Klonopin (clonazepam, generic) is an anti-anxiety medication that is also prescribed for seizures. Klonopin is mostly known for its use to treat panic attacks and other symptoms of anxiety disorder, such as insomnia. The orally ingested medication is effective because it calms the body functions that are increased by anxiety. Most reaction times are very quick and this drug is fast acting in providing relief. Effects of the medication can last between 6 and 24 hours. The following are the desired relief effects of Klonopin:
- Relaxed state of mind
- Soothing of muscle tension
- Desire to sleep 1
As with all medications in the benzodiazepine class of medications, Klonopin is highly addictive, even when taken as prescribed. Tolerance is a large factor in addiction. A person generally notices that the more that he or she takes Klonopin, the more that his or her body adapts to the drug and requires a higher dose to produce the same relief. This causes a cycle of frequentation, elevated use and dependence, possibly leading to addiction.
The GABA transmitters in the brain begin to function differently with Klonopin, and a person can become accustomed to not feeling or operating well without having the drug in his or her system. This might lead a person to think constantly about the drug, paving the road to addiction. Moreover, as Klonopin is effective at producing a grand feeling of euphoria, there are some who choose to abuse these prescriptions in a deliberate attempt to get high.
Signs and Symptoms
Klonopin abuse leads to the following symptoms, which will likely start as mild and increase in accord to quantity and frequency of drug use:
- Slurred and slow speech
- Feeling and appearing dizzy
- Slowed reaction times
- Loss of dexterity
- Memory impairment, especially regarding events after the commencement of Klonopin use
- Frequent constipation
- Upset stomach, vomiting, nausea
- Difficulty breathing
- Hives and/or rashes
Integrated treatment for Klonopin addiction
Combining Klonopin use with other substance abuse will result in disaster, as the dangers of both substances will be combined
It is important to disclose to doctors what prescriptions are already in use before accepting another, and to remain openly honest about the drug use and side effects as the drug continues to be taken. With such a level of honesty, treatment for Klonopin will be carried out more speedily.
As with many prescription abuse situations, sometimes Klonopin abuse results from an attempt to self-medicate. This may happen when a person has an undiagnosed mental health issue, such as anxiety disorder. Leaving anxiety disorder untreated is dangerous and unhealthy, but risking the addiction of Klonopin by becoming dependent on this drug to deal with the mental illness has greater risks.
It is important that professional treatment is sought out as soon as possible, and that a person who has begun to use Klonopin in any level does not attempt to stop doing so without professional assistance and supervision.
Klonopin Addiction Treatment and Family Help
Withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin addiction are serious, and detoxification should never be attempted alone as may be possible with other substances. Inpatient treatment is helpful in providing a comfortable atmosphere that can also monitor heart and breathing ability and other vital signs as a person is weaned off of the drug as rapidly as possible.
Outpatient treatment is also available, and can help when an individual desires to maintain more of a presence in his or her home life during addiction treatment. Alternative medications might be prescribed if the Klonopin abuse was the result of a prescription treatment of a legitimate medical problem, such as chronic seizures or severe anxiety.
Addiction that is left untreated will take on the symptoms of any other addiction. Not only will there be an ever-present risk of overdose, the symptoms of addiction in itself are extremely harmful. If dependence grows into addiction, the following many negative results will take hold on the Klonopin users’ life. Drug use may take priority over family relationships, and social withdrawal might lead to depression and further anxiety.
Family anxiety increases unnecessarily if one member struggles to manage his or her prescription responsibility. If you are suspicious that there is an overuse of Klonopin in your household, take action today. Addiction can be treated, regardless of cause.
1. FDA Medication Guide. Klonopin. Found online 2/18/16 at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM225680.pdf.
2. FDA. Klonopin Tablets. Found online 2/18/16 at: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=542f22e8-dad2-47a8-93b6-30936715d73b.