Klonopin Dependence – Signs of Klonopin Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance
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- Is Klonopin Addictive?
- Understanding Klonopin Dependency and Tolerance
- Effects/Side Effects
- Withdrawal and Detoxification
- Treatment for Klonopin Addiction
Klonopin is the market name for the drug clonazepam. It is a member of the benzodiazepine class of drugs. Klonopin’s properties range from muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant to anxiolytic and hypnotic. Due to these, it is typically used to treat epilepsy and seizures, anxiety and panic disorders, spasticity, and hyperekplexia. Any use of Klonopin beyond the recommended dosage, without a prescription, or recreationally is indicative of abuse. Those abusing the drug can be identified by their increasing dependency on Klonopin. They begin to feel like they need it to continue living. This can lead to users taking more than their prescribed dosages and at greater frequency than is necessary. As their tolerance to the drug increases, abusers will feel the need to take more and more to achieve the maximum effect. If the supply of the drug is slowed or stopped, the abuser will begin to show signs of withdrawal such as anxiety, insomnia, cognitive difficulties, panic attacks, and irritability. Continued abuse of Klonopin can even lead to hypertension and coma.
Is Klonopin Addictive?
Individuals who have never taken Klonopin or who have recently started may be wondering how addictive is Klonopin? As a member of the benzodiazepine family of pharmaceuticals, Klonopin is highly addictive. Regular use of the prescribed amount has a 33 percent chance of creating dependency and causing withdrawal symptoms if a dose reduction occurs. The higher the dose and longer the use, the greater the risk and severity of withdrawal and dependency become. Individuals taking Klonopin recreationally are at a much higher risk for developing dependency as they usually have no guidance on the proper dosage and frequency or how the drug will interact with other medications they may be taking.
Understanding Klonopin Dependency and Tolerance
Two types of dependency exist for those taking benzodiazepines, physical and psychological. As is common with other types of benzodiazepines, almost one third of everyone who takes Klonopin as prescribed by their physician for longer than four weeks is likely to develop Klonopin dependence. Virtually all users of Klonopin will experience an increase in tolerance as they continue taking it. This means that a higher dose is needed to achieve the desired effect if a person has been taking the medication for a prolonged period of time. People who take the medication recreationally are much more likely to notice a dependency due to their desire for the euphoric side effect and the rapid rate at which it diminishes.
For many people, occasional alcohol consumption is just a normal part of life, whether enjoying a glass of red wine during a nice dinner or drinking a few beers at a social gathering. While drinking in moderation is rarely a cause for concern, some people find it difficult to stop at just one or two drinks. When you drink excessively during a short period of time, this is considered binge drinking. For the average adult male, this correlates to about five drinks over the course of two hours, while for the average adult woman, binge drinking occurs when about four drinks are consumed during the same time frame.
Use of Klonopin often results in pleasurable effects that lead individuals to continued use, dependency, and even abuse. The most common effect that Klonopin has on the human body is a state of drowsiness or euphoria, or a sort of high. To a slightly lesser extent, it also interferes with the mind’s cognitive and motor abilities. These immediate reactions to Klonopin have been likened to the feeling people get from consuming alcohol to the point of drunkenness. Each of these effects can result from a regular prescribed dose of Klonopin. Those who abuse Klonopin typically start to do so as a result of this euphoric high that causes a state of unconditional happiness. As a benzodiazepine, Klonopin interacts with and alters certain chemical compounds in the human brain. This is how these effects are produced. Coming down from Klonopin can result in the appearance of hangover-like symptoms. These include drowsiness, irritability, sluggishness, and headache.
Individuals who have been using Klonopin for longer than a two-week period often develop a number of side effects. Most of these are benign and non-fatal. Aside from drowsiness, euphoria, and mild cognitive and motor impairment, the less common side effects include aggression, increasingly impaired motor and cognitive functions, hallucinations, amnesia, dizziness, loss of libido, and lack of motivation. The more serious side effects include dysphoria, seizures, personality changes, confusion, and ataxia. In rare cases, psychosis, liver damage, and incontinence may result. The side effects of Klonopin abuse are intensified if the drug is taken alongside alcohol. The long-term effects of Klonopin typically include cognitive impairment, sexual dysfunction, disinhibition, and depression, some of which may never fully retreat.
Withdrawal and Detoxification
Withdrawal from Klonopin is likely to result in withdrawals symptoms that can seem more severe than the typical side effects associated with the drug. Not to worry, these symptoms can be overcome with help and support from loved ones and medical professionals. Removing Klonopin from one’s routine should be done in very gradual steps if possible. If medication is still required for treatment of one’s original illness or disorder, then a different benzodiazepine will likely be prescribed. Withdrawal symptoms are not usually fatal. They can include impaired coordination, drowsiness, dizziness, hangover-like symptoms, weakness, and general confusion. Those who have been abusing the medication for long periods of time may find that the withdrawal symptoms last much longer and are slightly more severe.
Treatment for Klonopin Addiction
Klonopin abuse treatment exists and is there to help individuals with an addiction to the drug learn how to overcome their dependency and cope with the withdrawals symptoms. Addiction treatment is not something that most people should try to tackle on their own. Group therapy and counseling exist to help individuals with addiction. Individuals should also consult a physician to make sure that they remain as healthy as possible during their recovery and to receive medication that might offset some of the more severe symptoms of withdrawal. The best recourse for addiction treatment is usually a combination of several different methods. This ensures that the individual receives a well-rounded treatment that tackles each need or urge.