In the United States, many adults are suffering from panic and anxiety disorders. Klonopin, also known as clonazepam is one of the drugs that treat mood disorders and illnesses. There are over 40 million people who suffer from some type of anxiety disorder in the US. To sum it up, that is one in five people. As a benzodiazepine, it is also used to prevent seizures as it can balance brain chemicals in the central nervous system. The drug went on sale in the US in 1975. While it may be prescribed for mental health, there is a risk of clonazepam addiction. Around the world, recreational abuse of clonazepam is common. As a drug class of benzodiazepine, which is highly addictive, clonazepam is only given a short term to patients. Klonopin is one of the controlled substances that come with a high risk of abuse. Here are some of the reasons why.
What Is Klonopin?
Klonopin is the name brand of the drug, clonazepam. The clonazepam dosage comes in a 1 mg tablet and a 0.5-mg tablet. Benzodiazepine prescriptions have increased by 67% and are now being prescribed to approximately 13.5 million adults. Clonazepam is a large contributor to this. It is used as an anti-anxiety drug and an anti-seizure drug. It’s also prescribed to manage extreme manic symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. Klonopin euphoria occurs because like other benzos, it is a central nervous system depressant. It interacts with the neurotransmitters in the brain called the GABA. The slowed mental and physical processes will feel especially good for those who have experienced trauma or experience anxiety often. The clonazepam high comes with euphoria and a sense of calm. Patients have said that they have less worry and anxiety. The body becomes relaxed and restlessness goes away.
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Anxiety Disorders and Klonopin
Clonazepam treats many different anxiety disorders. One out of five Americans have some need for anxiety medication. The anxiety disorders include; social anxiety, certain phobias, panic disorder, and general anxiety disorder. The medication regulates overstimulation in the brain by depressing the central nervous system. While it is effective, the effects are the cause of clonazepam addiction potential.
Klonopin addiction and abuse can be attributed to a few things. Firstly, it works by slowing down certain parts of the body. For someone who feels a high level of anxiety, the relaxed feeling that clonazepam gives them can instill a psychological dependency quickly. It’s widely prescribed in the US but is only effective for a short amount of time. Klonopin dependence symptoms can start within a few weeks. Even if it’s prescribed, abuse can quickly progress to dependence. If the person continues to take the drug, it can lead to physiological and psychological addiction. The Klonopin highis part of the reason it’s so readily abused. Many will abuse the drug with no medical cause to take the drug. The Klonopin abuse signs and symptoms include:
- They will lack coordination and may be clumsy.
- Dizziness occurs.
- They likely take many naps throughout the day.
- Reaction time is delayed.
- Problems with cognitive memory.
- Depression, restlessness, and agitation.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- They may become constipated.
- Symptoms of psychosis such as paranoia and hallucinations.
- They may be aggressive and exhibit violent tendencies.
A DEA fact sheet published said that snorting clonazepam is the most common way people will abuse benzodiazepine medications. It is only an oral medication but some will crush it up and snort it. Users will snort it to get fast absorption which means they’ll get high quicker. They will also gain a greater high. Some people begin snorting clonazepam because they’ve gained a tolerance to the dose they were originally prescribed. However, there is no scientific proof that snorting clonazepam will hit the brain faster than taking it orally. A sign of abuse that’s gone too far is the attempt of snorting to gain a greater high. Whether it does hit the user faster or harder isn’t so much the point as the attempt to gain a better high.
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Co-Occurring Disorder and Klonopin Abuse
Part of the reason that Klonopin abuse is so prevalent is due to the patients that receive it. Mood disorders can cause people to partake in risky behaviors. This would include abusing clonazepam. Co-occurring disorders come with challenges during the addiction recovery. Not only will the person have to manage their mental disorder but also get past addiction to the drug that was meant to help them. They begin to become intertwined with one another, making it a challenge to recover from the Klonopin addiction or the mental disorder. When someone suffers from major anxiety and are then given a drug like Klonopin to manage it, it can quickly become a case of abuse and addiction.
