Halcion is a popularly prescribed benzodiazepine for the treatment of insomnia and stress. Its moderate potential for addiction has led it to become diverted to the black market, where dealers will often mix it with other substances to bulk up their sales and profits. This has led to some people questioning whether their Halcion has been cut with other drugs.
Cutting, also known as lacing, is a very common practice among drug dealers and manufacturers. It is the method of adding one or more substances to an original drug to increase the amount and gain more profits. In other cases, dealers lace drugs to exacerbate the effects of the original drug or counter the effects of that drug. For example, dealers may lace a stimulant with a depressant, or vice versa, and then market that product to people who want to experience both effects.
In most cases, cutting a drug is incredibly dangerous. Users tend to be unaware of the nature of the product they are taking, going only on the dealer’s word as to what the additional substance is. Even if the dealer is honest, drug interactions are serious medical issues that should not be tampered with especially by people who do not have the user’s well-being in mind.
As a central nervous system depressant, Halcion is usually laced with other depressants — like opioids, including deadly ones like fentanyl) — and then sold illegally with the promise that the tranquilizing effects are exponentially stronger than “straight” Halcion.
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A batch of fake Xanax pills (also a benzodiazepine) laced with fentanyl landed nine people in hospital in San Francisco in 2016. CBS News writes that one of them succumbed to an overdose.
Public health officials warn that benzodiazepines purchased illegally come with the risk of being cut with other drugs. While some people actively seek out such combinations, many others are unaware that the Halcion they thought they were getting from a dealer is not only fake but also mixed with a devastatingly powerful opioid — one that can induce an overdose within minutes.
There are many dangers that come with cutting Halcion with other drugs. Stimulants, for example, are designed to specifically increase excitation between nerve cells, which is useful for people who have uncontrolled nervous activity, like with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or other sleep disorders like narcolepsy.
If Halcion is laced with a stimulant, it can sound attractive for recreational purposes. A user can enjoy the pleasant buzz of both drugs without feeling too much of the depressant effects of one or the upbeat effects of the other.
In reality, however, it is impossible to strike that balance. A benzodiazepine cut with a stimulant puts incredible danger on the heart. Stimulants speed up the heart and respiration rate, while benzodiazepines are meant to bring them down. A person who is taking a mix of Halcion and a stimulant unwittingly sends their heart mixed signals, and the pressure of being forced to pump faster and slower can cause heart failure.
Similarly, stimulants raise blood pressure, while Halcion is meant to do the opposite. People buying illegal Halcion have no legitimate guarantee that the person supplying the pills hasn’t cut their product with a stimulant to boost their own profits. Taking Halcion from an unknown source presents a massive risk for exposing the brain and body to the double-edged sword of a benzodiazepine laced with a stimulant.
How is it possible to know when Halcion has been cut with other drugs? The easiest way is to make sure to always purchase the medication from a licensed and established pharmacist who will not sell the drug without a valid prescription from a doctor.
As a benzodiazepine, Halcion is a Schedule IV substance in the United States. This means that while there is a moderate risk of the drug causing physical or psychological dependence in users, the medical benefits outweigh the potential dangers.
This also means that legally obtained Halcion goes through enough checks and processes to ensure that it is not mixed with any other substances.
Halcion obtained illegally, however, comes with no such guarantees. Pills bought online or a via an unlicensed dealer can easily be laced with other drugs to give the appearance of being legitimate Halcion.
In cases of online pharmacies offering fake benzodiazepines, the Food and Drug Administration warns users not to trust sellers who offer Halcion without requiring a doctor’s prescription or who offer discounts and prices that are too good to be true. Any seller making such promises is likely offering Halcion that is either illegally obtained or laced with another substance as that dealer’s way of cutting their costs.
If you think you might have taken laced Halcion, you should call your doctor immediately. They will likely give you drug tests to determine what other substance the fake Halcion was cut with and then prescribe the appropriate treatment to counter the action of whatever substance you unwittingly took. You might also have to go through a medical detoxification process, as well as therapy, for any underlying dependence on Halcion that led you to obtain diverted and laced pills.If you are having an adverse reaction to the fake Halcion, it is imperative to call 911 as soon as possible.
Halcion is a benzodiazepine, known by the generic name triazolam that is given to help patients with insomnia.
As a benzodiazepine, Halcion is similar to famous (and infamous) drugs like Valium or Xanax. It stimulates the brain to release a neurotransmitter known as GABA (short for gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is responsible for regulating electrical activity between nerve cells.
Most people have brains that normally release enough GABA to calm that activity, moderating feelings of stress and anxiety in difficult situations. GABA is also used in the mechanism of falling asleep. Reducing electrical activity allows people to relax to the point where they can sleep.
However, many people have brains that are unable to produce enough GABA to calm the electrical activity behind their stress responses. This may be due to genetics, environmental problems that have negatively affected the development of the brain, or a substance use disorder that has changed the structure and functioning of the brain. Ultimately, people who have brains that cannot develop enough GABA will suffer from increased anxiety and panic attacks. They may need benzodiazepines like Halcion to help them regulate their stress responses and enter the right frame of mind to sleep.
When a person is prescribed Halcion, they are offered relief from their anxiety attacks because the brain is able to produce the sufficient amount of GABA to still the rapid firing of neurons, and the drug may induce consistent sleep patterns. The Korean Journal of Anesthesiology writes that Halcion is also given to patients as a general anesthetic, for much the same pharmacological reasons.
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