Triazolam Withdrawal and Detox
Triazolam is a benzodiazepine, usually sold under the brand name Halcion. As a prescription medication, it works as a sedative and is often used to treat insomnia. However, like most benzodiazepines, it is addictive.
Triazolam can be abused, even by legitimate users. Because of its sedative effects on the brain, the GABA receptors tend to become less receptive to its properties. Over time, the brain forms tolerance and the standard dosage doesn’t appear to work anymore. In many cases, the patient increases their dosage without informing a physician. If this achieves the desired effect, they keep taking Triazolam at the new dosage until abuse leads to physical dependence.
Addiction to Triazolam is the result of long-term abuse. Some people use it without a doctor’s recommendation in the first place, which constitutes outright abuse. If you are dependent on Triazolam and suddenly stop using it, the body will trigger uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Therefore, those who are addicted to this medicine should receive medically-supervised withdrawal treatment as part of the rehabilitation process. This systematic purging of the drug from the system is known as detoxification, which is the first stage of treatment and recovery. ‘Detox’ must never be undertaken without the presence of a doctor or outside of a controlled environment.
Are you dependent on Halcion? Maybe you know someone struggling to quit? Contact a professional immediately to receive advice on addiction and substance abuse.
What is Triazolam withdrawal?
Withdrawal is a negative reaction to the ‘absence’ of a drug in your body. It usually occurs when an individual develops a physical or psychological dependence.
If you use Halcion as a prescription medication for insomnia, it’s possible to feel immune to the drug’s effects after some time. Like many people, you might decide to increase the dosage without first consulting a physician. Should you do so – and maintain the new dose for a prolonged period – your body will in turn become accustomed to the chemical effects of Triazolam.
This means you might be unable to function normally without taking Triazolam. This condition is known as dependence. If you abruptly stop using the drug, your body will trigger certain physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and tremors. In many cases, uncomfortable and even painful withdrawal symptoms can force you to seek and take Triazolam again.
Going through withdrawal is a necessary first step for people looking to treat their substance abuse habit. However, it is never advisable to do this alone. Instead, talk to a professional first. They will prepare you for detox by determining your level of addiction and initiating a suitable tapering formula.
Contributing factors to withdrawal
Withdrawal is not as straightforward as it seems. During a person’s substance abuse history, several factors combine to make them drug dependent. For this reason, no two individuals are equally dependent on any substance.
Some people may have a severe addiction to Triazolam and others a mild one. Because of this, every individual will exhibit different reactions to withdrawal, with some symptoms
more serious than the others. There are many factors responsible for this, including:
Length of drug usage: If you’ve been abusing Triazolam for several years, your withdrawal will be more severe than someone who only became dependent a few months ago. This will also prolong the detox period and require specific treatment.
Quantity of the drug used: Abusing large doses of Triazolam will increase your withdrawal reaction and has the tendency to hasten your addiction or expose you to the risk of overdose.
Mode of administration: Triazolam (Halcion) is marketed in tablet form. People who abuse it orally are at risk of developing an addiction. However, some people crush the pills and snort the resulting powder, while others inject it in liquid form. These two modes of abuse increase dependence and raise the potential of a difficult withdrawal.
Combination with other substances: Combining multiple medications is very dangerous, especially when they are addictive. Drugs are metabolised in the liver and any such interaction could have severe consequences. For example, abusing benzodiazepines (or ‘benzos’) and alcohol could lead to co-occurrence. This makes detox more complicated, as a physician will be required to treat withdrawal symptoms for both conditions, separately. Some people also take Halcion with cocaine, heroin or codeine.
Other factors known to affect withdrawal include the patient’s age, general health status and body mass index.
How Triazolam affects the brain and body
Although Triazolam is an approved medication, it is an addictive drug; as such, it is only intended for short-term use. Your physician will normally advise you not to use it for longer than seven to ten days at a time. Unfortunately, many people ignore this warning.
Triazolam targets neuroreceptors that regulate brain activity. For instance, the reason many people are unable to sleep at night is because of hyperactivity in the central nervous system (CNS). When you take Triazolam, it enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain, where it triggers the production of Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA).
