Klonopin Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment
June 17, 2020 , Agape Treatment Center
Klonopin is a prescription benzodiazepine, commonly known by the generic name, clonazepam. This medication is prescribed as a treatment for panic attacks, epilepsy, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, and certain phobias. Additionally, Klonopin lasts longer in the body than most other benzodiazepines, creating a sense of calmness that can become addictive. Due to its addictive nature, Klonopin is only prescribed on a short-term basis. This is because long term use of this drug can lead to tolerance, dependency, and eventually Klonopin addiction.
Individuals may form a physical dependence on Klonopin, as well as a psychological addiction. Even individuals with a prescription for this drug may unknowingly misuse it, leading to a severe physical dependency. To explain, this type of misuse happens as individuals build a tolerance to their Klonopin and attempt to take higher doses in order to create the original sensation. When an individual uses Klonopin over a long period of time, this substance can begin to damage the brain’s reward system. This damage makes it difficult for an individual to feel pleasure or experience calmness naturally, without the use of benzodiazepines. As a result, individuals who are addicted to drugs like Klonopin experience cravings and compulsive drug use.
How to Tell if Someone is Addicted to Klonopin
One of the early signs of Klonopin addiction is a preoccupation with the drug. Some individuals may be entirely too focused on when they will take their next dose or stress about running out of their prescriptions early. Additionally, someone addicted to Klonopin may begin to buy the drug off of the street or take more than directed by their doctor.
Furthermore, individuals who are addicted to Klonopin may take a higher dose than prescribed. As Klonopin addiction worsens, individuals may lose interest in their schooling, careers, or social life. As a result, the individual may become unable to focus on other areas of their lives, continuing to use the drug regardless of negative consequences.
Physical Symptoms of Klonopin Addiction
Individuals abusing Klonopin are likely to experience side effects. The side effects increase if the drug is taken in combination with other substances, such as alcohol or other drugs like opioids. Individuals should not take this substance with alcohol and it should only be taken in combination with opioids when directed by a doctor. However, individuals suffering from Klonopin addiction may disregard the risks in order to achieve the desired effect or “high”.
The following side effects are common among individuals abusing Klonopin:
- Slowed reaction time
- Impaired judgment
- Problems walking
Psychological Symptoms of Klonopin Addiction
The earliest sign of Klonopin addiction or misuse is becoming focused on obtaining the drug. Many individuals with substance use disorder will neglect their responsibilities in other areas of their lives in order to focus on their addiction.
Other common signs include feeling as if you cannot sleep or calm down without it. In addition, some individuals may begin to mix Klonopin with other substances in order to increase their effects.
The signs of Klonopin addiction vary from person to person. However, there are common symptoms to watch out for as well as behaviors that may indicate the presence of an addiction.
The common behavioral signs of Klonopin addiction include, but are not limited to:
- Doing worse at work or in school
- Abandoning favorite hobbies
- Using the drug even though you see the negative effects it has on your life
- Feeling like you need the drug to function
- Struggling to cut back usage, even if ordered to by a doctor
When an individual misuses Klonopin over a long period of time, the substance may damage memory functions as well as lasting damage to the brain. The more frequently the medication is misused, the more dependent the brain becomes. As a result, the damage may be more difficult to reverse over time.
Additionally, benzodiazepines are known to impair an individuals’ attention spans, making it extremely harmful for the brains of older adults. Lastly, some individuals experience what is referred to as a “paradoxical reaction” to Klonopin. In other words, these individuals experience behaviors that Klonopin is meant to prevent, such as increased irritability, anxiety, and agitation.
Additional Side Effects of Klonopin
Klonopin is also known to cause overdoses. If an individual overdoses on Klonopin, it is vital that you get them medical attention immediately. Klonopin overdose is known to be deadly without medical treatment. Additionally, the risk of overdose increases as an individual begins to combine this substance with alcohol or other drugs.
Symptoms of Klonopin overdose include:
- Loss of control over bodily movements
- Slurred speech
Long Term Effects of Klonopin Abuse
When an individual chronically abuses Klonopin, tolerance will begin to develop. By definition, tolerance is the act of an individual’s body becoming adjusted to a drug being present in one’s system, causing normal doses to not be effective.
Long term use of Klonopin can also lead to a relapse of the issues the drug was meant to treat. For example, individuals who began taking Klonopin for anxiety and became addicted to the substance may experience heightened anxiety or panic when they miss a dose. Some studies suggest that this occurs due to the damage Klonopin inflicts on the brain’s natural reward system. Long term misuse may lead to declining memory and significant brain damage that can be difficult to reverse.
Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms
When an individual becomes addicted to Klonopin, they will develop a physical and mental dependency on the drug. As a result, the sudden removal of this drug causes withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms generally begin to appear within a few days of stopping Klonopin use.
Since Klonopin is a benzodiazepine, the symptoms of withdrawal can be difficult and dangerous to manage without professional drug detox services.
Symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal may include:
Treatment for Klonopin Addiction
The first step in beating Klonopin addiction is asking for help. Klonopin addiction leads to severe symptoms of withdrawal, making it vital for individuals to attend a professional detox and drug rehab program at the beginning of their recovery.
During detox, individuals are closely monitored for safety while they receive 24/7 support and psychiatric care. As a result, individuals are able to cope with their withdrawal symptoms in a safe and medically supportive environment. This allows patients to successfully detox from Klonopin and move onto the next stages of their recovery.
If you or a loved one are suffering from Klonopin addiction or abuse, now is the time to reach out for help. Agape Treatment Center can provide you with the medical, psychiatric, and social support needed in order to build a strong foundation of recovery. To learn more about Klonopin addiction treatment, contact Agape Treatment Center today!
Agape Treatment Center for substance abuse embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances. We provide individuals all over the country with the opportunity to achieve the gift of lasting sobriety.