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Addicted to Klonopin: Red Flags and Recovery Options


Klonopin is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Their job is to affect the chemicals in the brain that promote sleep and produce calm, peaceful feelings. Klonopin (generically known as Clonazepam) is prescribed to treat panic attacks, anxiety, and to control seizures. It can be highly effective when taken precisely as directed and is widely prescribed. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that nearly 24 million Klonopin prescriptions were written in the United States alone in 2015—an increase of 12 million from just ten years prior. 

Because it is so widely distributed, misuse of Klonopin is not limited to those to whom it was prescribed. It is easily shared amongst friends and family members—often with good intentions, but without the knowledge of how easily addictive it can be. Dependency is often unintended, as the user’s body becomes increasingly tolerant of the drug and over time will require larger and more frequent doses to achieve the same results.

As such, if you or a loved one are prescribed this drug, it is important to know—and keep an eye out for—common warning signs that may indicate that you are addicted to Klonopin. And, if you believe this may already be the case, it is equally vital to recognize the important role professional addiction help can play in recovering from prescription drug abuse.

What are the Risks of Klonopin Abuse?

Unlike many other recreationally used drugs, the “high” associated with taking a large dose of Klonopin is more of a sedative sensation. Breathing and mental processing are significantly slowed, which at first may feel relaxing but may all too easily cause blackouts, or worse.

Short term effects of Klonopin abuse may include a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms, including (but not limited to):

Short-Term Physiological Effects

Short-Term Psychological Effects

  • Swelling around the face, including around the tongue and eyes
  • Shivering or sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or dizziness
  • Blood in the urine
  • Tunnel vision
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Nervousness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disorientation
  • Suicidal thoughts

Especially if taken in great doses or abused for an extended period of time, Klonopin can also cause various long-term effects that are not so easy to dispel, such as:

Long-Term Physiological Effects

Long-Term Psychological Effects

  • Decreased sensory perception
  • Decreased spatial awareness
  • Compromised immune system
  • Insomnia, hypersomnia, or other sleep difficulties
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Slower reasoning
  • Deteriorated memory
  • Weakened judgment and lack of restraint
  • Poor information processing
  • Heightened risk of mood disorders
  • Damaged interpersonal relationships
  • Financial, academic, and/or professional difficulties

Additionally, Klonopin carries the risk of overdose. The slowed functioning of the central nervous system can result in a coma or even death. Doctors warn that taking Klonopin in combination with alcohol, narcotics, hallucinogens, or other depressants exponentially increases the risk of overdosing.

If you or your loved one have experienced any of the above as a result of your Klonopin use, it may be time to seek professional help.

Quitting Klonopin Safely with Medically-Supervised Detox

Because Klonopin is so highly addictive, recreational users may experience severe and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, including seizures, panic, anxiety, and hallucinations, upon attempting to quit. These effects may last for weeks or even months, and in some cases may require urgent medical attention.

As such, it is extremely important not to attempt to detox at home. Rather, if you or a loved one are addicted to Klonopin, look for an addiction treatment facility that includes a dedicated detox center. Here, with the help of trained addiction specialists, you will be able to safely taper off of Klonopin and minimize its withdrawal effects. Moreover, this will give you 24/7 access to medical support should any of your symptoms require urgent care.

Detoxing at an addiction treatment center, as opposed to a general hospital, offers one more benefit as well: the ability to follow up detox with an individualized addiction treatment plan.

The Benefits of Addiction Treatment for Klonopin Abuse

Becoming addicted to Klonopin is all too easy, while recovery may seem all too difficult a journey to embark on—especially when you haven’t yet taken the first step. However, for you or your loved one to truly get well, it is crucial to ensure that you can not only quit using Klonopin safely but also stay off of Klonopin and other addictive substances in the future.

A comprehensive treatment plan, crafted uniquely for you by clinicians with years of experience helping others like you navigate the road to recovery, will help you better understand both the roots of your addiction and how you can address them to heal. Then, you will learn coping skills and other techniques to minimize cravings, avoid triggers, and increase resilience. 

All of these things together will give you the means necessary to put your addiction in the past and create a future that no longer revolves around use.

New Choices Treatment Centers is a San Antonio-based addiction treatment facility that offers safe detox and compassionate care for a wide range of substance abuse disorders. If you believe you or a loved one may be addicted to Klonopin, call us at (726) 888-7003 or send us a message today to find out more about your recovery options.