Halcion Addiction and Treatment

Halcion is within the benzodiazepine class of drugs, and it is among the most addictive of the options.

Halcion Addiction and Treatment

Halcion Uses and Effects

As a benzodiazepine drug, Halcion has a sedative-hypnotic effect that is commonly used to treat issues like anxiety, insomnia, and some alcohol withdrawal related symptoms. It also has a relaxant effect on muscles. When taken as directed, Halcion provides users with relaxation and euphoria, making it particularly effective for anxiety and panic disorders. It also has a sedative effect, which may help patients sleep more soundly and fall asleep more easily.

Is Halcion addictive?

Yes, Halcion has a high addiction potential. In fact, Halcion is considered one of the most addictive forms of benzodiazepine available. Halcion addiction can develop in as little as two weeks, even if it used according to a physician’s prescription.

Doctors usually do not prescribe Halcion unless absolutely necessary, as it is one of the most addictive forms of benzodiazepine available. While all medications in this class are addictive, Halcion can become habit forming and dependencies can develop in as little as two weeks, even when used as directed. For this reason, Halcion should never be used without a prescription, and should always be taken under a doctor’s supervision.

Positive effects of taking Halcion include:

  • Relaxation and lessened muscle pain


    Euphoria

  • Reduced alcohol withdrawal symptoms


    Reduced symptoms of anxiety or panic

There are some less positive effects this drug can have as well, even when taken as directed:

  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
    Confusion and lack of balance
    Mental impairment
    Slurred speech

  • Seizures
    Double vision
    Low blood pressure
    Slowed breathing

Negative reactions can occur even when the drug is taken as directed. Doctors generally don’t prescribe Halcion for more than ten days at a time due to its high probability of becoming addictive. Even when used entirely as directed, patients may still become dependent on Halcion within a short period time – sometimes in as little as two weeks.

What are the side effects of Halcion?

The side effects of Halcion may include:

  • Sleepiness/drowsiness
  • Confusion and lack of balance
  • Mental impairment
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Double vision
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing

Despite its track record for being addictive, up to 1.2 million Americans are prescribed Halcion each year. Over sixty thousand sought treatment in 2008 for benzodiazepine addiction.

Halcion abuse is defined as any use of the drug that isn’t approved by a medical professional. This includes taking it longer than prescribed, in higher doses, taking it without a prescription, and taking it alongside other drugs.

Many people who abuse Halcion are polydrug users, meaning they use several substances at once in order to intensify the “high” or offset the effects of another drug. Common drugs taken alongside Halcion include:

  • Heroin
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription pain medications

When taken with alcohol, which is a nervous system depressant, the brain and central nervous system slow down to the point that users may stop breathing. Halcion may also be taken to avoid some of the more negative stimulant effects of Heroin and similar drugs. Most long-term addicts taking benzodiazepine drugs are also taking additional drugs or alcohol.

Risk Groups and Factors

Since Halcion is prescribed most often for insomnia and anxiety disorders, those who suffer from these disorders may be most likely to abuse the drug and become addicted.

Veterans and those who have co-occurring disorders often abuse anxiety drugs to self-medicate. Those who have been deployed are often more at risk due to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Insomnia is also common with those who have this disorder.

Professionals with high-stress careers are also more likely to abuse drugs, as they often suffer from anxiety, sleeplessness, and stress related to work.

Anyone who takes Halcion is at risk of becoming addicted. This drug is only used in extreme cases for this reason, as it is highly addictive even when taken as directed and in the short-term. Other risk factors for becoming addicted are:

Medical problems – Those with certain medical conditions, such as alcohol withdrawal or muscle pain, may be more likely to abuse sedative drugs in order to try and control their conditions.

Mental illness – Patients with anxiety and panic disorders may continue to take Halcion longer than directed, or in higher doses than recommended. As users become tolerant to benzodiazepine at the doctor recommended dose, they may need to take larger amounts in order to achieve the same results. This makes the risk of overdose exponentially more likely.

Drug use – Users of other drugs may also be more likely to abuse Halcion. They often either combine Halcion with similar depressants in order to intensify the effects, or with stimulants to balance them out. Neither is a good idea in terms of health, as both can lead to overdose very quickly.

Family life – Those with immediate family members who suffer from addiction, either to benzodiazepine medications, alcohol, or illegal drugs should be especially careful. They may be more likely to become addicted themselves.

Warning Signs

Even if you’re the one taking the drug, it can be hard to determine whether or not you are actually addicted. For one, you may find it hard to admit that you might have a real problem. For another, it’s easy to rationalize taking a drug your doctor has prescribed, and by the time an addiction has developed, it’s often too late to stop it.

You may be addicted to Halcion if:

  • You take it every day
  • You think about it when you’re not using it
  • You take it in higher doses, or more often, than prescribed
  • Your work or home life has suffered from its use
  • You suffer withdrawal symptoms if you’ve gone longer than usual without taking it
  • You’ve tried to stop, but can’t seem to do it successfully

If you’re dealing with a friend or family member who may be abusing the drug, the warning signs could be more apparent to you. Keep in mind, though, that some symptoms of drug abuse are also common among those with anxiety and depression.

Your loved one may be addicted if they:

  • Have lost interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Have stopped caring about personal hygiene
  • Seem confused, disoriented, or drowsy much of the time
  • Appear “drunk” much of the time – staggering gait, slurred speech, and impaired balance
  • Are unusually tired more often
  • Display a sudden change in personality, or has frequent mood swings
  • Spend money rapidly with no good explanation on what it’s being spent on
  • Behave in a secretive manner, such as locking you out of their bedroom

If you notice any of these behaviors in yourself, or someone you care about, seek professional assistance immediately.

Halcion Abuse and Addiction Statistics

  • Doctors prescribe Halcion approximately 1.2 million times a year.
  • There were over 60 thousand people admitted to treatment in 2008, for benzodiazepines, such as Halcion.
  • Approximately 68% of users are female, and only 32% of users are male.

Treatment

Unlike some other drugs in which the detoxification process is uncomfortable, but not always dangerous, getting off Halcion is a delicate process.
Users may suffer from severe health complications and some even die during the withdrawal stages.

Detoxification should only be done under direct supervision of medical personnel in an inpatient treatment facility designed to handle severe withdrawal symptoms.

Users may suffer from severe health complications and some even die during the withdrawal stages.

Once the detox period has passed, counseling and peer support groups are also beneficial. Rehabilitation facilities often offer these services as well, and ongoing counseling is often recommended upon discharge.

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