Understanding Temazepam Addiction
Temazepam is a drug used to treat sleep problems and disturbances. It belongs to a drug family called benzodiazepines. It is commonly used to treat insomnia, and is also administered as a pre-med medication before an operation to help a person relax. It is available in both liquid and tablet form, and is given only on prescription. A course of Temazepam shouldn’t last any longer than four weeks, and pills or medicine should usually be taken once a day, 30 minutes before going to bed.
Those who take Temazepam often feel common side effects including light-headedness, feeling sleepy and general confusion. For this reason, it is advised that those who are prescribed the drug do not operate machinery or drink alcohol.
Temazepam is also known as the brand name Restoril. Street names include Tems, Eggs, Green Eggs, Temazzies, Jellies, Norries and Rugby Balls. The drug takes as little as 30 minutes to take effect in the body if swallowed in pill or liquid form. If a person injects, smokes or snorts Temazepam, the effects can be felt more quickly.
It is understood that chemical imbalances in the brain cause problems sleeping. Temazepam works by producing more gamma-aminobutyric acid, a chemical that calms any overactivity within the brain, helping a person to fall asleep.
What Effects and Abuse of Temazepam?
Temazepam is typically prescribed to treat insomnia in the short-term. Because it is a prescription medication, those abusing it may mistakenly believe that it is safer than illegal drugs. All benzodiazepines shouldn’t be taken for a period of more than four weeks, as psychological and physical dependency can develop, causing a person to become addicted. As many people who abuse Temazepam do not recognise their own addiction behaviours, it can be difficult to point out the signs of abuse and discuss them with a dependent individual.
Some people abuse Temazepam not for medical purposes to help with sleep issues, but to experience a high and a feeling of extreme relaxation and calm. Usually, Temazepam is taken alongside other drugs to change the user’s mood and to help them escape from stresses in their daily life.
Signs of Temazepam abuse are:
- Getting duplicate prescriptions from multiple doctors
- Buying drugs on the black market
- Mixing Temazepam with other drugs
- A disinterest in professional and home life
- Taking Temazepam in different ways to get a strong high (such as snorting/injecting)
- Feeling sleepy
- Unpleasant, vivid dreams
- Difficulty staying alert
- Having a dry mouth
- Lack of co-ordination and balance
What are Warning Signs of Temazepam Addiction?
If a person takes Temazepam recreationally and to get a high, they may try and force themselves to stay awake to feel its effects, despite feeling very drowsy. Not using the drug for its intended use in this way can be a major sign of addiction. Changing the way Temazepam is taken is also another indication – such as crushing tablets and snorting them, rather than swallowing them with water.
Major indications of Temazepam addiction include:
- Laboured, slow breathing
- Feeling shaky
- Memory loss
- Mumbled, confused speech
- Struggling to stay awake
- Lack of attention to personal hygiene
- Taking increasingly larger doses of Temazepam
- Intense cravings for Temazepam
- Digestive discomfort
- Sickness and nausea
Continuing to use Temazepam can also result in detriment to a person’s job, friendship circle, family relationships, mental health, physical health and finances. Their behaviour may appear more compulsive and unplanned, with frequent doctor’s visits, stealing drugs from others, buying pills off of the black market or on the street, and pretending to have symptoms in order to get Temazepam on prescription.
Symptoms of overdose-related to Temazepam include:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Clammy, cold skin
- Feeling dizzy
- Feeling drowsy
- Problems with reflexes
- Slow motor control
- Falling unconscious
An overdose can become more severe over time as it develops. Temazepam is a depressant drug that affects the body’s central nervous system. It can make breathing very shallow or slow and lower a person’s blood pressure to extreme levels, causing a potential cardiac arrest, seizures and respiratory failure, coma and even death. If you suspect that someone has overdosed on Temazepam, seek urgent medical attention.
What are Temazepam Withdrawal Symptoms?
Trying to quit Temazepam can be challenging, and usually results in a person experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as their body tries to get itself back on track without the drug. A detox is always the best option, with a tapered programme so that dosage can be gradually lowered over at least two weeks. Flumazenil is a medication that is commonly administered to help deal with any withdrawal symptoms that arise from Temazepam detox. These symptoms include:
What Support for Temazepam Addiction?
There are many dangers associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal. A detox programme is always the first step if you suspect that either yourself or a loved one has an addiction to Temazepam. As dangerous seizures and respiratory failure are common withdrawal symptoms, it is strongly advised that a detox at home is avoided.
If you suspect that a loved one has a Temazepam addiction, try and speak openly about their addiction with them. Do not try to use guilt or shame them, but instead try to understand how they are feeling. Suggest that they seek help and motivate them as much as possible when they are trying to stop taking Temazepam. Encourage them to admit themselves into a medically supervised detox programme where they can be monitored, supervised and encouraged while the drug is slowly removed from their system. Reassure them that staff in rehabilitation and recovery centres can sometimes have first-hand experience of drug addiction, and will be there to support the addict in their journey by offering guidance and comfort to ensure success.
What Treatment For Temazepam Addiction?
Treatment for Temazepam addiction firstly consists of a personal evaluation to determine the causes and reasons behind a person’s addiction, while discussing mental and physical symptoms associated with drug-taking. After this, a bespoke treatment plan is created that is unique to the person’s requirements and what their body needs to heal.
A detox programme is usually followed in order for a person to quit taking Temazepam. Following this, a person is usually admitted to a clinic on a live-in basis to undertake intensive treatment and therapy for their addiction, helping them to overcome any mental health problems they have while learning their trigger points and causes of cravings so they learn how to control them. Many people who struggle with addiction often have co-occurring mental health conditions as a result of their drug-taking. This can be treated through counselling and behavioural therapies.
Alternative approaches are also used in treating Temazepam addiction, including hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), art therapy, speech therapy, family therapy and group therapy. Addicts being treated can involve their family as their support network, and share their experiences with other users in 12-step and group sessions, helping them to recover from their drug-taking behaviours.
Medically Supervised Temazepam Detox
As Temazepam is a benzodiazepine, a detox is required in a medical setting to safely remove the substance from a person’s body without harmful effects of withdrawal. During a detox programme, a person is gradually weaned off of Temazepam in the safest way possible by decreasing the dosage they take every day. Symptoms are carefully observed and monitored, and the person is given ongoing support and any medications they need to overcome unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The detox process takes around 28 days but can take longer depending on the severity of the addiction and how the person reacts to the treatment. At the end of the detox, the person will be completely off of Temazepam. Once the drug has been successfully removed from the body, recovery via therapy and counselling can begin.