Restoril is a brand-name medication. The generic name is temazepam, classified as a hypnotic, psychoactive benzodiazepine. In the U.S., Restoril is prescribed for the short-term treatment of anxiety. Like other drugs in the benzodiazepine class, it has muscle relaxant, anti-anxiety and anticonvulsant properties. Restoril is a central nervous system depressant. Side effects can include feeling intoxicated, drowsiness, sedation, fatigue, headache, feeling lethargic, memory impairment, impaired reaction times and motor function, slurred speech and numbed emotions. Other drugs in the benzodiazepine class include Valium, Xanax and Ativan. This drug class amounts to a third of all the prescriptions written in the U.S.
When someone is prescribed Restoril, they should take it exactly as instructed by their doctor. Restoril does have the risk of serious side effects. It also is potentially habit-forming and can lead to tolerance and dependence. All benzodiazepines are only intended for short-term use because of these risks. The longer a person uses a benzo like Restoril, the more likely they are to develop an addiction or dependence.
Restoril has been on the market since the late 1960s, and for decades, it was the most popular sleeping pill in the U.S. Now there are other available options such as Lunesta and Ambien, but Restoril is still prescribed. Restoril is in the top 20 of the most misused drugs in the U.S. Along with risks of Restoril abuse and addiction, people can develop a tolerance to this drug within three days. This means that after a very short time of taking it, they may need higher doses to get the same effects.
Restoril and other benzos are classified as Schedule IV drugs in the U.S. They do have medical and therapeutic benefits, but there is also a risk of misuse. Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in the U.S. While the use of opioids is most often associated with prescription drug abuse, benzos are highly misused as well. Anyone with a personal or family history of substance misuse or addiction should be prescribed Restoril with caution. Other ways to reduce the risk of addiction include taking Restoril only for the short, prescribed period of time and not taking more than what’s prescribed. The recommended treatment time for patients prescribed Restoril is only seven to ten days.
Even though temazepam is classified as Schedule IV, most medical professionals do agree it has a high potential for misuse. The most addictive benzodiazepines tend to be ones with a fast onset of action. The Restoril onset of action is relatively rapid, increasing its misuse potential. Temazepam has also been shown to have higher rates of self-injection as compared to other benzodiazepines. Due to the misuse potential and the availability of other benzodiazepines, temazepam isn’t commonly prescribed for insomnia. It’s only the fifth most prescribed drug in this class. Because of its limited prescribing, however, there is significant value for temazepam on the black market.
When someone is misusing Restoril, it doesn’t mean they’re addicted, but misuse can increase the likelihood of addiction. Restoril has psychoactive effects on the brain. When someone uses this or any other benzo, it increases the effects of something called GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for calming neural activity. Restoril can, therefore, provide a relaxing, calming and sedative effect on the person using it by calming brain activity. This is why benzodiazepines are also used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, as well as seizures.
While this effect on GABA does have benefits, anytime a drug alters the brain, there’s a risk of addiction. When someone becomes addicted to Restoril, their brain is compulsively driving them to continue using it. Prescription drug addiction is a very serious problem in the U.S. and can be as damaging and difficult to overcome as an addiction to illicit drugs. People addicted to Restoril may also be dependent on the drug. Drug dependence means withdrawal symptoms will be triggered if someone tries to stop using it suddenly.
Whether you or a loved one is struggling with drug misuse, addiction or physical dependence, contact The Recovery Village. We specialize in creating effective and individualized treatment programs that address the whole person for a sustainable recovery.
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