Klonopin is a medication that is most often prescribed for seizures because it helps to reduce the symptoms by regulating certain brain activities. While it has legitimate medical uses and has helped many people, there is also a chance of it becoming addictive whether it is used to treat a condition or for recreational purposes.
What Is Klonopin?
Klonopin is the brand name for clonazepam. According to WebMD, this is a type of medication most often prescribed for controlling seizures, but it is also sometimes prescribed for panic attacks and other similar conditions. It is often referred to as an antiepileptic or anticonvulsant.
This medication is considered a benzodiazepine, which is known for its calming effect. Klonopin is able to reduce abnormal electrical signals in the brain. This is what makes it help with seizures and some panic attacks. At the same time, it creates a calming sensation that some people become addicted to.
Common Side Effects
Side effects can occur from nearly any medication. Klonopin is no exception. Even if you use the medication properly and at the correct dosage, side effects can occur. It’s important to pay attention to any symptoms that occur after you begin taking Klonopin or any other form of clonazepam.
According to WebMD, the most common side effects include:
- Drowsiness and tiredness
- Dizziness and lack of coordination
- Increased saliva
- Difficulty thinking
- Muscle or joint pain
Remember that these are only the most common side effects. There are rare side effects along with more serious ones. If you find that any symptoms, behavioral changes, or anything else out of the ordinary happens after taking Klonopin, then contact your doctor. Your physician can determine whether this is truly a side effect of Klonopin and how to react to the situation.
Klonopin Overdose Symptoms
Klonopin overdose can occur while taking a prescribed dose if you are on a very high dose, if you accidentally take it more than prescribed, or if you are facing an addiction and are taking increasing amounts due to building a tolerance. Regardless of the reason, there are several Klonopin overdose symptoms that you should be wary of.
Some of these symptoms may seem similar to the common side effects. These symptoms are considered more severe whereas the common side effects are typically mild to moderate.
Klonopin overdose symptoms include:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Severe confusion
If you are facing these symptoms or if someone near you is suffering from a Klonopin overdose, then it’s important to get emergency medical attention. Call 911, a poison control hotline, or a doctor in order to get immediate assistance.
Is Klonopin Addictive?
Some medications can become addictive because people like the feeling caused by them, and others can be physically habit-forming, which increases the odds of people forming an addiction. According to NAMI, there are risks for dependence when using Klonopin or any other benzodiazepine.
The unfortunate truth is that benzodiazepines, sometimes shortened to benzos, can create both an emotional and a physical dependence due to how they interact with the brain. Many people become dependent on the calming effect. You may find yourself developing an addiction even if you use the medication properly and without increasing the dosage against the doctor’s orders. NAMI reports that an addiction can occur as quickly as after two weeks of daily use.
It is important that you tell your doctor if you find yourself developing a dependence. If you already have a history of addictive behavior or if you have suffered from substance use disorder from other drugs or alcohol, then be sure to tell your doctor that before the medication is prescribed.
Klonopin and Opioids
Benzodiazepines like Klonopin mix very poorly with opioids. It doesn’t matter if it’s a legal opioid like hydrocodone or fentanyl or an illegal one such as heroin. There is a serious risk of the two being combined. Immediately tell your doctor that you’re taking both, even if your physician is the one who prescribed both medications. This healthcare professional can either try to balance the dosages in order to mitigate the effects or prescribe similar medications that won’t interact.
The serious side effects from mixing benzodiazepines and opioids include:
- Extreme sedation
- Life-threatening breathing issues
- Severe dizziness or lightheadedness
- Extreme sleepiness
- Difficult or slow breathing
If you think that you mixed these substances without knowing, then consider getting medical attention immediately.
Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are worried about your Klonopin use or if you just want to stop the medication for some other reason, then it is considered best to speak with your doctor first before discontinuing use. Klonopin has some withdrawal symptoms that can occur if you stop using the medication without it being tapered.
According to NAMI, common Klonopin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Rapid heartbeat or blood pressure changes
These can occur whether you are using Klonopin as prescribed or if you find yourself facing a dependence and are using more than prescribed. That’s why it’s best to seek medical guidance along with medical detox to help you discontinue Klonopin in the safest and most comfortable way possible.
