While much of the attention in recent years has focused on the misuse and addiction of opioids, several other prescription medications are used and abused in ways other than directed daily. One of those is Klonopin.
Klonopin addiction is just as significant as opioid addiction, especially in the state of Arizona. In this blog, we will explore what Klonopin is, the signs of addiction, its addictive nature, and how you can get the Klonopin addiction treatment you need at Granite Mountain.
What is Klonopin?
Before we look at the addictive nature of Klonopin, it’s first important to understand what it is and what its legitimate medical use is.
Klonopin, the brand name for clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine (benzo), commonly prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders, as well as certain types of seizures. As a benzo, Klonopin acts as a central nervous system depressant. The drug enhances the effects of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps calm excessive electrical nerve activity in the brain. While Klonopin serves a valuable medical purpose, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential for addiction and the importance of seeking benzo addiction treatment when necessary.
Signs and Symptoms of Klonopin Addiction
While many people do take Klonopin for legitimate, medical reasons, many also take the drug recreationally. This can lead to an increased risk of developing an addiction to Klonopin. Even some that only take it for legitimate medical uses and only as medically directed find themselves becoming dependent on the drug, in some cases even to the point where it leads to a Klonopin addiction.
That’s why it is so important to know the signs and symptoms of Klonopin addiction whether you are taking the drug or someone you know is. By knowing the signs and symptoms, should you or someone you know start displaying them, you can seek out help right away.
Common signs and symptoms of Klonopin addiction include:
- Impaired coordination
- Slurred speech
- Impaired judgment
- Mood swings
- Increased anxiety
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Struggling at work or school
- No longer enjoying previously enjoyed activities
- Social withdrawal
- Lying about or hiding your Klonopin use
- Hiding empty pill bottles or drug paraphernalia
- Doctor shopping (Going to multiple doctors for prescriptions)
How Addictive is Klonopin?
Klonopin, like other benzodiazepines, can be highly addictive, especially when used for an extended period. As we touched on above, while this applies to those taking the drug recreationally, it also applies to those taking it with a prescription and only as medically directed. As is the case with many other substances of abuse, the higher the dosage you take, the greater your risk of developing a dependency and addiction to the substance as well.
For Klonopin specifically, its addictive principles stem from the impact the drug has on the brain’s reward system. As the brain continues to become more reliant on these pleasurable feelings, it begins to crave Klonopin, ultimately requiring more and more of it to reach its desired effects.
Causes and Risk Factors for Klonopin Addiction
There are several different reasons why a person may become addicted to Klonopin. Knowing some of these reasons can better help prevent the development of a Klonopin addiction.
Some of the most common causes of Flonopin addiction include:
- Prescription misuse – Taking Klonopin in ways other than prescribed by a medical professional.
- Self-medication – Using Klonopin to cope with stress, anxiety, or other emotional issues.
- Genetic factors – A family history of substance abuse may increase the susceptibility to addiction.
There are also several risk factors to keep in mind when determining if someone is at a greater risk of developing a Klonopin addiction. Those risk factors include:
- History of substance abuse – Individuals with a history of addiction are at a higher risk. They are also at greater risk if there is a history of addiction in their family.
- Mental health disorders – Co-occurring conditions such as depression or PTSD.
- Environmental factors – High-stress environments or exposure to substance abuse.
Klonopin Withdrawl Management and Overdose
When someone who has been taking Klonopin for an extended time stops taking the drug abruptly, it can lead to uncomfortable and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawals often occur as a result of the brain rebelling against the rest of the body because it can no longer get the substance that it desires.
That’s why, when the time comes when you decide to no longer take Klonopin you should alert either your primary care physician or a treatment professional. They will either recommend a tapering program or put you on a medication management program where they will monitor your symptoms and prescribe any medications to treat or alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms.
Common withdrawal symptoms associated with Klonopin include:
- Increased body temperature
- Elevated heart rate
- Panic attacks
In some cases, Klonopin abuse can lead to overdose, a potentially life-threatening situation. Symptoms of Klonopin overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, slowed or stopped breathing, and loss of consciousness. If you or someone you know is experiencing a Klonopin addiction, call 911 immediately.
Klonopin Addiction Treatment
It’s important to remember that Klonopin addiction is treatable. Treatment typically involves a combination of medical, therapeutic, and supportive interventions to address the physical and psychological aspects of addiction, such as:
- Detox – Done before treatment starts, Medical detoxing is done to rid the body of all the harmful substances that are in it as well as safely monitor withdrawal symptoms.
- Treatment – Depending on your needs, many treatment centers offer inpatient program, outpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization programs
- Support groups – Support groups offer a sense of community during and after the treatment process
Recover From Klonopin Addiction at Granite Mountain
Whether it was the result of recreational use or medical use, Klonopin addiction is treatable, but only if you seek out treatment. At Granite Mountain, we offer many treatment options not just for those suffering from Klonopin addiction, but substance addiction of any kind.
For more information on our treatment programs, or to get started on the road to recovery, contact us today.