Klonopin, also known as clonazepam or Rivotril, is a highly-addictive benzodiazepine drug that’s used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and convulsive disorders (sometimes referred to as epilepsy and/or seizures). Klonopin acts as a depressant or sedative on the central nervous system, producing increased amounts of the neurotransmitter GABA and slowing certain body functions to create feelings of relaxation. Intended for short-term use only, when Klonopin is used for more than 4 weeks, dependency often develops. Klonopin addiction can be deadly, so it is important for all those who use the drug to do so responsibly.
While anyone who takes Klonopin can become addicted to it, addiction is particularly common among those who use the drug for reduction of panic disorder or anxiety symptoms. People who take it for these reasons greatly enjoy the calming effects of Klonopin, and may begin to use more than the recommended dosage to keep achieving those effects.
At high dosages, Klonopin can have hypnotic effects, which many people also find pleasurable. In fact, some people find these effects some pleasurable that they will come to crave them, thus setting the stage for an addiction.
Causes of a Klonopin Addiction
When Klonopin is used for longer periods of time, typically more than 4 weeks, the chance of addiction is greater. Dependence develops as the body becomes used to increased amounts of GABA in the brain. Tolerance begins and increased amounts of Klonopin are needed to achieve the same euphoric feeling.
If Klonopin use begins as a recreational use, not prescribed by a physician, or is not taken as prescribed, the chance of addiction also increases. In these instances, the interaction with other medications being taken is not typically accounted for, and proper dosage amounts are not taken into consideration, leading to potentially dangerous interactions and increased risk of addiction.
Many people use Klonopin without becoming addicted to it. If Klonopin must be used, it is imperative that the patient get his or her prescription only from a qualified doctor who can prescribe the correct amount, and who can monitor and screen the patient for the signs of addiction and dependence while it’s being used. The chance of addiction can also be reduced by taking Klonopin exactly as described, including not mixing the medication with alcohol or certain other medications and never taking more than the recommended dosage.
Buying medications off the street or from pharmacies that provide medication without a prescription carries a high risk of addiction and presents many other dangers as well. Thus, these activities are not recommended.
How to Know if It’s a Klonopin Addiction
It can often be difficult to tell if a loved one is suffering from Klonopin addiction, especially if he or she has been prescribed the medication for legitimate purposes. However, there are some signs of Klonopin abuse and/or addiction to be mindful of. These include:
- Marked drowsiness on a regular basis
- Sleep problems
- Decreased balance and coordination
- Complaints of vision changes
- Memory loss
- Changes in mood
- Mental confusion
The Dangers of Klonopin Addiction
A Klonopin addiction can seriously and negatively impact a person’s quality of life. Furthermore, many dangerous complications are possible when a person is abusing Klonopin. In addition to the dangerous potential threats of overdose and subsequent death, other risks are:
- Serious problems with memory
- Impaired brain functioning
- Coma (when combined with alcohol)
Comprehensive Klonopin Addiction Treatment
If you believe that someone you know is abusing Klonopin, it is important to seek help for him or her as soon as possible. Here at Futures Recovery Healthcare, we provide in-depth addiction treatment services and a comprehensive program that addresses underlying issues and co-occurring mental health symptoms as well. Contact us today to learn how we can help.