Klonopin Symptoms and Warning Signs

Klonopin, also known as clonazepam, is a prescription sedative medication most often used as an anti-anxiety and anticonvulsant drug. Klonopin belongs to a highly-addictive class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs are fast-acting, meant for short-term use that act upon the central nervous system of the body, and their effects can last up to four hours. Doctors prescribe Klonopin to manage seizures and reduce anxiety, but the drug can lead to the development of an addiction.

The Types/Brands of Klonopin

Klonopin is marketed under a variety of names around the world. Some of these are Rivotril by Roche, Clonoten, Lisinopril, Rivotril, Rivotril, Riklona Iktorivil, Clonex, Emcloz, Paxam, Petrol, Naze, Clonotril, and Kriadex.

Recognising the Common Warning Signs of Klonopin Abuse

Typical warning signs of Klonopin abuse may be subtle initially but can slowly intensify after a period of time and increase in frequency and with dosage taken. Using other intoxicating substances concurrently only increases the risks associated with the already expected symptoms. Recognising the common warning signs of Klonopin abuse will help you to know when you, or your loved one, need to get help or access to a treatment facility:

  • Slurred speech
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Aggressive and violent behaviour
  • Profound sleepiness throughout the day
  • Lack of coordination and clumsiness
  • Stomach upset, including nausea and vomiting
  • Delayed and slowed reaction times
  • Psychotic symptoms, like paranoia and hallucinations
  • Trouble remembering things that occurred after use began
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The Dangers of Klonopin Abuse

Even if you started using Klonopin according to your doctor’s prescription, you can still find yourself rapidly approaching dangerous levels of use, due to the drug’s high potential for tolerance and dependence. You can end up in a compulsive cycle of use, it can lead to addiction. As a result, Klonopin is recommended for short-term treatments only. Unfortunately, others may abuse the drug because of its ability to induce feelings of euphoria.

When you’ve abused Klonopin for a long time, you can start to miss the feeling provided by your initial doses. As your body adjusts to the drug, you might feel forced to:

  • Increase your dose
  • Take more frequent doses
  • Crush up the pills in water, or another solution, and inject them
  • Crush up the pills and snort them

All of these forms of abuse are designed to speed up the effects of the drug or to produce a more significant “high” in of the body. Sadly, these steps can result in overdose, as flooding your body with this potent medication can cause a severe state of sedation that can be difficult to wake up from.

Recognising a Klonopin Addiction

Extended use comes with several warning signs that become more apparent with time, and they can help detect an addiction. One of the earliest signs of Klonopin addiction is the development of tolerance. You might continue increasing the amount of the drug to feel its original effects. There are certain behavioural changes that can also be seen with a Klonopin addiction:

  • Secretive or suspicious behaviour
  • Poor performance at school or work
  • Lying when questioned about your behaviour
  • Stealing money and other things to get the drug
  • Stealing Klonopin from pharmacies, or any other place it is available
  • Seeming sleepy and disoriented most of the time
  • Compulsive desire to obtain and use Klonopin
  • Frequent visits to different doctors in an attempt to get a prescription for Klonopin (doctor shopping)

Klonopin Addiction and the Brain

Brain damage is one of the most immediate and long-reaching effects of Klonopin addiction. The drug alters the chemistry of the brain when abuse begins, leading to effects like bad decision-making and slower reaction times. The more you continue abusing Klonopin, the greater the impact on your physical and mental health. When you’re addicted to the drug, your brain becomes unable to function normally without it, and you can experience withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to quit.

Klonopin abuse and addiction lead to the clouding of your mental faculties; it can even become challenging to think and act logically. As a result, you’re more likely to engage in risky behavior, drive while under the influence, and combine Klonopin with other addictive substances.

Sometimes, you may even be unable to remember what has happened to you and your actions while you were on the drug. This period of “blacking out” could make you do and say things you normally never would. Klonopin addiction holds you back, and can easily result in several physiological and psychological problems. The only way to end Klonopin addiction is to stop abusing the drug by getting help as fast as you recognize the signs of addiction.

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Learn the Immediate Side Effects of Klonopin Abuse

Klonopin can have some positive effects when used medically to treat seizures, panic attacks, and other medical or mental health conditions. However, its positive short-term effects are counteracted by negative ones, especially when you begin to take it for longer or in higher quantities than recommended (Klonopin abuse). As a result, you might experience immediate side effects such as sleepiness, dizziness, amnesia, confusion, poor motor coordination and, in some cases, severe allergic reactions (hives, breathing difficulties, etc.)

Since Klonopin slows motor functions, using too much of this drug can increase your risk of being in a motor accident, accidental falls, or drowning. One of the most severe side effects of Klonopin abuse is an overdose. This often means slow breathing, a slower heart rate, and pushing your essential bodily functions down to dangerously low levels. Your risk of overdose increases when you combine it with other benzodiazepines, opiates, or alcohol. Short-term risks quickly lead to long-term consequences.

