What is Temazepam?
Temazepam, or its brand name Restoril, is a strong prescription medication used to treat insomnia and anxiety. It is one of a variety of psychoactive substances that impact the brain and central nervous system, and can change the way a person thinks, feels, and how they interact with, and perceive, the world around them. Psychoactive substances have strong effects on the mind and body and are almost always a prescription-only medication.
What is temazepam prescribed for?
Temazepam is a benzodiazepine, a class of drugs known as a sedative. It helps to treat short-term insomnia and is used just to help the patient get some immediate relief and sleep. Benzodiazepines generally take some time for them to work, so it could be between one to six hours after taking the medication for it to actually take effect.
Effects of using temazepam?
The effects generally last from eight to ten hours, so a person will be able to get a night’s sleep. However, when they wake up, they still may be under the influence of the medication. Temazepam is considered a short-term solution for insomnia due to its properties and addictive nature. Restoril, being benzo, is a highly addictive medication, and this can cause long-term problems for people who abuse the medication.
As a benzodiazepine, temazepam works as a depressant, slowing the mind and nervous system, so the patient does not react as quickly as they normally would. It causes relaxation and drowsiness, making it an ideal way to interrupt a period of insomnia, at least temporarily.
This is why it is recommended to take it only when the patient has at least eight hours to commit to sleeping each night while taking it. Temazepam will generally be prescribed for eight to ten days, and if it is needed longer than ten days, other means of treating insomnia long-term will have to be addressed with the prescribing physician.
What are the consequences of abusing temazepam?
A person taking temazepam may also experience stomach problems, like nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. Cramps and shakiness may occur as well. A person taking this drug may also paradoxically experience nervousness and anxiety as well. While it is a drug that calms and relaxes people, some body chemistry will have the opposite effect, causing agitation and worsening insomnia instead of relieving it. Dizziness and sleeping too much may be side effects of it as well. Finally, people have reported sleepwalking, or other behaviours, while under the influence of sedatives like Restoril. Other behaviours reported have included driving, doing things online, talking, eating, and sexual behaviours as well.
Formerly one of the most widely abused prescription drugs, all manufacturers in the UK have replaced gel capsules (jellies) with solid tablets. However, supplies now come from the market for illegal drug factories in Eastern Europe.
Aside from relaxation and drowsiness, the person taking it may experience some cognitive difficulty while taking the medication. It may be difficult to think clearly or remember things, or they may have periods of just “zoning out” and not focusing on any one thing. This goes along with its psychoactive effects. It’s impacting the patient’s mind, mainly, but will also affect their body as well.
How addictive is temazepam?
Temazepam can be a benefit to those who are sleep deprived, but it is important to remember that it can develop into an addiction. The ability of the drug to calm and relax a person may seem like a welcome relief to people who are suffering from anxiety and depression. This can calm what is going on in their minds and give them the peace they have been looking for. Temazepam addiction will often come with an underlying cause; people will use substances to try to escape from something, including untreated mental health problems, relationships issues, or other stressors that are painful for the person abusing drugs.
Addiction is one of those things that everyone knows, but few people can define accurately. Let’s try to give it some definition. According to the American Psychiatric Association, addiction, or substance use disorder, can be defined by having at least two of the following characteristics:
- The person takes the substance in larger amounts or for a longer time than originally planned.
- The person desires to quit or cut down the use, but is unable to do so, or struggles to do so.
- The person spends a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of the drug.
- The person experiences cravings for the drug
- The person fails to fulfil major areas of their life, such as work, school, or home.
- The person continues to use the substance even though it causes social or interpersonal problems.
- The person gives up on social, occupational, or recreational activity because of substance use.
- The person uses the substance in physically hazardous situations, like driving under the influence.
- The person continues to use the substance despite knowing it is causing or worsening a medical or psychological problem.
- The person needs to use increasingly more of the substance to feel the desired effect.
- Unpleasant physical effects occur when the substance is stopped or when it is counteracted by another substance.
The more symptoms a patient experiences, the more severe the addiction is diagnosed.
Once an addiction can be diagnosed, it is likely that the physical aspects of it will be more prevalent or likely. The brain and nervous system are remarkably complex and adaptable things. They can adapt to new substances that are continually added to it, and work around them. This is the idea of tolerance, where it takes more of a substance to achieve the same effects as when the person first took it. Unfortunately, tolerance and adaptability can be at the heart of the physical aspects of addiction.
This means that a person with temazepam addiction will likely experience withdrawal. Withdrawal is what occurs when a person is physically addicted to a drug and then goes without it. Their body has become so used to the drug, that it essentially needs it to function now. If it goes a day without it, the body will have symptoms, both physical and mental, that will impair functioning. While this is often described as the hardest part of recovery, it is also the shortest, with withdrawal from benzodiazepines lasting up to six weeks. While this may sound like a long time considering how much discomfort withdrawal can cause, the worst of the symptoms, the physical ones, will usually be gone by the end of the first week.
