Temazepam Addiction and Abuse

What is Temazepam?

Temazepam is a popularly prescribed benzodiazepine that’s used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The drug was initially discovered in the mid-1960s and was marketed as a less dangerous and addictive substitute for barbiturates.

Temazepam can be described as a short-acting benzodiazepine which slows brain activity by causing a surge in production of the neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). The influence on the activity of this brain neurotransmitter will lead to the minimisation of your anxiety and increase your sense of relaxation. The drug also has a sedating effect that enables sleep. The drug can be found as a white crystalline powder that’s soluble in water. Temazepam or Restoril can also be found as capsules in doses of 30mg, 22.5mg, 15 mg, and 7.5 mg.

Temazepam can be found under a variety of brand names but the most commonly prescribed version of the drug is Restoril which is manufactured by the Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Group. The chemical composition and function of Temazepam is very similar to that of drugs like Xanax, Ativan and Valium. Because benzodiazepines like Temazepam are so popular, the drug accounts for one-third of all prescriptions in the United States with one in ten American adults using them.

The drug is classified as a Class C drug in the UK, and as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance in the US. This means the drug has advantages in clinical medicine but also possesses the potential for addiction.

Other names for Temazepam

Temazepam can be found sold legally under the brand name Restoril, Nortem, Normison,Euhypnos, Norkotral, Remestan, Temaze, Temtabs, or Tenox.

What is Temazepam Used For?

Temazepam has over the years proven very effective in the treatment of severe insomnia or disabling sleep disorders, as well as anxiety disorders. As a treatment for sleeping disorders, Temazepam can significantly decrease the number of nightly awakenings and thus improve quality of sleep. Because of the addictive nature of Temazepam, the drug is prescribed for only short-term treatment, typically not exceeding two to four weeks.

Usual starting dosage for Temazepam is 7.5mg. This is the same amount generally prescribed to people above the age of 65 years old. An increase in dosage can be prescribed by your doctor if necessary but you should never adjust your Temazepam dose or frequency of use on your own. This is because the drug can easily lead to the development of a physical dependence if improperly used. As such, any change in dose should be done under the supervision of a medical professional that is familiar with your case.

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Causes of Temazepam Addiction

A variety of factors can contribute to the development of Temazepam addiction. Some principal factors include;

  • Genetics: According to APA (the American Psychiatric Association), your genetic makeup plays a key part in determining the development of an addiction to benzodiazepine medications. If you have a family history of abusing benzodiazepine or some similar addiction, the risk of you developing substance dependence when using Temazepam is much higher.
  • Environmental: APA also points out that individuals who live in an environment that gives them greater access to benzodiazepines or people who are frequently surrounded by people with an addiction are more likely to engage in similar behaviours.

Other factors that can lead to the development of a Temazepam addiction include;

  • Suffering from a mental health condition
  • Using benzodiazepines for longer than prescribed or in higher doses than prescribed
  • Self-medicating with Prosom or other benzodiazepines.

How addictive is Temazepam?

Temazepam addiction can be difficult to overcome especially if you do not have access to proper medical assistance. Temazepam’s risk of addiction can be traced to its nature as a benzodiazepine that influences the chemical structure of your brain over a period of use. The short half-life of the drug is another contributing factor as you will likely need frequent doses to experience the drug’s desired effects.

Because of Temazepam’s potential for addiction, the sale and distribution of the drug are closely regulated by government regulations in various countries. To avoid becoming addicted to the drug, be sure to use it only according to the prescription of your doctor.

You can spot some of the warning signs of developing an addiction such as compulsive use of the drug, withdrawal symptoms, development of risky behaviour, doctor shopping, and so on. If you spot any of these symptoms, seek help immediately by contacting us via our confidential helpline on 0800 915 9402. The sooner you get professional assistance for Temazepam addiction, the better.

Addictive Properties of Temazepam

Temazepam’smain pharmacological action is enhancing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) effect at the GABAA receptor. Using the drug will lead to you experiencing feelings of sedation, ataxia (loss of muscle coordination), motor impairment, anxiolysis, muscle relaxation, as well as an anticonvulsant effect. These effects of the drug are enjoyable and addictive, but because the drug as a short-life, people tend to abuse the drug at frequent intervals to keep up its relaxing effects. Frequent use of the drug at inappropriate doses will eventually give rise to physical dependence and addiction. Simply put, Temazepam is a drug with a high potential for misuse.

