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Estazolam is a prescription medication that’s used to treat insomnia and anxiety issues. It’s in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which is a group of central nervous system depressants. Benzos like estazolam replaced barbiturates as a common sedative-hypnotic sleep aid in the second half of the 20th century. Though benzodiazepines are preferred over the more dangerous barbiturates, they can become addictive when they’re taken for too long or in high doses. Benzos and alcohol share some similarities in the way they work in the brain.
They both interact with a chemical messenger in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). For that reason, estazolam and other benzos can be abused for their alcohol-like intoxicating effects. However, abuse and overuse increase your likelihood to run into dangerous side effects like addiction and overdose. Learn more about estazolam addiction and how it can be treated.
Addiction often occurs after repeated use of a drug or taking higher than recommended doses. It may occur after you’ve developed a chemical dependence on the drug. Addiction is characterized by the continued compulsive use of a drug even after it’s started to cause consequences in your life. Consequences can include issues like health problems, legal issues like DUIs, or job loss. As a benzodiazepine, estazolam suppresses excitability in the central nervous system to facilitate sleep and relaxation. In heavy doses, it can cause intoxication effects. Someone who’s abusing estazolam might show symptoms similar to drunkenness. Other signs and symptoms may include:
Estazolam can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit abruptly. Withdrawal can cause seizures, hallucinations, chest pains, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations. If you want to quit or cut back, it’s essential to speak to a doctor before quitting cold turkey.
Addiction treatment is a process that serves to address substance use disorders and related underlying issues. It’s a multidisciplinary treatment approach that addresses medical, psychological, and social needs. When you first enter an addiction treatment program, you’ll go through a medical and clinical assessment that’s designed to determine the right level of care for your needs.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), there are four main levels of care in addiction treatment, including medical detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient, and outpatient.
Detox and inpatient both involve 24-hour care from medical or clinical professionals.
Intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment allow you to live at home while you attend treatment during the day.
Through each level of care, treatment will be tailored to your needs. In addition to medical services, you may go through a variety of psychotherapies, including individual, group, and family therapy.
Estazolam is a tested and well-tolerated prescription medication, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous when it’s abused. Taking the drug in high doses can cause a loss of motor control, loss of consciousness, and other symptoms of intoxication. In very high doses, or when the drug is mixed with other depressants or opioids, it can cause deadly side effects like respiratory depression and a slow heart rate. Respiratory depression can lead to a lack of oxygen that can be deadly.