Clorazepate Addiction and Abuse
Just because clorazepate (often known by brand names including Tranxene and Novo-Clopate) is a prescription drug does not mean that it cannot lead to addiction. In fact, if it is abused long enough, it will almost certainly lead to substance dependence. As with other prescription drugs, dependence can form easily if you begin to abuse clorazepate by taking more of it than you should or taking it for longer than prescribed. It is therefore very important to learn about abuse and addiction in order to protect yourself and your loved ones.
What Is Clorazepate?
Clorazepate belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which are classified as central nervous system (CNS) depressants and produce a slowing effect on the nervous system. Clorazepate is most often prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, as well as certain kinds of seizures. It’s also used to provide relief from alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, it is deployed alongside other drugs in the treatment of partial seizures.
In the 1960s, benzodiazepines were introduced for the first time to be used as a sedative hypnotic. Out of the 50 or more drugs that were developed, only a fraction were approved for treatment in a clinical setting. Clorazepate was made available in the form of two salts – namely,dipotassium and monopotassium salts. Clorazepate monopotassium was marketed as Azene in 1972 and the dipotassium salt as Tranxene the same year. While the drug is widely used in clinical practice, benzodiazepines are recognised as being habit-forming when used for a prolonged period of time.
Causes and Risk Factors for Clorazepate Addiction and Abuse
Due to how easy it is to develop resistance to the sleep-inducing, anticonvulsant and muscle-relaxant effects, you could find yourself using the drug for longer than planned. Tolerance brings withdrawal syndromes and as you take more of the drug to take care of your symptoms, the more likely you are to become dependent on it.
One of the risk factors for addiction to clorazepate is using it on a long-term basis (for more than four weeks). You could also be at risk if you have a proclivity for drug abuse or use higher doses than prescribed. Your risk of developing dependence increases if you use clorazepate alongside other cross-tolerant sedative hypnotics like alcohol or barbiturates.
Deadly Clorazepate Drug Interactions
You must be extremely careful not to take clorazepate with any other substances with which it may interact dangerously. One of the most common but most dangerous substances taken with this particular benzodiazepine is alcohol.
You must avoid taking other such central nervous system depressants or substances that result in drowsiness so as to avoid the danger of overdosing. Therefore, you should shun illegal narcotics, anaesthetics, barbiturates, anti-seizure medicines, muscle relaxants, drugs for allergies or colds, prescription painkillers, sleeping pills, and anti-histamines.
What is Clorazepate Addiction?
When you become so dependent on the drug that you’re unable to function normally without it, you can be said to be addicted. If you believe you’ve reached this point, it’s likely that your addiction to the drug is weighing heavily on various aspects of your life.
Do not hesitate to seek treatment immediately, as addiction should not be left to worsen over time. Continued abuse of the drug can result in damaging effects to your physical and psychological health, as well as the wellbeing of those closest to you.
How Clorazepate Addiction Starts
Typically, addiction starts with a physician’s prescription. Most likely, it will be prescribed for anxiety or to help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, as you develop tolerance, you could find that you are reluctant to quit the drug because you’re worried about the original anxiety returning. If you find yourself in such a situation, talk with your doctor immediately in order to prevent your dependence from worsening.
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Why is Clorazepate so Addictive?
The desirable effects of clorazepate – including its ability to reduce anxiety – relax the muscles and produce feelings of sedation and calmness, contributing to its potential to be habit-forming. It alters the chemistry of your brain so that your body becomes dependent to reach a state of equilibrium or feel normal. Becoming dependent on the drug can lead to you experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you go without it.
The strong reactions in your brain caused by clorazepate can cause feelings of intoxication, even if you stick to taking it as prescribed. These effects can make it hard to quit the drug and may eventually lead you down the dark hole of addiction.
How Clorazepate Affects the Mind and body
Your mind and body can be affected in various ways. Higher doses of clorazepate tend to cause confusion, as well as poor concentration and coordination. You might suffer memory problems in the form of blackouts or amnesia. There is also the possibility of developing anhedonia or depression, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, your anxiety or insomnia may return.
Physically, you may suffer abdominal pain, ranging from cramping to digestive issues. Other dangerous effects on your body may include cardiac problems caused by withdrawal symptoms, changes to your endocrine system, and liver failure.
Signs, Symptoms and Effects of Clorazepate Abuse and Addiction
Determining whether your loved one has been engaged in substance abuse may be tricky if they don’t show signs of dependence or addiction, but observe carefully to see if they use more of the drug than prescribed or persist in using it even beyond when the doctor asked them to stop.
Signs of addiction include lying about drug use, trying to get multiple prescriptions from different doctors, neglecting responsibilities, getting irritated or aggressive when questioned about drug use, and stealing money or engaging in other risky behaviour in order to acquire the medication.
