Warning Signs of Klonopin Abuse

klonopin abuse

A common misconception about drug misuse is that prescription drugs aren’t addictive or that they can’t be abused. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Many commonly prescribed drugs have addictive qualities that can lead to substance use disorder (SUD). The most frequently abused prescription drugs are opioids, such as OxyContin, but other prescriptions are risky as well. The risk is usually low when taken at the correct dose, frequency, and length of time, but tolerance and addiction often cause misuse. As an addictive prescription drug, Klonopin abuse can be dangerous and potentially fatal.

What Is Klonopin?

Klonopin is the brand name for a drug called Clonazepam, which is a type of benzodiazepine or prescription tranquilizer. Clonazepam is often prescribed to treat seizures caused by epilepsy and panic attacks. Those two things may seem very different, but they are linked to abnormal electrical signaling in the nervous system. Klonopin and other benzodiazepines work by suppressing nervous system activity, which reduces the symptoms. It’s sometimes even prescribed for chronic Restless Leg Syndrome. When consumed, Klonopin generally has a calming effect. However, there are some side effects to this, such as:

  • drowsiness
  • problems with coordination
  • brain fog
  • light-headedness/dizziness 
  • difficulty focusing
  • blurred vision 

When taken as directed, Klonopin is generally safe. It can be extremely helpful to people with epilepsy or panic disorder. However, like all benzodiazepines, there is a chance for developing tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Compared to other prescription tranquilizers, Klonopin is considered to be highly addictive. Because of this, it’s best to use Klonopin on a short-term basis while looking for other treatment options.

The Warning Signs of Klonopin Abuse

Klonopin, like other benzodiazepines, can be both chemically and psychologically addictive. That means that the brain can develop a dependence on the chemicals themselves as well as their effects. This is especially true for Clonazepam because of the high risk of tolerance. Tolerance happens when a certain amount of a substance no longer gives the desired effects or satisfies the brain’s craving for the chemical. When this happens, more and more of the substance is needed to get the high you want. This trend can easily lead to dependence, Klonopin abuse, and, in some cases, overdose. 

It’s important to know the warning signs of Klonopin abuse to protect you and the ones you love from SUD. Here are some of the signs and symptoms:

Mood Symptoms

  • Irritability 
  • Depression
  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety/Panic
  • Restlessness

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Continuing Klonopin use despite adverse side effects
  • Frequent fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • “Doctor Shopping” (visiting multiple doctors in hopes of getting another prescription)
  • Lack of engagement with friends, family, and hobbies
  • Continuing Klonopin use longer than prescribed

Physical Symptoms

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Seizures 
  • Sweating
  • Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  • Lack of coordination/motor impairment
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Tingling or numbness in arms and legs

Psychological Symptoms

  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Thinking about the drug often
  • Psychosis
  • Difficulty focusing/brain fog
  • Short-term memory loss

Klonopin Abuse Treatment at Laguna Shores

Because Klonopin is a prescription drug as opposed to an illicit drug (think heroin or cocaine), Klonopin addiction has to be treated differently. The first step in treating Klonopin dependence is often detox, which is the process of slowly weaning you off of the drug. Detox should always be done in a safe setting supervised by medical professionals. At Laguna Shores Recovery Center, we use a medication-assisted detox process to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Our staff is highly trained, as detox can be a painful and dangerous process. You should not attempt to detox from Klonopin or other substances without medical supervision. Quitting “cold turkey” is often ineffective and can lead to death in some cases. 

The detoxification process is individualized depending on the type of substance used, the strength of doses, and the frequency of use. Because of the discomfort and pain, you might go through in detox, we may administer medications to help ease symptoms. Intense cravings are also common during this process. Antivan, a much less addictive benzodiazepine, may be used to lessen cravings. Because Klonopin may have been prescribed to you to treat a medical condition, such as epilepsy, our team will make sure that a different medication is administered to you to treat that condition in place of Klonopin.

Detox is just the first step in recovery from Klonopin abuse and addiction. After detox, your Laguna Shores Recovery Center team will help you transition into the next stage. Depending on the severity of your SUD, you may go into residential treatment or outpatient treatment. Laguna Shores has options for both routes. Your recovery journey will probably also include some type of therapy, which is often crucial to a successful recovery. Whatever is best for you and your future, we can help you get on the right path.

Laguna Shores Recovery Center, located in Orange County, California, is committed to helping those facing SUD overcome the disease of addiction. We believe that addiction is caused by a variety of factors and is not just the fault of the user. One of those factors can be the addictive qualities of prescribed substances like opioids or benzodiazepines. Many people fall victim to SUD when they are just trying to manage the symptoms of a medical condition. With our medication-assisted detox process and evidence-based treatment options, we can help you fight against this disease and win. The first step is to reach out for help. To learn more, call us at (866) 774-1532.