Sleep and anxiety disorders are among the most common disorders that occur in the United States. These ailments are the sole reason for the search for the perfect medication. The first benzodiazepine created for sleep was in 1970. As the stresses of life become more prominent as we age, it is easy to lose track of restful sleep and get caught up with anxiety. Restoril is a prescription benzo that is used for its hypnotic effects, but it still possesses anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and muscle relaxant effects.
While it can be useful for those with sleep problems, it does carry some adverse effects even when used as prescribed. These effects include a risk of developing a physical dependence that can lead to addiction. Restoril is often prescribed for short-term use because users can develop an addiction in as little as a few weeks.
Restoril addiction is considered a serious disease that can lead to lasting consequences if left untreated. Addiction to certain drugs like Restoril come with warning signs that can reveal that either you or a loved one could need immediate help. If treatment is sought sooner rather than later, you will be less likely to harm your long-term health. Early detection like any disease is the key to a longer healthier tomorrow.
To identify addiction traits stemming from this drug, you must learn about Restoril addiction to better help someone dealing with a substance use disorder. Learn more about addiction to Restoril and how it can be treated at a professional facility.
What is Restoril?
Restoril is in the class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which suppress the central nervous system. Benzos, however, find themselves a part of a broader category of nervous system depressants that allow the nervous system to function at a balanced level. Benzos were first synthesized in the 1950s as a substitute for the less effective drug class called barbiturates. This substitute proved successful, and marketing was increased in the 1960s. What followed was a high demand for the drugs.
The success was short-lived, however, as the drugs came under intense scrutiny for their heavy marketing of anti-anxiety pills to mothers who did not have a disorder. This drew controversy that caused problems for drug makers.
Benzodiazepines in that span became the most commonly prescribed drug on the globe. Fast forward a few years to 1981, when Restoril was introduced. The drug boasted a long half-life and duration of action than other benzos on the market. This was especially beneficial for people who wake up frequently throughout the night.
Restoril works in the way you’d expect from most central nervous system depressants. It affects the naturally occurring chemical known as gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is responsible for managing excitability in the nervous system, and when you face situations that are fear-inducing or startling, GABA is activated by the brain to restore order. Those who have sleep disorders and anxiety have naturally overstimulated nervous systems that can disturb one’s rest. Restoril was created to improve these chemical imbalances.
Unfortunately, Restoril carries a high likelihood that its users could become dependent. If the drug is misused or taken for a longer time than prescribed, then it can lead to addiction. Restoril can cause a physical dependence in as little as four weeks of continued use. These drugs are prescribed for short-term relief in low doses to avoid tolerance, but it is inevitable in some cases. Anyone who is prescribed to take benzodiazepines for longer than four weeks should speak with their primary care physician about possible risks for dependence.
What are the Signs of Restoril Addiction?
Benzodiazepine addiction is plagued with more apparent signs than other drugs, so that can make it easier to determine if someone you love is addicted to Restoril. Seeking help sooner rather than later will be the best for your health long-term. If you do not seek help, it can lead to lasting consequences from the drug. There are several warning signs that are linked to Restoril, and addiction in general, but these depend on several factors such as :
- The dose you’ve become dependent on
- The duration you’ve been using the medication
- Mixing the medication with other substances
- If you are older than age 65
If you have been taking Restoril and are concerned about an impending substance use disorder, the first sign to consider is a growing tolerance. If you have been using the drug for several weeks, even as prescribed, and you notice it is less effective than when you began taking it, this could indicate that you’ve become dependent.
Over time, the body can build up a tolerance to the drug. This happens because the brain will counteract the chemicals as it attempts to balance brain chemistry. If this sounds like something currently happening to you, you must immediately speak to your doctor about your options. It is never recommended to increase the dosage of a medication without speaking to a professional first.
If you avoid this advice and begin taking the medication in higher doses than intended, then this is a sign of addiction. The problem in doing so is that the natural chemicals your brain produces will cease production, and if you decide to stop using the drug or run out, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. The brain becomes reliant on the chemicals to maintain functional brain chemistry. If you stop using the drug, you can experience symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, depression, tremors, irritability, or seizures. Restoril withdrawal can be deadly.
If you are worried about yourself or a loved one who is using this drug, some signs can indicate an addiction. Among them are:
- Intoxication similar to alcohol
- Lying about drug use
- Peculiar sleep patterns
- Hiding drugs
- Loss of motor skills
- Loss of inhibitions
- Slurred speech
- Memory problems
One of the most outward signs of addiction is someone who experienced consequences as a result of Restoril but failed to quit. For example, if you have been arrested during your Restoril use, and you continue to use, that is a red flag that you could have an addiction and that you need help.
What is Involved in Restoril Addiction Treatment?
Benzo drugs are one of the most dangerous when it comes to quitting. It is important to find a facility that offers licensed medical detoxification, which is typically the first step of the addiction recovery process. Restoril addiction treatment is comprised of a series of levels that begin with the most intensive care that decreases slowly to the least intensive.
Restoril treatment begins much like it would for any other substances in a detoxification center. Detox removes addictive substances and toxins that have accumulated during your time using. It is important to do this at a medically supervised center that can provide medication for withdrawals if it is needed. You will be treated with respect and dignity during your road to sobriety. Your stay will vary based on the severity of the addiction and amount consumed. It can range anywhere from three-to-seven days. You will then be moved to the next stage of treatment.
For benzo treatment, it is more likely that you will be placed at a residential treatment center, but this is different for everyone. Treatment should be fitted to your unique needs. Depending on the severity of the addiction, you could be moved into an outpatient center. Most commonly, a residential treatment center will be used for recovery. You will take part in therapies alongside others on the same road to recovery. These therapies will delve deep into why you began using, and determine the root of your addiction.
How Dangerous is Restoril?
Even when used as prescribed, drugs like Restoril can be dangerous. Benzos are, in fact, less dangerous than barbiturates, but high amounts of Restoril can still cause an overdose. This statistic increases when it is mixed with drugs like opioids. In fact, 30 percent of opioid overdoses include benzos. Overdoses of these drugs can lead to such slowing of your nervous system that your breathing can completely stop.
The most dangerous part of Restoril is withdrawal. If you quit the drug abruptly after developing a tolerance for it, you can experience seizures and delirium tremens. Seizures can lead to accidents and severe injuries. If you are alone, these can be fatal. If you want to stop using Restoril, you must speak to a medical professional about your options.
Restoril Abuse Statistics
- More than 5% of Americans filled a benzodiazepine prescription in 2015
- 9,000 or more overdoses involved benzos
- 30% of opioid overdoses included benzos in the first half of 2018