Temazepam Symptoms and Warning Signs

Benzodiazepines, like Temazepam, have improved the lives of many individuals, by helping them sleep better. But, while a drug like temazepam can be beneficial if used safely and according to the doctor’s prescription, many people abuse the drug for nonmedical and recreational purposes.

The abuse of temazepam is a dangerous habit for a variety of reasons, chief of which is that the continuous abuse of the drug can easily lead to physical dependence and addiction. Once you develop an addiction to temazepam, you will start to believe that you cannot function normally without using it. This is partly due to the fact that you will experience painful withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to quit use of temazepam after developing an addiction to it.

Classified as a Class C substance in the UK, and a Schedule IV substance in the US, temazepam has a high risk for abuse and addiction. Temazepam abuse or addiction places you at a great risk of facing a variety of adverse mental and health complications, or even a fatal overdose. To avoid this outcome, only use temazepam if prescribed by your doctor, and according to the specific instructions provided by them.

Understanding Temazepam Abuse

Temazepam can be found under the brand name Restoril. The drug is a benzodiazepine, that is typically prescribed for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Because temazepam is potent, and easily habit-forming, the drug is generally not prescribed for use for more than 7 to 10 days.

As with most other drugs, especially benzodiazepines, temazepam has its own set of side effects when misused. The most potent of its side effects is addiction. If you use temazepam in larger doses, or more frequently, or for longer, than prescribed by your doctor, you can quickly develop a tolerance to the drug’s effects. As your tolerance increases, you will need higher and higher doses of temazepam to experience the desired effects of using it. Experiencing this is often a symptom of developing a physical dependence, which may slowly grow into an addiction

People often procure temazepam illegally, and abuse it with the aim of experiencing the high that can be induced by the drug when used at high doses. The high from abusing temazepam is quite similar to that experienced from abusing heroin. Some individuals even combine temazepam with alcohol, or other drugs, in order to amplify its pleasurable effects. But, keep in mind that abusing temazepam recreationally is a dangerous habit that endangers your health.

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Temazepam Intoxication Symptoms

Fast-acting benzodiazepines, like temazepam, are commonly sought for abuse because its recreational effects occur quickly. The high from temazepam has been described as mild euphoria, accompanied by relaxation of the body and mind. The high from the drug is quite similar to that of other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, such as opioids and alcohol.

If you suspect a loved one is abusing temazepam, you can keep an eye out for the following symptoms of temazepam intoxication:

  • Reduced inhibition
  • Relaxed muscles
  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Stumbling or loss of coordination

Physical Dependence and Addiction to Temazepam

The potential for physical and psychological dependence to temazepam is significant. It can take as little as two weeks of constant abuse to develop a physical dependence to temazepam. Physical dependence may even occur within the same time frame if using temazepam according to prescription – that’s just how potent the drug is.

Once temazepam dependence occurs, your body will begin to rely on the drug to feel normal. Psychological dependence occurs as you come to believe that you cannot sleep or relax without using temazepam. Simply put, dependence means your body believes that using temazepam is the only way it can feel good, or even normal. This is due to how your system has adapted to the constant influence of the drug on your brain’s reward system.

Temazepam Addiction Symptoms

Physical dependence will occur after abusing temazepam at high doses and/or for an extended period of time. Physical dependence may or may not turn into addiction, as your temazepam tolerance increases and abuse worsens.

In case you have already developed an addiction, several of the following symptoms will become evident:

  • Changes in behaviour, such as violent mood swings, obsession with temazepam, or sudden onset of depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Doctor shopping – visiting several doctors to illegally acquire temazepam prescriptions
  • Neglecting personal needs and interests in order to use or obtain temazepam
  • Requiring a higher dose to get the same effects that were achieved with the original dose
  • Unable to stop use of temazepam even when aware that it’s hurting your health and general wellbeing
  • Multiple failed attempts to quit temazepam

Once physical dependence, or addiction, has occurred, you will experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to suddenly quit using temazepam. If you use the drug again when this happens, the withdrawal symptoms will temporarily disappear. Commonly-witnessed temazepam withdrawal symptoms include; restlessness, hypertension, tremors, and seizures.

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Withdrawal Symptoms of Temazepam Addiction

Having a dependence or addiction to temazepam means you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to suddenly stop using the drug, or if you reduce your dose. Symptoms experienced during temazepam withdrawal can vary in intensity, with some being merely uncomfortable, and others being painful. Some symptoms may prove fatal if not properly managed by a medical professional.

Temazepam withdrawal symptoms, that are commonly reported, include:

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

Physical withdrawal symptoms may continue for weeks, or even months, depending on the degree of your addiction or physical dependence. Psychological withdrawal symptoms, on the other hand, can last for much longer, years in some cases. It is for this reason, that it is strongly recommended that a medical detox be sought out, to safely beat temazepam withdrawal.

Abusing temazepam recreationally poses a variety of physical and psychological dangers, even when you try to quit. The dangers are far more significant if you have a co-occurring health disorder, or polydrug abuse issues. Medical professionals can help minimise withdrawal symptoms in such instances, and make the detox process much safer.