Short-Term Effects of Misusing Clorazepate
Misusing this drug can lead to a number of undesirable short-term side effects such as reduced concentration, decreased alertness, dizziness, and drowsiness. Other possible effects include depression, changes in appetite, nightmares, euphoria, confusion, blurred vision, and nausea. If you are an older person, you may experience lack of coordination, which can lead to falls and injuries.
Digestive and abdominal problems could also be experienced as short-term effects of abusing clorazepate. You may have to deal with nausea or vomiting and abdominal cramping. Suppressed breathing and hypotension may also arise if the drug is injected intravenously.
Long-Term Effects of Misusing Clorazepate
As you continue to misuse clorazepate, any short-term effects that you experience can give way to more severe long-term ones. One serious problem you could face in the long run is liver damage, especially if you also struggle with alcoholism or have been using the drug in large doses.
Over time, clorazepate can alter your endocrine system due to its effects on the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Any ensuing hormonal imbalances can lead to effects such as weight loss or gain, altered menstrual cycle, or male breast growth. You might experience blackouts or amnesia, which only get worse the longer you abuse the medication.
Physical Signs and Symptoms of Clorazepate Abuse and Addiction
While this medication exerts its effects mostly on a psychological plane, there are physical manifestations that can tell if you or a loved one is engaging in problematic substance abuse or is addicted to clorazepate.
Some of the physical signs to look out for include poor coordination, blurred vision, inability to keep steady whilst moving around or walking, and drowsiness. You may also find that your muscles feel weak. Other physical signs include fainting and coma, as well as hostility.
Psychological Signs and Symptoms of Clorazepate Abuse and Addiction
There are many psychological signs and symptoms of abuse and addiction to clorazepate. While some may not be obvious (externally) at first, others are not too difficult to figure out. Some of the signs include impaired judgement, reduced inhibition, disturbing dreams, irritability, and amnesia.
If you are an older person – or a loved one who is abusing the drug is elderly – you may notice symptoms like confusion and the onset of dementia. Another serious symptom that may surface (especially in the case of prolonged usage) is depression.
Signs of Clorazepate Withdrawal and Overdose
Among the major withdrawal symptoms of clorazepate are ‘rebound’ insomnia and anxiety. You may experience symptoms like seizures, muscle pain, headaches, tremors, nervousness, irritability, dehydration, dry heaves, increased blood pressure or heartbeat, psychosis, hallucinations and sleep disturbances.
An overdose is dangerous and must be reported at a health facility once it occurs. Some of the signs of an overdose include symptoms like an overly relaxed state, sleepiness, fainting, drowsiness, and change in consciousness.
Dangerous Effects of Clorazepate Abuse and Addiction
Some of the dangers of being addicted to clorazepate are due to the associated withdrawal symptoms. Some can be severe, causing ill health throughout the withdrawal period. There is also the possibility of developing complications.
Engaging in substance abuse for a prolonged period of time can lead to serious physical and mental health problems for you, ranging from liver damage to memory loss. You would also be putting yourself at risk of falling and/or being involved in accidents,asclorazepate can cause vision problems, slower reflexes, clumsiness, drowsiness, and lack of coordination.
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The Social Impacts of Clorazepate
WhileClorazepate can affect you physically, mentally, behaviourally and emotionally, it can also influence you socially. The most common social effect of substance dependence is isolation, which can lead you to cut off your friends. The financial drain you suffer due to overspending on clorazepate can lead to further social problems – especially within the family – when you’re unable to provide as you used to.
As you detach yourself from friends and loved ones, your relationships suffer and become dysfunctional. Slowly but surely, distrust creeps into the family unit, which may even dissolve, with your children developing emotional issues.
Therapy, Treatment and Rehab for Clorazepate Abuse and Addiction
There are a number of treatment options available, but regardless of the route you choose, professional help is available to guide you and get you started on the road to recovery.
Whether you opt for inpatient or outpatient treatment, you’ll begin with a detox programme, which is necessary for all the toxins of the drug to leave your system. You would typically be given medication to provide relief from your withdrawal symptoms and ensure you are able to detox safely. Once detox is over, you’ll continue treatment with therapy, which is when the actual rehabilitation process starts. Many rehabs include detox, therapy, and aftercare.
Staying off Clorazepate
While rehab can be challenging, you can expect even greater challenges ahead as you fight off triggers and cravings. Aftercare can be a great help and is typically recommended; you could attend meetings held by 12-step support groups or take up residence in a sober-living home.
It’s also important to surround yourself with close family and friends who are supportive. Finally, living a healthier lifestyle and finding new hobbies can help you stay sober.
Therapy and counselling form a crucial part of treatment, as well as aftercare when you’ve completed the course of your treatment programme. Individual counselling involves you meeting one-on-one with a counsellor, who will work with you to get to the root of your addiction problem and tackle it from there.
Groups like Narcotics Anonymous can make a significant difference, especially when you are out of rehab and are in need of social and community support. Such groups can be particularly beneficial when your home environment is not as supportive as it ought to be.
