Call our Free 24/7 Helpline Now

Halcion Addiction

If used as an adjective, the word “halcyon” could be substituted for words like “calm,” “golden” and “prosperous,” per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This is a word that seems to conjure up images of happiness and joy, and it’s no wonder that the makers of a benzodiazepine would reach for a word like this when they were trying to name their product. They had developed a drug that could soothe anxiety and allow people under pressure to fall into a deep, nourishing sleep. Halcion seems like an ideal name for a drug like this.

While it’s true that this drug does have the capability to bring relief to people who might be unable to experience this benefit in any other way, it’s also true that this drug could lead to feelings that are far from happy, calm and golden. In fact, abuse and addiction to Halcion could be devastating. Overcoming an addiction to Halcion alone can be hard, but with help, people can kick the habit and develop healthy habits that could stick with them for the rest of life.

Understanding Benzodiazepines

halcion addictionHalcion, also sold under the generic name triazolam, is classified as a benzodiazepine. While this drug has a specific combination of ingredients that makes it different from other drugs on the market, it works within the human body in a specific way, and this physiological action is what merits Halcion a place within the benzodiazepine classification. Learning a little more about how benzodiazepines work can help people understand why a Halcion addiction can form, and how it can grow.

When a user takes in a benzodiazepine, the drug rushes into the tissues in the brain, inhibiting specific connections between two types of cells in the brain. It’s a bit like putting a thick blanket on a fire, as the drug causes excitable impulses in the brain to slow down and go out, so the rush of sensation doesn’t spread from one cell to another.

According to research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the suppression of signals comes with a nasty side effect. As the cells quiet and sleep, other chemicals in the brain begin to surge. Those chemicals are associated with pleasure, meaning that a person taking a benzodiazepine is having an incredibly rewarding experience that’s hard to forget. The chemical changes are also persistent, so people who take in benzodiazepines may have brain cells that are just a little different than they were before. If the use continues, those damaged cells may not function properly without access to the drug. In time, the person might need the drug in order to feel normal.

This movement from standard use to compulsive use isn’t unique to Halcion. In fact, almost all drugs of addiction cause these types of brain modifications that can lead to out-of-control drug taking. However, Halcion can be dangerous because the transition from one state to another tends to occur quite quickly. In one study of the issue, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, researchers found that benzodiazepine addictions can take place when people are taking the proper dosage of their drugs for about six months. It’s reasonable to assume that addicted people, who might take much larger doses, would make the skip faster, as they’re likely to take much larger doses of the drugs they’re addicted to, hoping to feel that surge of pleasure once more.

Where Do the Drugs Come From?

doctorIn a study of benzodiazepine addiction, published in the journal Addiction, researchers found that about 54 percent of people had a valid prescription for the drug they were addicted to, while the rest did not.

It’s easy to see how someone with a prescription might develop an addiction, as these people have a little slip of paper that allows them to get access to the drug they crave.

In time, they can just take larger and larger doses of the drug, or they can claim that the drug is no longer working and ask for a stronger dose from their doctors. It’s a reasonable and easy path to follow to addiction. Those who don’t have prescriptions, however, might have a more complicated addiction history.

People without a prescription might obtain the drug by:

  • Stealing it from relatives or friends
  • Stealing it from pharmacies or strangers
  • Buying it from dealers
  • Ordering it from online pharmacies

These people might have poly-drug addictions in which they take many different kinds of drugs together, attempting to customize their experience. For example, a study in the journal Addiction found a link between benzodiazepine abuse and heroin addiction, with 22 percent of respondents who were using heroin also reporting an addiction to benzodiazepines. These people may find that the sedating, calming effects of this drug allow them to take very high doses of other drugs without feeling sped up or out of control. They may also find that Halcion allows them to sleep, where they may be unable to do so while they’re under the influence of the drugs they’re addicted to.

Or, they may have been addicted to something else in the past, and they’ve moved to Halcion with the mistaken impression that it’s a safer drug to abuse. People who abuse alcohol, for example, are sometimes provided with benzodiazepines during their alcoholism treatment programs. When those programs are complete, these people may continue to abuse Halcion, because they like the way the drug makes them feel. The addiction is still there, but it’s just shifted focus.

Asking for Help

womanBeing addicted to Halcion can be frightening, as the body may come to believe that it’s in danger unless the drug is present. Those quiet, sedated brain cells react with alarm and panic when they don’t have access to Halcion, and the person can develop:

  • Shaking hands
  • A sense of impending doom
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea

If the person doesn’t respond by taking Halcion, these feelings can begin to grow and spread, and in time, the person might even develop seizures. People may come to believe that they simply cannot stop taking the drug, as they feel so terrible without it. It doesn’t seem like something they’re doing for fun or something they’re doing because they would choose to do it. It’s an addiction that they feel they have no control over. People like this rarely ask for help on their own, as they may not feel as though they have a problem that can be solved. Some people may choose to lie about their use, simply because they’re embarrassed and they don’t know how to make the problem stop. In a study of the issue, published in the journal Addiction, researchers found that of those who tested positive for benzodiazepines, 46 percent claimed that they hadn’t taken the drug in the week prior. For these people, denial and fear are so strong that they just can’t get better alone. They’ll need the help of others in order to see that their issues are solvable.

Some people enter treatment programs because their doctors ask them to do so. These doctors may not refill prescriptions for Halcion, for example, or the drug might appear in drug testing programs when there is no evidence of a valid prescription. It can be embarrassing, but it can also help people to get the help they need. Other people enter treatment programs when their family members ask them to do so. These loved ones may explain their fears about the use, and they may persuade the person that help really is needed. These conversations are difficult, but they can help to curb use.

The Road to Health

Since an addicted person’s body believes that Halcion is vital, the person can’t just stop using the drug immediately. People who do so may experience all of the terrible side effects mentioned above, and they may even develop seizures. It could be deadly, and it’s not advisable. In a treatment program, people often work with doctors to taper their Halcion dosage down and down until they’re not taking the drug anymore. They might also transition to a different drug, allowing them to feel soothed and at ease without being exposed to a drug they’re addicted to.

Amending chemicals is only half of the battle. People with a Halcion addiction will also need to learn how to keep their cravings at bay, so they won’t be tempted to slide back into use when stress enters the picture and life becomes difficult. In a treatment program, these issues are addressed in a comprehensive way, allowing people to develop new patterns, new strengths and new coping skills. The work is difficult, and it takes time to complete, but people who do get help for a Halcion addiction can overcome their issues and pull together happier and healthier lives.

At The Orchid, we specialize in helping women who have mental illnesses, addictions or both. We have worked with women who developed Halcion addictions due to prescriptions, and we’ve worked with other women who had addictions with no valid prescription at all. We provide therapies that can help women to tap into their inner strength, and we provide a warm and loving environment in which women feel safe, empowered and able to speak their minds without fear of reprisal. We would love to talk with you about our programs and see if we’re the right fit for you. Please call us to find out more.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.