Klonopin Addiction

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States that affects an estimated 40 million adults. Klonopin is a beneficial medication prescribed for this disorder.

Many people will feel anxious at different times in their lives. It is normal to be a little anxious about life events, such as having a new baby, starting a new job, or having to give a speech in front of a crowd. The difference between feeling anxious about something and someone with an anxiety disorder is that the anxiety does not go away and may become worse for the person with the disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Klonopin is the brand name for clonazepam, a benzodiazepine-type drug prescribed for people with anxiety disorders or insomnia. Benzodiazepines work by acting on the central nervous system. They produce feelings of sedation and relax muscles and lower anxiety levels.

There is a strong connection between people who have anxiety disorders and being at risk for drug abuse and drug addiction. Klonopin can be helpful in battling anxiety, but the disorder itself holds a strong potential for the misuse of drugs. The body can become dependent on prescription benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, and addiction to these drugs can be very dangerous.

There is a misconception that medication prescribed by a doctor is safe and non-addictive. However, this is not true. Prescription medication is not safe when it is misused or abused. In fact, it can be quite harmful to the person misusing it.

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What Is Klonopin?

Klonopin is a benzodiazepine that is widely known for its fast-acting effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for use in 1975 for the treatment of seizure disorders. Later, the medication was found to have a broader therapeutic scope and has since been used to treat panic attacks, schizophrenia, restless leg syndrome, and other disorders.

It works as a tranquilizer in blocking the receptors that cause stress. Klonopin can make those taking it feel “high,” and that can be dangerous because it makes people very calm or sedated. This effect can cause reduced coordination, which could end up causing a fatality if someone attempts to drive a motor vehicle.

People who take Klonopin for an extended time may reach a point where it is not creating the feelings of calmness. This is called dependence. When this occurs, the person taking the drug might take more of it to start feeling the same effects as before.

Sedation is the most prominent side effect of Klonopin. However, there are other side effects to note, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of balance
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Low blood pressure
  • Amnesia
  • Confusion
  • Thoughts of suicide

Klonopin should always be taken as prescribed by a doctor. If there are any questions about the drugs, its side effects, the age of the person taking it, or any other question, it is best to consult with the prescribing physician.

Signs of Klonopin Addiction

It is wise to know what the signs of Klonopin addiction are because if observed, they can help determine if the observed person needs addiction treatment.

Dependence is the first stage of addiction. This is when the person is not feeling the same effects from a dose that they did when they first started using the drug. Other signs that indicate Klonopin addiction include:

  • Isolation
  • Constant cravings
  • Poor hygiene
  • Inability to quit after trying to quit
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Unnecessary aggressiveness or hostility
  • Slurred speech
  • Continuing use of Klonopin even though negative consequences are occurring
  • Not meeting the standards of work or school

It is essential to know that not everyone shows the same signs. Some people taking the drug might not show any of the signs, and some may show a few or all of them. It is important to observe these signs and either seek help for yourself or the person you love.

What Is Involved in Klonopin Addiction Treatment?

Klonopin withdrawal can range from being uncomfortable to being fatal. Withdrawal symptoms can feel like the flu and may include seizures or suicidal ideation. Some of the physical symptoms include hyperventilation, tremors, dizziness, blurred vision, and grand mal seizures. Mental symptoms may entail delusions, confusion, auditory or visual hallucinations, and delirium.

Detox

The person going through withdrawal could experience fatal consequences as a result. It is never advised to try and quit taking Klonopin or any benzodiazepine abruptly. Medical detox at an accredited treatment center is best as medical professionals oversee the process. Detox is the first step in the continuum of care that can provide 24-hour per day supervision if needed. 

A staff of trained professionals will ease the transition to sobriety as safely as possible. The individual will be monitored throughout the three to seven-day stay in detox. The length in time in detox depends on the severity of addiction. Detox gives the individual the best chance of long-term sobriety success.

Residential Treatment

Due to the side effects of Klonopin, which could last for several weeks after the drug leaves the body, it is usually recommended that the individual enter a residential addiction treatment program. The stay in this type of program can be from 30 to 90 days. Different types of therapies will be offered that ultimately bolster the individual onward to recovery.

The individual will learn what causes addiction and get to the root of what caused their addiction. Residential treatment programs lay the foundation for the life journey or recovery.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows certain individuals the opportunity to stay at home and participate in regular therapy sessions. This is most often one of the steps in addiction treatment that one graduates to. However, some individuals who need to live at home to care for family members or who need to stay in school or continue to work may be able to attend outpatient treatment.

The growing number of accredited, high-quality outpatient treatment centers gives someone in active addiction the help they need while fulfilling obligations.

An outpatient treatment program provides the opportunity to consult with counselors and peers, identifying triggers in everyday life, and finding the best course of action to manage them.

Is Klonopin Dangerous?

Klonopin can be very dangerous when misused or abused. It is a beneficial drug when used as prescribed for anxiety or insomnia. Unfortunately, some people will abuse the drug by taking it alcohol or with opiates, which can lead to an overdose.

The most popular combination is opiates/opioids, which are responsible for increased overdoses. Another popular combination is to consume benzos with alcohol. Like alcohol, Klonopin can slow down breathing, and when taken with alcohol, this effect can be fatal.

Klonopin addiction is not something to ignore. The higher the dose, the better chance someone will have for a benzodiazepine overdose. If you or someone you love needs help to stop misusing Klonopin, seek help today. Many accredited addiction treatment centers are available near or in most cities.

Sources

Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018 July) Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2010 September) Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/rrcomorbidity.pdf

NIDA. (2020, May 29). Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction?. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/there-difference-between-physical-dependence-addiction

O, C., & Osborn, K. (2018, November 29). How Long Does Withdrawal From Klonopin Last? Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/klonopin-withdrawal-symptoms-timeline-and-treatment-4176203

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