Klonopin is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat seizures, anxiety, and panic attacks by adjusting brain activity. Klonopin is intended for short-term relief and not long-term use, due to the fast pace at which the brain and body become tolerant to its effects. Since the body and brain can easily become so dependent on Klonopin, Klonopin withdrawal is a challenging and volatile experience that requires medical supervision.
Klonopin addiction comes with a host of side effects, the severity of which can vary depending on the individual and specific circumstances of Klonopin use. The side effects of Klonopin addiction include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Muscle aches
- Trouble falling and staying asleep; possible nightmares when asleep
- Drug cravings
Individuals with a prescription for Klonopin are susceptible to addiction, even if it is a low-dose prescription, due to the inherently addictive effects that Klonopin causes in the brain.
Repeated use of Klonopin causes an individual’s body and brain to adapt to the presence of Klonopin and the activity that it causes. This adaptation causes the body to rely on and depend on Klonopin use in order to feel calm and properly function.
Once an individual has developed a dependence on Klonopin, they will experience withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Detoxification is the process during which Klonopin, and other harmful chemicals, are flushed from the body. During the detoxification process, the brain and body must go through the difficult process of re-adapting to a Klonopin-free lifestyle. This challenging process of adaptation causes withdrawal symptoms as the body and brain negatively react to Klonopin deprivation.
Klonopin Withdrawal Process
Klonopin has a long half-life, taking two days or longer for the drug to leave the body’s bloodstream. This long half-life can make for a long detox and withdrawal process. It’s important to have realistic expectations about the withdrawal process in order to avoid the discouragement and disillusionment that can lead to relapse.
There are three phases of Klonopin withdrawal: early, acute and post-acute. The phases are experienced chronologically and are characterized by different withdrawal symptoms of varying degrees. Below are the symptoms and side effects that individuals may experience during each phase of Klonopin withdrawal:
- Early: During the early phase, individuals may experience panic attacks, anxiety, seizures and insomnia. These symptoms are normal, as they are the very symptoms that Klonopin is prescribed to treat.
- Acute: In this phase, withdrawal symptoms begin to expand beyond those which are normally experienced prior to Klonopin use. The acute phase is characterized by dizziness, headaches, tension, tremors, confusion, memory loss, hallucinations, a change in appetite, and seizures. These symptoms can be particularly unsettling.
- Post-Acute: This phase is not always clinically considered part of the Klonopin withdrawal process. However, it is still a useful categorization of the protracted bouts of depression, anxiety and anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure), that can last up to 2 years after the completion of the Klonopin detox process.
More effective withdrawal methods include:
- Decreasing drug dosage: With the guidance of a medical professional this method allows the client’s body to slowly adjust as he/she gradually tapers off Klonopin by decreasing dosage every two weeks. This gradual process helps prevent the more hazardous withdrawal symptoms that accompany the abrupt cessation of Klonopin use.
- Switching to a different medication: Switching to a different medication can help mitigate the severity of Klonopin withdrawal symptoms. Alternative medications, can help address the same issues that Klonopin is prescribed to treat while, at the same time, allowing Klonopin to be flushed from the body.
Get Help for Klonopin Addiction Today
Klonopin withdrawal can be a scary and dangerous experience, which is why it’s always recommended that the detoxification process is supervised by a medical professional. Individuals who need to detox from Klonopin should seek out reliable and safe detox programs that provide personalized, professional care.
At Futures, we provide extensive services, from detox to dual diagnosis treatment for clients with co-occurring conditions. Our personalized care is carefully designed meet the needs of individuals who struggle with Klonopin misuse. Call us today to discuss treatment needs and how we can help build the foundation for a healthy, Klonopin-free life.