What is Klonopin?
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What is Klonopin?
Klonopin is the brand name for Clonazepam. What is Klonopin used for? It is used for sedation, to treat anxiety, and for the prevention of seizures. It is a benzodiazepine and is similar to Xanax.
Klonopin helps slow brain function which can be beneficial for the management of anxiety. In some people, it can also cause feelings of pleasure or happiness when it is taken. This may feel good and lead the user to want to take this drug for much longer than is needed or is safe. Klonopin is not recommended to be used for long periods of time due to the high potential for physical dependence and abuse.
It is a controlled substance with specific rules on prescribing and dispensing. The controlled substance designation is due to its strong habit-forming effects. Physical dependence can build quickly with Klonopin even when it is taken as prescribed by a physician.
Tolerance begins to build which leads to dependence which begins the addiction cycle. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be particularly uncomfortable and dangerous if not medically managed appropriately. For additional information on Klonopin click here.
Understanding Klonopin Addiction
Klonopin will cause physical dependence after consistent use. It is estimated that at least a third of all patients who use clonazepam consistently will become physically dependent on it. In practice, this number may be much higher.
Clonazepam is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine and is designed to be taken between once and three times a day. What is Klonopin used for? It may be taken daily for anxiety and other disorders. You may become dependent on clonazepam even when following doctors’ orders. Klonopin should not be used for more than two weeks to avoid the tolerance, dependence, and addiction that can happen.
If you are continuing long term clonazepam use, you are at risk for an unhealthy relationship with Klonopin and possible addiction. The physical dependence on Klonopin can result in unpleasant symptoms in-between doses or when doses are missed. It can look like panic, sweating, stomach pain, and shakiness.
Some users find they are avoiding withdrawal symptoms. You may continue to use Klonopin for the mental effects and to avoid unpleasant feelings with they stop. This is an addiction.
Effects and Abuse of Klonopin
Klonopin works by slowing the brain activity down by re-regulating the GABA neurotransmitter. This slowing effect also results in slowed central nervous system effects. Clonazepam has many known effects with regular use. Some of these are listed below:
- Sleep disorders
- Suicidal thoughts
- Decreased heart rate
- Slowed breathing
- Forgetfulness of events
These effects can be more significant when clonazepam is abused. Some will abuse Klonopin with the intentional goal of inducing a hallucination. At times, clonazepam may be used with alcohol to gain a perceived greater “high”. This can be dangerous since both lead to decreased heart rate and slowed breathing. This combination can lead to an overdose.
Klonopin is one of the most popular abused benzodiazepines. Its fast onset and long effects make it a drug that someone with addiction potential may want to continue to take for longer than suggested. It has positive effects with use; however, the danger of tolerance and addiction makes it a less desirable choice for use.
It can have devastating addiction potential and unhealthy usage patterns. When tolerance builds and the doses are increased, you may find yourself in a position of not being able to decrease the doses due to withdrawal. This puts many users into a cycle of dependence, addiction, and withdrawal avoidance. The only way off this unhealthy merry-go-round is the treatment for a Klonopin addiction.
Klonopin Tolerance & Withdrawal
Users of Klonopin will develop tolerance over time. This was proven in studies where it was used to treat epilepsy. Some tolerance is good, as in decreased sedation after continuous use. However other known side effects do not improve with time such as amnesia of events and change in mental status with use.
Physical tolerance occurs possibly due to a body re-regulation of chemical transmitters that Klonopin affects. When you have altered levels of these neurotransmitters over time, the body adjusts to this being the new normal and “forgets” the previous levels. As a result, previous doses may no longer induce the same feelings and effectiveness as they did previously. This known chemical regulation with benzodiazepines generally makes them unsuitable for long term use.
Tolerance of Klonopin may result in someone self-increasing the doses in order to feel the same effects. Chasing tolerance with benzodiazepines by increasing the dose can be a very dangerous practice. Taking more and more Klonopin can put you at risk for an overdose. Ultimately the tolerance will never end, and you may end up taking enough Klonopin to stop breathing.
If Klonopin is used for greater than four weeks, they may develop both tolerance and physical dependence on the drug. If a physical dependence is present, you may be at risk for withdrawal if you decrease the amount of Klonopin you are taking. In essence, Klonopin controls how your body reacts.
If someone who is physically dependent on clonazepam abruptly stops taking it, they will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include seizures, psychosis, hallucinations, shaking, sweating, panic and anxiety, stomach pain, and sleep issues.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be frightening and confusing. A careful plan to decrease the amount of Klonopin you are taking slowly and gradually is required. Consultation with a medical professional is strongly suggested to avoid hospitalization or harm.
Treatment of Klonopin Addiction
Clonazepam is habit-forming when used consistently. It will induce physical dependence and possibly addiction. Klonopin addiction can be successfully treated. The first step is a medically safe and appropriate detox and slow tapering of clonazepam to avoid inducing an unpleasant withdrawal. A slow taper may take several weeks. The longer the abuse and the higher the doses will guide the tapering process.
Once detox is completed, assessment of any other underlying mental health issues is appropriate. If you have abused a benzodiazepine, you need to avoid taking benzodiazepines again. For any other mental health issues that may require anti-anxiety medication, your team will determine other safe and effective options.
Medical monitoring is suggested during tapering and an inpatient facility may be suggested for a period of time. Other remedies that can help with Klonopin addiction are group and individual therapy and a transition to outpatient support.
Klonopin dependence and addiction sometimes are kept going for the sole reason of avoiding withdrawal. At Resurgence Behavioral Health we can take you through the withdrawal process safely and help you begin your new life without the chains of a Klonopin addiction.
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If anything, you have read sounds familiar you may need professional help. We are available to answer your questions and provide you with hope. Recovery is possible without the monkey of addiction on your back. Reach out to us today to help regain peace and balance in your life.