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How to Help a Clonazepam Addict

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Help for Clonazepam Addicts

Clonazepam (brand name: Klonopin) is a prescription tranquilizer used to treat seizures and panic disorder. It falls within the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which are known for their sedating effects.

Taking clonazepam without following prescription guidelines can result in a number of risky consequences–including addiction, dependence, and dangerous dangerous secondary effects. In fact, nearly one million emergency department visits involved benzodiazepines (such as clonazepam) from 2005 to 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).

Fortunately, recovery is possible. Treatment for clonazepam abuse should be professionally monitored. It can take place in a residential facility or as part of an outpatient treatment program, depending on your needs.

Is It Addictive?

Clonazepam is classified as a Schedule IV substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This means that it has a known and accepted medical use, but still has a risk of physical or psychological dependence.

Combining benzodiazepines like clonazepam with alcohol or opioid pain relievers can increase your risk of serious health consequences by 24 to 55%.

Benzodiazepine drugs work by reducing activity throughout the brain, leading to reduced anxiety, sleepiness, and muscle relaxation when taken as prescribed. As a person uses increasing doses non-medically, their brain will eventually begin to need more and more of the drug to achieve the same “feel-good” results. This is called tolerance, and it is a primary building block of addiction.

Clonazepam is often abused along with other substances, most commonly alcohol or opioids. Such a combination of substances increases the risk of dangerous side effects due to the interaction of both drugs’ sedative or depressant actions.

In 2011, U.S. forensic laboratories found clonazepam involved in 10,686 cases, with increasing numbers through 2012. Abuse of this drug can have serious consequences, and proper treatment is an important step toward recovery.

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

When taken as prescribed, clonazepam can be a very therapeutic medication, with minimal health risks. When abused in higher or more frequent doses, however, the drug can have dangerous side effects.

Physical Signs and Symptoms

  • Problems with coordination.
  • Increased saliva production.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Blurred vision.

Psychological Signs and Symptoms

  • Panic attacks.
  • Anxiety.
  • Aggressive behavior.
  • Memory impairment.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

If you are experiencing any of the effects of clonazepam addiction, don’t wait to get treatment. Call to discuss your recovery options today. Calls are confidential and advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Am I Addicted to Clonazepam?

Clonazepam abuse and addiction can cause many different mental changes. Long-term users may find themselves suffering from psychological issues that they did not have to face before the addiction started:

  • Problems sustaining attention.
  • Problems with memory.
  • Abnormal outbursts of aggression.
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts.

Addiction also tends comes with the feeling of needing the drug. You may use clonazepam even when it is causing issues in your life, and you may neglect loved ones and your responsibilities in order to obtain and use the drug.

You may experience financial troubles and legal problems due to continued, uncontrolled use of the drug.

Addiction Treatment

Treatment for clonazepam addiction can take place in a residential or inpatient recovery facility or as part of an outpatient treatment program, but it will always begin with detoxification. Detox involves getting rid of all of the clonazepam in your body, and it is a necessary step in the treatment process.

sad-woman-sitting-on-ground-against-wall-clonazepam-depressionProfessional supervised detox programs will help manage withdrawal effects that may include:

  • Rebound anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Insomnia.
  • Sensory overload.
  • Sweating.
  • Muscle cramping.

Acute benzodiazepine withdrawal can be dangerous. In serious cases, seizures and extreme confusion paired with body tremors are possible, and will necessitate close medical supervision and pharmaceutical management throughout the process..

The next step is a formal treatment program. This will involve group and individual therapy and counseling sessions that will help you:

  • Discover the reasons and triggers for your addiction.
  • Learn proactive ways to prevent relapse.
  • Practice coping skills to help you effectively deal with future temptations.

If you feel like you need to completely escape your current environment in which you are using and put all of your energy into recovery, then an inpatient care program is the right choice for you. Inpatient programs involve staying for a predetermined amount of time at a treatment facility where you will receive around-the-clock care while living in a completely sober environment.

If you absolutely cannot take time away from home or work responsibilities, then an outpatient program may be the best option for you. Outpatient programs allow you to continue living at home while you work through treatment. You will check in with a treatment facility at predetermined intervals for medical check-ins and therapy sessions.

Once you have completed a formal treatment program, you have a number of options for post-rehab aftercare to continue getting support in your ongoing recovery efforts. Aftercare can involve:

Call Our Hotline Today

If you are concerned about your clonazepam use, or that of a loved one, don’t hesitate to seek help.

Call one of our addiction treatment support specialists at to discuss treatment options and how to find the right program.

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Amanda Lautieri is a Senior Web Content Editor at American Addiction Centers and an addiction content expert for DrugAbuse.com. She holds a bachelor's degree and has reviewed thousands of medical articles on substance abuse and addiction.
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