Because Temazepam delivers a “strong” and “good” high, it is one of the most popularly abused benzodiazepines.

Methods of Use of Temazepam

Depending on the abuser, Temazepam can be abused either orally or intravenously. Temazepam can be found as a white crystalline substance that is soluble in water which can either be ingested or injected. When purchased as Restoril, which is sold as a capsule, the drug can be taken orally.

What Does It Mean to Be Addicted to Temazepam?

An addiction to Temazepam implies that you believe that you are unable to function normally without using the drug. This is usually evident in the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms when you fail to take a fresh dose of the drug.

The first sign of the development of an addiction to Temazepam is often an increase in your tolerance to the drug which leads you to use the drug in increasing doses just to experience the desired effect. If you find yourself compulsively using more Temazepam than prescribed, please contact your doctor immediately.

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Spotting Temazepam Abuse

The sooner you identify that you are abusing a benzodiazepine like Temazepam, the sooner you can get the help you need to kick the habit. Ignoring a drug habit can be dangerous as it can lead to long-term health complications down the road as well as mental and behavioural disorders.

If you are using Temazepam and experiencing any of the following symptoms, then you have likely developed an addiction to Temazepam and are abusing the drug;

  • Been using Temazepam without a doctor’s prescription
  • Taking higher doses of Temazepam than prescribed
  • Using Temazepam in higher doses in order to achieve the desired effect. That is, developed a tolerance to the drug
  • Failed attempts to quit using Temazepam or to reduce doses
  • Continued abuse of Temazepam even though you are aware its negatively affecting your health, relationships, and life in general
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you miss a dose
  • Development of risky behaviours, such as driving while under the influence of Temazepam
  • Doctor shopping or using other illegal means to acquire more Temazepam

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms while using Temazepam, it is best to contact us immediately to stage an intervention and help you kick your Temazepam habit.

Temazepam Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Knowing the signs of Temazepam abuse is the best way to nip the problem in the bud as you can get help as soon as you notice the development of such symptoms. You should consult your doctor or contact our helpline if you suspect a loved one is abusing Temazepam and is exhibiting any of the following;

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Involuntary eye movement
  • Lack of coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Problems thinking
  • Trouble concentrating
  • The feeling of exaggerated wellbeing
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Slowed breathing
  • Decreased blood pressure

Health Risks from Temazepam Addiction

The greatest health risk of Temazepam is likely the fact that it can lead to substance dependence. Even if used according to prescription, it is possible to develop an addiction to the drug within 6 weeks, or as little as three days if you are abusing the medication. Once addiction develops, withdrawal symptoms will set in once you try quitting and said withdrawal symptoms can prove fatal if not properly managed.

Also, using medication like Temazepam puts you at an increased risk of developing cancer, liver damage, kidney damage, and other serious health conditions. The elderly are at even greater risk as the use of Temazepam increases their chances of developing dementia by 50%. This was brought to light by a 2012 Harvard study.

Using Temazepam while driving or operating machinery is also dangerous as it can lead to fatal injury to either yourself or others. For the sake of your safety, it is best if the drug isn’t used if you have a history of addiction, depression, liver or kidney disease, sleep apnea, glaucoma, mental illness, breathing problems, or seizures. Pregnant women who use the drug are also at risk of giving birth to babies with birth defects.

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Short-Term Effects of Temazepam

Abusing Temazepam puts you at risk of suffering any of the following short-term effects;

  • Somnolence
  • Oversedation
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Impaired cognitive and motor function

Long-Term Effects of Temazepam

Long-term side-effects can include:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Severe confusion
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Decrease or loss in reflexes
  • Unusual movements in the eyes

There is also the risk of coma or death.

Individuals who abuse Temazepam are at risk of developing a physical dependence on the substance. Such a condition will lead to withdrawal symptoms in the event you suddenly stop using the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe in intensity but can be minimised with proper treatment.

