Clobazam Symptoms and Warning Signs
Clobazam is a prescription drug which can be found marketed under brand names includingOnfi. The drug is classified as a benzodiazepine, and is typically prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy symptoms, severe anxiety or agitation, and insomnia.
Clobazam operates as a central nervous system depressant by influencing GABA receptors to induce a calming effect on the brain and nervous system. Because of how clobazam affects brain chemistry, and its pleasurable effects, the drug has a high potential to be habit-forming. It is for this reason benzodiazepines like clobazam are often abused.
The pleasurable effects people seek when they abuse clobazam include a feeling of euphoria and a pleasant sense of wellbeing. Repeated use of the drug to experience these effects can, in only a short time, lead to physical dependence and addiction. The amount of time it takes to become addicted to clobazam is further reduced if you abuse the drug by using it in higher doses than recommended, or using it alongside opioids or alcohol.
Keep in mind that ingesting high doses of clobazam, or combining it with other substances, while enhancing the drug’s pleasurable effects, also increases addiction risk, as well as exposing you to a variety of potentially fatal health consequences.
What are the Signs of Clobazam Abuse?
At first, it may be difficult to determine if an individual is abusing clobazam. The signs of clobazam abuse are often quite similar to those which occur during recommended use, except that the severity and frequency of the symptoms are usually amplified.
A person that’s taking clobazam, either recreationally or according to prescription, will usually appear drowsy, and may suffer from memory impairment or lack of coordination. The drug’s function as a nervous system depressant means it may also dull your reflexes and induce slower thinking. There have also been reported instances of slurred speech, drooling, and sudden changes in mood.
Signs of clobazam abuse, that will from differ normal use, include:
- Taking higher doses of clobazam than prescribed
- Using clobazam for longer than prescribed
- Acquiring and using clobazam without a prescription
- Using clobazam in a manner other than directed by a doctor, e.g. crushing and snorting it
- Combining clobazam with other substances to heighten its effects
What are the Signs of Clobazam Addiction?
Continued abuse of clobazam will likely lead to physical dependence and/or addiction eventually. Due to the potency of the drug, this can occur even if you are using clobazam according to prescription.
Typically, addiction occurs when your brain is repeatedly exposed to a habit-forming substance. This will lead to the continuous stimulation of the reward centre of your brain, and over time cause your brain to adapt to the frequent influence of the drug. Repeated exposure and stimulation of the reward centre of your brain will cause it to believe that it cannot function normally without the influence of the drug. This leads to drug use becoming compulsive and uncontrollable. In the event you fail to take a fresh dose of the drug, or try to quit use, your body will react by producing a variety of withdrawal symptoms.
When this occurs, physical dependence and/or addiction to clobazam is well under way. Some of the signs and side effects of clobazam addiction include:
- Spending more time, effort, and money to procure and use more clobazam
- Compulsive use of clobazam dominating your thoughts
- Continuing to abuse clobazam even when it is clear it is endangering your health
- Failed attempts to quit using the drug
- Intense cravings for clobazam
- Decline in school or work performance due to substance abuse
- Taking more of the drug than intended, or taking it for longer than intended
- Increased tolerance to the effects of the drug
If you, or a loved one, are exhibiting two or more of the above symptoms, it can be evidence of addiction.
Along with the signs of clobazam addiction, long-term abuse of the drug can also lead to the manifestation of a variety of side effects, particularly deteriorating physical health and a decline in memory and cognition, among other adverse effects.
What are the Immediate Side Effects of Clobazam Abuse?
Using clobazam in a manner contrary to how it was prescribed by your doctor can lead to a whole host of adverse effects, including addiction, and a possibly fatal overdose. The dangers of abusing clobazam are more pronounced amongst individuals who abuse the drug by combining it with other substances, such as alcohol, opiates, and other stimulants.
Potential short-term side-effects of abusing clobazam may include:
- Impairment of higher brain functions, including memory and learning
- Paradoxical effects, including increased anxiety and aggression
- Decrease in muscular coordination and ability to perform tasks
- Problems performing complex skills, such as driving
- Continued sedation, even after tolerance has developed
There are also potential long-term side effects in the continued abuse of clobazam. Some of which include:
- Decline in overall mental health
- General cognitive decline, including issues with learning and memory
- Issues with performing routine tasks
- Poorer quality sleep in some individuals
- Potential immune system impairments
- Development of physical dependence
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What is Clobazam Addiction Treatment?
Addiction might be a chronic disease, but it is not an incurable one. With the proper treatment, clobazam addiction can be properly dealt with in a manner that ensures no long term health complications are suffered.
Comprehensive addiction treatment not only addresses the symptoms of addiction, but also looks to treat the underlying cause of the addiction. Many of the individuals who suffer from a clobazam addiction require ongoing treatment after rehab, to ensure they continue to stay drug-free. Clobazam addiction treatment should start with a safe and well-planned detox protocol, that cares for the unique circumstances of the addict. This includes managing and treating the physical
withdrawal symptoms, and side effects, of clobazam dependence. After detox, rehab should follow on and confront the psychological aspects of addiction. An ideal rehab programme will make use of a combination of counselling and behavioural therapies to help alter your negative thoughts and behaviours concerning substance abuse. Rehab will also provide you with the necessary skills and coping mechanisms to stay free from drugs once you exit rehab.
