Klonopin, generically known as clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine that is only available with a prescription. Benzos are considered central nervous system (CNS) depressants because of their sedative and anxiolytic effects.
When used as prescribed, benzos are effective at treating symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. In some cases, benzos are used to treat epilepsy, insomnia, bipolar disorder, and restless leg syndrome.
Nearly 50 million adults in the United States aged 18 or older struggle with some form of a sleep disorder. Another 40 million adults deal with the crippling effects of anxiety annually. With such a significant portion of the population struggling with debilitating ailments, it should come as no question why medications like Klonopin are produced.
Long-term use of drugs like Klonopin can lead to chemical dependency or addiction. Many who use these medications will eventually become tolerant to the effects, which will lead to dependence in a short period.
Klonopin’s side effects can be both psychologically and physically damaging. One of the most common issues surrounding Klonopin is the misuse of the drug. By abusing the medicine, it can lead to depression or other co-occurring disorders. Other health effects from long-term use can include a loss of coordination, memory problems, or dizziness.
You should never let a prescription drug fool you into thinking it’s safe. Klonopin is extremely addictive, and long-term use of the drug can mean you’ll experience withdrawals when you stop or run out of the drug. As you’ll find with all benzos, withdrawal can be deadly, and without the proper care, some symptoms can lead to death.
If you are concerned about Klonopin withdrawal, you must look into treatment. If you are ready to stop using Klonopin, you should never expose yourself to potentially dead symptoms. Read on to learn more about Klonopin addiction and how it’s treated.
Because of its classification as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, Klonopin works similarly as other benzos. It enters the brain and binds to the brain’s gamma-Aminobutyric acid GABA receptors. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps the brain stay calm by regulating how it processes feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear. GABA blocks nerve impulses and transmits the feelings through the brain and central nervous system.
Klonopin can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that can have adverse effects on the body. Someone detoxing from the substance may experience a host of symptoms, which are referred to as benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. In most cases, when someone has taken Klonopin for extended periods, they will resort to other drugs to alleviate their symptoms.
Physical symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal include:
Klonopin may also produce uncomfortable psychological symptoms. Most of which are likely to occur as the first sign of withdrawal. These signs can occur during a tapering period.
Psychological symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal include:
Many factors will determine the severity of your withdrawal process, including how long it may last. These factors include:
A Klonopin taper will last two months and is the safest option to avoid seizures or other dangerous symptoms. The withdrawal process will come in two distinct phases – the initial step is known as the rebound stage, and the next phase is full-blown withdrawal. When it comes to a timeline, you must bear in mind that the factors we listed above will contribute to someone’s personal experience.
A generalized timeline, however, will look like this:
Detox is when you medically wean off a chemical that you’ve become dependent on or addicted to. Health care professionals will provide medicine in a clinical setting to alleviate the worst symptoms. Due to the unpredictable nature of benzo withdrawal, you must always consider being treated under the care of staff.
Klonopin withdrawal can also trigger intense cravings and drug-seeking behavior. If you are slowly weaning off benzos, you need to commit yourself to inpatient treatment. Having a staff 24-hours a day is essential when coming off a dangerous medication.
Once you have completed the detox stage, you will still experience Klonopin cravings. For that reason, you must continue on the path toward recovery and commit yourself to ongoing addiction treatment. Several options are available that will suit your most current needs, and it will be in the best interest of your health to choose a program tailored to your specific needs.
The severity of your addiction is going to determine your placement. The clinicians will make sure you end up in the care best suited for your present needs. It can mean you are placed into a long-term residential treatment center or an outpatient program that will offer you the freedom of leaving once you complete therapy. Your case is unique, and our staff is receptive to what is best for the client.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). 8: Medical detoxification. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iii/7-medical-detoxification
(n.d.). Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). from https://www.semel.ucla.edu/dual-diagnosis-program/News_and_Resources/PAWS
(n.d.). What is GABA? from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/qa/what-is-gaba
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, March 6). Prescription CNS Depressants. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-cns-depressants