Halcion is the brand name of triazolam, a benzodiazepine. Like all benzodiazepines, it has effects of reducing anxiety, increasing drowsiness, relaxing muscles and otherwise being a classic depressant or "downer". All of these effects are due to the fact that like all benzodiazepines, it agonizes receptors of gamma-aminobutryc acid, the body's main inhibitory neurotransmitter. One of the major differences between Halcion and other benzodiazepines is that it is active on a short time scale, with the effects taking place an hour after oral ingestion, peaking an hour or two after that, and then fading away in another hour or so. This makes it ideal to treat anxiety related to minor surgery.
I first learned about Halcion from Orbital's epic trance track, "Halcyon & On & On", an eight minute long opus of soft, rolling music that has an effect that is, to me, transcendent.
So when I learned that my dental surgery (an extraction of a rear molar) of this past summer would be done under the influence of a local anesthetic and pre-surgery Halcion, I was somewhat enthused. Actually, by that point, after weeks of grinding pain mixed with everclear and dextromethorphan intoxication, as well as a diet of chocolate pudding, I was just looking forward to having the tooth out. But on the morning that I went to have my surgery, when I took that pill and drank my tea, I was expecting and hoping for a little bit of loopiness. I had also read the above write-up, so was also a bit cautious about the pill. What if I ended up trying to kiss my 80 year old neighbor who was being kind enough to drive me to the dentist.
The above writeup seems to describe the usage of the pills for the purpose of inducing anteretrograde amnesia, which is not what my Halcion was prescribed for, mine being prescribed for the simpler purpose of anxiolysis. And that, in short, is what it did, and all it did. I did not sing "Fly Me To The Moon". I did not ask the dentist if there were aliens in her cupboard. I did not even feel drowsy. All that the Halcion did was make the fact that I was in a chair with people operating power tools inside my mouth seem like an acceptable reality, if not a pleasant one. So while different dosages and different people may experience Halcion as a trip to a bouncy castle full of magical glitter, I merely experienced a mild, short term and therapeutically necessary lifting of my anxiety.