What is the Klonopin High Like?
The Klonopin high has a lot to do with the frequency of abuse. As a sedative medication used for anti-anxiety, it does work wonders in helping a patient feel better. That is also it’s downfall. That feeling it gives to reduce anxiety in patients feels so good, it can cause Klonopin dependency. The following symptoms are what’s known as the short-term benefits. These include:
- Total relaxation of the mind and reduced anxiety. For those who have rapid thoughts that occur constantly, Clonazepam slows down the thinking and increases a calming feeling in the body and mind. Worries disappear.
- The body relaxes because the central nervous system is depressed. Any of the physical symptoms that occurred with anxiety will also be reduced. Anxious people will feel noticeably less tense or agitated. The calming effect of the body feels relaxed and heavy.
- The feelings of euphoria are said to be mild. Even for those not intending to get high on Klonopin, they will experience sensations that are rewarding. This is what can easily cause Klonopin addiction.
- Clonazepam is designed to relax you which causes drowsiness. It’s drowsy to the point that it would be unsafe to drive.
Klonopin Abuse Risks
Someone who knows how to abuse clonazepam will often mix it with alcohol or choose to snort it. There is a risk of severe health problems that may lead to death. While it is prescribed for the short-term, it does quickly progress to dependency. The Klonopin high causes the drug to be abused for no medical reason. It’s a widely abused recreational drug that will quickly lead to the need for it. There is a risk of suicide when someone is depressed and taking the drug . Clonazepam overdose is a risk. When a higher dosage is taken, it can lead to overdose. The depressant effects can cause a slowing down of bodily functions which can cause injury or even death. Here are the side effects of an overdose:
- Speech becomes slurred.
- Coordination is stunted.
- May become delirious or confused.
- The heart slows down.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Falling into a coma.
Another reason Klonopin is such a readily abused prescription drug is because it’s one of the most prescribed drugs in the US. How quickly can you become dependant on klonopin? It doesn’t take long for dependency to occur. This is what makes it a major source of addiction. When taken in high doses chronically, the body becomes reliant on it quickly. The presence of the drug on the brain causes the user to feel good. Once a person becomes dependent on it, their brain isn’t capable of giving them that kind of relaxation or euphoria. This is especially debilitating for someone who is suffering from anxiety. The lack of the drug could cause a severe attack of anxiety. With Klonopin addiction, there is both the physical and psychological aspects. With the physical addiction, the body becomes dependent on clonazepam. If a person stops, they may suffer from headaches or nausea. This is happening because the body has become dependent on the effects of the drug. When there is a lack of the drug, the body reacts negatively. The psychological dependency occurs from the euphoria they get. It is easy to associate the drugs with good feelings. The lack of anxiety and panic attacks is a relief for those who experience them. When someone is abusing Klonopin, they think they need the drug to be happy.
Klonopin Withdrawal Side Effects
The side effects of Klonopin withdrawal is an indication of dependency. If someone abuses clonazepam, the withdrawal symptoms can be more intense. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Anxiety and irritability.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Tremors or seizures.
- Intense panic attacks.
- Cravings for Klonopin.
- Loss of social or work responsibilities.
If someone is abusing Klonopin, it will become obvious that addiction has begun when it wears off. There is a big risk of relapse when someone takes the medication for even a short duration of time. Despite the fact clonazepam is highly addictive, it still remains a widely prescribed drug for anti-anxiety. Even for those who use clonazepam for a short time, they can develop a dependency. For those who abuse Klonopin, they may need to seek professional addiction treatment. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines ‘cold turkey’ can cause seizures. This is why medical detox that is supervised is heavily recommended. Recovering from abusing Klonopin goes past detox however. Addicts will have to continue a path to recovery through inpatient or outpatient treatment. Past that, individual and group therapy should be considered. With any addiction, there will often be healing and understanding that needs to take place. This helps to prevent relapse which is common when someone becomes dependent on addictive prescription medications.