Benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV substances in the U.S. This means they do have medical value, particularly for the short-term relief of anxiety, panic and insomnia. At the same time, benzodiazepines are potentially habit-forming and do have adverse side effects. Halcion is a prescription, brand-name benzodiazepine. The generic name is triazolam. This medication is prescribed primarily for temporary insomnia relief. It’s a very short-acting benzodiazepine. It starts working quickly, and the half-life is only one to two hours in most people.
Halcion, like other benzodiazepines, has specific effects on the brain and central nervous system. When someone uses Halcion, it affects GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for calming brain activity. People with anxiety or certain sleep disorders may have a deficiency of GABA. Halcion can bind to GABA receptors and produce a calming effect on the brain. In doing so, Halcion depresses the central nervous system.
CNS depressants slow down essential functions including breathing and heart rate. If someone uses Halcion exactly as prescribed, this isn’t likely to have any significant effects. Some people may have mild side effects like drowsiness, dizziness or coordination impairment. Other than that, when following a prescription and only using Halcion for a brief time, it’s considered relatively safe. It becomes unsafe when prescription instructions aren’t followed, however.
Benzodiazepines like Halcion are among some of the most prescribed drugs in the U.S. Other benzos include Xanax and Klonopin. These drugs are frequently misused because they can trigger feelings of euphoria, relaxation or sedation. Signs of Halcion abuse can include taking large doses or taking it for longer than a doctor prescribes. When Halcion is misused, there are risks. These risks include overdose, health and cognition problems, the development of psychological symptoms and physical dependence.
Another warning sign of Halcion abuse is combining it with other substances. Benzodiazepine addiction rarely occurs on its own. Instead, it’s often part of a polysubstance addiction. Benzodiazepines might be used by people who take stimulants as they come down. It can also be paired with other CNS depressants like alcohol or opioids to feel high or more sedated. Most overdoses and ER visits related to prescription drugs are because of a combination of a benzodiazepine and another substance. The risks of combining benzodiazepines with opioids are so significant there is a black box warning that comes with these drugs. So, what about mixing Halcion and alcohol?
The risks of mixing Halcion and alcohol can range from mildly dangerous to deadly. First, both Halcion and alcohol depress the central nervous system. Someone who combines both might appear extremely intoxicated. This puts them at risk of blacking out, of doing things in their sleep or while blacked out that are dangerous, or hurting themselves or someone else. Someone could appear to have slurred speech and a lack of coordination when they combine Halcion and alcohol. A person who’s mixed Halcion and alcohol may seem extremely confused or disoriented, and they might not even be able to stand or walk.
These are the mild symptoms and side effects of mixing Halcion and alcohol. More serious is the risk of an overdose. When multiple CNS depressants are used simultaneously, it may slow functionality too much. Breathing and heart rate can become so slow that a person doesn’t get sufficient oxygen to their brain, they may go into a coma or they may ultimately die. It is also possible to have seizures or psychosis by mixing Halcion and alcohol. People who mix Halcion and alcohol are more likely to experience psychological symptoms as well, such as depression. There is no reason to combine alcohol and Halcion or any prescription medication; the results can be deadly.
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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.