Klonopin, or clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine medication primarily used to treat seizure and panic disorders. As a benzodiazepine, Klonopin is a central nervous system depressant, meaning the drug works to slow brain activity.
Once brain activity is slowed, a person taking Klonopin is likely to experience feelings of sedation, calm, and pleasure. Although benzodiazepines, or benzos, are considered schedule IV drugs with lower addictive qualities than drugs like heroin or cocaine, Klonopin still remains addictive and should be taken with caution.
Benzodiazepines like Klonopin are highly-abused drugs because of the sedation and hypnotic effects they produce. Treatment for addiction to benzodiazepines such as Klonopin has greatly improved in recent years, and can help addicted individuals through detoxification, to overcome addiction, and to learn how to manage addiction long-term.
Higher Doses Lead To Addiction
Klonopin contains inherent, addictive qualities that require carefully controlled and monitored usage, so it is generally prescribed in lower dosages. Once a person begins to take a higher dose, they run the risk of developing Klonopin addiction, as higher dosages are likely to increase the potential for habit-forming behavior.
Klonopin addiction means a person begins abusing the drug regularly, as addiction means a person forms a mental reliance on the drug. Addiction often leads to tolerance, which occurs when you no longer feel the effects of the drug. Tolerance tends to push people to take more Klonopin to feel the same effects, which greatly increases the risk of overdose.
After prolonged abuse and addiction, you may develop physical dependence on Klonopin. This means your body no longer feels the same when you aren’t taking the drug, and you will likely experience adverse withdrawal symptoms when not taking it.
Tendency to develop addiction to Klonopin may depend on a few different factors, including how long you have been abusing the substance, the amount you abuse each time, and and how often you abuse it. Even if you don’t develop addiction to the drug, taking more than directed can result in serious side effects.
Common Side Effects From Klonopin
Some side effects of Klonopin addiction include:
- Coordination problems
- Difficulty thinking or remembering
- Increased saliva
- Blurred vision
- Changes in sex drive or ability
More serious side effects potentially caused by Klonopin addiction include difficulty breathing or swallowing, rash, hives, hoarseness, and swelling of the throat, face, lips, tongue, or eyes. If some you know is experiencing these symptoms and has been abusing Klonopin, call a doctor immediately.
Motor Performance And Suicidal Ideation
Like most prescription drugs, Klonopin comes with severe warnings. Overusing Klonopin can result in poor cognitive and motor performance, making daily tasks like driving potentially dangerous. People may also experience suicidal behavior or ideation, as antiepileptic (AEDs) drugs are known to increase depressive behavior.
Mixing Klonopin With Opioids
It’s common for people suffering from addiction to combine different drugs in order to achieve a desired high. Klonopin, a benzodiazepine, is often combined with opioids (like codeine or fentanyl) to increase the effects of sedation. Doctors very rarely prescribe these two drugs at the same time because the combination is inherently dangerous.
Taking both opioids and benzos at once can result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. There is always a chance of overdose from Klonopin addiction, but mixing with an opioid severely increases the risk of overdose. Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, confusion, diminished reflexes, or loss of consciousness.
If you suspect someone is experiencing overdose from Klonopin, seek medical help right away. Overdose is a medical emergency, and should always be treated with extreme caution.
Does Klonopin Addiction Cause Withdrawal?
Once a person is dependent on Klonopin, abruptly stopping use of the drug may cause withdrawal. The risk of physical and psychological dependence is high for people prescribed Klonopin, and especially so for those who abuse or take the drug for nonmedical purposes.
Some withdrawal symptoms include convulsions, hallucinations, tremor, psychosis, and abdominal and muscle cramps. More severe withdrawal symptoms are common for those suffering from Klonopin addiction because they are likely taking higher doses over a longer period of time than is recommended.
Klonopin Addiction Treatment—What To Know
Suffering from an addiction to a prescription drug, like Klonopin, is a brain disorder that can be treated successfully. Before seeking treatment, there are several aspects to consider.
First, know Klonopin addiction will require a customized plan to lead the individual to an effective treatment. Second, know the specific needs of the individual. Third, be aware of the various components of treatment and expect the individual will likely need to incorporate many of these options, and not just one alone.
For those who have become dependent on Klonopin, it’s likely they will need medically-supervised detoxification. Detox is the process by which you rid your body of harmful chemicals acquired during abuse of the drug.
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines like Klonopin can be dangerous, as it can cause seizures, impairment to memory, hallucinations, and more. Medically-supervised detox ensures that you will be kept safe while your body heals from withdrawal. Medication can help make you more comfortable while your body goes through the bulk of detoxification.
After detox, you are ready to begin formal treatment, which may integrate a number of methods, depending on what is appropriate for your recovery.
Medication-Assisted And Behavioral Treatments
There are two broad categories of drug addiction treatment: medication-assisted and behavioral. Medication-assisted treatments will use drugs like buprenorphine and methadone (among others) to directly treat the addiction. These are generally used to treat a Klonopin addiction when the person is also using opioids. The medications are usually administered along with professional behavioral treatment, and are known as Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
Behavioral treatment consists of carefully controlled environments to change the unhealthy habits of thinking and behavior that perpetuate the state of addiction. For example, the addicted person is likely to learn how to manage their crave for a fix, or how to respond to potentially stressful situations that could trigger relapse.
Types Of Behavioral Treatments
Behavioral treatments are fundamental to any recovery plan. Examples of behavioral treatments include the following:
12-Step Program—group therapy programs, featuring groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA), in which the afflicted individual can share their feelings with a like-minded group going through similar struggles.
Outpatient Treatment—this treatment option allows the individual to stay within their own home to receive professional treatment. This method is most effective following a completed residential program, as aftercare, or for people who are unable to attend drug rehab.
Inpatient Treatment—by far the most effective treatment for addiction, in inpatient treatment the individual will live at a facility or rehab center to pursue various methods for recovery. They will receive 24-hour care, and be surrounded by medical professionals to assist with their individual treatment plans.
Call For Help
Addiction is a real disorder that requires appropriate treatment. Finding the right treatment option can be challenging and stressful, so call now as professionals are standing by to help assist you in your search.
If you or a loved one suffers from Klonopin addiction, seeking treatment is the only road to recovery. Call the number on your screen now and gain access to a wide variety of treatments to find one that best suites you or yours.