How to Get Through Dangerous Klonopin Withdrawal

Dangers of Klonopin Withdrawal 

Klonopin withdrawal

Table of Contents

Many people have become addicted to using Klonopin while carrying out their normal activities like sleeping, relaxing, and simply being in a good mood. However, these individuals may begin to feel adverse symptoms when they try to stop using Klonopin all at onceFind out about the dangers of Klonopin withdrawal and how you can treat symptoms associated with it. 

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin1 is a medication used for treating insomnia and anxiety. It is sometimes used as an off-label second-line treatment for people with social anxiety disorder. Klonopin comes in the form of a tablet that you can take with water. It is produced in varying weights of 2 mg, 1 mg, and 0.5 mg. 

Klonopin can be addictive if used for an extended period. It may cause one to develop a physical dependence on the drug and lead to withdrawal symptoms if someone decides to quit taking the drug or reduce the dosage. Symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal occur after several weeks of regular use. The symptoms may last for several days to several weeks or longer in some cases. You may begin to feel the symptoms a few hours after taking the drugs. 

Drug Class and Schedule

According to the Controlled Substance Act2, Klonopin is under the class benzodiazepine, and it is a Schedule IV drug. A Schedule IV drug is defined as a substance or drug with low abuse potential relative to those substances or drugs classified as Schedule III. Schedule IV drugs are substances that are currently accepted for use as a medication in the United States. Abuse of Schedule IV drugs like Klonopin may cause psychological or physical dependence relative to Schedule III classified drugs.

Klonopin Street Names

Klonopin, or clonazepam as it is also called, has several street names which are used to make the drug inconspicuous. They are secret names that some Clonazepam abusers used to conceal the identity of the drug during discussions. Some of the street names3 of Klonopin include benzos, a short form of benzodiazepine. Other street names include:

  • KPin
  • Tranks (short for tranquilizers)
  • Downers (used to refer to CNS depressants)
  • Pin (Short for Klonopin)
  • Super Valium (to show the similar effects of Valium)

What Does Klonopin Treat?

Klonopin, as we have earlier mentioned, can be used as a medication for the following health issues including:

  • Panic Attacks: Clonazepam is very efficient in treating patients with panic attacks. It increases4 the gamma-aminobutyric acid level responsible for sending signals through the body’s central nervous system. Increased GABA activity helps to reduce panic attacks.
  • Anxiety: Clonazepam4 is used to treat people with social anxiety disorder. It helps in reducing abnormal electrical activity in your brain. Klonopin side effects on symptoms of anxiety are quickly experienced. However, it may take longer to experience the benefits of the medication.
  • Sleep Disorders: Clonazepam is an effective treatment for patients with sleep disorders. It is5 known to relieve symptoms that occur in about 90% of patients with REM sleep behavior disorder, and it offers a quick response rate after usage.
  • Seizures: Klonopin works to treat seizures in the same way it does to treat panic attacks. The drug increases GABA activity in the body, which helps to calm the nerves and reduce instances of seizures.
  • Alcohol Withdrawal: Klonopin is used to treat patients with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It6 helps prevent the symptoms from progressing, which makes it highly effective for use as a medication for alcohol withdrawal.

Is Klonopin Safe?

The safety of Klonopin use in treating patients with panic attacks, sleep disorders, seizures, anxiety, and alcohol withdrawal has been outlined in the FDA regulations and warnings for its use. According to the FDA7, concomitant usage of Klonopin with opioids may cause respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, or in some cases, death. It may also cause psychological and physical dependence after a dosage change.

People with suicidal thoughts and behaviors should be counseled because clonazepam may increase suicidal thoughts. Pregnant patients or nursing mothers should inform their physicians about their state before taking Klonopin. The FDA also provided precautions for the use of clonazepam. Patients who take clonazepam should avoid engaging in any form of hazardous occupation which may require mental alertness like driving or operating machinery.

Is Klonopin Addictive?

One of the United States’ most prescribed drugs is Klonopin. It is also one of the most abused drugs in the US. Clonazepam is very addictive when taken consistently in high doses over a period. Your body gradually becomes used to its presence and its interaction with your brain. Most people rely on Klonopin to stay relaxed and attain certain feelings.

