The Restoril Pill: Addiction and Dependence

Last Updated: September 25, 2023

Restoril is a brand-name, benzodiazepine prescription sleep aid. The generic name for Restoril is temazepam. Restoril is meant to be a short-term insomnia treatment for people who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

When someone takes Restoril, it works by increasing the effects of a natural neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for calming neural activity. When someone uses Restoril, it has a calming effect because the drug improves the effects of GABA. Therefore, Restoril limits the impact of anxiety.

Is Restoril addictive? Yes, taking Restoril can result in addiction. Restoril has the potential to be addictive, as do other benzodiazepines. Their addictive potential is one reason benzodiazepines are only meant as short-term treatments for anxiety and insomnia. With long-term use, the risk of addiction increases.

What’s the Difference Between Addiction and Dependence?

Addiction and dependence on Restoril or other substances are terms often used interchangeably. However, they are distinct concepts from one another. Specifically, what is the difference between addiction and dependence?

Addiction is a psychological disorder that develops when the brain’s reward pathway is activated through exposure to a substance. Addiction is characterized as compulsive drug seeking and use, in spite of negative consequences. Someone who is addicted to Restoril doesn’t have control over their use, and it is a priority in their life as a result. Addiction affects a person’s relationships and ability to function in day-to-day life.

Dependence occurs when the brain and body adjust functionalities in response to the presence of a drug. For example, with Restoril, a person’s central nervous system may lower how much it produces GABA in response to the effects of the drug. When someone is dependent on Restoril, and they try to stop using it, they can experience symptoms of withdrawal.

Addiction and dependence often occur together. However, it’s possible to be dependent on Restoril after using it as prescribed, but not be addicted. When prescribed a drug that can lead to dependence, a person’s health care provider will often advise them to taper off drug use. Tapering means taking lower doses over time, rather than stopping suddenly. Tapering off Restoril can reduce withdrawal symptoms.

The Side Effects of a Restoril Addiction

What are the side effects of Restoril? Some of the potential effects of Restoril use include:

  • Drowsiness after using Restoril
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Hangover-like symptoms
  • Participating in activities while asleep or not fully awake (e.g., eating or driving). The risk of this side effect is greater in people who combine Restoril with alcohol or other medications.
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss

Some signs or side effects of a Restoril addiction include:

  • Using it only for certain effects such as relaxation or euphoria
  • Continuing to use Restoril even when it leads to negative side effects
  • Trying unsuccessfully to stop using Restoril
  • Putting a lot of time and focus on using Restoril and obtaining more
  • Missing other responsibilities because of Restoril

When to Seek Help

If you think you could have a problem with Restoril, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Even if you find that you’ve used it longer than intended, you may need help with avoiding withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepine addiction can lead to serious health effects and the risk of overdosing, so a problem with Restoril is best dealt with sooner rather than later.

How to Start Your Recovery

If you’d like to begin your recovery journey, Orlando Recovery Center can help. Contact Orlando Recovery Center to speak to a representative and learn more about detox and addiction treatment. Representatives will provide you more information about the available programs that would be well-suited to your needs. Don’t let addiction control your life.


National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment.” January 2018. Accessed March 22, 2019.

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