The two most common conditions in the United States that affect our population is sleeplessness and anxiety. These two disorders are the most common mental health problems in the country, which is why scientists have sought chemical relief for decades to ease the symptoms. Restoril is a newer medication in a long-line of sleep aids and anti-anxiety medications in the U.S., and the drug is used for its hypnotic effects. However, it also produces anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsant effects.
Unfortunately, despite its success, Restoril is known for its adverse side effects, which include physical dependence and addiction. Since Restoril may lead to addiction in as little as four weeks after consistent use, it’s typically prescribed for short-term therapeutic use as needed.
Although a physician prescribes Restoril, addiction to the drug is a serious disease that may have long-lasting consequences if left untreated. Fortunately, addiction will come with early warning signs that provide insight and can thwart a growing problem. The faster an individual seeks treatment when recognizing a potential substance use disorder, the better the chances are to avoid severe problems with your long-term health.
Familiarizing yourself with the signs of Restoril addiction can help save the lives of you or a loved one. You must seek help sooner than later. If you’d like to learn more about Restoril addiction and how it’s treated, continue reading.
Restoril belongs to a class of medications known as benzodiazepines, and these are used to treat a broad range of effects that suppress the central nervous system (CNS). Benzos belong to a wide range of central nervous system depressants that keep overexcitability in the region in check.
Benzo drugs were synthesized in the 1950s and began hitting the market in the 1960s. The medications exploded in popularity, and use of the drugs became widespread when anti-anxiety medications were prescribed to healthy mothers. Instead of being used as a therapeutic medicine for mental health problems, these drugs were advertised to women as a remedy for the stresses they experienced in motherhood.
In the 1970s, benzos became the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world. By 1981, Restoril became available and was introduced as a remedy for insomnia. The drug possesses a longer half-life duration of action than other benzo drugs, which makes it useful for those who wake up in the middle of the night.
Restoril works similarly to other CNS depressants affecting gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a naturally occurring chemical attached to the GABA receptor to manage excitability in our nervous system. If you encounter stress, your nervous system will become active, and GABA’s responsibility is to induce calm in the body and slow you down when it’s time to rest. In some cases, however, a person will suffer from the chemical’s slowed production, and Restoril is designed to treat these issues.
Unfortunately, despite its success, Restoril has a high dependence liability, meaning if it’s used for too long, it will lead to chemical dependency or addiction. As we described above, benzo addiction can occur in as little as four weeks of consistent use, meaning doctors will only prescribe the drug for short-term use to avoid developing a tolerance. If you are prescribed benzos for long-term use, you should speak to your doctor about potential complications.
Restoril addiction is a severe disease, but knowing the signs and symptoms can help you before it leads to something more serious. Addiction has very common warning signs that can help you determine the direction you’re heading, but your experience will depend on various factors that include:
If you’ve been using the medication and fear you’re developing a substance use disorder, the first sign you should look for is a growing tolerance. If you’ve been using Restoril for several weeks and find its effects to be weak, it means your body is adjusting to its presence in your system. The brain is an adaptable organ when it comes to ingesting psychoactive substances.
Benzo drugs will lead your brain to counteract foreign chemicals with excitatory chemicals to balance brain chemistry, which is what we mean by the term “tolerance.” If you become tolerant of Restoril, you must speak with the prescribing physician to determine your next steps. However, you must never increase the dosage without consulting with a medical professional.
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If you end up taking higher doses of Restoril to combat the diminishing effects, you are taking the risk of developing a chemical dependency. Dependence is the next phase in addiction, and it refers to the body’s reliance on Restoril to maintain normal brain chemistry. It will lead to a stopped production of natural chemicals in your nervous system and count on Restoril to get the job done, which can be dangerous if you run out of Restoril.
If you stop using Restoril at this point, you’ll experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including a rebound of anxiety or insomnia, coupled with tremors, depression, paranoia, seizures, or the potentially fatal condition known as delirium tremens (DTs).
The most significant addiction sign is not quitting despite severe consequences that take place due to drug use. For example, if you steal while under the influence to support your habit, but continue using and denying the problem, you are likely addicted to the drug.
Addiction is a chronic disease that’s treatable with care and services. Since Restoril is a CNS depressant, it’s unique among drugs and requires specialized care. As you might expect with other depressants like alcohol, symptoms of withdrawal can be fatal without proper care.
Since benzo withdrawal may warrant seizures and delirium, the first step in Restoril addiction treatment must be medical detox, which involves 24-hours of medically managed care for a week or longer. As your body adapts to stable brain chemistry without the presence of the drug, medical professionals will take every step to ensure your comfort and safety.
Once you complete detox, addiction specialists will connect you with a program tailored to your specific needs. It could mean entering an intensive inpatient program or a less intensive outpatient program to help you understand the root causes of your addiction. Restoril addiction can have devastating consequences, and getting the help you need can help you live the life you deserve free of drugs.
NIDA (August 2020) Prescription CNS Depressants DrugFacts. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-cns-depressants
MedlinePlus (August 2020) Insomnia. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/insomnia.html
National Library of Medicine (Nov 1994) Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7841856/
NIDA (August 2020) Types of Treatment Programs. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states/types-treatment-programs
NIDA (August 2020) The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-use-addiction-basics