Temazepam (Restoril) is a prescription drug that is commonly prescribed on a short term basis to help with sleep disorders. As a member of the benzodiazepine family and a lesser well know one, some may not realise just how dangerously addictive it can be.
Abuse and prolonged use of this sedative-hypnotic can lead to dependence and addiction. Both extremely serious conditions that can be hard to recover from without the correct professional help.
What is temazepam, and what is used for?
Temazepam is a benzodiazepine medication that is available on prescription in tablet form or oral solution. It is commonly sold under the generic and trade name of Restoril in the UK and Activas in the US. Temazepam dosage comes in 5 mg and 10mg tablets, and vary between 10mg up to 40mg depending on the patient’s individual needs and their tolerance to Temazepams effects.
Temazepam licensed indications are for the short term treatment of insomnia, for conscious sedation of dental procedures, and as a premedication before operative or investigation procedures.
Prescribing guidelines in the UK indicate that this sedative-hypnotic should not be prescribed for any longer than 2 to 4 weeks. Taking temazepam for longer than the guidelines recommend can lead to tolerance and a physical addiction to the drug.
Temazepam’s pharmaceutical effects generally take effect with an hour from taking the medication; they can last for up to 8 hours. This means that effects can still be felt the following morning. As with all sedative drugs, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery if you still feel sleepy, drowsy, or lightheaded the following day.
Temazepam for anxiety is sometimes prescribed as medication, although this is now less common due to the fact this drug can be easily abused and can lead to drug dependence and drug addiction.
How temazepam works
Temazepam works by affecting the amount of GABA available in the brain and by depressing the actions of the body’s central nervous system. This provides the user with a feeling of calmness, tiredness and tranquillity, which is conducive to relaxation and sleep.
Because the drug slows down the brain and the body, it also affects coordination, decision making, reflexes, balance, memory, and can affect speech. Each person’s tolerance of this drug is individual according to their biochemistry and personal medical history.
In some people, the drug can produce feelings of euphoria, invincibility, reduced inhibitions and a false sense of wellbeing. It is these particular effects that certain individuals will seek through abuse of this prescription drug. Abusing temazepam, through taking more than is prescribed or by mixing alcohol and temazepam or other drugs, increases its sedative effects. Temazepam abuse also vastly increases the chances of dangerous side effects occurring and can, in fact, be fatal.
Common temazepam side effects
Commons side effects include:
- Decreased alertness
- Decreased or increased appetite
- Impaired balance and coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Problems with vision
- Reduced coordination
- Respiratory depression (slowed breathing rate)
- Rebound insomnia and disturbed sleep
- Short term memory loss
- Slurred or slowed speech
- Suicidal ideation
- Temazepam withdrawal(1)
Dangerous and adverse effects of temazepam
Temazepam is not suitable for everyone. In some, especially those suffering from depression or another mental health illness, it can increase thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation.
For any individual who is suffering from depression or thoughts of self-harm, it is not recommended as a stand-alone treatment. Prescribing of this medication in such cases should be carefully monitored and combined with therapy and/or psychiatric medication.
Temazepam can also have paradoxical psychological effects that can be dangerous. Adverse effects of temazepam include increased talkativeness, aggression, impulsiveness and inappropriate behaviour.
Adverse physiological effects include muscle weakness and organic changes to the brain – creating drug dependence and addiction.
Temazepam abuse & dependence
One of the biggest risks of taking Temazepam is an addiction, abuse and dependence.
Like all benzodiazepines, temazepam creates drug tolerance if taken for a prologued period of time (more than 2 weeks). Once tolerance to a certain dosage of temazepam has developed, whereby the brain and body have adjusted to the effects of a dose, an increase in dosage is required in order to feel the original benefits again.
There are very few exceptions where a GP or consultant psychiatrist may agree to a continued prescription or an increase in dosage. If a repeat or increased prescription is refused, and a tolerance has already developed, a patient may well be tempted to buy their own temazepam from an illicit source. Thus starts the downward spiral of temazepam abuse, dependence and addiction.
Once physical dependence has developed, missing a regular dose or reducing the dose will induce withdrawal symptoms. This is a collection of symptoms that manifest physiologically and psychologically that are a reaction to a reduction in temazepam.
Temazepam withdrawal symptoms are extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable. Where a dependency exists, a slow and carefully monitored reduction regime is recommended. This helps to minimise withdrawal symptoms and keep the patient safe from developing life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Addiction is characterised by intoxication, preoccupation and withdrawal
Temazepam addiction is a life-threatening brain disorder that requires very specific professional treatment in order to overcome. Addiction cannot be cured, but it can be successfully arrested, and with the correct education and treatment, recovery can be maintained.
It is important to understand that as a complex illness, there is no quick fix to addiction. Recovery from addiction requires willingness and action on the sufferers part. We can provide you with the tools of recovery and the professional help needed in order to heal from addiction. We can also support you and your family in your recovery journey.
