Etizolam is a medication that is approved to treat sleep conditions such as insomnia, panic disorders, and anxiety in Italy, Japan, and India. It is not recommended in the United States as a medication, but it is instead used as a recreational substance to help users get ‘high” as it is considered a “research chemical.”
Factors that Impact on Etizolam Duration
1. Etizolam Mode of Use
Those who abuse etizolam in the United States do so by chewing the tablet, swallowing, putting it in the rectum, and smoking, snorting, injecting as a powder, or mixing with a drink.
2. Etizolam Potency
Etizolam has a similar action as Valium, but its potency is 6-10 times more than that of Valium. It has effects of sedating, relaxing muscles, depressing the central nervous system, and also has anticonvulsant effects. Due to its high potency, this drug is abused most of the time as it gives a high hypnotic effect.
The DEA says that etizolam starts to affect the user within 30 minutes to two hours after use and its effects wear off within six to eight hours. However, higher doses take longer to wear off. Once an individual decides to stop taking etizolam, withdrawal symptoms are manifested within eight hours with its peak experienced in three to five days lasting for ten days. Etizolam has the same effects as benzodiazepine drugs that doctors discourage “cold turkey” but instead urge users who wish to stop to seek medical detox of the drug.
Who can take etizolam
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) says that etizolam is abused by individuals across all age groups; from the young to the elderly. People who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorders use the drug to eradicate their symptoms; not necessarily to get high. An example is a college student who uses the drug to deal with anxiety brought about by exams.
Another way that the drug can be abused is by using it for date rape. Considering its high potency, when etizolam is mixed with an alcoholic drink; this also poses a health risk as the mixture is highly potent. Also, since the drug is not legal in the US, there are no dosage instructions to guide users on the quantity to use; thus, individuals using it may easily overdose.
How Route of Administration Affects Etizolam Duration
Etizolam is taken as a tablet or in powder form. Using the oral way the duration it takes to reach the system for metabolism is long as it also undergoes the first-pass metabolism. Using this route the etizolam dosage has to be a little high as some are metabolized before it reaches the site of action. With this, it will take some time for Etilozam to arrive at its place of action.
Using the injection method, it takes the shortest time to reach the central nervous system, which is mostly affected by this drug. It reaches the site of action immediately; therefore, this is the best when it comes to an emergency. Etilozam taken through this route will take minutes for it to execute its operation, thus mostly abused through this route for those who want the euphoria effect it does.
The rectal route is preferred in children as it factors in many characteristics of the drugs. If the medicine is bitter, then this is the ideal route for children and those who are not comfortable with the above route. The duration of action is increased too. When this drug is administered rectally, it takes the shortest time, and also the first-pass effect is avoided.
Other effects associated with etizolam duration
People who regularly use etizolam to deal with panic attacks and anxiety become dependent on the drug. Addiction to etizolam comes with side effects that include:
- sedation and drowsiness
- Weakness of muscles
- Fainting episodes
- Vision changes
- Breathing difficulties
People who wish to stop taking etizolam after realizing they are addicted suffer from withdrawal symptoms just as with other drug addictions. It is not advisable to stop using etizolam abruptly as it is dangerous. Some of the withdrawals symptoms include:
- Muscle spasms or twitches
- Restlessness and anxiety
- Problems with vision
- Excessive sweating
In extreme cases, the individual suffers from seizures, which can be life-threatening if they are not medically supervised. The individual needs to undergo a rehabilitation program and medical detox to manage the seizures and other withdrawal symptoms.
Etizolam Overdose Risk Factors
Etizolam affects users in different ways, depending on several factors. One of the factors is the body’s metabolism, where some absorb it faster than others. People with small body frames are affected more by the drug than big people. Mental health co-occurring medical disorders may complicate the effects of the drug. Age is another factor that determines the effects of etizolam, where older people are affected by lower doses than younger people who are energetic and strong.
Detoxification of Etizolam
Medical detoxification from etizolam addiction takes 5-7 days. It includes using the medication in a rehabilitation center that can handle the withdrawal symptoms medically. Medical detoxification is possible safely to avoid the user suffering from rebound side effects brought about by the effects of an overactive central nervous system. The over-activity occurs as a result of the suppression of the central nervous system for an extended period.
One way to detoxify using medication is by using longer-acting benzodiazepine drugs to substitute etizolam then wean them off slowly. This enables management and control of the withdrawal symptoms. The individual also receives treatment to deal with the root cause of his addiction.
In conclusion, people who use this drug as a treatment for a medical condition should be encouraged to stop as its use is not approved in the US. The DEA has not found it fit for use as a medication as it has not met its quality standards. Therefore, people with anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and other mental conditions should seek professional help. More education needs to be disseminated to the public on the harmful effects of the drug.