Klonopin, also known as Clonazepam, is a prescription benzodiazepine drug commonly used to treat panic attacks, anxiety and seizures. Although this drug serves a legitimate purpose in the medical field, its sedative and mood-enhancing qualities also make it highly addictive. It has been reported that 7.7% of the population have misused benzodiazepines like Klonopin in the UK, with many going on to develop Klonopin addiction.
If you are included in these statistics, Recovery Lighthouse can help you. With the aid of our team, you can overcome your compulsions and start living a healthier life.
What is Klonopin and why is it addictive?
Klonopin is an anxiolytic and anticonvulsant that works by influencing an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA’s main function is to reduce excitability in the central nervous system. When you take Klonopin, GABA activity is increased and the chemical messages in your brain slow down. This results in the calming and relaxing effects associated with this drug.
As well as slowing down the activity in your central nervous system, cells that regulate dopamine also shut down, leading to a surge of this feel-good neurotransmitter. With increased levels of dopamine, the reward centre in your brain is triggered. This means your brain links Klonopin to a pleasant experience and encourages you to use it again.
With continued use, your brain will start to become accustomed to the effects of Klonopin and you will find yourself needing higher doses to feel the same effects. Eventually, your brain will come to rely on Klonopin completely, leading you to compulsively seek out Klonopin and take it regardless of any detrimental side effects.
How do I know I’m addicted to Klonopin?
Klonopin addiction is difficult to identify, especially if you have been prescribed this drug by your doctor. Many people assume that they cannot become addicted to something given to them by their GP, but this is not true. It is therefore important to look out for signs of Klonopin addiction and take action immediately if you notice any of these in yourself.
Some of the signs of Klonopin addiction include:
- Needing more Klonopin to feel the same effects
- Taking Klonopin more frequently than prescribed
- Experiencing cravings for Klonopin
- Taking Klonopin even when you are not presenting symptoms for which it was prescribed
- Visiting numerous doctors, or ‘doctor shopping’ in order to get a prescription
- Exaggerating or lying about symptoms so that you can get a prescription
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Klonopin
- Feeling like you need Klonopin just to get through the day
- Trying and failing to stop taking Klonopin
If you are presenting any of these signs of Klonopin addiction, there is no shame in getting help. With Recovery Lighthouse, you can break free from the restraints of addiction and live a happier life.
Who is at risk of Klonopin addiction?
Klonopin addiction can affect people of all ages, genders and social classes, whether it is a prescribed medication from your doctor or taken recreationally. While Klonopin addiction can impact anyone, at any time in their life, there are certain risk factors that can increase the possibility of it developing.
Some risk factors include:
- Taking Klonopin outside the ways in which it was prescribed
- Taking Klonopin for more than 4 weeks
- Having a genetic predisposition to addiction
- Experiencing high levels of stress or inability to cope with stress
- Having past trauma or mental health issues
- Mixing Klonopin with other substances
Klonopin is a powerful drug and addiction to it can develop quickly. Understanding the risk factors that may contribute towards Klonopin addiction is essential for prevention and treatment.
The dangers of Klonopin
Though Klonopin has beneficial medical uses, it also comes at a cost of many potential side effects. Some of the side effects of Klonopin include:
- Feeling “heavy” in your limbs
- Difficulties with cognitive function
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgement
- Lack of coordination
- Reduced libido
- Increased risk of developing dementia
- Increased risk of mental health issues
The risk of overdose is also present when taking Klonopin. The signs of overdose include:
- Slurred speech
- Confusion and panic
- Losing consciousness
- Respiratory issues
If you suspect you or someone you know has overdosed on Klonopin, it is vital that you seek urgent medical help.
Another risk involved in taking Klonopin is polydrug use – this refers to the mixing of substances, usually during recreational use. This poses its own dangers and can even be lethal. Combining Klonopin with other depressants, such as alcohol, can shut down essential bodily functions like the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Similarly, mixing Klonopin with stimulants can also cause heart failure and cardiac arrest as the two opposing substances battle against each other, causing immense stress on the body.
How can I tell if a loved one is addicted to Klonopin?
If you are worried that a loved one may be struggling with an addiction to Klonopin, there are certain signs to look out for. These include:
- Decreased productivity at work or in day-to-day life
- Increased secrecy or isolation
- Significant changes in behaviour or mood
- Changes to sleep patterns
- Regularly appearing “lethargic” or “out of it,”
- Complaining about not being able to get a prescription for Klonopin
If you suspect your family member is addicted to Klonopin, encourage them to seek help as soon as possible. Even if they are not quite ready to face up to their problems, knowing a family member is there to support them in a non-judgemental capacity could mean everything to their future sobriety.
Klonopin addiction: what steps to take
Do you think you may have an addiction to Klonopin but don’t know what to do next? It can be difficult to know where to turn, but we have established some vital steps to take.
Admit you have a problem. Recognising you have an issue with Klonopin is the first and often most difficult step towards recovery. This requires you to be honest with yourself, ask the tough questions and commit to getting the help you need.
- Talk to a trusted person. Starting a dialogue and talking honestly about your Klonopin addiction will most likely open up an essential support channel and hold you accountable as you continue towards treatment.
- Research treatment options. Knowing what to expect from Klonopin addiction treatment and finding the right programme for your needs will ensure you have the best chance of success.
- Check-in to a rehab facility. Dedicate yourself fully to Klonopin addiction treatment, immerse yourself in rehab and put in the hard work required to overcome this condition.
- Attend aftercare programmes. Unfortunately there is no cure for Klonopin addiction – your success will depend on the amount of effort you put in both during and after rehab.
The road to recovery is never easy, and it will be full of ups and downs, but gaining freedom from Klonopin addiction makes it entirely worth it.
What treatment is available for Klonopin addiction?
Klonopin addiction is a complex, multifaceted condition that requires an all-encompassing approach when treating it. Not only will you need to battle the physical withdrawal symptoms through a detox period, but you will also have to face the psychological components through intensive therapy sessions.
Recovery Lighthouse offers an immersive inpatient rehab programme which focuses on both the physical and psychological aspects of your Klonopin addiction. Throughout the detox period, our staff will support you, ensure you remain comfortable and most importantly stay safe with a scheduled tapering plan to wean you off the drug.
Our facility also offers a wide range of holistic therapies, designed so that you may find which angle works best for you. With therapy, you will be able to delve down into the causes of your Klonopin addiction and work on relapse prevention techniques that will help you to maintain long-term sobriety.
Recovery Lighthouse is also proud to offer 1 year of free aftercare to all of our clients, including weekly group therapy sessions. This means that you can stay connected to a community, receive and give support and make sure you stay on track once you leave rehab.
Conquering Klonopin addiction is no easy feat, but the benefits and rewards of living a life free from its grip are significant. Those in recovery from this dependence can look forward to improved mental and physical health, as well as the ability to live life with greater control and stability. If you are ready to put Klonopin addiction behind you and start your treatment journey, contact our admissions team today.