What Is Etizolam?
In the countries where Etizolam is a legal prescription medication, it has a handful of medical applications. Common uses for Etizolam include treating insomnia, as it can be used to help initiate sleep. Etizolam is also used to control the symptoms of dysfunctional anxiety, but it’s not used for everyday nervous issues. Lastly, Etizolam also shows promise in controlling seizures in some people.
Etizolam is chemically very similar to benzodiazepines and it functions in a similar manner, too. Benzodiazepines are most notably used for managing anxiety and seizures. These drugs work by increasing the amount of GABA in the body, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA plays a key role in regulating the central nervous system (CNS). In some individuals, neurons fire excessively or uncontrollably in the central nervous system, as is the case for people with anxiety and seizures. These drugs help suppress excessive firings and reduce symptoms.
Is Etizolam Illegal?
The DEA has not yet added Etizolam to the list of controlled substances. However, each state also maintains its own list of controlled substances. So far, at least seven states have listed Etizolam on their controlled substances list. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Virginia.
For any individual who resides in a state where Etizolam is on the controlled substances list, it may be against the law to purchase, possess or sell Etizolam. However, it’s never illegal to seek help. Windward Way Recovery can help you get on the path to treatment for your substance use disorder.
How Does Etizolam Impact The Body?
While Etizolam is not approved for use in the United States, its medicinal applications in other countries have revealed information about its side effects. For instance, one of the most common side effects of taking Etizolam is sedation. How much Etizolam a person takes directly affects how strong the sedative effects are. Etizolam can induce a state of sleepiness, which is why it is used to treat insomnia. However, when taken in very high doses, Etizolam can lead to fatigue and lethargy.
It’s known that Etizolam interacts with the central nervous system, and in doing so, it’s able to decrease the heart rate, lower blood pressure and slow down breathing. These things are particularly useful when someone is taking Etizolam to manage their anxiety, but they can also be dangerous if not managed properly.
Another known side effect of Etizolam is a sense of euphoria. The sedative quality, combined with induced relaxation, can make a person feel euphoric or like they have an improved sense of wellbeing. This is ideal for helping those with depression, but it also makes Etizolam potentially addictive.
While Etizolam can suppress anxiety and the symptoms that often come along with it (like an increased heart rate), Etizolam can also affect cognition. Sometimes, Etizolam can interfere with judgment, flatten emotions, lower inhibitions and slow the speed of thought. Etizolam can even induce amnesia.
In addition to the above, which are all scientifically expected side effects of Etizolam, there are also paradoxical effects. In the medical community, a paradoxical effect is any effect or symptom that is contrary to what’s expected based on how a drug interacts with the body. Paradoxical effects are most common in individuals who misuse a drug. Pre-existing mental health disorders, taking a high dose, or being extremely young can also induce paradoxical effects.
The paradoxical effects of Etizolam include anxiety, trouble sleeping, seizures, and psychotic behavior. Suicidal thoughts or actions are other paradoxical effects of Etizolam. With that said, even though those taking Etizolam are in a higher risk group, paradoxical effects are considered rare.
People who use Etizolam in combination with other substances that affect the central nervous system are at a greater risk of serious side effects. Examples of substances that Etizolam should not be combined with are:
- Narcotic pain medications
- CNS depressants
Combining these substances puts a person at a greater risk of brain damage and organ damage due to the suppression of the respiratory system. Lack of oxygen to the brain and organs can cause lasting damage and even death.
Etizolam Tolerance and Dependence
Some research shows that dependence is more likely for those taking benzodiazepines than Etizolam, but dependence is still possible. Anyone who uses Etizolam is at risk of becoming physically dependent on it. Drug dependence is when you develop cravings in response to a drug leaving your system or when its effects start to wear off. Dependence can lead to addiction because it reinforces the routine consumption of the drug.
Over time, taking Etizolam can also create a tolerance within the body. Drug tolerance happens when your body becomes accustomed to a certain dosage. This can happen with any drug, and the result is that the same dose no longer gives a person the same effects. Tolerance takes time to develop, but it leads to a person increasing their dose in order to continue getting the same effects they initially experienced.
Both dependence and tolerance can lead to a higher risk of misuse and overdose. For instance, even if an individual lives in a country where they’ve been prescribed Etizolam for a condition, dependence or tolerance could lead to them craving more Etizolam and taking more than prescribed. The body can then grow dependent on a larger and larger dosage, potentially creating a cycle of misuse.
Both medicinal and recreational users of Etizolam are at risk of developing a tolerance. The difference is that those taking Etizolam under the guidance of a medical professional will be able to get help with tolerance. For instance, a doctor may gradually increase their dose, have them take a break for a while, or have them switch medications, even temporarily, to help them “reset” their system.
Another concern with taking Etizolam is withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms occur when a person stops taking a drug that they have been taking for some time. The symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Muscle spasms
In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. Because withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, it also increases the risk of dependence and relapse.
When a person tries to quit Etizolam, withdrawal symptoms can lead to severe cravings. They may also take Etizolam again to put an end to the withdrawal symptoms. However, this is very dangerous. Suddenly stopping a drug that you’ve been taking for some time can affect the body. Stopping a drug for some period, but then ultimately relapsing and taking it again, can even pose a heightened risk of overdose.
