The nature of pharmaceuticals, especially those like Klonopin, is that while some find relief and have no ill effects, others will abuse it for a high. While benzodiazepines like Klonopin can help treat multiple medical conditions, they can also very quickly lead to an addiction as the body builds up a tolerance and the individual keeps seeking the high.
What Is Klonopin?
Klonopin is a medication available by prescription only for epilepsy in adults and children. It is also used to treat panic disorders, like agoraphobia, in adults. It’s in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, or benzos. Benzos are the most commonly prescribed drug in the world, especially to treat anxiety, due to their relative safety.
Klonopin is a brand name of clonazepam, a potent benzodiazepine with a long half-life. While some believe it’s a relatively safe medication, addiction specialists are finding that it’s highly abused on the street, whether it’s obtained legally or through the black market.
Klonopin’s Side Effects
Klonopin should not be combined with alcohol or other drugs not prescribed by your physician to work in tandem with Klonopin.
Its most common side effects include:
- Coordination problems
- Memory issues
When not taken as prescribed, these effects are intensified.
How Klonopin Is Abused
Klonopin abuse usually involves taking it orally or crushing the tablets to snort it. While many take Klonopin illicitly, others start with a legitimate Klonopin prescription and misuse the substance by taking more than prescribed or more frequently than prescribed. It can also be a drug of choice for people addicted to heroin or cocaine when they don’t have access to their typical source of getting high.
Those abusing Klonopin can obtain it in a number of different ways, both legally and illegally, including visiting several different doctors for prescriptions, forging prescriptions or buying it off the street.
Symptoms and Signs of Abuse
Benzodiazepine abuse in general often leads to side effects like amnesia, hostility, irritability and vivid dreams. Physically, abusing Klonopin dulls the central nervous system and can lead to dilated pupils, shallow respiration, an irregular pulse, coma or death. The effects of a Klonopin high should be taken seriously. Its side effects can be deadly, especially if combined with other drugs or alcohol.
If your loved one is becoming irritable, secretive and generally changing their behavior, it could be a sign of addiction. While addiction is a serious medical condition, there is hope: addiction treatment is available.
Treatment for Klonopin Addiction
Addiction is powerful, and Klonopin is a powerful drug. Recovery is an ongoing process, and due to the nature of clonazepam, withdrawal needs to be carefully monitored in a medical detox.
A facility with a holistic, well-rounded program helps those in recovery to create coping techniques and learn how to function without the crutch of Klonopin. This holistic approach includes medication management, psychotherapy, a healing diet and more. After moving through multiple levels of care, a strong aftercare program helps patients reenter their lives and learn how to navigate daily life while in recovery.
If you or your loved one is struggling with a Klonopin addiction, contact The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake. Our licensed therapists and addiction specialists can get you started on the path to recovery.
Bang, F; Birket-Smith, E; Mikkelsen, B. “Clonazepam in the treatment of epilepsy. A clinical long-term follow-up study.” Epilepsia, September 17, 1976. Accessed August 27, 2021.
Basit, Hajira; Kahwaji, Chadi. “Clonazepam.” StatPearls Publishing, January 2021. Accessed August 30, 2021.
DeVane, C; Ware, M; Lydiard, R. “Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and treatment issues of benzodiazepines: alprazolam, adinazolam, and clonazepam.” Psychopharmacology Bulletin, April 1991. Accessed August 28, 2021.
Griffin, Charles; Kaye, Adam; Bueno, Franklin; Kaye, Alan. “Benzodiazepine Pharmacology and Central Nervous System–Mediated Effects.” The Ochsner Journal, 2013. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Johnson, Brian. “Addiction: Part I. Benzodiazepines—Side Effects, Abuse Risk and Alternatives.” American Family Physician, April 1, 2000. Accessed August 28, 2021.