Klonopin is a benzodiazepine commonly used for treating depression. While considered safer than previous medications for anxiety and depression, Klonopin can be highly addictive and have significant long-term effects if misused or abused.
Those suffering from Klonopin addiction may feel an irresistible urge to seek out and use it at any cost and may suffer symptoms of withdrawal if they go without it for too long.
Klonopin, or clonazepam, is a medication in the benzodiazepine drug class, which also includes Valium, Xanax, and Librium. It was originally introduced as an anti-epileptic medication and is now often prescribed for short durations to treat anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, and other conditions.
Klonopin functions as a CNS depressant that works by enhancing the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA that calms the central nervous system. This creates a sedative effect on the person, allows for relief from panic and anxiety, and reduces the excitation that causes seizures.
Klonopin can also cause a euphoric feeling that creates a high potential for misuse, leading to it being highly controlled.
Addiction, also referred to as substance abuse or substance use disorder, is a complex, chronic condition characterized by a person’s inability to control their use of an addictive substance, including prescription drugs such as Klonopin.
It impacts every part of a person’s life, can range in severity, and can lead to lifelong effects on the body and brain. Anyone can become addicted, and there is no way to predict which people will become addicted to a substance, though there are a few factors that put a person at higher risk, such as previous trauma and a family history of addiction.
Addiction occurs when a substance changes how the brain functions, making it difficult for a person to function without it. These changes occur as the body adjusts to frequent, continued substance use and can become permanent if substance use becomes chronic enough.
Over time, constant high levels of a substance in the brain cause it to start decreasing its own production of the neurotransmitters impacted by the substance, most often those involved in the brain’s reward and pleasure circuits.
Eventually, the brain doesn’t produce enough of these neurotransmitters to feel pleasure without the substance. It then begins to crave them, especially when a person is exposed to situations, environments, and items associated with substance use.
If substance use is continued, these changes progress to the point that the brain and body cannot function without the substance, a state called physical dependence. At this stage, if a person attempts to stop or significantly decrease their substance use, they will experience withdrawal symptoms.
The specific signs and symptoms of Klonopin addiction will vary from person to person, but there are a few common signs you can watch for.
For instance, a person may appear messy and unkempt, experience mood swings, have changes in appetite, weight, or sleeping habits, or be irritable and anxious. They may withdraw from friends and family, lose interest in other hobbies in favor of seeking out and using Klonopin, and use Klonopin more frequently, at higher doses, or for longer than prescribed.
Because it’s available by prescription, a person may frequently change doctors and lie to their doctors to obtain more prescriptions. They may constantly be planning how to get more Klonopin, buy it illegally from dealers on the street, and steal from friends and family to fund their addiction. They can also be very sensitive to light and sound and even experience seizures.
Signs of a Klonopin addiction can also include the frequent appearance of side effects of the drug. This includes drowsiness, dizziness, reduced inhibitions, clumsiness, poor reaction time, and forgetfulness. They may sleep more than usual because of the drug’s sedative effects and may experience difficulty breathing and fainting episodes.
Klonopin addiction also frequently occurs with other substance use disorders. When multiple substance use disorders are present, it can be more difficult to identify a problem since the signs may mask each other.
In these situations, looking for behavioral and environmental clues can help. This may include unexplained injuries, financial or legal struggles, and secretive behaviors. A person may have also started spending time with a new group of friends to use drugs with that also show signs of a substance use disorder.
Klonopin withdrawal can include a wide variety of signs depending on the severity and duration of abuse. It often includes flu-like symptoms such as nausea, chills, muscle aches, and headaches. A person going through withdrawal may also experience hallucinations, nightmares, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, and problems with memory and concentration. If the addiction is severe enough, a person may even experience seizures.
Klonopin withdrawal often includes something called a rebound effect. This is when the symptoms Klonopin was originally used to treat come back stronger and more intense than they were before the drug was started. Because of this effect, a person may experience extreme anxiety or insomnia during withdrawal.
Klonopin withdrawal can be dangerous, and a person looking to stop using Klonopin should seek treatment at a qualified detox center where medical staff is available to supervise and intervene when needed to manage the more severe and dangerous symptoms.
Treatment for Klonopin addiction begins with a slow, controlled detox. The drug must be tapered slowly to minimize potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of a rebound effect. During this process, it’s important to put together a well-defined plan for treatment moving forward. Klonopin addiction treatment isn’t an easy path, and having clear goals can increase the chance of a successful recovery.
This treatment plan should be tailored to meet each individual person’s needs. Options for treatment include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychoanalytical education. Family or group therapy can also play important roles in a good treatment plan.
Because addiction is a complex process that affects the person as a whole, holistic treatment options can be highly beneficial. Yoga, meditation, nutritional therapy, acupuncture, and more can be incorporated into a treatment plan to promote whole mind and body wellness.
The first step in recovering from Klonopin addiction is seeking help and getting the appropriate treatment for your situation.
It’s important to find a treatment center, such as California Prime Recovery, that offers a program that meets your needs and can provide the level of support and care you need. You should carefully consider each option since finding the right treatment center and program can make a successful recovery more likely.
You should look for a treatment center that provides evidence-based therapies as part of a holistic treatment plan that focuses on the person, not just the addiction. It can also be beneficial to focus your search on treatment centers that offer a variety of ways to access care, such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient rehab. Finding the right combination of available therapies and options for accessing treatment is essential to a successful recovery.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Klonopin addiction, reach out to California Prime Recovery to start your road to recovery today at 866-208-2390