As described above, it is best to consider a medical detox when you’re ready to discontinue Klonopin. This is especially true if you are facing a Klonopin addiction, but it’s still recommended even if you used the medication properly due to the chance of withdrawal side effects and dependency. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
You might be wondering what a medical detox is. This is a process where one of our doctors guides you as you discontinue Klonopin. The procedure often includes tapering the medication, which means giving you smaller and smaller doses as your body gets used to functioning normally without the medication. You may also be prescribed supplemental medications to help ease the withdrawal symptoms.
While a medical detox might be enough for some people, it is often helpful to get extra support to ensure you completely discontinue Klonopin. This is especially true if you formed a Klonopin addiction, have faced substance use issues in the past, or are feeling cravings for Klonopin despite the decreased use.
Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Care
The first two levels of care, and the most common for this concern, is outpatient and intensive outpatient, or IOP, treatment. These treatments are aimed at giving you enough time to discuss your concerns and to learn new coping skills while still being able to work, live at home, and spend time with friends and family.
Outpatient care involves seeing a counselor typically once or twice a week for about an hour each session. These sessions allow you to speak individually with your counselor, which some people are more comfortable with. You will be able to explore your cravings and other concerns that make substance use harder to deal with. The therapist will help you find coping skills to utilize that will decrease stress.
While outpatient treatment might be enough for some people, many need more intensive treatment. This is especially true if you just discontinued Klonopin and have moderate or worse cravings. IOP is commonly recommended in this case. This treatment modality gives you more treatment time and with peers that are also focused on recovery.
IOP treatment involves group sessions where you meet with other people who are seeking their own recoveries. You, your peers, and a trained therapist will talk about concerns and issues while also learning about your cravings, developing coping skills, and hearing about what other peers have used to help their own recoveries. This treatment modality is three hours long, and you will meet three times a week. Not only that, but IOP can be combined with outpatient care to give you more treatment time.
Residential and Partial Hospitalization
While many people benefit from outpatient and IOP levels of care, some people find that they need even more intensive care. This is especially true with severe dependencies, if other substances were involved, or if your environment is unsupportive of recovery. In these cases, you may benefit from either partial hospitalization or residential levels of care.
While residential might sound like the less-intensive treatment, it would actually be partial hospitalization. Both of these options involve staying at our recovery center but for varying amounts of time. Partial hospitalization involves staying during the day. You will be scheduled to participate in activities that bolster your recovery along with individual and group sessions. You can return home at night to meet with friends and family, relax, work, or do anything else that you like.
For those who have unsupportive environments or severe stressors that make recovery difficult, we will likely recommend residential treatment for your Klonopin addiction. This treatment level involves you living and sleeping at our recovery center. Much like with partial hospitalization, you will be scheduled to participate in group therapy, individual therapy, and other activities to help with your recovery.
You will then “step down” after these treatments. This typically involves IOP treatment to ensure you get the support that you need.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
You may have never heard of the term dual diagnosis, or you may be wondering what it means. This is a common term at substance abuse centers such as ours because it refers to any client who presents with both a mental illness and substance use disorder. This is also sometimes called a co-occurring diagnosis. It doesn’t matter which mental illness or substance is involved. If a client presents with both, then it’s a dual diagnosis.
Benzodiazepines like Klonopin cause feelings of relaxation, so some benzos are prescribed for anxiety disorders. Due to this, those with anxiety conditions or underlying feelings of anxiety might be more tempted by the relaxing effects of Klonopin to take more of the drug or to take it more frequently than prescribed. Whether this is the case or there is another underlying mental illness, we want to assure you that we offer dual diagnosis treatment. This means that we are prepared to assist with both conditions at once so that you recover at a good pace. We will treat both simultaneously so that you can move on with your life.
If you find yourself having difficulties with Klonopin or any other substance, then Granite Recovery Center will be here to assist you. Let us know what concerns you are facing, and we will develop a treatment plan with your needs in mind. Whether you are using multiple substances, there is a mental illness present, or you need either outpatient or inpatient care, we can help coordinate your treatment. On top of that, we treat all our clients with respect.
When you’re prepared to recover, be sure to contact us at Granite Recovery Center. We will listen to your needs and will create a treatment plan just for you.