers involved. Someone who uses Halcion innocently can still become develop a dependence on it within two weeks. We will examine this in more detail below.

How Does Halcion Work?

Halcion, also known as triazolam, is a powerful and fast-acting benzodiazepine prescribed to induce sleep. The main difference between Halcion and other benzodiazepines like Xanax is that it is not used in the treatment of anxiety. The reason behind this is that Halcion has a short half-life and fast-acting properties. The most common use of Halcion is to induce sleep before minor medical procedures are performed.

Halcion works on the brain by targeting GABA  receptors. GABA is used to specifically reduce neuron activity and block nerve impulses responsible for anxiety, stress, or fear. Like other benzodiazepines, it increases the production of GABA within the brain while bringing the user into a restful and calm state. Since Halcion is a fast-acting drug, it puts the user into an immediate state of rest usually within 10 minutes. 

The problem with taking drugs like Halcion is that when consumed in excess, the body stops creating its own GABA. It becomes dependent on outside substances for production. Stopping the use of the drug suddenly can lead to unfavorable outcomes like seizures.

What Are the Signs of Halcion Addiction?

Spotting a drug addiction can be difficult. This is especially true if the addiction is in the early stages. Those in the early stages of addiction can still resume everyday life functions with no concerns. Over time, however, these signs will become more evident to the user and those around them. To increase your awareness of developing an addiction, it is imperative that you know the signs in either yourself or someone else. If you know what Halcion addiction looks like, it can save a life.

Halcion addiction is similar to what you could find from someone abusing other benzodiazepines. It is, however, slightly different because of its fast-acting properties and strength. Someone abusing Halcion could be experiencing:

  • Extreme and constant drowsiness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach cramps
  • Frequent periods of nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations

Halcion dependence develops quickly, and this will shortly lead to addiction. It has been said that addiction to this substance can occur in as little as two weeks. This is why it is seldom prescribed for a long-term dose. This is what makes Halcion unique in comparison to other benzodiazepines. When someone is addicted, their entire world will revolve around obtaining the drug despite any consequences they face.

Addiction is characterized by an inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Addiction is a chronic disease that without treatment can lead to death, but fortunately, access to treatment is a lot easier to reach. 

If you’re concerned about an addiction to Halcion, these are symptoms to keep a close eye on:

  • An increased Halcion tolerance
  • Doctor shopping
  • Taking Halcion longer, or more often, or in larger doses than prescribed
  • Hiding use of Halcion
  • Lying about use of Halcion
  • Stealing 
  • Unable to function without Halcion
  • Decreased productivity at work or school
  • Unable to quit the drug despite many attempts

If you or your loved one is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it could potentially mean an addiction has formed. In your best attempt to preserve life, seeking treatment is highly recommended. You no longer have to struggle with taking your life back.

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How Dangerous Is Halcion?

There is a danger with sleeping pills that are not often spoken about: They cause odd side effects. One of the more dangerous sides of sleeping pills is the acts that can be committed while under the influence of the drug. Sleepwalking is a real and documented risk that takes place when someone consumes sleeping pills. You could have fallen asleep ready to see the sunlight and wake up somewhere else have absolutely no recollection of what events took place. There are other side effects including:

  • Driving a car
  • Making food
  • Having sex
  • Making phone calls

These are all side effects that can take place after you’ve closed your eyes for the night. It’s something that should be considered when taking sleeping pills. There are also cases where sleeping pills have been consumed and led to car accidents. The overall effect on the body of these pills can be similar to 11 percent blood-alcohol content. While these can pose imminent dangers to those consuming, they can also be life-threatening for those around them as well. Those with longer periods of abuse can increase the chances of these types of events.

As mentioned previously, Halcion is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It reacts in the body much quicker than other drugs in the same category. If taken with other substances like opioids or alcohol, it can cause a sudden overdose. Those who already struggle with benzo addictions are more likely to abuse a drug like Halcion because of its instant reaction. 

The longer an addiction carries on the higher the risk of an overdose. The results could be catastrophic organ failure that eventually leads to death. This happens because of the lack of oxygen in the body due to depressed breathing. If you suspect someone of an overdose, you must immediately call 911. Here are symptoms to look out for:

  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Seizures
  • Unable to stay conscious
  • Slowed breathing

Halcion Abuse Statistics

Many people

Sources

(n.d.). from https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/risks-of-mixing-driving-with-sleeping-pills-36220

American Society of Addiction Medicine. (n.d.). from https://www.asam.org/resources/definition-of-addiction

Sleep Disorders. (n.d.). from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11429-common-sleep-disorders

Mayo Clinic. Insomnia. (October 15, 2016) from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355167

Drugs.com. Halcion. (September 18, 2019) Cerner Multum. from https://www.drugs.com/mtm/halcion.html

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Tranquilizer Use Disorder or Sedative Use Disorder. (Aug 20, 2019) from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2018-nsduh-annual-national-report

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Surgeon General's Office. FACING ADDICTION IN AMERICA.The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, an.Prevalence of Substance Use, Misuse Problems, and Disorders, and Health. (2016) (Page 38) from https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-generals-report.pdf

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