To ensure you stay focused on sobriety long-term, and reduce your chances of suffering a relapse, aftercare services can also be taken advantage of. Aftercare consists of ongoing treatment after you have left rehab. It can go on for as long as you want it to, and will make use of support groups and 12-step programmes to help you remain focused on abstaining from drug use.
What Happens if You Mix Clobazam with Other Drugs?
A clobazam overdose is more likely to occur if you are combining your use of the drug with other substances. For instance, mixing clobazam with alcohol, opioid pain relievers, antipsychotics, other medications used for sedation, antidepressants, or barbiturates, can very easily lead to an accidental overdose.
Most substance abusers aren’t aware of the risks involved in mixing drugs. An accidental clobazam overdose may prove fatal if prompt medical attention isn’t received. Aside from this, mixing clobazam with other drugs can also lead to a variety of adverse side effects. This is because mixing clobazam with other drugs not only magnifies the sought-after pleasurable effects of the drug, but also magnifies the possible negative side effects of the drug.
The following are possible signs of an overdose that may manifest if you abuse clobazam alongside another drug:
- A bluish tint to the lips or fingernails
- Abnormal behaviour
- Cold, clammy skin
- Impaired mental function
- Losing consciousness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pinpoint pupils
- Slow or shallow breathing
Prompt medical help, if experiencing a clobazam overdose, is absolutely necessary. At a medical facility, an antidote can be provided to counteract the toxic combination created by the different types of drugs in your system. If the situation is beyond treatment, interventions can be administered to minimise some of the damage caused by the overdose, or the poisoning of the brain and other internal organs it can also cause.
What is Clobazam Overdose?
Benzodiazepines like clobazam slow down activity in the central nervous system by affecting the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA can be described as a calming neurotransmitter, and clobazam (just like similar benzodiazepines) is able to increase the effects of GABA in the body. Increasing the effect of GABA will result in a tranquilizing and muscle-relaxant effect, obtained by decelerating breathing, and lowering the heart rate and other vital functions of the central nervous system. But when you use too much clobazam it can lead to an extreme effect on your central nervous system, that can be not only damaging but even fatal.
Usually, when people overdose on clobazam or other benzodiazepines, they are rarely using the drug on its own. Using too much clobazam on its own may simply lead to respiratory depression and mild toxicity symptoms, that are not typically life-threatening. Signs of a mild clobazam overdose may include reduced coordination, slurred speech, and impaired balance. If you are suffering an overdose from clobazam alone, you will probably simply appear intoxicated or extremely drowsy.
However, in more severe cases of overdose, such as when clobazam has been abused alongside another substance, symptoms could be paradoxical to its intended effects. Paradoxical symptoms include anxiety, aggression, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, and delirium.
Severe outcomes for this stronger form of clobazam overdose may include coma, bradycardia, respiratory depression, and cardiac arrest. This can lead to possibly fatal results, and occurs predominantly when clobazam has been abused together with another drug. It can also occur if a high enough dose of clobazam is abused.
The best way to avoid a clobazam overdose is to never use the drug in a manner that is contrary to your doctor’s instruction. Also, when being prescribed clobazam, be sure to inform your doctor of any other medication, vitamins, or supplements that you are, or may be, taking.
Clobazam addiction, dependence, and overdose can all be prevented as long as you use the drug with care.
What Should I Avoid While Taking Clobazam?
Certain other substances interact poorly with clobazam, and can lead to unhealthy side effects. For example, it should never be taken with alcohol, opiate medication, or any other type of medicine that is known to cause drowsiness.
What is Clobazam Addiction Treatment?
Clobazam addiction treatment is professional medical care, provided to help you overcome a physical and/or psychological dependence on the drug. Addiction treatment can be provided in either an outpatient or inpatient facility.
What is the Clobazam ‘High’ Like?
Because it’s a nervous system depressant, the ‘high’ of clobazam is very similar to that created from abusing alcohol. The drug has a calming effect, and can also trigger pleasurable sensations.
What Should I Discuss with my Doctor Before Taking Clobazam?
If your doctor prescribes clobazam to you, be sure to inform them if you have any of the following;
- History of depression, or suicidal thoughts or behaviour
- History of addiction
- Liver or kidney disease
- Any type of breathing problem or lung disease
- If you are currently on any narcotic (opioid) medication
How should I Take Clobazam?
Clobazam should only be used in the manner prescribed by your doctor. This means you should never use the drug before first consulting a doctor.
Is Clobazam Just a Harmless drug?
Clobazam has several applications in clinical medicine, and can be used to treat a variety of ailments. However, because of the drug’s addictive nature, as well as other side effects, its use must be controlled and supervised by a qualified medical professional in order to avoid undesired results.
How is Clobazam Legally Classified?
In the UK, it is classified as a Class C drug. This means that it has medical uses, but also addictive properties, and its use must thus be regulated.
Is Clobazam Addictive?
Yes. Clobazam is addictive and can lead to physical and/or psychological dependence. Once substance dependence develops, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms if you try to suddenly quit.
What are the Dangers of Mixing Clobazam with Other Substances?
Mixing clobazam with other substances can lead to a negative interaction, which could result in poisoning. It might also lead to other complications, such as dangerously slowing down your breathing or an accidental or fatal overdose.
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