If you would like more information on treatment available for temazepam addiction, call Rehab Guide and talk to one of our friendly team of experts today.
Types of abuse
Temazepam (Restoril) can be abused in many different ways. This particular drug holds great potential for drug abuse, and this is why it is a Class C Schedule 3 controlled drug under the Substance Misuse Act 1971.
Types of temazepam abuse include: taking more than the prescribed dose, changing the route fo administration, ie, crushing tablets and snorting, or injecting the oral solution, buying temazepam illicitly from the dark web or street dealers, stockpiling temazepam medication and taking large doses at once, and mixing temazepam with alcohol or other drugs to gain greater effect.
Temazepam abuse is extremely dangerous. It can lead to life-threatening side effects, coma and death.
Temazepam withdrawal symptoms
Temazepam withdrawal is often very difficult and uncomfortable. This is why it is so important to access the correct professional help and support to enable you to stop a dependence safely and successfully.
The symptoms of withdrawal are very similar to withdrawal symptoms from other medications of the benzodiazepine family.
The dosage, the length of time you have been taking temazepam for, and the method of detoxification will influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms you experience during whilst stopping this drug.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- Racing thoughts
- Irrational thoughts
- Increased sweating
- Poor concentration
- Rebound insomnia
- Tachycardia (fast and irregular heartbeat)
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Muscle spasms and cramps
- Thoughts of self-harm
- Suicidal ideation
Temazepam withdrawal symptoms highlighted in red require emergency medical treatment. Other symptoms, if presenting as troublesome or severe, also require urgent medical care.
The timeline of withdrawal from temazepam will vary from person to person. As a general guideline, the longer you have been taking the drug for and the higher the dosage, the longer it will take you to feel fully well again.
For those that are dependent on high levels of temazepam and have a long history of dependence, a slow medically managed reduction is recommended over a period of 6 to 12 weeks.
In the most complex and chronic cases of dependence and addiction, withdrawal symptoms can be prolonged and last over a period of months, even a year or more.
This is why it is vital that if you do have temazepam dependence or addiction that you seek medical advice before attempting to stop. It may be that a full medical detox within a residential detox facility is the safest way forward.
Temazepam contractions and cautions – Who should NOT take temazepam
Temazepam is a strong psychiatric medication, therefore any individual who is prescribed it should be carefully medically assessed for their suitability first.
Those who have a history of mental health illness should not be prescribed this medication as a stand-alone treatment. There is a distinct risk of temazepam triggering mental health problems and/or increasing the severity of existing mental health conditions.
Those who also have a history of past or present alcohol or drug abuse or addiction should not take this medication.
Temazepam should only be prescribed within the prescribing guidelines, for very a very short period of time and not prescribed to those that are at higher risk of developing an addiction or psychiatric illness.
Caution should also be taken when prescribing temazepam for elderly patients. The drug increases the chances of loss of balance and having an accident.
How long temazepam stays in your system
Temazepam is a short-acting to intermediate-acting benzodiazepine. It begins to take effect within 10 to 20 minutes after taking a therapeutic dose. Its peak pharmaceutical effects can be felt within 1 to 1 and a half hours.
The average half-life of temazepam is 9 hours after ingestion.
Most of the drug is secreted within your urine; however, the rest stays within your system and is metabolised by your liver. Different methods of drug testing can detect temazepam in your system over different time frames.
How long temazepam stays in your system can be influenced by many personal factors, including your age, gender, body fat, metabolism, levels of hydration, the dosage and length of time you have been taking it for. Restoril is metabolized by your liver with a half-life in two phases, one short and one long, and most of it is secreted in your urine.
The general guideline for detecting temazepam in your system are as follows:
- Urine: A therapeutic dose of temazepam is detectable in urine for 5 to 7 days. Where the drug has been taken over a prolonged period of time and/or at a high dose, urine can test positive for the drug for up to 6 weeks after stopping.
- Blood: Temazepam stays detectable in your blood, usually for only up to 24 hours. It is dispelled from the bloodstream relatively quickly.
- Saliva: Temazepam can be detectable in your saliva for 24 hours or more.
- Hair: As with all drugs, Temazepam can be traceable in your hair for up to three months
Treatment for temazepam addiction and dependence
Temazepam dependence can occur inadvertently from taking the drug longer than the prescribing guidelines recommend. Where there is a dependence on any benzodiazepine, you should never just stop taking your medication without first consulting your medical practitioner to check if it is safe to do so. In the majority of cases where dependence has identified a tapering off regime is the safest way to stop.
If you have a dependence on temazepam and have tried unsuccessfully to wean yourself off of them, you may wish to consider a medical detox within a benzodiazepine detox clinic. Private detox clinics specialise in detoxing from all manner of prescription drugs. Clinically proven, medical detox for any alcohol or drug dependence is the safest way to get clean and sober.
If you have an addiction to temazepam, the treatment required is somewhat more complex. Addiction is a medically recognised disorder of the brain and is characterised by progression and relapse. Where an addiction exists, a detox is rarely sufficient on its own.
