What Is Restoril?
Restoril (temazepam) is a popular Benzodiazepine drug prescribed for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety disorders. In recent years, Restoril has also been used to treat muscle spasms and disorders that cause seizures like epilepsy. Similar to other Benzodiazepines, it is a central nervous system depressant and the relaxing and sedating effects of the medication have made it a popular drug of misuse. Restoril is habit-forming and can quickly lead to the development of a tolerance and physical dependence. Due to the high risk of abuse, Restoril is only prescribed for the short-term and is not recommended to be taken for more than two weeks. The longer an individual takes a “Benzo” like Restoril, the more likely he or she is to develop an addiction.
Restoril is a Schedule IV controlled substance and is therefore only available by prescription from a doctor. Restoril was approved for sale during the late 1960s, and has been one of the most widely prescribed anti-anxiety medications in the U.S. ever since, despite the high risk of abuse associated with its use. In addition to the high prescription rate, Restoril was found to be among the top 20 most misused drugs in the nation, as well as one of the 5 most encountered drugs on the illicit market.
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The Effects of Restoril
There are a number of potential side effects of Restoril, which may increase in severity with higher doses. Individuals taking the drug may experience any of the following:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Blurred vision
While they’re less common, more serious side effects can manifest, such as:
- Heart palpitations
- Extreme drowsiness
- Difficulty swallowing
The sedating effect of Restoril that helps induce sleep in those suffering from insomnia can also make the drug an attractive choice to someone who’s seeking intoxication. Benzodiazepines increase a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which impacts the central nervous system and slows down brain activity, creating a relaxing and euphoric “high” in users. Repeated and consistent misuse of the drug can lead to the development of a tolerance, requiring more and more of the drug to achieve the original high. The user may build up a tolerance in as little as three days of taking Restoril, increasing the chance of developing a physical dependence and addiction. Many people addicted to Restoril will “doctor shop” for new prescriptions, visiting several doctors with complaints of crippling anxiety, or even engage in criminal activity to get more of the drug.
When someone is suffering from addiction to a Benzodiazepine like Restoril, they often resemble those with alcoholism. Many of the problems that addicted users will experience include lowered inhibitions, difficulty staying focused, and increased aggression when deprived of the drug. The majority of addicted individuals will also engage in poly-substance abuse; consuming multiple drugs at once to either enhance or decrease the effects. Some of the most common substances that are taken with Restoril include Cocaine, Opioids, and alcohol. Poly-substance abuse increases risk of overdose and other health complications, making it extremely dangerous.
Restoril can also lead to a potentially life-threatening overdose when abused or mixed with other substances. It’s rare for normal use, or even moderately high doses of Restoril to lead to an overdose; however, extremely high doses can be deadly. The risk of overdose increases when the drug is mixed with other sedative drugs or alcohol. These drug combinations cause dangerous nervous system suppression and lead to life-threatening respiratory depression. Oxygen is essential for brain functioning and deprivation can cause brain damage, coma, or even death.
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Those who become dependent on Restoril typically experience withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop taking the medication, as the body and brain have become accustomed to the presence of the drug. Even after just a short amount of time on Restoril, the brain gets used to the effects of the drug and modifies to the reaction it produces within your body. Withdrawal occurs then because the body is deprived of the surges of dopamine that the medication once supplied and must have time to adjust to function without it.
People generally experience the most intense withdrawal symptoms around 72 hours after they stop using the drug, and include:
- Muscle cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Panic attacks
- Trouble sleeping
- Drug cravings
Rebound insomnia and anxiety can also appear during the withdrawal process when individuals abruptly stop taking Restoril. Both rebound insomnia and rebound anxiety occur because the user’s body has become dependent on the drugs to either fall asleep or reduce anxiety; if they quit taking them, their insomnia and anxiety comes back often worse than before or “rebounds.” Rebound insomnia and rebound anxiety can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
In 2016, approximately 10,684 overdose deaths were caused by Benzodiazepines in the U.S.
According to the CDC, 30.6% of all pharmaceutical overdoses are linked to Benzodiazepines like Restoril.
During 2014, about 89,310 Americans sought treatment for an adverse or life-threatening reaction to Benzos.
Finding Treatment for Restoril Addiction
Restoril is a helpful and effective medication for some, but if not used carefully and responsibly, it can cause serious consequences. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to Restoril, contact a dedicated treatment specialist. There are thousands of inpatient and outpatient treatment plans available to help end Restoril addiction.
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