Symptoms of Temazepam withdrawal often include:

  • Changes in perception, including tinnitus and tingling or numbness in the limbs
  • Extreme anxiety and panic
  • Paranoia
  • Painful tremors
  • Abdominal cramps or diarrhoea
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Muscle pain and weakness

Co-Occurring Disorders

If you are abusing Temazepam, it is possible that you are also simultaneously suffering from a co-occurring mental health condition. If you have a co-occurring disorder while going through addiction, it becomes difficult to make a full recovery without also treating your co-occurring disorder(s). This is because co-occurring disorders often contribute to substance abuse, and failing to treat the disorder can in time lead to a return to drug use.

The following disorders have been noticed among people going through Temazepam addiction:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Tobacco use disorder, and other substance use disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
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Who is at Risk for Temazepam Addiction?

Everyone who has been prescribed Temazepamor is abusing it is at risk of developing an addiction to the drug. This is why the use of the drug in clinical medicine is closely regulated by law. In order to reduce the risk of developing aTemazepam addiction, it is best to use the drug only for a short time period and never beyond the dose prescribed by your doctor. It is also best that you never combine the use of Temazepam with other substances without first informing your doctor. This especially includes combining the use of Temazepam with alcohol or other stimulants to heighten its effects.

People with mental disorders are often at a higher risk of abusing Temazepam.

Teen Temazepam Abuse and Addiction

Adolescence can be an emotionally challenging period in life and teens might abuse Temazepam with the aim of escaping the stresses of everyday life. This is more likely if a teen has easy access to Temazepam either from friends or family

Teenagers can believe that Temazepam or other prescription medication is safer than street drugs, but such medication is actually just as dangerous, especially if mixed with painkillers or alcohol. If abused frequently, Temazepam use can become habit-forming or addictive and can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Because of its potency, it is the best Temazepam not be used to manage anxiety or stresses of day to day living.

Cost of Temazepam Addiction

The cost of Temazepam addiction treatment will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, the severity of addiction and how long treatment will last will contribute to determining how much treatment will cost. Also, whether treatment is received via an outpatient or inpatient program will also affect how much treatment costs. Treatment at an inpatient facility generally costs more than what is provided at an outpatient facility due to the added cost of boarding and intensive round the clock care. But the cost of treatment can be minimised if your insurance policy actually covers addiction treatment and if the treatment facility accepts insurance.

Asides from the financial cost of Temazepam addiction, there’s also the cost arising from how it affects your relationships and professional career. When a drug habit takes control of your life, it can make you negligent concerning your job or relationships. This can result in problems at home, distancing from friends, and possible failure in education, workplace, or other aspects of your professional life.

The Effects of Temazepam Abuse on the Brain and Body

Benzodiazepines such as Temazepam amplify the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA(gamma-aminobutyric acid). In the spinal cord and brain, GABA is a principal inhibitory neurotransmitterwhich is responsible for slowing down brain activity and the neurons that cause anxiety and stress. It also regulates or reduces central nervous system activity.Temazepam’s effects on GABA make it useful for the treatment of health conditions influenced by hyperactivity in the spinal cord or brain. Examples of such conditions include anxiety disorders, seizures, issues with insomnia, muscle tension, and so on. Due to its influence on GABA, Temazepam can make you feel extremely relaxed, and experience mild euphoria and an overall sense of well-being.

But as you continue using Temazepam,you’ll over time build up a tolerance to the drug and this can, in turn, lead to physical dependence followed by addiction. A primary indicator of the presence of a physical addiction is experiencing withdrawal syndrome when you stop the use of the drug.

The relationship between Temazepam and Other Substances

Temazepam products are central nervous system depressants that are capable of reducing the rate of respiration, slowing down heartbeat and metabolism, and so forth. Due to this effect, it is safer to avoid combining the drug with stimulants that can have an opposite effect, such as cocaine. At the same time, you should never take Temazepam with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol, narcotic painkillers, illegal narcotics, barbiturates, other benzodiazepines, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs, and antidepressants as they can increase the depressive effects of Temazepam and put you at risk of a possibly fatal overdose.

