Halcion Withdrawal – How to Cope with the Cravings

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

Halcion is a brand name drug that uses benzodiazepine as its active ingredient. It is a sedative and tranquilizer prescribed to treat insomnia. Like other sedatives, Halcion withdrawal can result in when stop taking it.

There are some difference between these types of benzos. First, it is in how fast-acting they are. Then, it is how long they last. Lastly, it is how quickly they leave the body. The shorter-acting the compound, the more intense the effect. Therefore, the more acute the withdrawal symptoms are. Different forms of benzos work to treat different symptoms. They ranging from panic attacks to psychotic mania. In addition, people commonly use them to sedate patients undergoing surgery.
Other well-known drugs containing benzodiazepine include:

  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • diazepam (Valium)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)

Halcion Withdrawal

Benzos work by stimulating receptors in the brain. Then, they respond to gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). This neurotransmitter inhibits neural activity. It slows down the brain and the central nervous system (CNS). This, in turn, causes the user to experience a sense of relaxation and he or she may start to feel sleepy or drowsy.
When a benzodiazepine is present in the body, the CNS adapts to this new mix of chemicals. Then, it tries to maintain some sort of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the delicate balance of chemical processes. In fact, the body needs it in order to keep things running in a good way.

Increased tolerance for Halcion can be a sign of addiction. A clear-cut sign of addiction is when the user experiences a mental attachment to the drug. Consequently, it causes them to act in ways they normally wouldn’t. For example, one might go ‘doctor shopping’ for an increased supply or the drug. Or one may buy the drug from illegal dealers.
Blackouts, though rare, can be one of the more serious side effects of Halcion use. Therefore, this should prompt the user to consider stop taking the drug. Some users will report doing different things while under the influence. For example, they were driving, making phone calls and others. Then, they will not remember anything the following morning.
Halcion can pass into the breast milk. Therefore, it may cause serious birth defects during pregnancy. They consider the drug dependency-forming and has a high potential for abuse. As a result, physicians usually don’t prescribe it for long term use.

Halcion Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal is a biological phenomenon that occurs with any form of substance dependence. Suffering from Halcion withdrawal is recognizable. The user might not take the drug at the right time. As a result, it can serve as a red flag. Also, it should prompt the user to reassess their relationship with the substance.
Alcohol consumption while on Halcion exacerbates the effects of the drug. This is why physicians recommend not to combine alcohol and Halcion. Alcohol consumption may be cut down at least while taking the drug. Habitual use of alcohol with Halcion is a sign of abuse.
Symptoms of Halcion withdrawal include:

  • Restlessness
  • Poor concentration
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety Mood swings and depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Loss of motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Feeling of possible fainting
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Sweating and muscle cramps
  • Itching
  • Chest pains
  • Palpitations
  • Tachycardia (high heart rate)
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Inability to remember
  • Slurred speech
  • Visual impairments (like blurry vision)
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Decrease in appetite

Halcion can negatively affect memory and learning. In many cases, no clinical evidence exists. However, certain doctors believe that benzos are in fact linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Halcion Withdrawal Duration

Withdrawal usually lasts for around five days to two weeks, given that it’s such a fast-acting, potent drug. Taking Halcion for a long period will extend the duration of withdrawal though. In addition, some patients have reported feeling withdrawal after using the drug for as short as two weeks. Using other drugs containing benzos will also result in a longer withdrawal period.
Halcion Withdrawal Timeline

Halcion Withdrawal Timeline

The first 24 hours: Users encounter the first and most common symptoms of withdrawal. They include insomnia, increased heart rate and anxiety.
Day 1 and 2: Halcion withdrawal usually peak in the first 24h – 48h after last taking the drug. The user may have insomnia, increased heart rate, anxiety. Also, the user may encounter dizziness, trembling, muscle cramps and insomnia.
Day 3 and 4: All the above symptoms start subsiding. In fact, if one hasn’t slept until now one will probably fall asleep for the first time. This phase of withdrawal may have later for heavy users of Halcion.
Day 5 to 14: Most symptoms have now tapered off quite a lot. Consequently, they will slowly continue to decrease until Halcion withdrawal has completely passed.

Beating Halcion Withdrawal

Halcion withdrawal do not really mean a tapering-off in dosage. Users can have withdrawal symptoms even when going cold turkey. A doctor will prescribe a lighter form of benzo (like Valium). This way, it will help the body adjust to a new balance more gradually.
Treatment programs exist for both in-patient and out-patient treatment. It is where they will address the underlying cause for the addiction. Medical detox from Halcion may speed up the recovery process
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) should be considered if poly-substance abuse and acute withdrawal symptoms are being felt.

Centers for Treatment of Halcion Withdrawal

Rehab centers for Halcion addiction exist right across the US. Check here to find a center near. Most rehab centers run programs for 30, 60, 120 or 180 days. In addition. many medical aid companies do pay for at least a part of the rehab program.

Other Strategies to Treat Halcion Withdrawal

  • Cut out caffeine ultimately to help with insomnia. Try to get into bed when start feeling tired
  • Run, swim, do any preferred sport. This speeds up the healing process and increases dopamine levels naturally.
  • Avoid alcohol completely
  • When anxiety sets in, become aware of the body is reacting. Recognize this as a symptom of Halcion withdrawal and nothing else. Do something relaxing, which will decrease the heart rate.

Page Sources

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Benzodiazepines_and_the_alternatives

Published on: April 19th, 2017

Updated on: December 18th, 2019

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


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