GABA is a natural chemical, responsible for calming excited nerve cells and helping the body to sleep. Triazolam also affects the pleasure pathway, thereby causing a mild feeling of euphoria. It does this by preventing the immediate reuptake of ‘happy hormones’ such as dopamine and serotonin. This makes it appealing and prone to abuse by those without a prescription.
In small quantities, Triazolam is beneficial for the body. However, when used continuously over a long time, the GABA receptors develop tolerance and the brain becomes fixated on the drug. Since the body has ‘registered’ Triazolam as a part of its functions, it will subsequently struggle to work without it. Therefore, abruptly quitting the medication will induce withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and uncontrollable shaking.
Why You Should Detox Properly from Triazolam
Detoxification is an important step in treatment and recovery. During detox, you are essentially expelling all traces of Triazolam from your system, so that you can fully function without it. Going through withdrawal helps the body to attain homeostasis, which is a state of balance between the mind and body, in the absence of Triazolam.
Failing to achieve homeostasis before moving on to therapy can prevent you from focusing on recovery. If there are still traces of Triazolam in your system, the tendency for cravings is high. In rehab, thoughts of using the drug will continue to interfere with your recovery. You might even experience withdrawal from time to time. Many people who don’t detox properly eventually relapse.
Poor detox can be associated with patients who go through withdrawal alone or with unqualified help. The ‘cold turkey’ method may be cheap, but it’s also extremely dangerous. Besides exposing yourself to complications, there is the likelihood of overdosing. It is best to visit an accredited clinic or talk to a professional about your decision to quit Triazolam.
Causes of Triazolam withdrawal
Generally, withdrawal is caused by low amounts of Triazolam in the system. If a person is dependent on a drug and doesn’t use it for some time, the body will begin to react negatively. This is because the quantity of the benzodiazepine is not enough to sustain the stimulation of GABA in the central nervous system.
Unlike other benzos that also depress the central nervous system, Triazolam impacts the brain until it is extremely sedated and the user begins to feel drowsy. However, when the quantity present in the body can’t induce this feeling, it triggers physical and psychological withdrawal.
The user may even experience rebound symptoms, whereby the ailments for which Triazolam was originally prescribed return once more. Situations that may influence withdrawal include:
- When you run out of medication
- When you have insufficient funds to sustain your habit
- When you develop dependence
- When you begin detoxification
Withdrawal could also occur when you’re in a position that makes it impossible to access the drugs; for instance, being remanded in police custody or being trapped somewhere for a period of time.
How your level of Triazolam dependence is diagnosed
Before you commence treatment, one of the first things a doctor will need to know is the level of your dependence. This will help them gauge the severity of withdrawal and how long it may take. Having this information to hand helps them prepare for potential complications and any medication that you might need during detox.
One common way of diagnosing your level of dependence is temporarily depriving the patient of Triazolam. Most symptoms appear between 24 to 36 hours after the last dose, but if this happens even earlier, the individual may be considered as being highly dependent. Some people even start exhibiting these symptoms within six to eight hours of the last dose. The higher the level of dependence, the sooner the withdrawal symptoms appear.
Other ways to diagnose your dependence level include asking questions about your drug use history, the quantity used, mode of administration and your age. Most clinics carry out a test of your blood or urine samples to ascertain the blood/Triazolam ratio.
What is Triazolam detox?
As previously mentioned, detox is the process of removing the lingering traces of Triazolam from a patient’s body. It’s important to undergo this stage before rehabilitation therapy can begin. Contrary to what many people think, detox is not something that should be carried out at home. Rather, it is best applied at a detox clinic or an inpatient rehabilitation centre.
Due to the highly-sensitive nature of the procedure, a clinic is an ideal place to go through detox. Here, a doctor will guide the patient through withdrawal and help them manage the uncomfortable effects using specific medication and counselling.
Many addicts combine Triazolam with other substances; in such cases, detox must be undertaken to treat withdrawal symptoms associated with these drugs. For example, alcohol is a common substance taken alongside benzodiazepines. Subsequently, the patient may exhibit alcohol withdrawal symptoms too. People who detox ‘cold turkey’ may not be aware of this and only make matters worse for themselves.