To avoid complications, inform your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs when prescribed Temazepam;

  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Herbal products
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • Minerals
  • Nefazodone (Serzone)
  • Vitamins.

Temazepam Overdose explained

A Temazepam overdose can be fatal if not quickly managed by a medical professional. A Temazepam overdose can be followed by absent reflexes, confusion, slow breathing, drowsiness, and dizziness. Unconsciousness may follow and spiral into a coma and possible death. To avoid such an outcome, contact emergency services immediately you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms.

An overdose occurs when you consume more Temazepam than your body can metabolise. Treatment in such a scenario can involve inducing vomiting or pumping your stomach to clear it of Temazepam. Fluids will then be administered, and Flumazenil which is a benzodiazepine antagonist may also be administered.

Fatal overdoses often occur due to combining Temazepam with other drugs or substances (polydrug abuse). Most commonly combined drugs include alcohol and other central nervous system depressants.

Temazepam Withdrawal

Temazepam withdrawal syndrome is quite similar to that of barbiturates and alcohol. The process can be a difficult one, especially if not properly managed by a medical professional. Temazepam withdrawals can last for up to three weeks, and its severity is often dependent on how long addiction was going on for as well as how severe the addiction was. If you have been using Temazepam for months and in high doses, your withdrawal symptoms will likely be more severe than that of a person with a lesser history of abuse.

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Symptoms of Withdrawal

Abusing Temazepam long term can lead to both a physical and psychological dependency on the drug. In such a scenario, if you stop using Temazepam, you are likely to experience the following withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will be dependent on the severity of your addiction

  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle spasms

Asides from the above physical symptoms, Temazepam addiction can also result in psychological withdrawal symptoms like “rebound insomnia”, as well as the following;

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Uncontrollable crying

Temazepam Withdrawal Timeline

Temazepam withdrawal symptoms can begin to manifest within 24 hours of your last dose. But addicts who have been abusing the drug for a longer period may experience withdrawals far sooner – as little as six hours after the last dose.

The average withdrawal experience will follow the below the timeline once it begins;

  • 6-24 hours: The first physical withdrawal symptoms will begin to manifest
  • Days 1-4: Symptoms nausea, tremors, and fatigue will start to develop.
  • Week 2: The aforementioned symptoms will peak and begin to subside. But psychological symptoms may continue to persist
  • Month 6: If proper treatments are sought from the beginning, most psychological symptoms will begin diminishing by this point.

The above timeline will only occur if you suddenly quit the abuse of Temazepam. But if you quit the drug via a tapering schedule to wean yourself off Temazepam, the withdrawal symptoms will be greatly minimised, but the withdrawal period may take longer.

Temazepam Addiction Treatment

Treatment for Temazepam addiction is best received at a residential treatment centre or an inpatient facility, especially if addiction is severe. In such a facility, you will be cared for in a conducive and controlled environment where you’ll have access to 24/7 medical care from addiction specialists.

The first and most crucial step in addiction treatment is detoxification which will effectively rid your body of all traces of Temazepam. Detoxification is safer if it is provided as a medically assisted detox.

Once detox is complete, it should be followed by rehabilitation to prevent a relapse and to get you back in shape both physically and psychologically. In an inpatient facility, you will be supervised by addiction experts and kept busy and comfortable to ensure you don’t mentally dwell too much on cravings.

Your family may be involved in counselling sessions to teach them how to support you during your recovery. You will go through individual counselling during rehab, and cognitive behavioural therapy to help you identify what led you to addiction and how to avoid such in the future.

Upon conclusion of rehab, you can return home and continue treatment through an aftercare program. These aftercare programs have proven to be highly effective in helping individuals stay sober long term. Aftercare can be received through 12-step meetings in your community.

Therapy for Temazepam Addiction

Depending on your addiction’s severity and nature, any of the following or a combination of the following forms of therapy can be applied towards helping you make a full recovery

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Family Counselling
  • Group Counselling
  • Individual Counselling
  • Psychoeducation
  • Life Skills Instruction and Training
  • Yoga And Mindfulness
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Alumni Groups

Possible Complications

Some of the common risks during the Temazepam withdrawal process (especially an unprofessionally managed one) include;

  • Severe diarrhoea or excessive vomiting
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Suicidal ideation due to depression
  • Delirium tremens

When to Contact a Medical Professional

If you have been using (or abusing)Temazepam and notice that you require higher doses of the drug to achieve the desired effect or that you experience withdrawal symptoms whenever you fail to take a fresh dose, please contact a medical professional immediately. This is because increased tolerance and withdrawal symptoms are signs that you have developed a physical dependence on the drug. The sooner you get help with substance dependence, the sooner you can regain control of your life.

