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Risks of Restoril Overdose

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Drugs used for sleeping problems face tighter scrutiny in the United States as high rates of misuse land more people in emergency rooms than ever before. Benzodiazepines like Restoril (temazepam) only treat insomnia safely for a few weeks; longer-term use puts a person at risk for dependence and even cognitive problems.

Restoril Often Overprescribed, Misused

Researchers question the need for widespread prescribing of these sleep aids, especially when studies show other non-drug therapies help as well. Sleep experts recommend safer techniques for combating insomnia. Behavioral changes make a significant impact on a person’s sleep quality, including getting plenty of natural light exposure during the day, reducing caffeine intake and creating a routine to induce drowsiness like a cup of hot tea and a bath before bed.1

Still, an estimated 50 million to 70 million Americans experience insomnia or other sleep-related disturbances, making it important to find good solutions that avoid addiction. Treating sleep problems effectively is important, because sufferers face symptoms such as irritability, forgetfulness and increased stress.2

In addition, around 1.9 million people report misusing benzodiazepines, more than half of them adults age 26 or older.3 People who misuse Restoril and similar benzodiazepines risk overdose when they take the drug with alcohol, opiates or other medications, and overdoses rose significantly in recent years.

The combination of opiate-based pain relievers with benzodiazepines led to a higher number of deaths from 2004 through 2011, doubling from 0.6 per 100,000 people to 1.7 per 100,000. During the same period, emergency room visits related to misusing drugs tripled from 11.0 per 100,000 to 34.2 per 100,000.4

Taking Restoril for Insomnia

Restoril slows down the brain’s central nervous system (CNS) to induce sleep or calmness. Users should limit use to a week to 10 days. As with most benzodiazepines, Restoril may be habit-forming and cause drug-seeking behavior, so use caution when taking it.

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Risk of Overdose

Because tolerance and a physical dependence develops quickly, Restoril users may take more of the drug than recommended or combine it with other substances in order to feel the initial effects of the drugs. Abuse and addiction follows, leading to risky behaviors or overdose. Restoril overdoses are rarely fatal, but when combined with other substances like alcohol, narcotics, barbiturates or other benzodiazepines the drug creates serious symptoms.

In the case of an overdose situation, users experience some or all of the following:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Shallow breathing
  • Fainting
  • Seizure
  • Coma

These symptoms indicate the need for immediate medical attention. An overdose can cause death, especially when users take Restoril with alcohol.5

Get Help with Restoril Abuse or Addiction

Even when taken as recommended, benzodiazepines like Restoril may lead to addiction. Benzodiazepines are habit-forming and should never be used with alcohol or other drugs.

If you or someone you know needs help for Restoril addiction, call the admissions coordinators at Michael’s House today. Our specialists are knowledgeable, licensed and compassionate. We help you develop a personalized Restoril treatment plan that fits your needs. Call 760.548.4032 today to learn more about recovery.


1 Harvard Medical School, Division of Sleep Medicine. “Twelve Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep.” Healthy Sleep, 18 Dec. 2007. Accessed 12 June 2017.

2 National Center for Chronic Disease and Prevention and Health Promotion. “Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Problem.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 Sept. 2015. Accessed 12 June 2017.

3 Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. “Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.” HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51, 2016. Accessed 12 June 2017.

4 Jones, C.M. & McAninch, J.K. “Emergency Department Visits and Overdose Deaths From Combined Use of Opioids and Benzodiazepines.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 493-501, 2015 Oct. Accessed 12 June 2017.

5 EMedicineHealth. “Medications and Drugs: Restoril.” Sleep Disorders. 15 Dec. 2010. Accessed 12 June 2017.