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What Is Halcion? — Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Benzodiazepines are known to have addictive qualities, and Halcion is no different. In the United States, Halcion is prescribed to treat insomnia for a short period of time. However, Halcion patients and recreational users can quickly become physically and psychologically dependent on its effects. If you or someone you know is taking Halcion, consider the risks and benefits of this medication.

What Is Halcion?

Halcion is the brand name of a benzodiazepine that is also referred to as Triazolam. As benzodiazepines are classified as depressants, Halcion functions by binding to GABA receptors in the brain and decreasing overactive brain functioning.

Halcion was created in 1982 to treat insomnia, and it is still used today in a wide variety of treatment plans. Doctors prescribe Halcion to treat disorders including aggression, suicidal behavior, schizophrenia, insomnia, psychosis, and Tourette’s. But since Halcion is a potent medication, there is an increased risk that patients will abuse the medication and become addicted. 

Halcion comes in the form of a blue tablet, and patients may be prescribed a dosage from .125mg to .25mg. Doctors typically instruct patients to take this medication once a day at bedtime. 

Side Effects of Halcion

People who use Halcion responsibly may still experience side effects, including the following:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness

Less common side effects of Halcion may include:

  • Memory loss
  • New or worsening depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggressive behavior

Halcion Addiction

As with most benzodiazepines, Halcion has a high potential for abuse. We can attribute this to the fact that users feel the effects of Halcion quickly, and the effects fade in a short period of time. Halcion has an extremely short half-life of 1.5 to 3 hours for most people.

Halcion was created to induce sleep and aid relaxation, but users can quickly become physically dependent on its sedative effects and emotionally dependent on the feelings of relaxation. Given that patients can develop a tolerance for Halcion within a couple of weeks, dulling the drug’s effects and necessitating an increased dosage, it should only be used as a temporary treatment. 

Also, because Halcion tolerance grows rapidly, users often find that they need a higher dosage or more frequent use to achieve their desired effect. As a result, users with a medical prescription can easily develop an addiction, leading to increased usage, along with physical and psychological dependence.

Halcion Abuse

Users often begin abusing Halcion even before they have progressed to a full-on addiction. Signs of Halcion abuse include the following:

  • Taking higher doses than prescribed by a doctor
  • Using Halcion without a prescription 
  • Combining Halcion with other substances
  • Slurred speech, dizziness, and unsteady walking
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating, and drowsiness

Signs of Halcion Addiction

When patients do not adhere to their physician's instructions, they are at an increased risk of developing an addiction to Halcion. Since Halcion alters the brain’s chemistry, improper use can lead to cravings and compulsive drug use. Signs of Halcion addiction include:

  • Continuing to use Halcion despite negative consequences
  • Ignoring responsibilities at work or school
  • Obsession with obtaining Halcion and taking more
  • Attempting to get multiple Halcion prescriptions
  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop using Halcion

When users suffer from benzodiazepine addiction, they are often using more than one drug in addition to Halcion. Users may struggle with addictions to multiple substances, and most benzodiazepine addicts also use alcohol and opioids as well. In addition, some people addicted to Halcion use stimulants such as cocaine to mitigate the sedative effects.

Signs of Halcion Overdose

Halcion can have severe side effects if it is taken at high dosages or too frequently. Users often overdose on Halcion when they combine it with other depressants, like barbiturates and alcohol, which significantly increase the likelihood of an overdose. However, lethally overdosing on Halcion is rare, especially when users are admitted to the hospital. Symptoms of a Halcion overdose include:

  • Impaired motor function
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma
  • Amnesia
  • Respiratory depression

If you or someone else is displaying signs of a Halcion overdose, seek medical attention immediately by dialing 911 for emergency services.

Halcion Withdrawal

When Halcion users develop a physical dependence on the substance, there is an increased likelihood of withdrawal symptoms if they do not take it. As chronic use of Halcion alters neural pathways and slows brain function, the brain attempts to compensate for a lack of the drug by becoming hyperactive. Halcion withdrawal differs for everyone, but the severity of withdrawal is influenced by the following factors:

  • Length of time that Halcion was used
  • The amount of Halcion that the user takes
  • The frequency at which the user takes Halcion
  • Whether or not Halcion was used in combination with other substances
  • The user’s medical history and mental health

The signs of Halcion withdrawal can present as both mental and physical symptoms, including:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Coma
  • Death

Since the body absorbs and excretes Halcion quickly, withdrawal can begin within a few hours. However, Halcion withdrawal symptoms typically do not occur for a long period of time, in comparison with other long-acting benzodiazepines. Former Halcion users say that they experience withdrawal symptoms for five days to two weeks. Relatively speaking, this is an achievable timespan for many users trying to undergo rehabilitation.


Identify Halcion Abuse with Countrywide Testing

Halcion can be highly addictive, even if prescribed and used correctly as recommended by a doctor. If you think a loved one may be struggling with Halcion addiction, it's important to get them medical help as soon as possible.

Of course, it’s not always easy to tell whether a loved one is abusing drugs. If you need answers, Countrywide can help. We offer easy, multipanel drug tests that can be used in the comfort of your own home, letting you know if and when your loved one needs support for substance addiction.

At Countrywide, we provide results you can trust. To learn more, explore our catalog of convenient, at-home drug tests or contact our team today!