Imagine that you are watching a movie with your loved one when they turn to you and in a slurred speech ask you something completely nonsensical. You notice that they haven’t been able to follow the movie, but you brush it off.

Later on that night, your loved one enters the kitchen with a container of powdered carpet cleaner and begins to sprinkle it onto the stove. When you ask them what they are doing, they tell you that they are making chicken noodle soup. You take them back to bed and tuck them in despite their persistence that they need to make soup. And then you come back out and clean the stove.

I have been there.

At first, you do not know why your loved one is behaving differently; are they sleepwalking? They had been taking Restoril (also known as Temazepam) to help them sleep, and it was working. The issue of insomnia had been solved! Yet what are all these new behaviors? Instead of just one bottle of Restoril, you find three throughout your loved one’s room in random places.  Concern sets in along with worry.

It did for me.

Witnessing a loved one struggling with a Restoril addiction can feel a lot like this. Through intervention and treatment, my loved one received the help she needed.

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

Restoril has two other medical names it goes by, Temazepam and Normison.  On the street, it is known as:

  • Benzos
  • Downers
  • Tams
  • Vitamin T
  • Terminators,
  • Big T
  • Mind Eraser
  • Mommy’s Big Helper

Restoril is in the benzodiazepine drug class family; roughly ten percent of benzodiazepine users become addicted to them. How can a medication meant to help you sleep lead to an addiction? Let’s start by exploring why:

Restoril is an Alternative to Heroin and Cocaine

Restoril can be more accessible or less expensive than heroin or cocaine, or more appealing if someone is afraid of trying harder drugs. Restoril is a part of benzodiazepines, a family of medicines that serve to induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures. They include: Restoril, Ativan, Dalmane, Diastat, Valium, Doral, Halcion, Klonopin, Librium, Paxipam, ProSom, Serax Tranxene-SD, and Xanax.

Between 2002 and 2007, the number of U.S. prescriptions for benzodiazepines increased from 69 million to 83 million.

Benzodiazepines increase a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which impacts the central nervous system and slows down brain activity, creating a “high”. Restoril is used as an alternative to heroin or cocaine and is either crushed, snorted or taken orally.

Getting a high is not the only way Restoril and benzodiazepines are abused and misused. They can also be abused to harm others.

A Hypnotic State

Taking Restoril and other Benzodiazepines can lead to a hypnotic state that creates numbness, compliance, and a loss of control–which is why benzodiazepines are known as “date rape” drugs. When added to soft drinks or alcohol, in a liquid or powder form they are hard to taste.

No one wants to be a victim or survivor of an assault they can barely remember. No one wants to face the challenge of piecing a broken puzzle back together, searching in vain for missing pieces that are a black void.

No one wants to wake up, not knowing what happened, searching for the “how did this happen?” or “why me?” in the aftermath of a drug assault.

How fatal is an overdose or a drug assault?

A Deadly Blockbuster

Dr. Joanna Starrels reports from 1996 to 2013 the number of the adults filling a benzodiazepine prescription increased by about 37 percent, and the overdose death rate connected to benzodiazepines increased by more than 500 percent, from 0.58 per 100,000 adults to about 3 per 100,000.

Symptoms of a Restoril Overdose

  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • slurred speech
  • weakness
  • convulsions
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • staggering
  • trouble breathing
  • slow heartbeat
  • coma
  • death

How is Restoril Overdose Treated?

If a person shows the above symptoms of a Restoril overdose, seek medical attention immediately. And follow these steps:

  1. Encourage breathing
  2. If the person is conscious, induce vomiting.
  3. Balance the sedative effects of Restoril with Romazicon, or Flumazenil, to counteract the effects of benzodiazepines with the assistance of a medical professional.

Never give up hope. There are resources that may help you support your loved one with an addiction. In some cases, you just need a professional to help guide you and your loved one through it. If you’re ready for that, call us now. If you believe your friend or family member needs treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, call us immediately.


Samuel, Leah. “More than Just an Opioid Crisis: Benzodiazepines Deaths Rise, Too.” STAT. N.p., 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 06 July 2016. <[…]nes-overdose-deaths/>.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.