What is Klonopin?
Klonopin, also known as clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine that can be found in either a swallowable tablet or a tablet that dissolves under your tongue.
It is effective in treating panic disorders, general anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety disorder affects 15 million adults in the United States, while general anxiety disorder affects around 6.8 million adults.
Some people begin using Klonopin as prescribed by their doctor, but others may find it on the street to self-medicate.
This is dangerous, and Klonopin should only be used as prescribed by a doctor.
If you have been prescribed Klonopin, then you must understand how it works and the risks involved.
If you have been self-medicating with Klonopin, then it is also a good idea to understand the risks that could lead to Klonopin abuse.
Who Should Not Take Klonopin?
Some people with medical conditions or belong to high-risk categories for Klonopin abuse should not take this medication.
If you belong to one of the following categories, you should not take this prescription drug:
- Under the age of 18
- History of sensitivity to benzodiazepines
- Gamily history of Klonopin abuse
- Liver or kidney disease
- Have been diagnosed with acute narrow-angle glaucoma
- Have been diagnosed with hepatic porphyria
Effects and Abuse
The most adverse effects people feel when taking Klonopin are extreme tiredness, dizziness, and cognitive impairment.
If you are older, you have a higher chance of running into these side effects.
Additionally, the higher your dose, the higher the risk you have for side effects.
The most common side effects of Klonopin include:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in sex drive
- Coordination problems
- Respiratory problems
- Needing to urinate more often
- Larger amount of saliva production
- Pain in muscles or joints
More serious side effects can also happen when taking Klonopin.
These serious side effects increase when combining Klonopin with alcohol, illicit drugs, or opioid pain killers.
These typically include:
- Extreme sleepiness
- Loss of consciousness
- Trouble breathing
- Rashes or hives
- Swelling of the face, throat, and eyes
There are both physical and psychological risks when taking Klonopin.
This is primarily the risk of dependency, which can occur after taking Klonopin daily for only two weeks. After your body becomes dependent on Klonopin, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the drug suddenly.
Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Stomach pains
- Severe sweating
- Suicidal thoughts
You Must Taper Your Dose to Discontinue
If you want to stop using Klonopin, you will need to taper down your dose slowly. This should be done while supervised by a doctor to avoid painful withdrawal symptoms as much as possible.
If you suddenly stop using Klonopin, you are also at risk for more dangerous side effects such as seizures.
Whether you use Klonopin for anxiety or have developed an addiction to it, you must discontinue safely; or risk health complications.
Your Coordination Might Be Affected
When you first start taking Klonopin, you will need to avoid certain activities, such as driving. This is because it can be dangerous to you and others while your body gets used to the medication.
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you have adjusted to your medication.
You Might Lose Interest in Life
Because Klonopin can cause personality changes, mood swings, and even depression, it might create a lack of motivation for life.
This means you might be at risk of feeling numb and no longer enjoy the same relationships, hobbies, or pastimes you did before.
Drug Interactions and Klonopin
If you are taking Klonopin, you should not mix it with alcohol or opioid medication. This can increase fatal side effects. Central nervous system depressants can interact with Klonopin. They will change the way Klonopin works and cause serious side effects.
Common central nervous system depressants that can cause interactions with Klonopin include:
- Sleeping pills
- Mood stabilizers
- Muscle relaxants
- Seizure medication
- Pain medications
How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed?
Excessive anxiety and worry that occurs for many days out of a six-month period are symptoms of different types of anxiety disorders.
If excessive worry affects work or school performance and causes extreme fatigue or irritability, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Typically, you must have these symptoms for more days than not out of the last six months, making it a long process to diagnose.
What is the Difference Between Xanax and Klonopin?
Although both Klonopin and Xanax are benzodiazepines that are used to treat anxiety, they are different drugs.
Klonopin is used to treat seizure disorders, while Xanax is used to treat panic attacks. It is good to note that Klonopin also stays in the body longer than Xanax. The half-life for Xanax is between 6 to 25 hours, while Klonopin has a half-life of 22 to 54 hours.
Although using Xanax might help one person, it may bring another person into a depression.
The same goes for Klonopin. Although you may have a friend prescribed Klonopin for their anxiety, it does not mean that it will work for you.
When to Seek Treatment for Klonopin Abuse?
If you notice any of the following behaviors in yourself or someone you love, seek treatment immediately:
- Drug-seeking behaviors: Might include purchasing Klonopin illegally when your prescription runs out or stealing money to pay for more Klonopin
- Self-destructive behaviors: Can be anything from offering prostitution for money to buy Klonopin or engaging in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or driving while under the influence
- Slurred speech: Being out of control and unable to speak normally while on Klonopin is a sign you should seek treatment for Klonopin abuse
- Constant drowsiness: The inability to stay awake during the day
- Memory issues: Long-term blackouts are common during long periods of Klonopin abuse that can last for multiple weeks, causing you to lose your memory for long periods of time
- Doctor shopping: Going to multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions to obtain more Klonopin
- Hallucinations or paranoia: This is an intense sign of extreme Klonopin abuse and should not be taken lightly
Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?
We have a team of financial professionals who provide a free insurance verification.
We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment to work for you and your financial situation.
How to Get Help
North Jersey Recovery Center is here for you.
Admitting you need help for your Klonopin abuse and use disorder is the first step.
Call us today, so we can start putting your treatment plan together with you.