The Effects of Clonazepam Use
Clonazepam, commonly known by its brand name, Klonopin, is a potent antianxiety drug. This drug is usually prescribed to treat panic attacks, agoraphobia and other anxiety disorders. Both physical and psychological dependency can easily develop in those taking this drug for a long period of time, or in doses that exceed that originally prescribed. If you or a loved one is struggling with clonazepam addiction, please call 1-800-943-0566 for help.Clonazepam Effects Quiz question 1
Short Term Effects of Clonazepam
Over the short term, clonazepam can have several positive therapeutic effects. Users initially may appreciate this drug’s anti-anxiety effects. The common short term effect of this drug is to relax you. Users experience the following:
- Relaxation and reduction of anxiety. Clonazepam works by interacting with GABA receptors in the brain. This inhibitory neurotransmitter modulates brain activity; some doctors theorize that anxiety is caused by an overabundance of brain activity. Thus, clonazepam influences the production of GABA and its ability to function in the brain to reduce anxiety. This results in patients initially feeling extremely calm.
- Mild euphoria. Many users initially feel a mild sense of euphoria when taking clonazepam. Although users may not be intending to get high on this medication, the sensation they feel while taking clonazepam is similar to the sensation of getting high on illegal drugs – this sensation can act to reinforce a rewarding drive, and lead to continued use of the drug.
- Drowsiness. Since clonazepam acts to relax you, it can cause drowsiness. Many users are unable to drive safely while on clonazepam, especially at the beginning of prescribed treatment.
Although patients may not be intending to do so, they can develop a dependency, or get addicted to these effects. They come to expect that the euphoria and relaxing effects are what the clonazepam high is like and look forward to experiencing it.Clonazepam Effects Quiz question 3
Side Effects of Clonazepam
There are a number of side effects of clonazepam, especially if you take it for a long period of time. Some patients report feeling lightheaded, dizzy or numb when taking clonazepam. Since this medication is a sedative / tranquilizer, it can cause patients to feel foggy-headed and have difficulty thinking. Some patients cannot (and should not) drive or operate machinery while on clonazepam. In addition, clonazepam may inhibit sex drive, creativity and other brain functions since it works by inhibiting electrical activity in the brain.
For these reasons, clonazepam should only be taken under the close supervision of a doctor, in doses and on a schedule prescribed by them. In addition, clonazepam is reported to increase suicidal ideation, or suicidal thoughts in some people taking the drug. If you feel depressed, restless or suicidal soon after starting clonazepam, you should immediately alert your doctor.
Long-Term Effects of Clonazepam
Clonazepam is not generally recommended for long-term use because it is known to be a habit-forming substance. Since this medication works by altering brain chemistry, the most serious long-term effect of clonazepam is that you become physically addicted to it.
Over time, the patient’s body tends to build tolerance to clonazepam. This means that the body adapts to the amount of clonazepam in its systems and the patient’s usual dose of clonazepam ceases to work. Patients who are in tolerance may experience anxiety, shortness of breath and other effects associated with physical withdrawal from the drug. They also need to take higher doses of clonazepam to get the relaxation and anti-anxiety effects they were getting when they originally began taking it.Clonazepam Effects Quiz question 4
Effects of Klonopin overdose
Effects of benzodiazepine overdose can include:
- Slurred speech
- Respiratory depression
Along with tolerance, patients often experience physical dependence on clonazepam. The body begins requiring the drug for normal function. Patients who do not continue to take clonazepam may get violently ill. Shakiness, shortness of breath, nausea and other physical effects may occur along with psychological effects such as mood swings, increased anxiety, agitation and depression if a person abruptly stops taking clonazepam. To help a Clonazepam addict, call our helpline at 1-800-943-0566 for more information.Clonazepam Effects Quiz question 5
Clonazepam Withdrawal Treatment
As with all benzodiazepine medication, withdrawal from clonazepam is difficult and potentially dangerous. Sudden cessation of long-term clonazepam use can lead to marked agitation, neural excitation and withdrawal seizure activity. People who want to stop taking clonazepam must withdraw from it under the supervision of a doctor. Usually, patients go to a detox center for a period of time to gradually withdraw from the drug. Doctors at the detox center may give patients other medications or treatments to help with the physical effects of withdrawal from this drug. Medical supervision may also be required to help with mood swings, hallucinations, depression and other psychological effects of withdrawing from clonazepam.Clonazepam Effects Quiz question 6
After withdrawal is complete, patients may attend an inpatient rehab center for further treatment. Rehab is usually focused on the psychological reasons for addiction. Patients may receive individual or group therapy sessions as well as encouragement and the opportunity to participate in support groups. Patients live at the rehab facility with other people who are learning how to live without addictive substances. Rehab may last anywhere from 30 days to a year, with 30 to 90 day programs being the most common.
The next step in treatment is to attend an outpatient aftercare program. Outpatient programs allow the patient to return home and resume his or her normal activities while continuing to get treatment. Patients return to the treatment center on a regular basis for therapy while in an outpatient program.
Some patients also choose to live in a sober living facility or halfway home after rehab. These homes give patients some freedom. Patients usually have to work during the day and be home by a certain hour at night. They also have to follow house rules and submit to random drug testing to prove they are clean.
If you or someone you love is addicted to clonazepam, don’t let the potential withdrawal effects scare you off from getting help. Please call 1-800-943-0566 to discuss your treatment options. It is possible to get off clonazepam and live a productive, happy and anxiety-free life without returning to the drug.