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Halcion Addiction

As the epidemic of sleeplessness in America continues on, the creation of new medications to help alleviate the symptoms also continues to rise. Statistics point out that a relatively small portion of the population, 4.1 percent of adults who were at least 20 years old, had taken a prescription sleep aid in the past month in 2013. This number, however, rose for older adults. The use of prescription sleep aids was also high among women (5 percent) than men (3.1 percent). Insomnia was the top sleep complaint that occurs in 50 percent of adults.

Benzodiazepines such as Halcion were created as a useful but temporary measure in the treatment of insomnia, but with long-term abuse comes an extreme potential for abuse leading to addiction. Halcion is fast-acting and a more powerful benzo than other drugs such as Xanax. Because of these characteristics, it is sought out for uses not intended by doctors or medical professionals.

The strength of Halcion means it is prescribed only for short-term use. It is seldom prescribed for longer than seven to 10 days because the drug loses its effectiveness very quickly. Due to how quick a tolerance can be developed from Halcion use, the user will continually increase the dose to achieve the same effects. This can lead to deadly outcomes.

Halcion’s lack of popularity may mean some users who consume the drug are much less likely to know about the dangers associated with its use. Due to these dangers, those who use the drug can become addicted to Halcion in as little as two weeks.

HOW DOES HALCION WORK?                                         

Triazolam, better known as Halcion, is a powerful benzodiazepine similar in nature to drugs like Xanax. The primary difference between Halcion and other benzodiazepines is that its sole treatment is for insomnia and not anxiety. The reason for this is its short half-life and fast acting properties. Halcion is most commonly used to induce sleep before minor medical procedures.

Your brain and central nervous system possess a natural chemical called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). The purpose of GABA is to reduce neuron activity and block nerve impulses that carry signals of anxiety, fear, or stress. This is a significant factor as to why benzodiazepines are so useful in treating disorders such as insomnia or anxiety.

Halcion targets the brain’s GABA receptors that are responsible for the production of excess levels of GABA to induce the user into a restful state. Unlike other benzos, Halcion also targets the neuroreceptors keys to brain functioning. This slows down the brain instantly, and why it takes effect so rapidly.


Those with drug or alcohol addictions are often overlooked because warning signs can be difficult to spot. Halcion abuse comes with a plethora of outward signs that could indicate a growing addiction. It is vital to understand the warning signs that do go along with Halcion addiction to better spot these behaviors in other yourself or others. Recognizing these signs can be the difference in some cases between life and death.

Halcion shares the same characteristics you would expect from someone abusing other benzodiazepines but has some slight differences due to its strength and quick onset of action. Some of the side effects to look out for are:

  • Constant drowsiness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stomach cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Frequent periods of nausea/vomiting

As the use of Halcion continues on, this will soon lead to addiction. This drug is only prescribed for very short periods due to the fear of rapid addictive tendencies. Unlike most drugs, Halcion can become the most sought out substance in their life in a shorter period than other benzodiazepines, or other drugs.

Once addiction forms, Halcion is sought out despite any negative consequences of drug abuse. During this stage, obtaining the drug will become the primary objective. It is these behaviors that often signal that addiction is growing. The showing of these behaviors deserves delicate attention to be treated with accordingly.

Addiction signs attributed to Halcion abuse include:

  • Using Halcion longer/more often/larger doses than prescribed
  • Increased Halcion tolerance
  • Doctor shopping
  • Taking Halcion without a prescription
  • Hiding and/or lying about Halcion use
  • Inability to function without the use of Halcion
  • Stealing to obtain Halcion
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • A decrease in productivity at either work or school
  • An inability to quit Halcion despite attempts

If these behaviors are being exhibited by other you or a loved one, it is time to start considering a professional treatment center. Living with addiction can be a very tough task, but there are options to taking back your life.


A hidden danger for sleeping pills is how you can experience peculiar and dangerous side effects. The biggest component that should put extra caution in someone’s mind is the ability to sleepwalk.

The individual can carry on functions that result in having zero recollection of the following day. Some of these side effects include:

  • Making food
  • Driving a car
  • Having sex
  • Making phone calls/otherwise conversing with people

These actions all take place during a period of being unconscious, and as mentioned previously the user will wake up with no recollection of the events. There have been cases that sleeping medications increase the risks of car accidents. The use of a sleeping pill can leave drivers with the equivalent of a blood alcohol concentration as much as .11 percent over the legal limit of consuming alcohol. These dangers attributed to the drug can be very much life-threatening to the user and those around them, and those who abuse the drug over a long period of time increase these risks.

As mentioned earlier in this article, Halcion is different than other benzodiazepines that it induces sleep much faster. It is highly potent, and this means if mixing in conjunction with other depressants can result in fatal consequences. Due to the fast acting nature of the drug, mixing drugs can lead to a rapid overdose. Individuals who already suffer from benzo addictions are more likely to move onto Halcion because of its potency and fast acting nature.

If this addiction carries on, it can eventually lead to coma from an overdose. This could result in death due to major organ shut down. This is due to the lack of oxygen in the body as breathing is depressed. 

Signs that indicate a Halcion overdose include:

  • Coordination loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Double Vision
  • Inability to stay conscious
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Seizures
  • Slowed breathing


  • 69% of Halcion users are over age 60
  • More than 30% of all opioid-related overdoses involve benzodiazepines like Halcion
  • 1.2 million prescriptions for Halcion are written each year in the United States


If you or someone you care about is battling with Halcion addiction and ready to take those first critical steps toward recovery and a better, sober tomorrow. The Palm Beach Institute can help. We offer medical detox treatment with a seamless transition into ongoing care through to our post-treatment alumni program.

The Palm Beach Institute can help. We offer medical detox treatment with a seamless transition into ongoing care through to our post-treatment alumni program.


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