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The Side Effects of Abusing Temazepam

The following side effects may occur, regardless of if you are misusing temazepam, or using it according to your doctor’s instructions:

  • Abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, or vomiting
  • Ataxia, or loss of muscle coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Faintness related to changes in blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Developing physical dependence and/or addiction

However, recreationally abusing temazepam will worsen all of the aforementioned side effects. That is, those abusing the drug will experience the side effects far more severely than if they were using the drug as recommended.

The Short-Term Problems with Using Temazepam to Get High

Somnolent activities, such as sleep-driving, sleepwalking, having conversations while asleep, sleep-eating, and sexual activity while asleep, are commonly reported issues among people who abuse temazepam. Although these effects may occur even if using the drug according to prescription, the likelihood is far higher for those who abuse the drug recreationally.

Furthermore, if abusing temazepam to get high, you are likely using the drug in large doses to achieve intoxication. This can give rise to short-term problems such as oversedation, loss of coordination, impaired cognition, confusion, dizziness, and muscle weakness, which may cause dangerous falls. All of which can combine to endanger your life and general health.

The Long-term Problems with Using Temazepam to Get High

Temazepam, and similar benzodiazepines, have a powerful effect on the human brain and memory. Thus, abusing these drugs recreationally can cause long-term problems such as amnesia, blackouts, or the inability to make new memories. Also, people who abuse temazepam are more likely to have issues with depression, anxiety, and insomnia, than people using temazepam according to prescription.

According to a Canadian study, using temazepam for three to six months, or more, will significantly increase the user’s risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Overdosing on Temazepam

Using more temazepam than your body can process may lead to an overdose. An overdose may also occur if you combine temazepam with alcohol, or other drugs. The consequences of an overdose can vary depending on your physiology, and amount of the drug abused. Death may even occur.

Once an overdose happens, it is best to promptly seek emergency medical attention. Overdose symptoms that indicate you need medical assistance include:

  • Depressed breathing
  • Drowsiness and inability to wake up
  • Hypotension, or low blood pressure and reduced heart rate
  • Intense confusion or amnesia
  • Reduced or absent reflexes
  • Coma

The Dangers of Mixing Temazepam and Other Intoxicating Substances

Mixing temazepam with other benzodiazepines, or other substances of abuse, can lead to possibly fatal results. Combining the abuse of heroin, opioid painkillers, alcohol, or other similar substances with temazepam will amplify the effects of all the substances on your system. People perform these combinations to experience a heightened high, but combining them increases their pleasurable effects only alongside their negative side effects. Not only does this pose a great risk to your physical and mental health, it also increases your likelihood of suffering a possibly fatal overdose.

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Temazepam Addiction Treatment

Comprehensive treatment for temazepam addiction will require that you first completely detox off the drug, after which your sleep cycle will gradually go back to normal. The recovery process can be a tough one, because after stopping the abuse of temazepam, your brain will find it difficult to “calm down” at night, thus making falling asleep challenging. Temazepam rehabilitation can help with the aid of therapies and alternative insomnia treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

Other aspects of withdrawal treatment will make use of various types of therapy to minimise the pain of your withdrawal symptoms. A tapering program can be used to gradually wean you off temazepam, so that the detox withdrawal process will be less traumatic.

A medically assisted detox that makes use of anti-seizure and antidepressant medication, can also be used to keep you safe during withdrawals. Healthy living, and keeping you comfortable, is paramount during this period, so you can stay focused on making a full recovery

Once detoxification is complete, rehabilitation will follow, to care for the psychological and behavioural aspects of your addiction.

During rehab, the underlying issues that led to your addiction and insomnia will be addressed and managed, with the appropriate therapy techniques. Behavioural adjustments can then be made to improve your coping skills, and minimise your chances of suffering a relapse.

Upon completion of rehabilitation, you can choose to follow up on your treatment with aftercare techniques. Aftercare is often provided in the form of an outpatient programme, that will provide you support as you leave rehab and return to the outside world. With the help of sobriety support groups and family support programmes, aftercare can help you achieve long-term sobriety, and minimise your chances of suffering a relapse.


FAQs

How do People Abuse Temazepam?

People generally abuse temazepam by using it beyond the 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.

Is Abusing Temazepam Harmful?

While useful for clinical purposes, temazepam can also be harmful if not properly applied. The main danger of temazepam is its high potential for abuse and addiction, but using the drug long term, or abusing it any other way, may lead to health complications such as:

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Cancer

What is Temazepam Dependence?

Being dependent on temazepam may not necessarily mean that you’re addicted to the drug. Dependence can be a metric for defining if you’re actually addicted or not, and is usually signified by an increased tolerance to temazepam, as well as the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms when you fail to take a fresh dose.

Why is This Drug Addictive?

Temazepam is addictive because of the way in which 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 its system. This is caused by the drug’s influence on GABA receptors.

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