Temazepam (Restoril) Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Temazepam (Restoril) is a benzodiazepine used as a short-term treatment for insomnia. It has a high potential for physical dependence and addiction, and it is often abused with other substances.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Temazepam Addiction
Temazepam (Restoril) slows brain activity to promote better sleep. It is not intended for long-term use, and it can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Addiction is a chronic disease signified by loss of control over drug use, drug cravings and disregard of dangerous consequences.
If someone is suffering from a temazepam addiction, they may:
- act strangely or have hallucinations
- exhibit aggressive behavior
- take temazepam in higher doses or for longer than prescribed
- continue taking temazepam even if negative health effects develop
There are many possible side effects that come with temazepam use. These occur infrequently with recommended dosage, but abuse could lead to symptoms such as:
- excessive drowsiness (after waking)
- lack of focus
- loss of memory
- ataxia (loss of coordination)
A unique symptom associated with temazepam use is strange behavior that occurs during sleep. There have been accounts of people driving cars, having sex or talking on the phone in their sleep after taking temazepam. They usually do not remember the event when they wake. The likelihood of this occurring increases when temazepam is used with other depressants.
What Is Temazepam?
Temazepam, branded as Restoril, is a benzodiazepine. These types of drugs, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan), are generally used to treat anxiety. They depress the central nervous system (CNS) to calm the brain and body.
Temazepam works in a similar way to cause relaxation. It is legally used in the United States as a short-term treatment for insomnia, though usually only prescribed for seven to 10 days.
Temazepam comes as a capsule and is taken orally. It should only be taken when a person is ready for bed and is prepared for seven to eight hours of sleep. If they get up before this time, it may affect their memory and the level of fatigue will not be safe for normal behavior, such as driving.
Effects Of Temazepam On The Brain
Like other benzodiazepines, temazepam works by targeting a neurotransmitter, called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The purpose of GABA is to regulate brain activity and promote calmness. As a sedative-hypnotic drug, temazepam enhances the effects of GABA, producing a greater relaxation and reducing anxiety.
The sedative properties of temazepam aid a person in falling asleep and staying asleep. Once they have gotten into this routine, the goal is to slowly stop taking temazepam and naturally continue a more satisfying sleep schedule.
Dangers Of Temazepam Abuse
When taking temazepam, a person may begin to rely on the drug in order to sleep normally. They may continue to take it after the treatment has ended if they are able to obtain it. They will likely build a tolerance to it, requiring a higher dose in order to sleep through the night.
The dangers of temazepam abuse increase drastically when it is taken with opioids or other CNS depressants, such as alcohol. Pairing temazepam with depressants raises the risk of hazardous sleeping behavior and amnesia. Benzodiazepines mixed with opioids pose the threat of over-sedation, respiratory depression, coma and death.
Between the years 2002 and 2015, the number of overdose deaths from benzodiazepines taken with opioids tripled. Polysubstance abuse is an issue that accompanies many prescription drug addictions and makes fatal overdose more likely to occur.
Can You Overdose On Temazepam (Restoril)?
It is possible to overdose on temazepam alone if too much is taken at once. When this happens, the central nervous system is severely depressed, which can result in confusion, impaired reflexes, hypotension, respiratory depression or coma.
In the event of an overdose, flumazenil can be used to counteract sedation. Flumazenil is a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of benzodiazepines in the brain. This can slow or reverse overdose effects, but emergency treatment will still be needed.
Even when taken as prescribed, temazepam has a high potential for physical dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms can occur if a person stops taking it abruptly.
Temazepam Withdrawal Symptoms
Generally, doctors will recommend a slow weaning process for temazepam to prevent or ease withdrawal. The longer someone takes temazepam, the more severe the symptoms may be.
The most common temazepam withdrawal symptoms are:
- severe depression
- stomach pain
- muscle cramps
A person who suddenly stops taking temazepam may also experience difficulty sleeping. This leads some people to resume taking the drug and eventually become addicted.
Treatment For Temazepam (Restoril) Addiction
Overcoming temazepam addiction often begins with detoxification. This is very difficult to complete alone, as addiction can trap a person in a self-destructive cycle. Medically-assisted detox programs can make the process more bearable. Once the drug is out of the body, healing can begin.
Treatment options are available based on an individual’s specific needs. Inpatient drug rehab programs may use methods such as medically-assisted treatment (MAT), behavioral therapy, counseling or support groups to help people change their lives for the better.
For more information about customized treatment options, contact us today at The Bluffs.
U.S. National Library of Medicine, Temazepam