In some cases, a person may develop neuroleptic malignant syndrome upon quitting a drug. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome leads to an extreme increase in body temperature, rigid muscles, delirium, and other life-threatening side effects. Because withdrawal symptoms can prove so dangerous, it’s important that someone looking to quit any substance reaches out to an addiction specialist.
Windward Way Recovery can help you overcome addiction by connecting you with a team of caring professionals who will design a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs.
Signs of Etizolam Abuse
The signs of Etizolam abuse are similar to the warning signs of benzodiazepines abuse. The symptoms range from physical to emotional and can grow more severe over time as dependence and/or dosage increases. If you notice any of these symptoms in a loved one, it’s important to get help right away.
The physical symptoms of Etizolam abuse can appear similar to intoxication. If someone is stumbling around or appears drunk, they may be using Etizolam or another substance. These symptoms go hand-in-hand with the slurred speech, stuttering, impaired coordination and shuffling gait that Etizolam misuse can cause. Etizolam is also known to make people very tired or lethargic, especially in high doses. Decreased response time is another warning side, as Etizolam can slow down someone’s speed of thought.
Cognitive symptoms of Etizolam begin with speaking slower. They include trouble concentrating and issues with memory. A person misusing Etizolam may be confused. In some cases, they can grow agitated or even aggressive. The psychological and emotional impacts of Etizolam misuse are similar, resulting in emotional reactivity, depression, anxiety, mood swings and a loss of inhibitions.
When a person begins misusing Etizolam, you may find substantial changes in their behavior. Because Etizolam can lead to loss of inhibitions, confusion, and clouded judgment, among other things, it’s more likely that someone will misuse Etizolam with complete disregard for their wellbeing. For instance, a person may take Etizolam before driving, in lieu of social activities, and/or despite any personal, direct negative consequences that might follow.
Recovery Options for Etizolam Users
Since Etizolam is not prescribed in the United States for any condition, most people use it recreationally. Some people try to self-medicate with Etizolam, but it’s critical to acknowledge that they are at the same risks due to the lack of professional guidance. For anyone who takes Etizolam, dependence is possible, and that means a person may begin misusing Etizolam over time. A person may also begin misusing Etizolam alongside other substances, which puts them at a greater risk of serious side effects.
Overall, the recovery process for someone who is using Etizolam can be broken down into four major components. While every person’s treatment pathway will be personalized to meet their specific needs, challenges, and goals, certain things remain the same across all plans. For instance, everyone who is entering into recovery must start with withdrawal management. This stage is often called a medical detox.
1. Admission and Detox
Upon admission, the individual will be assessed for their physical, cognitive and psychological health. This helps the team guide them through the biggest challenges they may face during their recovery. It will also help them come up with a timeline for treatment.
Because the withdrawal symptoms of Etizolam can be so uncomfortable, and even dangerous, it’s essential that a person does not simply stop taking it—especially on their own. A medical professional should guide the detox process, which may involve gradually reducing a person’s dose until they’re off the drug completely. Medications may also be used to support the detox process to minimize symptoms and side effects. The tapering off schedule for Etizolam will vary depending on how much the person was initially taking.
When detox is officially complete, the next step is therapy. Therapy often consists of a range of activities, including one-to-one and group sessions, all aimed at uncovering a person’s motivations for using Etizolam. From there, they’ll work with a team to create a plan that will minimize the chance of relapse.
A person’s therapeutic plan will also help them with stress management and goal setting as well as personalized tools to empower them to overcome challenges. This is the biggest part of the program and it sets a person up for long-term success. How therapy is approached will depend on the type of program a person is enrolled in. For instance, in-patient therapy will probably involve daily sessions while out-patient therapy may involve meetings a few times a week.
A crucial part of long-term recovery and success is establishing a support system that can assist a person through the challenges they’ll face. For those who do not have a pre-established support system, a recovery center can help connect them to resources. Many social support groups exist that can help an individual meet like-minded people to aid them in their journey.
Groups are also recommended even for those who do have supportive friends and family around them. Groups provide an opportunity to meet other individuals facing similar challenges and form a relationship that can create accountability and a bond over shared experiences.
For those who do not have a strong support system in their lives, in-patient therapy is often recommended so that they can be surrounded by caring professionals and other people in recovery throughout the course of their treatment. Still, establishing a support system when they do leave the treatment center is important.
4. Co-Occurring Conditions
When treating a person for Etizolam or any other substance use disorder, treating co-occurring conditions alongside it is fundamental to lasting recovery. For instance, if a person began using Etizolam as a means of self-medicating against anxiety, it’s essential that their treatment plan includes an assessment of their anxiety and a full path to managing it so that they do not begin using Etizolam or other substances again in the future.
Even if a co-occurring condition does not directly relate to substance use, co-occurring treatment is still necessary. By addressing the complete self and helping a person get on the path to whole-body wellness, their chance of success is greatly increased. That’s the type of dedicated, personalized recovery program that Windward Way Recovery is proud to lead with.
Get On The Path to Treatment
Windward Way Recovery offers multiple programs to help people recover from substance use with strength, pride and hope. When you choose Windward Way Recovery, you’ll receive the one-to-one attention you deserve from caring professionals who will support your success every step of the way. Don’t delay your journey. Get on the path to a brighter future with Windward Way Recovery. Reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can help you overcome substance use through a combination of research-backed therapies.