Halcion Addiction and Abuse

Halcion (generic: triazolam) is a prescription benzodiazepine medication used primarily to treat severe insomnia. It is sometimes also prescribed to help patients before dental surgery.  Halcion, like other benzodiazepines, is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. The medication is fast-acting and incredibly potent, and carries a risk of misuse, dependence, and addiction.

If you are concerned about your use of Halcion, or if you are worried about a loved one, our guide will help you learn more about the effects, risks of long-term use, and how to get help.

What is Halcion?

In the world of pharmaceuticals, once the patent on a drug expires it becomes a generic medication. Pharmaceutical companies will take the generic drug and create their own branded drugs. Triazolam is the active generic ingredient in the branded drug Halcion. Triazolam first received US Food and Drug Administration approval in 1982.

Halcion, like its generic, belongs to the benzodiazepine class of prescription medications (often referred to as benzos). This category of drugs slows down brain activity, which, in turn, makes it suitable for people who have an anxiety disorder. While Halcion (triazolam) has a legitimate therapeutic value, it has addiction potential and is a drug of abuse.

About Halcion Abuse

Stated simply, Halcion, like other benzodiazepines, activates the receptor sites in the brain that stimulate the release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). When GABA is released in the brain, it has the effect of depressing the central nervous system (CNS) resulting in the person feeling calm. The GABA stimulation provides the therapeutic benefit, but only at controlled dosages. When someone takes more Halcsion than is prescribed, the GABA stimulation (and other events in the brain) can induce a high.

Today, there is a general consensus that addiction is a disease that is comparable to other diseases, such as diabetes. Addiction is a chronic treatable disease that impacts every area of a person’s life. The longer a person maintains an addiction, the more acute problems will become in the critical spheres of life, including the person’s physical health, psychological wellbeing, behavior, family relationships, interpersonal relationships, work, and school.

As NIDA explains, the two main hallmarks of physical dependence are tolerance and withdrawal. When a person regularly takes a drug with addiction potential, the body will naturally habituate to the use and require more of the drug to achieve the desired effect. When the person suddenly stops taking the familiar dosage, or discontinues use of the drug entirely, withdrawal symptoms will emerge.

What is Withdrawal?

Withdrawal is a natural side effect of stopping drug use. The body is essentially sending out messages that it wants the drugs (and cravings for the drug are common side effects during withdrawal).

Symptoms and Signs of Halcion Abuse

man struggling with halcion addiction

Symptoms and signs are different. When a person takes a drug and experiences side effects, these are referred to as symptoms of use. When an onlooker notices irregular behavior patterns in a person, these are referred to as signs of use. Symptoms and signs are, of course, related. For example, a person who feels dizzy (a symptom) may appear off-balance (a sign).

It is important to understand that much of the information available on Halcion side effects stems from clinical trials and not necessarily research that specifically studies the symptoms of abuse of a particular prescription drug. The following is a partial list of the possible side effects associated with Halcion:

  • Drowsiness (including daytime drowsiness).
  • Poor coordination.
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness.
  • Depression.
  • Memory problems.
  • Headache.
  • Itching.
  • Numbness.
  • Tingling feeling.
  • Changes to menstruation cycle.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Nervousness.
  • Irritability.
  • Excitability.
  • An increase or decrease in sexual interest.

Clinical trials for Halcion have observed severe side effects. A person who abuses Halcion may take such a high volume of this drug that serious side effects emerge. The following is a list of some of the known serious side effects associated with Halcion:

  • Sensation of feeling like one is going to pass out.
  • Inability to balance and/or coordinate limbs.
  • Staggered walk.
  • Rigid muscles.
  • Anxiety.
  • Confusion.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Extreme happiness.
  • Extreme sadness.
  • Difficulty passing urine.
  • Chest pain.
  • Pounding or fast heartbeat.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Burning in the eyes.
  • Vision problems.
  • Dark urine.
  • Jaundice (i.e., yellowing of eyes and/or skin).
  • Upper stomach pain.
  • Stool that is a clay-like color.
  • Loss of appetite.

When individuals abuse Halcion, they enter uncharted territory. Depending on a host of factors, including the person’s physiology and the volume of Halcion used, an overdose can occur. The following are some of the symptoms and signs of a Halcion overdose:

  • Sleepiness.
  • Impaired coordination.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Confusion.
  • Respiratory depression.
  • Apnea.
  • Seizures.
  • Coma.

There have been reports of death as a result of overdosing on triazolam. Typically, a person only has a limited risk of overdosing on a benzodiazepine alone, though a fatality is always possible. The risk of a fatal overdose is greatly increased when a person takes Halcion, or another benzodiazepine, in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

Finding Treatment for Halcion Addiction

There are numerous ways to get drug treatment Halcion misuse and addiction. In some instances, the need for treatment becomes urgent and the best practice is to reach out to a qualified addiction treatment specialist or your doctor, who can provide help immediately.

Short of working with an interventionist, there are additional professionals who may be of assistance in finding or learning more about rehab:

  • A family doctor may be able to make a referral to a rehab center.
  • If the person who needs treatment has health insurance coverage, their insurance carrier will be able to provide information on in-network rehab centers.
  • If the person who is experiencing Halcion misuse is employed or in school, the employer or school may be able to offers resources (e.g., an onsite counselor who can make a referral to a treatment program).
  • Professionals who work at local rehabs, mental health offices, hospitals, or community health center can provide advice and information.

What to Expect in Inpatient Drug Rehab

Medical detox can occur at a rehab center that offers this service, a standalone detox center, or a hospital (as well as other qualified clinical settings). Detox is not considered a standalone treatment; rather it is the first step in the recovery process.

After medical detox is complete, a recovering person should receive primary care for the addiction. A person who is seeking to recover from Halcion misuse should access suitable and effective treatment from a drug and alcohol rehab that is dedicated to treating addiction. It is well known in the addiction treatment community that addiction is a complex disease that involves physiological, genetic, psychological, environmental, and behavioral factors.

In treatment, specialists who work to help people with substance use disorders — the clinical term for addiction — will do an in-depth assessment. Using a wide range of effective evidence-based therapies, they will develop a care plan that takes into consideration the individual’s needs and goals for treatment. This plan can be adjusted as the person moves through the recovery process.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in South Florida

Effective help is available for people struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol. At our inpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Hollywood, FL the team at Recovery First has the knowledge and experience to help you or someone you love to get on the road to recovery.

Using evidence-based addiction treatment programs, we tailor your treatment to your needs to help you achieve your goals. We know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. That’s why we offer a full continuum of care, including inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization (PHP) care, and intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment.

Contact our helpful and knowledgeable admissions navigators at to get started with the rehab admissions process. They can also assist you in figuring out how to use health insurance to cover rehab, or to find other ways to pay for addiction treatment.

You aren't alone. You deserve to get help.
Recovery First is located in Hollywood, Florida, which is easily accessible from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Our small groups means you get more one-on-one support and make stronger connections with the community. Take the next step toward recovery: learn more about our addiction treatment programs near Florida's Atlantic coast or learn about how rehab is affordable for everyone.