The treatment recommended for temazepam addiction incorporates medical detox, followed by a bespoke recovery programme consisting of evidence-based treatments. It is vital that an addicted individual receives the correct bespoke treatment to help prevent relapse.
Recognising the signs of abuse in a family member or loved one
If you are worried that a loved one or family member may be abusing temazepam, recognising the following signs of prescription drug abuse can be helpful in confirming your suspicions:
- You have found a stockpile of temazepam tablets in their possession that are not prescribed for them
- They appear unusually drowsy
- Droopy eyes and sleepy appearance
- Slurred and slow speech
- Clumsy, appearing drunk
- Frequently falling asleep and hard to wake
- A noticeable change in attitude, mood and behaviour
- Change in sleep pattern and appetite
- Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
- Depression and anxiety
- Reduced motivation
- Evidence of prescriptions from different doctors
- Evidence of purchasing pills from the internet
- Finding temazepam tablets on them that do not belong to them
Temazepam abuse is very serious and should not be ignored. Try to encourage your family member to seek professional help and reassure them that they can recover if they want to.
In 2018, 420 people died in England and Wales from a benzodiazepine overdose. More than double the number of benzodiazepine related deaths recorded ten years ago.
Spotting the signs of temazepam/Restoril overdose can be key to accessing the correct help quickly.
Signs of temazepam overdose include:
- Difficult to wake or unresponsive
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Very slurred speech
- Not making sense
- Slow pulse/heart rate
- Loss of balance and falling over
If you suspect someone has taken an overdose of temazepam, it is important to get emergency medical help without delay. If they are severely intoxicated or unresponsive, call an ambulance. Your quick actions could just save their life.
A Temazepam detox should ideally be conducted within a safe, drug-free environment. Medical and therapeutic support should be on hand to assist at any given time.
Benzodiazepine detoxes are notoriously long and difficult, which is why so many fail to wean themselves off the drug in the community successfully.
A Temazepam detox centre that is CQC registered will provide everything you need to make your detox as comfortable as possible. Rehab Guide work with only reputable CQC registered detox clinics throughout Scotland, England and Wales. Our detox clinics are professionally run to the highest of standards and follow strict protocols to ensure our patient’s safety at all times.
Self-detox from temazepam can be very dangerous if not carried out correctly. As with all benzodiazepines, withdrawal symptoms can become life-threatening if the medication is withdrawn too quickly.
Undergoing a detox with Rehab Guide, we will ensure that you access the detox clinic that is best suited for your individual treatment needs. Temazepam detox requires careful monitoring by experienced and qualified medical professionals. Within the safety of our one of our premium detox centres, you will be cared for 24/7 by a multidisciplinary team of qualified professionals, including doctors, nurses, councillors, psychotherapists and addiction therapists. All of our clinical staff are highly skilled and committed to helping you become temazepam free.
Rehab for Restoril addiction treatment
A good rehab for Restoril addiction should treat all aspects of the patient as an individual, ensuring a complete healing experience. Rehab Guide’s rehab programmes are tailored to target the specific areas of an individual’s life that are affected by an addiction disorder.
Using a person-centred approach to our treatment, treatment programmes use a number of evidence-based therapies to treat patients physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. We are also able to treat those with co-occurring illnesses and dual diagnosis comprehensively.
In order for someone suffering from a temazepam addiction to fully recover, it is vital that no stone is left unturned and that a personalised approach to their treatment is delivered. Patients at our treatment centres also receive family help and therapy, and aftercare to help them stay on track once they have left the treatment environment.
Therapies for addiction
Proven therapies that help successfully treat temazepam addiction are delivered within our drug detox and rehab centres.
By undergoing a temazepam rehabilitation programme, you or your loved one will benefit from the following evidence-based addiction treatments:
- Full medical detox where dependence is identified
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Integrated therapy
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
- One to one counselling
- Group therapy
- Educational workshops
- Relapse prevention
- Family therapy
- Fitness programme
- 12 Step
- Holistic programme – including therapies such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, their chi, art, drama, music, and more
- Complementary therapies – including auricular acupuncture, massage, reflexology
Our rehabs provide the latest in cutting edge addiction treatments; furthermore, our rehab programmes are proven to work!
By undergoing treatment at one of our detox or rehab centres for a temazepam dependence or addiction, you will reap the following benefits:
- Receive 24/7 care from a team of medical and addiction treatment professionals
- Be in a safe, nurturing and compassionate environment conducive to healing and recovery
- Undergo a full medical detox
- The opportunity to undertake a bespoke temazepam rehabilitation programme, designed to unearth and treat the root causes of addiction
- Be educated on essential relapse prevention techniques
- Return home after completion of treatment temazepam free!
If you or a loved one have a problem with temazepam and want fast and efficient professional help, call Rehab Guide today. One of our friendly addiction treatment experts will be able to advise you of private treatment options in and around your area.
- NICE – National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence