Klonopin, also known by its street names k-pins, k-cuts and super Valium, is a medication prescribed to treat panic disorder and certain types of seizures. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, and works by binding to GABA receptors in the brain. This reduces nerve excitability, producing a calming effect.
The FDA classifies this drug as a Schedule IV controlled substance, meaning it has the potential for abuse and dependence. Of all the benzos, Klonopin and Xanax are linked to the highest number of abuse-related emergency room admissions, so the dangers of this drug are well-established.
As a central nervous system depressant, Klonopin slows down activity in the brain. The “high” experienced by Klonopin users is a relaxing and sometimes euphoric feeling. Some individuals abuse or misuse this drug to sleep, help with uneasiness in social settings or escape from stressful or anxiety-inducing situations.
Klonopin affects both the body and mind. Physically, it causes sleepiness and calms the body. Mentally, it can help someone feel mellow. However, it is also associated with memory loss, irritability and vivid dreams.
Klonopin is available as both a tablet to be swallowed whole or as a tablet that dissolves on the tongue. The doses for these forms range from 0.125 mg to 2 mg. There is no standard amount that can produce a “high” across the board, as the amount of Klonopin it takes to feel “high” will depend on a variety of factors, including age and weight. An elderly person or a person small in size will require a lesser amount to feel calm and euphoric.
Also, if an individual is drinking alcohol or using other medications like opioids, the ability to experience a “high” is dramatically intensified. However, doing this is more likely to lead to overdose and death.
Sometimes, individuals will crush a regular Klonopin tablet and snort it. This yields a quicker effect or “high” than swallowing the tablet whole. By increasing the onset of action of Klonopin, the potential for its abuse is increased. When a drug is snorted through the nose, it works more quickly but doesn’t last as long. This causes an individual to seek the drug out more, leading to tolerance being developed more rapidly, and the risk for addiction and overdose rises.
People who use benzodiazepines like Klonopin describe a euphoric feeling when taking the drug. Some describe an enhanced feeling of positivity and say it helped them forget their problems. Others describe the calming and sedating nature of these types of drugs.
Benzos, including Klonopin, may also produce a zombie-like state, which is characterized by slow or difficult movement, slowed thoughts and a delay in physical or emotional response time. They may feel off-balance and experience difficulty with coordination.
Similar to the amount of Klonopin it takes to get “high,” how long it lasts will depend on factors like age, weight, dose and simultaneous alcohol or drug use. The maximum blood concentration of Klonopin is reached within one to four hours, so this is typically the timeframe when the psychoactive effects of Klonopin are felt. However, the effects may be seen as soon as 20 minutes because it is quickly absorbed in the body. Also, the drug is still present in the body after four hours, so the “high” may be felt for longer than this.
Mixing Klonopin and alcohol is dangerous because both are central nervous system depressants. Combining these two substances can result in extreme sedation, slowed respiration, low blood pressure, overdose and death.
In fact, alcohol was involved in 25% of benzodiazepine-related emergency room visits and 20% of benzodiazepine-related emergency room deaths. Mixing Klonopin and alcohol to increase a high can have severe and deadly consequences.
Overdose may occur when Klonopin is used alone or in combination with other drugs, such as opioids or alcohol. Symptoms associated with a Klonopin overdose include:
See Related: Klonopin Overdose
The misuse or abuse of Klonopin long-term is associated with numerous risks and side effects. Long-term Klonopin use can cause cognitive impairment, including memory loss, altered reasoning and judgment, reduced ability to make decisions and difficulty focusing. It also puts the individual at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers discovered that people on a benzodiazepine for more than six months had an 84% greater risk for Alzheimer’s compared to those who didn’t use a benzodiazepine.
Klonopin use can lead to tolerance, meaning a higher dose is required to produce the same effect, and dependence, where the body can’t function normally without the drug. If the drug is stopped abruptly, the person will experience painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including:
If Klonopin is used long-term, there is a greater risk of developing an addiction to it, which can devastate a person’s relationships, family, and work obligations. The likelihood of an overdose is increased, which can be fatal. If addiction occurs, an individual should seek help from a licensed rehabilitation facility. The Recovery Village is an accredited rehab center that offers anyone struggling with Klonopin addiction a chance for a healthier life on the path to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about Klonopin addiction treatment and get started.
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