Dalmane is a brand-name, prescription benzodiazepine. It’s used for the treatment of insomnia, and it has significant sedation effects. The generic name of Dalmane is flurazepam. When a person uses Dalmane, they feel drowsy, relaxed and calm. All these effects are the result of chemical changes. Dalmane and other benzodiazepines are among the most widely prescribed but also most misused drugs in the U.S. Anytime the brain’s chemistry is changed by exposure to a drug or prescription medication, there is a risk of addiction. Dalmane is similar to drugs like Klonopin and Xanax.
Due to the risk of misuse, addiction and dependence, people who use this medication are typically advised to do so for no more than two weeks. It’s also usually prescribed at the lowest effective dosage possible. These steps can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of addiction. When someone uses Dalmane, especially at high doses, it can cause feelings of pleasure or euphoria. Those artificial changes in the brain are what can ultimately lead to the development of an addiction.
Patients are instructed to take Dalmane at bedtime and to take it exactly as directed. According to prescription instructions, people may start to feel increased benefits of the medicine two to three nights after they first start taking it. Symptoms should improve after seven to 10 days of taking Dalmane. Because of the risk of physical dependence, people are advised to speak with their doctor before they stop taking it. Stopping cold turkey can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Abuse and addiction are two separate concepts. A person can misuse a prescription medication without being addicted. However, abusing something like Dalmane can increase the chances of developing an addiction. The following are some of the signs of Dalmane abuse to be aware of:
- Combining Dalmane with another substance like alcohol
- Taking larger doses than what’s prescribed
- Taking Dalmane for longer than a doctor prescribes
- Recreationally taking Dalmane
- Using Dalmane without a prescription
- Buying the medication illegally
- Stealing Dalmane or similar drugs from friends or family
Due to the risk of Dalmane abuse and addiction, patients are advised to inform their doctor if they have a history of drug misuse, overuse of prescription drugs or alcohol misuse. People should also let their physician know if they have a history of mental illness or depression. The longer someone uses Dalmane or the more they misuse it beyond prescribing instructions, the more likely addiction and dependence are to occur.
Addiction is classified as a brain disease. Symptoms include compulsive substance use. Despite the fact that addiction is a complex, chronic disease, it is possible to recover. Often people addicted to any substance will suffer distortions in their thinking and behavior. Their brains have become rewired in a way that makes it very difficult for them to stop using drugs. They experience intense cravings, and there are changes in areas of the brain related to decision-making, judgment, behavior control and memory. Symptoms of Dalmane addiction can include:
- Continuing to take the medicine even when there are negative outcomes or side effects
- Strong cravings
- Failed attempts to stop using the medication
- Preoccupation with the substance
- Social problems at school, work and home
With Dalmane addiction and addictions to other benzodiazepines, it’s rarely just that one substance a person is addicted to. Instead, benzodiazepines are often part of a polydrug addiction. This means a person could be addicted to heroin as an example, and then they use benzodiazepines like Dalmane as they come off the heroin. Another common polysubstance addiction is benzodiazepines and alcohol.
In the short-term, symptoms of Dalmane abuse and addiction can include memory and concentration problems, sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness. People struggling with Dalmane may have problems functioning at school or work. Long-term use of a benzodiazepine like Dalmane can include even more complicated and severe symptoms. For example, disinhibition, sexual dysfunction, depression and anxiety are all side effects of long-term benzo use. Cognitive impairment can occur as well. People who have been taking Dalmane for a long period of time may experience impairment of attention, learning and memory, and motor skills. In elderly patients, cognitive impairment can be even more profound with long-term benzo use.
So what can you do if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction of any kind? Reach out to us at The Recovery Village. We work with patients and their loved ones to find treatment options that are relevant to them, as the individual. Even if you just have questions, we’re happy to answer them.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.