Common Triazolam detox and withdrawal symptoms
The reason many drug-dependent users are reluctant to seek treatment is the fear of withdrawal symptoms manifesting. While it can be extremely uncomfortable, it is nevertheless a necessary part of recovery. Triazolam is a physically-addictive drug, but some dependent users still experience psychological symptoms during this phase.
Detox is certainly not impossible. If you are being treated at an accredited clinic, the physician will administer certain medicines to help you cope with any discomfort. The risks are greatly reduced, and the chances of relapsing are extremely low.
Physical symptoms of Triazolam withdrawal and detox
As a potent benzodiazepine, Triazolam calms brain function. In response, the brain increases physical activity. Therefore, without Triazolam, the patient’s brain becomes over-excited. This leads to various physical symptoms, including:
- Muscle cramps
- Elevated heart rate
- Nausea and vomiting
Triazolam is often prescribed as a short-term solution for insomnia. People who develop a tolerance to the drug often experience a resurgence of insomnia when they cease using it. Rebound insomnia is a common withdrawal symptom, but it can be treated with the right medication.
Psychological symptoms of Triazolam withdrawal and detox
Physical symptoms of withdrawal are dominant the first few days of detox, but peak by the fourth day and then abate. However, psychological symptoms may persist.
Psychological symptoms can include:
- Panic attacks
- Bipolar disorder
Some addictions may pave the way to co-occurring mental disorders. This refers to when drug abuse causes a person to develop a mental health disorder. Addiction is as much a disease of the brain as it is the body. Therefore, it is not unusual for some abusers to become schizophrenic or suffer other mental health conditions alongside their addiction.
The dangers of co-occurring disorders
During detox, it’s important for your physician to know if they should look out for additional withdrawal symptoms. For example, if you’re alcohol-dependent, there’s a chance you might display Delirium Tremens, which is a strong psychological symptom of alcohol withdrawal. Not recognising this possibility could put you at risk, which is another reason home detox should be avoided.
How Long Does It Take to Detox from Triazolam?
We cannot affix a specific time for detox for Triazolam, but reassuringly, it doesn’t usually last as long as other addictive benzodiazepines. The period of withdrawal determines how long detoxification will last, however, withdrawal is dependent on a person’s level of dependence.
If you’ve only recently become dependent on Triazolam, your detox period will likely be shorter than someone who has been dependent on the substance for years. It is important to note that detox varies from one person to the next – and no two people will likely exhibit the exact same symptoms.
Former Triazolam users have said that their detoxification process lasted anywhere from four days to two weeks (or more). Some detox cases have reportedly extended to three months. During this time, patients continued to experience mild psychological symptoms.
Triazolam withdrawal timeline
Triazolam’s effectiveness and quick absorption means you will likely begin to experience withdrawal within hours of your last dose. A standard dose of Triazolam is 0.5mg per day. If you take a higher amount for an extended period, your withdrawal will take longer. Similarly, people who use long-acting benzos together with Triazolam will experience a longer withdrawal period, as these drugs take longer to leave the body.
First 6 – 12 hours: Withdrawal symptoms start a few hours following the last dose. The first symptoms are usually anxiety and rebound insomnia.
Days 1 – 2 : The patient’s withdrawal symptoms usually peak between 24 to 48 hours after the last dose of Triazolam. Insomnia and anxiety may worsen, while new symptoms such as nausea, muscle cramps and tremors could also manifest.
Day 3 – 4: The symptoms become less severe and the patient may be able to sleep better. However, those with a higher level of Triazolam dependence might still experience symptoms.
Days 5 – 14: By the fifth day, many withdrawal symptoms abate, but it is not unusual for some patients to continue experiencing mild symptoms for another week.
What is acute Triazolam withdrawal?
This is the first stage of withdrawal, during which most patients experience physical withdrawal symptoms. You may feel headaches, seizures, muscle pain, tremors and cravings. If you’re attempting to quit via the ‘cold turkey’ method, this is when relapse usually occurs.
After acute WITHDRAWAL, a mellower phase follows – this is known as post-acute withdrawal. Here, the physical symptoms may have abated, but you will still feel psychological discomfort such as anxiety, depression, lack of motivation and poor sleep patterns.