Learn the Long-term Klonopin Abuse Side Effects

Long-term Klonopin abuse leads to increased mental health issues, and, according to studies, can increase the risk of suicidal behavior. Since anxiety and addiction tends to co-occur with depression, this increased risk should not be ignored. Whether you’re using Klonopin with or without a prescription, it’s crucial to carefully monitor your use and moods. You can also speak with a doctor to find out about other therapeutic alternatives.

Mania is another side effect of long-term Klonopin abuse. A sedative like Klonopin that affects brain chemistry can trigger a manic episode, with the main symptoms being excessive talking, increased physical energy, elevated mood, and/or associated delusions of grandeur. Abusing Klonopin for a prolonged period can cause brain damage, including disorientation and confusion, impaired judgment and thinking, problems with impulse control, poor reasoning and learning ability, memory damage, muscle weakness, mood swings, and hostile, erratic behavior.

Intervention for a Klonopin Addiction

When faced with a loved one’s addiction, an intervention can be the best method to get them to recognize and admit their problem. This is because addictive drugs can affect the user’s ability to think clearly or make good decisions. It’s quite common for people abusing Klonopin recreationally, or even those just using the drug to treat mental health issues, to become irate or defensive when approached about their use.

During an intervention, your loved one might claim that they aren’t required to justify their drug use to anyone, that they can stop whenever they want to, can use the drug responsibly, or that they absolutely need the drug, whether or not they have a prescription for it. However, as the intervention progresses, and you provide several examples of how their drug abuse is affecting their lives and the lives of the people they care about, their denial may stop.

At this point, your loved one might be willing to enter into treatment and begin the healing process. If you think your loved one needs intervention, specialists are available to make that happen. You can find experienced family mediators who can meet with you and help you connect with your loved one and get them into treatment.

Detox and Withdrawal from Klonopin

When you’re addicted to Klonopin, you can experience withdrawal symptoms, like anxiety and nausea, if you attempt to quit on your own. These symptoms occur because your brain has developed a dependence and can no longer function normally without the drug. Klonopin dependence may develop in as little as a month, and you may think it’s best to continue using it to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as muscle cramps, panic disorder, hallucinations, seizures, tremors, and psychosis.

Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be dangerous, and you should never attempt to quit “cold turkey”. Detoxification from Klonopin requires getting rid of the toxins in your body and managing the typical withdrawal symptoms which can appear as early as a few days after your last dose. Your regular dose is gradually tapered down to prevent complications during the process, and it can take months to complete detox if you’ve been abusing drugs for a long time.

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Treatment and the Next Steps for Klonopin Addiction

The process of treating any addiction is a complex and highly-individualized one that should only be carried out by qualified treatment experts. During the first step of the treatment process, detox, your supervising doctor will observe you’re vital signs for a period of time while your dose is slowly reduced to ensure a safe withdrawal. In some cases, longer-acting sedatives may be administered to manage any seizure activity that occurs. After detoxification, you can continue your recovery in an inpatient or residential rehab center or via outpatient treatment.

In rehabilitation, you will undergo frequent individual and group therapy sessions to address and resolve underlying issues that may have contributed to your addiction. Medications can also be provided as part of the treatment to mitigate your dependence. You can then begin an aftercare programme after you have completed your stay in rehab.

Aftercare is typically used as an outpatient programme, and you may be required to attend weekly drug treatment therapy. In addition, community-based organized events such as 12-step meetings, and other self-help groups, can be used to strengthen recovery efforts and as a method of relapse prevention.

Questions about Klonopin treatment

Are there effective Klonopin treatment programmes? 

Yes. Certified addiction treatment centers will have therapists, medical experts, counselors, and other support staff who can comprehensively treat Klonopin addiction. Ongoing research into drug abuse and addiction also continues to add to the effectiveness of treatment.

What treatment options work best?

Since Klonopin withdrawal can cause unpleasant and dangerous symptoms, such as seizures, trembling, and suicidal thoughts, tapering is essential to ease you off your dosage level, while reducing your risk of these symptoms. After you’ve completed detox, you can admit yourself to either an inpatient or outpatient rehab and undergo therapy to overcome the addiction completely.

Can I quit Klonopin on my own? 

It’s not recommended to try and quit Klonopin on your own. To increase the possibility of a successful detox, and improve your chances of lasting recovery, Klonopin abuse should be treated with the help of trained medical professionals.

Does a Klonopin treatment programme mean staying in a hospital? 

Outpatient treatment programmes are available for treating Klonopin abuse and addiction without having to stay in a hospital.

Will my insurance pay for Klonopin treatment? 

There are several insurance plans that can cover most, or even all, of the costs of treatment for Klonopin addiction. You should contact your insurance company, or speak with addiction counselors, to find out if the treatment method you choose is covered.

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