Support groups are attended by people like you, who have gone through similar problems and are on the road to recovery themselves. They’re able to relate to you in ways that even your loved ones aren’t able to, because they know what it feels like to be stuck in the dark hole of addiction.
There’s a good chance your addiction has affected your family to a certain degree. In cases where the family unit has been so damaged that your addiction is threatening to tear it apart, family therapy may be a viable option.
Instead of meeting one-on-one with a counsellor, you will attend therapy sessions with the member(s) of your family concerned. Family therapy may involve your husband, wife, children and/orparents, as the case may be. The goal is to help your family heal, as you also heal.
Is Clorazepate Addictive?
Yes. Clorazepatepresents a high risk of dependence and addiction, even if you only use it as prescribed. Though they may have a low potential for abuse compared to other drugs within the same classification, the risk is still there, especially if you have a history of multi-substance abuse.
It is due to the potential addictive nature of this drug that physicians don’t prescribe for longer than two weeks in most cases.
What are the Dangers of Overdosing?
Overdosing can lead to serious consequences for your health if it’s not handled by professionals immediately. Due to the high levels of toxicity that your body is bound to deal with, your liver can suffer considerable damage and your other vital organs may suffer as well.
There is also the possibility of death if the effects of overdosing include symptoms such as difficulty breathing, and also when medical attention is not available soon enough.
What is Clorazepate Overdose?
An overdose refers to when you have taken a higher dosage of clorazepatethan your body can safely handle. In other words, the amount of the drug you’ve ingested has reached levels that are toxic to your body. Once you notice that you or someone else around you has overdosed, you must get medical attention immediately, as an overdose is occasionally fatal.
Symptoms of an overdose may include an overly relaxed state, sleepiness, fainting, drowsiness, and change in consciousness.
Why is Clorazepate Prescribed?
Clorazepateis typically prescribed for treating anxiety disorders, as well as some types of seizures. It can also be used for managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms or other medical conditions which your doctor believes can be successfully treated using clorazepate.
Some of the other conditions that may be treated using this drug include obsessive-compulsive disorders, posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), phobias, and panic disorders.
How does Clorazepate Affect the Body?
Due to the effects of clorazepateon the mind and body, you must only use it if prescribed by your physician. When you take the drug and it begins to work, it slows down your brain’s chemical movement, which results in your body relaxing.
The effects of clorazepatemake it ideal for treating anxiety; as it begins to work, you’ll start feeling relaxed, though you may also feel drowsy.
How Long does it Take to Become Addicted to Clorazepate?
Clorazepatecan cause changes to the brain fairly quickly. In some cases, it can cause dependency in as little as two weeks. However, it’s difficult to say exactly how long it takes for addiction to set in, given that everyone is different.
You reach the point of addiction when you’ve been unable to stop using the drug, even if it’s causing serious problems.
How is Clorazepate Dangerous?
Clorazepatecan be particularly dangerous whenused in combination with other drugs. Many people tend to combine it with alcohol and other substances that are classified as central nervous system depressants. That includes allergy medicines, prescription painkillers, sleeping pills, and anti-histamines, amongst others. Mixing such drugs with clorazepate can prove to be very dangerous.
Another serious danger of using or misusing this drug is the tendency to develop dependency or addiction before long. If used in higher doses, fatal accidents can occur if you drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery whilst under the influence.
What is Clorazepate Abuse?
There are various ways in which clorazepatecan be abused, one of which is to use the medication for longer than prescribed by a doctor. Another way is to take higher doses than prescribed, whether at the frequency prescribed or more often.
You can even abuse clorazepatewithout having a prescription at all, which is illegal in the UK.
How is Clorazepate Legally Classified?
In the United Kingdom,clorazepate is a Class C drug, which means it is classified amongst the least harmful drugs, but the only way to legally obtain the drug is to get a prescription from a medical practitioner.
What Treatments Are Available for Clorazepate Abuse?
Treatment is often classified as inpatient and outpatient treatment, particularly when rehab is the topic of discussion. A rehab programme typically includes detox, therapy, and aftercare. Detox is the first stage of treatment, regardless of what mode of treatment you choose.
After detox comes therapy,during which the root issues behind your addiction are tackled whilst you learn to manage triggers and cravings. Once you have run the course of the rehab programme, you will then participate in some form of aftercare, which would normally entail occasional therapy sessions, support groups, or sober living homes.
Why do People Abuse Clorazepate?
Due to the changes which clorazepatemakes to the brain, your body can easily become dependent on it. When this happens, your system won’t be able to function optimally without the drug. In order to keep the supply going, you could start using more clorazepatethan you should or continuing usage even when you should have stopped.
When you become dependent on clorazepate, you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when you’re not using it. Often, withdrawal symptoms include anxiety and in a bid to prevent the onslaught of undesirable withdrawal symptoms, you continue to use the drug.
Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.