Coping with Triazolam withdrawal
Any former drug abuser will tell you that withdrawal is one of the most difficult aspects of recovery. From the physical discomfort to psychological disturbances, it can feel like a real handful. Fortunately, it can be reduced by adopting certain coping mechanisms.
The first thing to know about detox is that you must never quit any substance abruptly. When you talk to a physician, they will determine your level of dependence. They might do so by asking you to take a few tests. A medical professional will then start you on a tapering formula from the first week. This usually begins with a 20% reduction, with a 10% reduction following in subsequent weeks.
Despite gradually weaning you off the drug, your body will still experience some physical discomfort. For this, medically-assisted detox can help to manage the pain. For example, Clonidine is a medication that reduces anxiety by promoting blood flow in the vessels. Methadone is another withdrawal medication and is used to promote sleep. It is ideal, because it doesn’t stimulate the GABA receptors like Triazolam does.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be fatal if you don’t treat them in time. There is a tendency for seizures, coma and other major complications to creep in unnoticed. These risks are high for those who detox in an uncontrolled environment or without expert guidance.
For this reason, we urge anyone who has been taking benzodiazepines (such as Triazolam) consistently for more than four weeks to see a doctor immediately. If you attempt detox alone, there’s a high risk of overdosing, because most patients who detox at home quickly fall back into relapse.
How to treat Triazolam withdrawal
It’s best to take a careful approach towards withdrawal treatment. The withdrawal phase often begins with a test. This could be an oral assessment, a detailed questionnaire or sample screening. The result will reveal a patient’s drug dependency levels, as well as the potential for severe withdrawal (if any).
The assessment results will determine the treatment plan for your recovery. This is a day by day guide from the moment you begin detox to when you leave rehab. You will be put on a tapering formula to wean you off Triazolam.
During acute withdrawal, you may experience discomfort from anxiety and insomnia. The attending physician will use medication to reduce these symptoms and help you sleep better.
After the acute withdrawal stage, things often become a lot easier. The patient will be immersed in physical activities such as walking and exercising to regain their strength.
Medications to Treat Triazolam Withdrawal
Withdrawal is a physically demanding aspect of treatment and highly-dependent patients are the ones who feel it most. From seizures to anxiety, headaches and insomnia, it can be an uncomfortable experience. Fortunately, there are medicines which can help you to manage withdrawal symptoms. It is critical to avoid using any medication that impacts the CNS.
While gradual weaning is still very effective, the following drugs help to ease discomfort amongst Triazolam-dependent patients:
Buspirone: This is a drug for alleviating general anxiety disorder. Buspirone doesn’t cause physical dependence and effectively relieves emotional discomfort. The disadvantage is that it takes a while (usually days) to act. Therefore, usage must begin several days before your detox.
Flumazenil: Flumazenil is a medication that was originally used to treat benzo overdoses, but has become more successful at calming withdrawal symptoms from longer-acting benzos. It acts like other addictive benzos by blocking the GABA receptors in the brain. The good thing is that it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects, nor is it addictive.
Melatonin remedies for natural Triazolam withdrawal symptoms
Melatonin is a hormone which naturally occurs in the human body and is helpful in regulating sleep patterns. During withdrawal, your body’s melatonin levels are greatly depleted, thereby interfering with normal sleep patterns.
Melatonin supplements can help prevent oxidative damage to the brain cells. This damage is usually the cause of several withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, poor sleep habits and aggression.
Melatonin not only reduces headaches, but also boosts the immune system by allowing the brain to relax (when you sleep). The quantity you take will depend on the current melatonin reserves in your body. It is advisable to start with small doses and gradually build up.
Withdrawal from Triazolam: Treatment methods and options
Addiction treatment is focused on healing the mind and body (in some cases, even the spirit via alternative therapy). Detox clearly focuses on getting the body into shape. It builds homeostasis by expunging Triazolam from the blood stream. However, treatment doesn’t end there.
Rehabilitation therapy is the second step that prepares the mind for a life without Triazolam. In rehab, a counsellor aims to discover the reason behind your drug addiction. By asking questions and using psychoanalysis, they may trace the origin of a person’s drug abuse behaviour.
Whether in a one-on-one session or group setting, you can learn a lot from your therapist and by sharing stories or listening to the experiences of other Triazolam abusers. It’s always encouraging to know that you are not the only person suffering from addiction.
Some common forms of therapy include:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Behavioural Therapy
- Motivation Therapy
- Aversion Therapy
These techniques are aimed at helping people change their perception about drugs and building support groups. When you leave rehab, they will remain part of your family.
There are two types of treatment programmes:
- Inpatient rehab
- Outpatient rehab
Inpatient rehab centres are an intensive, 24-hour treatment service, where you’ll receive medical attention round-the-clock. Detox can be demanding, so it’s advisable to choose a professional care facility. Inpatient rehab care is necessary for individuals with a heavy addiction, who need comprehensive treatment to ensure recovery.
Conversely, the outpatient service is a flexible programme that allows you to attend treatment at specific times of the day. Most patients in this category have other commitments, like work or family to care for. While this has its advantages (for example, it can work around your busy schedule), outpatient service arrangements expose the patient to the temptation of drugs and other-related substances.
An inpatient programme is considered to be more comprehensive and guarantees 100% focus ton recovery.
Home detox for Triazolam abusers: How safe is it?
Detoxing from home is never a good idea. Although your home environment is a familiar one, it is not adequately equipped to handle medical emergencies. If complications arise, you will need to attend a clinic, so why not check into one in the first place?
Most home detox procedures use the ‘cold turkey’ method. This option is extremely risky, as it increases the chances of relapse. Moreover, you could still have access to Triazolam, whereas a clinic guarantees a drug-free environment.
Self-detoxification from Triazolam
Benzodiazepines are a very powerful class of sedatives, and it’s unlikely you will be able to successfully detox from these drugs without help.
Only qualified doctors might have access to approved benzo withdrawal medication which can help to make you more comfortable during withdrawal. To use any substance without a doctor’s prescription constitutes abuse, which defeats the whole aim of detox.
Of those people who attempt self-detoxification, a high percentage relapse. Some overdose in their bid to seek relief from unbearable withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it’s always best to see a physician before you begin detox.
After detox: staying off Triazolam
When you successfully complete detox, the next stage of treatment is rehabilitation therapy. If you are checking into an inpatient rehab programme, it will be easy to stay off Triazolam, since rehab facilities are drug-free environments.
However, if you opt for an outpatient programme, you will require extra effort to resist temptation. You might be assigned a sponsor. It is subsequently critical to share your challenges with a sponsor, so they can support you.
Always attend meetings and keep in touch with Narc Anonymous groups. Build reliable support groups and avoid staying alone for those first weeks after detox.
The outpatient programme may seem like a risky option, but with commitment and dedication, you can overcome relapse.
Do you have a loved one who may be affected? Are you struggling to quit Triazolam? If so, it is best to see a professional for advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know if you are suffering from Triazolam withdrawal?
Triazolam withdrawal starts showing from 6 – 12 hours of your last dose. Common physical symptoms include headaches, tremors, muscle spasms and insomnia. If you are unable to function properly without the drug, then you may be dependent.
Is Triazolam withdrawal dangerous?
Yes. In uncontrolled circumstances, it could prove fatal. Detoxing ‘cold turkey’ could trigger severe seizures that could result in coma, which in turn (in serious situations) could prove fatal. You’re advised to seek help for withdrawal from an addiction specialist.
One of the first things a doctor will do is to determine your addiction level before starting you on a tapering formula. They will also prepare a recovery plan to guide you through every step of treatment.
How does Triazolam withdrawal affect my health?
Triazolam withdrawal includes symptoms such as anxiety, seizures, headaches and insomnia. If left untreated, seizures can escalate into more dangerous outcomes. Likewise, insomnia could leave you worn out and unable to carry out simple cognitive tasks.
How long does Triazolam withdrawal last?
There is no standard timeframe for Triazolam withdrawal, everybody’s experience will be different. However, many former users have said that their withdrawal lasted from four to fourteen days. Note that this may run into months for extreme cases.
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