Restoril is a sleep medication in the benzodiazepine class, which is one of the most commonly abused drugs. When these medications are abused alone, they rarely result in serious illness or death. However, when users abuse Restoril with alcohol, they put themselves at risk for life-threatening respiratory depression.
In 2011 alone, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimated that benzodiazepine and alcohol were responsible for 27,452 ER visits.
While recreational users abuse benzodiazepines (or benzos) with alcohol to magnify the sedative effects, some users engage in the practice because they’re unaware of the devastating possibilities.
Many people believe benzos are safe because they’re prescribed by doctors. So they wash down Restoril with a glass of wine, unknowingly placing themselves on a course of dependency, addiction, severe health complications, and death.
What Is Restoril?
Restoril is the brand name for temazepam. Like other benzos, it acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that slows down brain activity. In addition to its sedative properties, Restoril has anxiolytic (or anti-anxiety) and muscle-relaxer attributes. Thus, doctors prescribe it to treat people who have insomnia.
As with other benzos, Restoril works stimulates the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is responsible for calming and inhibiting the body, so activating it allows Restoril to produce feelings of sleep and relaxation in a user.
What Makes Restoril Dangerous?
According to WebMD, Restoril is intended for short-term use, usually a maximum of two weeks. However, the use of Restoril can be habit-forming. When this drug is recreationally abused or taken for longer than the prescribed period, it can quickly produce a tolerance that causes a user to have to take a larger dose than normal to get the previous effects.
In fact, research has indicated that tolerance can occur after a week of use.
The most common side effects associated with Restoril are nausea, tiredness, dizziness, fatigue, nervousness, reduced motor function, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, and blurred vision. Serious side effects include mood swings, memory loss, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, anxiety, and aggressive behavior.
Restoril dependence is firmly established when users experience withdrawal symptoms after they cease use. The withdrawal symptoms of this medication include:
- Increased tension and anxiety
- Sleep disturbance
- Panic attacks
- Hand tremors
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight loss
- Muscular pain and stiffness
- Changes is perception
The Effect Of Alcohol
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the world. Though legal, alcohol remains one of the most dangerous and addictive substances. It’s the #3 lifestyle-related cause of death in the U.S.
When users decline into alcohol addiction, they’ll inevitably display some observable signs. Here are some of these signs:
Drinking gets in the way of work, school, or other obligations, due to hangovers or sickness.
- Someone drinks even though they might drive or participate in another activity that could be dangerous during intoxication.
- Their drinking leads to blackouts.
- They have accidents or otherwise sustain injuries when they drink.
- When they drink, their health complications and mental health issues get worse.
Other discernible signs are associated with alcohol addiction, including:
- Alcohol becomes the center of a user’s life.
- They always make sure there’s enough alcohol on hand, and they only engage in activities that involve drinking.
- They lose control over how much they drink.
- They experience withdrawal symptoms when they don’t drink, such as sweatiness, shakiness, or anxiety.
- They give up hobbies or pastimes to drink.
- They spend the majority of their time drinking or recovering from hangovers.
- They drink even if it harms their family relationships, friendships, career, or education.
- They drink before work, drink alone, or stay drunk for long periods of time.
- They attempt to hide their drinking.
- They consistently turn to alcohol to relieve stress or solve their problems.
- They cannot quit drinking, despite repeated attempts.
When someone addicted to alcohol experiences withdrawal symptoms after they stop drinking, the results could be fatal. Typically, alcohol withdrawal symptoms appear within eight hours of your last drink, but they can appear days later.
These symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Mental fogginess
- Loss of appetite
- Sweaty, clammy skin
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heart rate
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pale skin
Additionally, a severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens (DTs) can occur, which causes these dangerous symptoms:
- Severe confusion
The Dangers Of Using Alcohol And Restoril
Abusing alcohol and Restoril can simultaneously result in life-threatening effects. When alcohol and benzos are concurrently used, the effects and symptoms of both substances are exacerbated, and the individual side effects get worse. The resulting withdrawal symptoms are more pronounced and potentially fatal.
The grave, long-term effects of alcohol addiction include:
- Learning and memory problems
- Depression and anxiety
- High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems
- Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
Restoril can produce harrowing overdose symptoms on its own, including:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slow or difficult breathing
Thus, taking alcohol with a sleeping pill like Restoril can result in horrific accidents and falls, according to Psychology Today. This combination can also magnify anxiety and depression, and it can impact your ability to function.
If you’re concurrently abusing alcohol and benzos, then professional addiction treatment may be your only option for avoiding severe health complications and death.
Why Does Professional Addiction Treatment Matter?
The simultaneous abuse of alcohol and Restoril requires the most intensive levels of care in professional addiction treatment. The first step in addressing these dual addictions medical detoxification. During this process, all toxins are flushed from your body while the withdrawal symptoms are alleviated via various medications.
After detox, a residential treatment program is recommended, as it allows you to stay at a facility where you’ll receive comprehensive addiction therapy.
It’s recommended that users enroll in a residential program for a minimum of 90 days, according to NIDA. A stay of this length can improve your chances of recovery.
After residential treatment, the next step is outpatient. Once you’ve undergone the comprehensive care administered in a residential program, outpatient will provide you with additional therapy and life-skills training on a part-time basis, which allows you the flexibility to attend to your life obligations.
Once your treatment is completed, you’ll be connected to aftercare programs, which can provide you with an empowering recovery community.