Side Effects of Klonopin and Treatment for Klonopin Abuse
Klonopin is widely prescribed to treat panic disorder, seizures, and epilepsy. When used for a long period, Klonopin can lead to physical dependence and addiction.
Continue reading to learn more about the side effects of Klonopin and about how Klonopin abuse can be safely and effectively treated at a drug rehab facility.
What Is Klonopin?
Klonopin is a brand-name medication for clonazepam. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which are sedatives that slow down the central nervous system.
Klonopin decreases abnormal electrical activity in the brain that contributes to anxiety and seizures. According to research from the National Library of Medicine, Klonopin may also be used to treat restless legs syndrome, insomnia, acute mania, and tardive dyskinesia (a nervous system condition caused by long-term use of psychiatric drugs).
Klonopin is classified as a Schedule IV substance under the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which means it has a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. However, anyone who misuses Klonopin or uses this drug long-term can become dependent and addicted and experience a range of unpleasant symptoms when trying to quit.
Those who need help discontinuing Klonopin have the option to receive professional treatment in a drug detox program that focuses on minimizing symptoms and making withdrawal as comfortable as possible.
What Are the Side Effects of Klonopin?
Benzodiazepines, including Klonopin, all work similarly in the way they slow the central nervous system to produce feelings of calm and relaxation. These effects are what make these drugs useful for treating anxiety, panic, insomnia, and seizures.
Klonopin also produces a wide range of side effects, the most common of which are:
- Lethargy (lack of energy, motivation, and enthusiasm)
- Impaired balance and coordination
Side effects of Klonopin that are less common, occasional, and rare include:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of sexual libido
- Increased saliva production
- Muscle and joint pain
- Short-term memory loss
- Personality changes
- Behavioral problems
- Slurred speech
- Frequent urination
Why Do People Abuse Klonopin?
Klonopin abuse can also be referred to as prescription drug misuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drug misuse is defined as using a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed. This could mean using Klonopin that was prescribed to someone else, crushing and snorting Klonopin instead of swallowing the tablet with water, using Klonopin to get high, or taking extra Klonopin doses to experience heightened relaxation.
Klonopin is a habit-forming drug that produces pleasurable effects for those who have an anxiety disorder or insomnia. People may misuse Klonopin to avoid experiencing any symptoms of those health conditions or because using high doses makes them feel extremely happy and euphoric. Some people may also misuse Klonopin to escape boredom or sadness or to numb symptoms of depression, chronic pain, and other health issues.
How Is Klonopin Abuse Treated?
Klonopin abuse can be safely and effectively treated with medically assisted detox and behavioral therapy in an addiction treatment program. Both of these treatments are widely available at drug and alcohol rehab centers.
Klonopin detox is a treatment that manages physical dependence on Klonopin, or Klonopin withdrawal syndrome. Abrupt discontinuation of Klonopin is dangerous and not recommended—especially after long-term use due to the way it can trigger seizures.
Klonopin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Tremors and shaking
The above withdrawal symptoms may last anywhere between several weeks and 12 months or longer. However, medically assisted detox aims to reduce and resolve these symptoms more quickly using a tapering schedule. With tapering, a doctor reduces a patient’s Klonopin dosage gradually over time to minimize withdrawal symptoms and to help patients feel more comfortable until they are no longer using the medication.
Many patients diagnosed with Klonopin abuse or addiction end up transitioning into a Klonopin rehab program after completing detox. At Klonopin rehab, patients receive various behavioral therapies that help them change harmful behaviors and beliefs related to drug abuse and addiction.
The goal of Klonopin rehab is to identify and address the root causes of a patient’s addiction. Therefore, some patients may receive different therapies than others. For example, if a patient initially started abusing Klonopin to relieve symptoms of depression, that patient may receive dual-diagnosis therapy, which treats addiction and any comorbid mental health disorders.
Other behavioral therapies available at drug and alcohol rehab facilities include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Helps patients recognize and change harmful behaviors related to addiction.
- Dialectical behavior therapy: Helps patients reduce dangerous self-harm behaviors.
- Contingency management: Rewards patients when they demonstrate positive behaviors, such as abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
- Support group therapy (such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous): Gives patients a safe, judgment-free space to discuss addiction-related experiences with peers.
- Family behavior therapy: Helps patients improve family dynamics.
- Relapse prevention training: Teaches patients essential skills for managing stress and other triggers to prevent relapse.
- Substance abuse education: Teaches patients about the risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse and about potential causes.
- Art therapy, a recreational therapy: Allows patients to express their emotions and thoughts surrounding trauma and addiction through various art forms.
- Music therapy, a recreational therapy: Allows patients to explore and share their feelings through songwriting, singing, interpreting lyrics, and performing music.
Many addiction treatment centers offer different levels of care to accommodate patients at every stage of recovery. Residential treatment programs offer the highest level of care, as they provide 24-hour medical support and supervision and help patients establish new routines that don’t involve drug use.
Partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs are more flexible than residential programs. They involve fewer hours of therapy, and patients can live at home to manage their work, school, and family lives.
If you need help fighting Klonopin abuse, please understand that an addiction treatment center can safely guide you through detox and develop a customized rehab program for you that promotes long-term recovery. Contact The Haven Detox today for help finding treatment options.