How Long Do Benzodiazepines Stay in Your System?

Halcion is a brand-name, prescription benzodiazepine. The generic name is triazolam, and this medication is most often given to patients who need to fall asleep for short periods of time, such as before an operation. Halcion does have the potential to be habit-forming, and physical dependence is possible. For those reasons, it should only be used for a brief period of time. Most recommendations are a maximum of ten days.

As a benzodiazepine, Halcion is considered a depressant of the central nervous system. This drug class is commonly prescribed. These medications include well-known brand names like Xanax and Klonopin. Benzos are given not only for insomnia but also to reduce symptoms of panic and anxiety disorders. Recreationally people may misuse these substances as they come down from other drugs such as stimulants.

Overall, benzodiazepines can start to affect people within 10 to 15 minutes after they take them. Their effects can be felt up to six hours after a dose is taken. Many of the outward physical signs of benzodiazepine use are similar to alcohol. People who use something like Halcion may appear drowsy and confused, and they may have problems with coordination and motor skills. There are also some risks related to short-term memory loss. Benzodiazepines can show up in standard drug tests. A benzo may appear in a urine test anywhere from three to six weeks after someone uses it, in hair up to 90 days and in blood two to three days.

Benzodiazepines can be broken down into subcategories based on whether they’re short or long-acting. Short-acting benzos include estazolam, temazepam, triazolam and midazolam. Longer-acting benzos include alprazolam, clorazepate, diazepam, lorazepam and clonazepam, among others. When a drug is considered short-acting, which Halcion is, it has higher misuse potential. Generally, the more quickly a drug starts working, the more habit-forming it can be. The longer-acting drugs have a lower risk of misuse and addiction, but they can also accumulate in the system and cause longer withdrawal symptoms in benzo-dependent people.

Benzodiazepine Peak Levels and Half-Life

In answering the “What is cocaine?” question, it’s important to consider what this drug looks like. Many illicit substances have a light, powdery appearance like that of cocaine, making it harder to identify cocaine in a lineup of other drugs. When asked, “What does cocaine look like?” experts might emphasize the distinct white color and smooth texture, not unlike a powder laundry detergent.

Due to its consistency, dealers tend to sell cocaine in small, tightly wound plastic baggies or twisted-up plastic wrap. Cocaine is one of the most expensive drugs on the market, so cocaine addiction is also very expensive. Due to its high cost, the average person who uses it likely holds only small amounts at a time. When sold on the street, cocaine tends to come in grams or ounces. Larger stocks of the drug are sold in heavyweight plastic bags or dense, rectangular units of plastic wrap. These are referred to as “bricks.” You may find cocaine in a solid, chalk-like form as well, which can be easily broken down into the eventual powder. The powder is usually then formed into thin lines or “bumps” to be snorted up the nose.

Because of the high demand for the drug and its nondescript appearance, dealers tend to mix it with similar light powders to take advantage of buyers. These powders may include:

  • Baking soda
  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar
  • Laundry detergents
  • Boric acid
  • Laxatives
  • Local anesthetics
  • Amphetamines
  • Silicon
  • Talcum powder

Street cocaine may contain certain additives that actually speed up or intensify the high. But in general, dealers add cheap substances to extend their supply and maximize their profit. Impure cocaine can appear off-white, pinkish or brownish depending on the other contained ingredients. A 2015 London study revealed that a typical ounce of cocaine sold on the street was only 22–25 percent pure. This percentage can drop even lower as it moves down the line through different transactions. Many people who are paying $100 for a gram of “cocaine” may only be receiving 1–3 percent actual of pure cocaine, if not less.

Crack cocaine (freebase cocaine), the base form of the drug, takes on a more crystalline or rock-like consistency. It varies in color from white to yellow to a pale rose. This substance has an ever-growing reputation as a hyper-potent and addictive drug that is dangerously affordable and available. Someone who gets hooked may find themselves turning to crack as an inexpensive way to feed their cocaine addiction, which can greatly exacerbate their health risks and the severity of their dependence.

Medical Disclaimer

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.