Temazepam addiction withdrawal symptoms
As the side effects, one can experience with taking Restoril, the symptoms that come from withdrawal will be unique to each individual, but there are some things that are very common that can be expected. One of the first things that need to be said about withdrawal is that you should only do so under the guidance of healthcare or addiction professionals. Temazepam is a highly addictive substance that can cause many complications when taken in large doses, as often happens in addiction, so detoxing yourself can be dangerous to do so alone. Seek medical help if you want to detox, or are detoxing by yourself and the symptoms are difficult to manage, or are life-threatening.
Some of the more serious symptoms of withdrawal from addiction include depression and suicidal thoughts, difficulty breathing, erratic heartbeat and potential for seizures. A person going through Restoril withdrawal can also expect to have difficulty sleeping, nightmares, anxiety, agitation, insomnia (this is called the rebound effect, where the symptoms the temazepam was treating will come back worse than before), nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, difficulty remembering things, concentrating, as well as irritability and fatigue.
Temazepam Dependence – How to safely detox
Withdrawal may sound dangerous, and at best uncomfortable, but it can be managed. Going to a detox unit can provide the necessary support and supervision that can help make the withdrawal process easier, simpler, and ultimately safer. A detox unit is the part of the treatment process that focuses solely on withdrawal. Treatment professionals found that withdrawal was interfering with treatment, and physically was putting patients in danger, so a separate treatment protocol, detox, was created for it.
In a detox unit, trained staff are there to provide each patient with emotional support and empathy while they go through the withdrawal process. Having someone to listen to you, support you, provide encouragement, and in many cases share their own stories of recovery, will give people the motivation they need to continue on. Often people will relapse, or just continue using to avoid the withdrawal symptoms, so people need support and motivation to continue and get through the worst of it.
Detox staff will also have access to medical personnel that can give the patient other types of support to help get over the withdrawal process. This includes providing medication that can help get through some of the worst of the symptoms of detoxing. This may be anti-nausea medication, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and other medical treatments for the symptoms that come with detoxing from Restoril. While there is no medication that can help a person get through withdrawal itself, there are medications that can make the process easier, as well as begin to treat any underlying conditions that were there and never addressed.
If the patient has been using temazepam in large doses for a long period of time, it may be unwise to quit suddenly. Doctors may often prefer to gradually titrate the patient off the drug, rather than stop it all at once. It may be necessary to prevent a shock to the body, for those long-time users, or those using large amounts. Although it is not as dangerous to stop suddenly as other drugs may be, it is still vital to discuss any changes in the amount of medication you take with your prescribing physician. They will know your needs best, seek their help during the detox process or other addiction professionals.
Sudden withdrawal of temazepam may need to be managed or monitored closely. Seizures may occur and may need to be treated rapidly. There are also psychological issues that need to be addressed. Depression and suicidal thoughts will often come when a person stops using Restoril. If a person is going through withdrawal and talks about suicidal thoughts, this needs to be addressed and treated seriously. Drugs often cause this, and they may need just to be monitored until the drugs are completely out of their system and they are back to normal. Other psychological issues that should be addressed right away include mania, hallucinations, delusions, aggression, violence, drug cravings and erratic and uncontrolled behaviour.
Types of treatment help for temazepam addiction
Treatment is ironically one of the easiest parts of rehab. The person going through treatment will be through withdrawal mostly and will be onto learning about addiction and themselves in the addictive cycle. Here the treatment staff will begin to address the needs of the individual with the substance use disorder. They will teach the person about temazepam addiction, what it is doing to their mind, body and social functioning, as well as ways to live a healthier life overall.
The person in treatment will receive ongoing individual and group therapy to help them understand their need to use temazepam, and what their thoughts and feelings were that enabled them to start using and abusing drugs. Family counselling can also be a part of the treatment, as addiction is a disease that affects everyone in the family, not just the one with the affliction. A typical course of inpatient treatment will run between two and four weeks, where the patient will live at the facility and begin to learn how to live without drugs and get some stability back after the chaos of substance abuse.
Temazepam addiction treatment programmes
Ongoing treatment afterwards is often recommended to provide individual and group counselling and support. This is on a weekly basis, and will interfere less with the patient’s life, and can help cement the skills they learned or had forgotten over the course of their use. Support or recovery groups are also recommended and can again provide a means to get the encouragement and motivation needed to overcome an addiction.
Freedom from temazepam addiction can begin here
Restoril or temazepam can provide wonderful relief from insomnia. It is also dangerous as it is highly addictive and can put a person’s health and sanity at risk. Just because a person has an addiction does not mean that there is no hope and they are lost. Temazepam can be used safely, and a person can recover from addiction. The knowledge and the help are out there, and no one has to suffer from the danger and pain that comes from addiction.
If you or a loved one battles with an addiction to temazepam, contact one of our treatment specialists today. We look forward to helping you get on the road to recovery.