Temazepam Recovery Plan

An effective recovery plan for Temazepam addiction is tapering, which involves gradual reduction of Temazepam doses till you are completely weaned off the drug. Temazepam may also be substituted for a longer acting benzodiazepine before tapering commences.

Tapering is generally performed in either of the following ways

  • A Temazepam taper. Reducing Temazepam dose gradually till completely weaned off the drug.
  • Replacement medication taper.  This first replaces Temazepam with a long-acting medication like diazepam or phenobarbital, before gradually reducing the dose of the replacement medication.

How long tapering will go on for is mostly dependent on the severity of your addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Medical Detox for Temazepam

A medical detox is a good start towards making a full recovery from addiction and maintaining sobriety long-term. Medically assisted therapy may make use of the following medication to not only hasten your recovery but make the entire process less uncomfortable

  • Diazepam as a replacement
  • Buspirone to treat anxiety
  • Paroxetine as an antidepressant
  • Trazodone to treat insomnia
  • Carbamazepine and valproate as an anti-seizure medication

Temazepam Addiction Statistics


What is Temazepam?

Temazepam is a popularly prescribed short-acting benzodiazepine that’s used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The drug was initially discovered in the mid-1960s and was marketed as a less dangerous and addictive substitute for barbiturates.

How is Temazepam Used?

Temazepam can be used orally or intravenously

What Does Temazepam Look Like?

Temazepam can be found as a white crystalline powder that’s soluble in water. But as Restoril, which is a brand name for the drug, the medication is available as a capsule.

Is Temazepam Addictive?

Yes, same as most either benzodiazepines, Temazepam is highly addictive.

Who Abuses Temazepam?

Anyone prescribed Temazepam is likely to abuse it. But the elderly, teenagers and people with mental health disorders are more likely to inappropriately use the drug

How Can I Spot Temazepam Addiction?

If you are using Temazepam and experiencing any of the following symptoms, then you have likely developed an addiction to Temazepam and are abusing the drug;

  • Been using Temazepam without a doctor’s prescription
  • Taking higher doses of Temazepam than prescribed
  • Using Temazepam in higher doses in order to achieve the desired effect. That is, developed a tolerance to the drug
  • Failed attempts to quit using Temazepam or to reduce doses
  • Continued abuse of Temazepam even though you are aware its negatively affecting your health, relationships, and life in general
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you miss a dose
  • Development of risky behaviours, such as driving while under the influence of Temazepam
  • Doctor shopping or using other illegal means to acquire more Temazepam

Is Temazepam Harmful?

While useful for clinical purposes, Temazepam can also be harmful if not properly used. The main danger of Temazepam is its high potential for abuse and addiction, but using the drug long-term or abusing it can lead to health complications such as;

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Cancer

Where Else Can I Find Help?

If you have been abusing Temazepam for some time and would like to quit, please contact an addiction helpline, and they can provide you with all the assistance and information you need to break free from Temazepam abuse and addiction.

How do People Abuse Temazepam?

People generally abuse Temazepam by using it beyond recommended dose or using it more frequently than they should. Others abuse the drug by combining it with other central nervous system depressants or stimulants to heighten the drug’s effects.

What is Temazepam Dependence?

Being dependent on Temazepam may not necessarily mean that you are addicted to the drug. Dependence can be a metric for defining if you are actually addicted and it is usually signified by an increased tolerance to Temazepam as well as withdrawal symptoms when you fail to use a fresh dose of the drug.

Why is This Drug Addictive?

Temazepam is addictive because of how it influences the chemical structure of the brain and how it leads to physical dependence by causing the body to believe it cannot function normally without the drug in the system. This is caused by the drug’s influence on GABA receptors.

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