Klonopin Addiction and Recovery
Klonopin is the brand name for Clonazepam, a central nervous system depressant in the Benzodiazepine family. It is used to treat epileptic seizures, panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Klonopin addiction is not uncommon and users can develop a tolerance as well as physical and psychological dependence making treatment imperative.
Klonopin was one of the drugs in the systems of Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith when they died. And as you’ll read below, some Klonopin users are just glad to be alive.
It reacts with the brain’s nerve cells to enhance the effects of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), slowing it down to cause relaxation and decrease nerve excitement. Its effects are rapid and long-lasting (1-8 hours) and stay in the body for up to 40 hours.
Klonopin is taken orally in 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg tablets or as a wafer that melts in the mouth. It is a Schedule IV drug in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.
Klonopin Users’ Experiences
These quotes come from Erowid.org, a website that “attempt[s] to catalog the wide variety of experiences people have with psychoactive plants and chemicals…”
Male user. Taken for social anxiety. “I was forgetting almost everything that had just recently come to mind. For example, I often thought of something I needed to get out of my room, and upon entering my room, I had completely forgotten what it was that I set out for to begin with. The same applied for the classroom, in that I would pay complete attention to the teacher’s instructions for an experiment that was to be done, and when I was to conduct the experiment a few minutes later, I had no idea what to do, I only knew that I was doing an experiment. The memory issues became a serious problem.”
Male user. Experimented with mom’s Klonopin. “I will never take this again. The feeling was pretty good, but the blackout is pretty scary looking back. I could have fallen down a flight of stairs going trying to go down to my room or possibly wondered outside or something. I don't suggest messing with this drug at all.”
Female user. Prescribed for depression. “The few months I was on the medication are very blurry to me now. I lost about 20 pounds (I originally weighed around 135, and got down to around 110 pounds-- I'm 5'6. I looked like a skeleton. I don't know why I lost the weight, but I completely lost my appetite and never wanted to eat. I would go out and drink with my friends on a regular basis, which meant I would black out on a regular basis because of the medication. 3 to 4 times per week, I would wake up with absolutely no memory of the night before. My tolerance for alcohol was very low because I never ate, and because the pills made one beer feel like four beers. I was sloppy and completely addicted.”
Female user. Experimented with Klonopin. “I gradually phased out the Klonopin over 2 years or so, but still had to take it occasionally. I have no idea where I went when I was out, but I feel as if I had a near-death experience and that I may have stopped breathing for an instant. For a long time, I was frightened that I would never recover. I am very grateful to be as well as I am now….”
Short Term Effects
· Impaired motor skills
· Drowsiness, fatigue
· Impaired thinking and memory
· Altered vision
· Slurred speech, stuttering
· Respiratory depression
Long Term Effects
Because Klonopin stays in the body for up to 40 hours, taking multiple doses over long periods of time can lead to accumulation in your fat tissues. Some of these effects include:
- Impaired thinking, memory, and judgment
- Disorientation, confusion
- Slurred speech
- Muscle weakness
Klonopin and Pregnancy
Don’t take Klonopin if you are pregnant. Here’s why:
- Your baby is at risk for serious birth defects that could occur in the first month of pregnancy or even before you are pregnant.
- Taking Klonopin late in pregnancy has these risks for the baby: breathing problems, feeding problems, hypothermia.
Before you consider having children seek help in a Klonopin treatment center.
Klonopin Rehabilitation and Therapy
If you’ve made the decision to quit, don’t stop taking it suddenly. Quitting cold can cause seizures, hallucinations, shaking and cramps. These symptoms can be life-threatening. Klonopin rehab, including detoxification, should be done under medical supervision.
Klonopin therapy typically starts with detox where the patient’s dose of the drug is gradually tapered. Then the patient is usually enrolled in a cognitive behavioral therapy program. This is designed to change the patient’s thinking, expectations and behaviors particularly as they relate to drug use. Some Klonopin treatment centers also use individual and group counseling sessions.
You’ve read about the dangers from other users. You know the short and long term effects. Now call one of the Klonopin treatment centers listed on Recoverycorps.org.