Statistics on Klonopin Addiction

An understanding of the statistics on Klonopin addiction can give you a view of the drug’s potency. The high feeling that Klonopin causes can become addictive if not controlled. Here are some statistics on Klonopin addiction8 :

  • There has been about a 30% increase in prescriptions for benzodiazepine since 1996.
  • According to the CDC, benzodiazepine drugs like Klonopin accounts for about 30% of drug overdose-related drugs in 2013.
  • After opioids, the benzodiazepine class of drugs is primarily responsible for deaths resulting from a drug overdose.
  • Between 1996 and 2013, benzodiazepine prescription has doubled.
  • About 63,000 emergency room visits were from people involved with Klonopin in 2011.
  • In 2011, there were about 26.9 million prescriptions of clonazepam.

Why do People Abuse Klonopin?

People abuse Klonopin because it provides a feeling of calm and relaxation. It calms9 your nerves by blocking specific brain receptors to reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps to treat sleep disorders by causing drowsiness. Some people enjoy Klonopin’s high feeling and the sedative effects that offer a buzzed feeling. They become dependent on the drug to enjoy such feelings and may abuse it by mixing it with other opioids to increase its effects.

Klonopin Side Effects

Klonopin side effects can be categorized into short-term, long-term, and overdose symptoms.

Short-Term Side Effects

The short-term side effects10 of clonazepam include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Aversions or cravings for food
  • Cravings for more of the drug
  • Slowed reactions

Long-Term Side Effects

The long-term Klonopin11 side effects include the following:

  • Mental confusion
  • Overdose
  • Poly-drug abuse
  • Vertigo
  • Muscle weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Aggression
  • Episodic memory loss
  • Hostility
  • Infection
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Short-term withdrawal symptoms such as seizures
  • Emotional blunting
  • Poor concentration
  • Protracted withdrawal symptoms
  • Congenital disabilities in unborn babies

Overdose Symptoms

Klonopin’s overdose symptoms12 can include the following:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Physical weakness
  • Hallucinations
  • Unsteadiness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low blood pressure

If you or someone you know are exhibiting these effects after using Klonopin, seek medical help right away.

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

It is not advisable to stop taking Klonopin all at once without being supervised or guided by a medical professional. Sudden Klonopin13 cessation may lead to fatal coma or seizures.

Physical Symptoms of Klonopin Withdrawal:

Tremors

Insomnia

Stomach pain

Headache

Sweating

Vomiting and nausea

Short-term memory loss

Increased blood pressure

Fatigue

Dizziness

Impaired respiration

Seizures

Diarrhea

Blurred vision

Irregular palpitations and heart rate

Muscle spasms and cramps

Feeling lightheaded

Physical Symptoms of Klonopin Withdrawal:

Nightmares

Mental confusion

Irritability

Anxiety

Depression

Panic

Difficulty feeling pleasure

Hallucinations

Drastic mood swing

Drug cravings

Short term memory lapses

Difficulty concentrating

Lack of motivation

Hostility and anger

Feeling disconnected from reality

How Long Does Klonopin Withdrawal Last?

Klonopin’s half-life is long, but it also depends on the substance that was used, how long it was used, and the dosage that was consumed. Due to Klonopin’s long half-life14, the acute symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal are at the peak around 14 days before they fade. However, some symptoms such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety may last for some months. Here is a general timeline for Klonopin withdrawal:

  • Days 1-7: Mild symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, upset stomach, and panic attacks.
  • Days 7-14: Advancement of symptoms to insomnia, diarrhea, tremors, and loss of appetite
  • Days 14-28: Gradual improvement of current symptoms alongside other severe symptoms such as seizures, agitation, and hallucination. These severe effects can occur if the individual does not receive treatment.

Drugs similar to Klonopin

Aside from Klonopin, there are other drugs in the benzodiazepines class that can be used to treat panic attacks, sleep disorders, anxiety, and seizures. Let us compare Klonopin with some of these drugs.

Klonopin vs. Xanax

Klonopin vs. Xanax explains the similarities and differences between both drugs. Both Xanax and Klonopin belong to the benzodiazepines class of drugs, which can lead to psychological and physical dependence when overdosed15.

