Restoril (Temazepam) Abuse Help

Restoril (Temazepam) Abuse HelpRestoril is a brand name version of temazepam, a benzodiazepine-class drug used to treat insomnia and anxiety. The Institute of Medicine’s 2006 report “Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem” estimates that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders and wakefulness. Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Sleep Foundation offer similar numbers, including the following:

  • 40 million people in the US have a chronic sleep disorder.
  • 18 billion dollars per year are lost in workplace productivity due to sleep loss issues.
  • 62 percent of adults experience sleep issues a few nights per week.
  • 30 percent of adults struggle with insomnia over the course of the year.
  • 29 percent of adults report getting six hours or less of sleep per night.

The 2006 Forbes article “The Sleep Racket” states that prescription sleep aids account for more than 2 billion dollars per year in sales, so drugs like temazepam are widely used and distributed. As with all benzodiazepine-class medications, extended use can result in a dependence or addiction.

The Dangers of Restoril

In 2012, the U.S. News and World Report covered a Scripps Health study in San Diego that linked sleeping pills like Restoril to a fivefold increase in risk for early death. The article, “Study: Popular Sleeping Pill Ambien Linked to Increased Death Rate,” noted several statistics, including the following:

  • Sleep medications may be associated with up to 500,000 “excess deaths” per year.
  • 6 percent of the 10,000 person user group died between 2002 and 2006.
  • Only 1 percent of the 23,500 person nonuser group died during that same period.
  • Users taking fewer than two pills per month still reported three times as many deaths.

Fatalities can occur from overdose, but there is particular risk in taking sleep medication before driving, operating machinery or engaging in other activities that require alertness. Even casual temazepam use can result in potential side effects, including the following:

  • Excessive drowsiness, nervousness or irritability
  • Discomforts such as nausea, vomiting, headaches and dry mouth
  • Sensations of burning, tingling, numbness and stomach pain
  • Bouts of amnesia and a loss of coordination

Excessive use can produce more serious side effects that require medical attention, including the following:

  • Respiratory depression characterized by weak and shallow breathing
  • Restless muscle movements occurring in the eyes, tongue, jaw or neck
  • The onset of confusion, slurred speech, hallucinations and chills
  • Physical signs like rapid heartbeats and pale or yellow skin

Taking too many benzodiazepines or combining them with alcohol, narcotic pain medication or other drugs can result in a potentially fatal central nervous system (CNS) depression. While these are all dangers associated with traditional Restoril use, some drug users escalate the risks by injecting temazepam.

Injecting Temazepam

The 2003 Drug and Alcohol Review journal study “Association of Benzodiazepine Injection with the Prescription of Temazepam Capsules” notes that temazepam has become the popular choice for benzodiazepine injection and causes ulcers, gangrene and vascular and tissue damage. The 2004 Australian Prescriber article “Temazepam Capsules: What Was the Problem? noted other issues, including the following:

  • Intravenous temazepam users typically inject heroin or amphetamines as well.
  • Temazepam is the most popular benzodiazepine to inject.

Though the first reported use occurred in Scotland in 1987, temazepam injection has been particularly popular in Australia, where capsules or gel caps are heated and the pill’s contents are drawn out by syringe. The capsule form of temazepam has since been outlawed in many countries, including Australia and the United States.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

In 1989, the Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners made a colorful observation about benzodiazepine use saying it has “a sharp sting in the tail.” The “sting” refers to the withdrawal symptoms that largely result from changes in the central nervous system, including the following:

  • Benzodiazepines decrease the production of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, serotonin, acetylcholine and dopamine.
  • When the drug use stops, the user feels the effects of the reduction in natural neurotransmitter production.
  • The nervous system must undergo physical changes to reverse the adaptions created by benzodiazepine dependence.

Withdrawal symptoms can include rebound anxiety, insomnia, weakness and muscular problems, but more serious side effects can arise from ceasing use too abruptly. As noted in the 2004 Comprehensive Handbook of Drug & Alcohol Addiction, abrupt cessation can result in protracted withdrawal symptoms that can last for years. Moreover, a 2009 study in The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology explains that abrupt cessation can also cause fatal seizures. Because of these risks, professional rehabilitation is the safest and most effective way to treat benzodiazepine-class drug addictions.

Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

Professional treatment facilities offer several possible services, including the following:

  • Gradual reduction of temazepam dosage in a medically supervised setting
  • Diagnosis and integrated treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Behavioral therapies that foster more positive mental and emotional activities
  • Counseling to address feelings and situations that trigger temazepam cravings
  • Holistic options to treat anxiety, insomnia and other lingering withdrawal symptoms
  • Group therapy to discuss coping mechanisms and personal experiences

Treatment professionals can also recommend natural ways to promote healthy sleep and emotional calm.

Restoril Addiction Help

Many people do not realize how addictive sleep medications can be. If a problem develops, we can help. Our admissions coordinators are ready to take your call 24 hours a day to discuss warning signs, recommend treatment options and answer any questions. If you have health insurance, we can also check your policy for treatment benefits. Call our toll-free helpline now.

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