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Halcion Addiction and Abuse

Halcion is a fast-acting benzodiazepine commonly prescribed for acute insomnia. Its potency makes it one of the easier benzos to get hooked on.

Addiction to Halcion

halcionHalcion is a potent benzodiazepine, and some people can form an addiction to it in as little as two weeks. Even people taking Halcion with a prescription have become dependent on the drug.

The presence of withdrawal symptoms when quitting Halcion is a major indicator of an addiction. People addicted to Halcion also feel helpless and unable to function without the drug.

Because Halcion withdrawal can be deadly, people addicted to the drug should seek medically supervised detox.

Some signs that you may have an addiction to Halcion include:

  • Repeated, unsuccessful attempts to quit
  • A lot of time spent recovering from Halcion’s effects
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Ignoring important obligations
  • Needing more Halcion to feel its effects

When taking Halcion for longer than the prescribed period or at higher concentrations, the user’s body can rapidly develop a tolerance to it. Users have even become addicted while following a doctor’s recommended dose.

Many people without a prescription to Halcion take a little for help sleeping. In this scenario, it can seem harmless since the user isn’t trying to get high. But using Halcion without a prescription and using it regularly for sleep can quickly lead to an intense addiction.

The zombie-like feeling that goes hand in hand with popping a pill eventually transitions into your personality, and it no longer becomes a euphoric rush but a necessity to survive, to even exist, to even be yourself. I felt dead on the inside.

Former benzo addict Ashley Zlatopolsky, Salon.com, 2015

Understanding Halcion (Triazolam)

Halcion is the brand name for triazolam. These tablets are taken orally and are most commonly prescribed to treat insomnia. Halcion takes effect faster than most other benzos, slowing brain activity and making it easier to sleep. Some doctors may prescribe Halcion for anxiety before minor medical procedures.

Halcion is intended for short-term use, typically no more than 7 to 10 days.

Halcion targets neuroreceptors that regulate brain function. This slows hyperactive brain activity and promotes deeper sleep. The substance is sometimes referred to by the slang term “Up Johns.”

Halcion has a much shorter half-life than other benzodiazepines. Halcion’s half-life, or how long the drug remains active in the body, is only 1 to 2 hours while other benzos can last up to 70 hours.

How Long Do Benzos Stay in the Body?
BrandsHalcionXanaxValium
Length of ActionShort-actingIntermediateLong-acting
Time2-4 hours12-15 hours20-70 hours

Doctors rarely prescribe Halcion for more than 10 days because of the drug’s potency and addictive potential. Halcion can stop working like it’s supposed to after a week.

Halcion may not be as effective the longer it’s taken. After the first week, many people find that the drug doesn’t help them sleep like it used to. This can lead to users increasing their dose in an attempt to regain the drug’s effects. They may also become anxious during the day, which is an indication that an addiction is forming.

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Halcion Effects and Abuse

Halcion produces a gentle, calming effect. It slows brain activity to a point where worries seem to slip away, enhancing the user’s mood. At higher doses, Halcion produces a euphoric high. But once an addiction forms, it can seem impossible to do anything without the drug.

People who already have a strong addiction to other benzos may turn to Halcion because of its potency and rapid onset effects compared to similar drugs.

Some Halcion users have reported having hallucinations from taking the drug, and have continued abusing it to achieve those effects.

Unlike other benzos that also depress the central nervous system, Halcion impacts the brain to the point of extreme sedation and drowsiness. This increases the risk of a Halcion overdose.

An overdose on Halcion can lead to coma and death. The signs of a Halcion overdose include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Intense drowsiness
  • Seizures
  • Impaired balance
  • Double vision

Common Halcion Drug Combinations

Polydrug users may combine drugs like alcohol and Halcion to get a better high or to self-medicate underlying mental disorders. Central nervous system depressants like alcohol make Halcion even more dangerous when taken together. Common drugs combined with Halcion include:

Research has shown that people addicted to narcotic painkillers or heroin often abuse Halcion. Mixing opioids and Halcion heightens central nervous system depression to the point where the user can stop breathing. Taking Halcion with alcohol has similarly dangerous effects.

Studies suggest addicted people with co-occurring disorders like anxiety are more likely to abuse benzos in addition to their drug of choice.

Halcion Abuse Statistics

1.2million

There are 1.2 million triazolam/Halcion prescriptions per year.

10-15percent

An estimated 10-15% of adults in America suffer from chronic insomnia; triazolam is one of the most commonly prescribed tranquilizers.

60Kusers in rehab

In 2008, benzodiazepines were the drug of abuse in more than 60,000 treatment admissions.

Overcoming a Halcion addiction starts with a safe and supervised detox. Withdrawal symptoms from Halcion can be intense, often leading to relapse. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to Halcion, there are many treatment options available to you. Call us to find help overcoming your Halcion addiction today.

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Sources & Author Last Edited: April 12, 2016

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2014). Halcion (Triazolam) Tablet. Retrieved on March 2, 2014, from: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=a0da0dba-a56d-486b-a45b-e8a7cdfbeac6
  2. Food and Drug Administration. (2008). Medication Guide: Halcion. Retrieved on March 2, 2014, from: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088610.pdf
  3. Forbes India. (2011). Wall Street Wakes Up To New Sleeping Drugs. Retrieved on March 2, 2014, from: http://forbesindia.com/printcontent/34277
About the Writer, Kayla Smith

Kayla Smith is the editorial director for Addiction Center. After working for years as a journalist, she joined the Addiction Center team in hopes of spreading awareness about addiction and mental health issues and helping people get treatment.

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