However, Xanax withdrawal symptoms are more severe than the withdrawal symptoms associated with Klonopin. Klonopin has a more prolonged effect than Xanax, hence the need for it to be taken less frequently. You may require regular Xanax dosing to maintain a constant blood level.

Klonopin vs. Ativan

Klonopin vs. Ativan highlights the similarity and differences between both drugs in terms of class, purpose, and side effects. They are both16 in the class of benzodiazepine and are used in treating panic attacks, anxiety, and sometimes seizures.

They also share similar side effects such as memory problems, dizziness, weakness, depression, and more. However, Klonopin lasts longer and has less severe withdrawal symptoms than Ativan. Using Ativan with other drugs may provide fewer drug interactions in comparison to Klonopin.

Klonopin vs. Valium

Klonopin vs. Valium highlights the differences and similarities between both drugs. Klonopin17 is known as clonazepam, while Valium is also known as diazepam. However, both substances belong to the benzodiazepine class. They are both used in treating seizure disorders and anxiety. Klonopin also has less severe withdrawal symptoms than Valium, although they do share similar side effects.

Klonopin Addiction Treatment

The following can be used in treating Klonopin addiction:

  • Tapering Use: Tapering off Klonopin can help you avoid the withdrawal side effects. Klonopin tapering can also help to get you off Klonopin completely. It should be carried out by a medical professional so you can know the right dose of Klonopin to take to reduce the withdrawal effects. Tapering is carried out based on your medical history, the amount of Klonopin taken, and other factors that are to be determined by the physician.
  • Detox: Klonopin detoxification can help you to quit the use of Klonopin safely. [19] You may have to undergo a safe detoxification program supervised by a physician so that your body can clear the drug. You need to be supervised during the detoxification process so that your physician can help manage the psychological and physical addiction.
  • CBT: Since Klonopin withdrawal affects your cognitive behavior, it is essential to have a cognitive behavior therapist to help you overcome these side effects. A CBT therapist uses stress reduction, relaxation techniques, and other forms of cognitive restricting strategies to help you overcome Klonopin addiction.

Resources

  1. https://www.verywellmind.com/anxiety-treatment-and-klonopin-dosage-requirements-3024960
  2. https://ranchatdovetree.com/blog/drug-classification-klonopin/#:~:text=Klonopin%20is%20classified%20as%20a,and%20Control%20Act%20of%201970.
  3. https://blackbearrehab.com/substance-abuse/klonopin-addiction/what-are-street-names-for-clonazepam/
  4. https://www.verywellmind.com/anxiety-treatment-and-klonopin-dosage-requirements-3024960#:~:text=Benzodiazepines%20such%20as%20Klonopin%20reduce,can%20take%20longer%20to%20appear
  5. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/rem-sleep-behavior-disorder-medications#:~:text=Clonazepam%20(Klonopin)%20is%20highly%20effective,often%20on%20the%20first%20night
  6. https://www.rehabspot.com/treatment/medical/addiction-treatment-medications/benzodiazepines-alcohol-withdrawal/
  7. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/017533s059lbl.pdf
  8. https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/klonopin-addiction/
  9. https://www.goodrx.com/klonopin/what-is
  10. https://www.gardenstatetreatmentcenter.com/what-does-klonopin-feel-like/
  11. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/klonopin-treatment/long-term-severe
  12. https://www.gardenstatetreatmentcenter.com/what-does-klonopin-feel-like/
  13. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/klonopin-treatment/long-term-severe
  14. https://deserthopetreatment.com/sedatives/klonopin-addiction/withdrawal-symptoms/
  15. https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/klonopin-vs-xanax-3030557/#:~:text=The%20differences%20between%20Klonopin%20and,as%20frequently%20throughout%20the%20day.
  16. https://www.iodine.com/compare/klonopin-vs-ativan
  17. https://www.medicinenet.com/klonopin_clonazepam_vs_valium_diazepam/article.htm#what_are_klonopin_and_valium
  18. https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/klonopin-addiction/klonopin-taper/
  19. https://www.mentalhelp.net/substance-abuse/klonopin/detox/

If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
(888) 744-9969 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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