Klonopin addiction is serious. It can have lasting negative effects on your physical and mental health. You can also have severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking benzodiazepines like Klonopin. If you’re also abusing other substances, drug withdrawal can be especially dangerous. Medical detox and specialized addiction treatment can help you heal physically and mentally. You’ll learn new ways to cope without benzos and other substances and build a healthy and fulfilling life in recovery.
Klonopin is the brand name for clonazepam. It’s a benzodiazepine drug sometimes prescribed for:
- Panic disorder/ panic attacks
- Sleep disorders
Benzodiazepines like Klonopin (clonazepam) can become habit-forming and lead to addiction. As a result, they’re typically not prescribed for long-term use. All benzodiazepines, including Klonopin, are known as central nervous system depressants. They’re also referred to as sedatives or tranquilizers because of their calming effects.
Sometimes doctors prescribe Klonopin for people who have both anxiety and bipolar disorder. Klonopin reduces feelings of anxiety or panic because it influences gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that has roles in anxiety, sleep, relaxation, and excitement. Stimulating it causes you to feel relaxed or calmer during a panic attack.
Clonazepam is known to work relatively fast and is sometimes taken several times daily. The effects of Klonopin can last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, but it can take between 30 to 40 hours to fully get rid of Klonopin in your body.
Effects of Klonopin
Medical use of Klonopin can cause side effects. Someone who abuses Klonopin will experience more severe side effects. The following are the most common side effects of Klonopin:
- Sleepiness or drowsiness
- Coordination issues
Everyone is different, and this could change how you experience side effects of Klonopin. The following are less common side effects of Klonopin:
- Blurred vision
- Increased urination
- Decrease in libido
- Joint or muscle pain
Psychological and physical dependence is also a risk with taking Klonopin. Additionally, some people have suicidal thoughts when they begin taking Klonopin. If this happens to you, tell your doctor immediately. These thoughts sometimes dissipate as you become used to the medication.
Medical professionals advise against taking Klonopin if you have the following health issues:
- Liver disease: This could make it harder to metabolize Klonopin and cause it to accumulate in your body, putting you at risk of increased side effects.
- Acute narrow angle glaucoma: This is known to worsen if benzodiazepines are taken.
- Depression: Benzodiazepines could worsen your symptoms of depression.
Another potential side effect of using Klonopin over a long period of time is experiencing Klonopin withdrawal when you quit taking it. Symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal may include:
- Rebound insomnia
- Mood swings
- Rebound anxiety
- Paranoia and hallucinations
- Feeling restless
- Muscle and joint pain
Withdrawal from Klonopin typically begins within a day of last use. The most severe symptoms usually dissipate in a few days, but some symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, and depression can last for several weeks or months.
Alternatives to Klonopin
Addiction to Klonopin is a real risk. Especially in people who are at higher risk for addiction because of:
- Co-occurring mental health disorders
- Genetic predisposition to addiction
- PTSD and complex trauma
- Misuse of other drugs and alcohol
With the rise in prescription drug abuse over the last decade, many medical professionals look for alternatives to benzodiazepines when clinically appropriate for their patients.
Depending on your clinical needs, alternatives to benzodiazepines may include:
- Anti-anxiety medications
Signs of Klonopin Addiction
Klonopin is a controlled substance that is known to cause dependency and has a high risk for abuse. With dependence, your body gets used to Klonopin and adapts to its presence. Dependence is coupled with tolerance, so you eventually need to take higher doses of Klonopin to achieve the same results.
People can be dependent on medications they use legitimately for medical reasons, so dependence does not necessarily mean you’re addicted to a drug. Addiction to Klonopin requires that you abuse the drug in some way. Once you are physically dependent on it, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Klonopin. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be life-threatening, so you should never attempt it without medical supervision. It can consist of a range of symptoms, such as shaking, sweating, cravings, nightmares, and even seizures.
Due to the potential severity of benzodiazepine withdrawal, physicians normally use a tapering approach. With this detox method, the dosage of a long-acting benzo is gradually lowered over a period of weeks or months, preventing the most severe withdrawal symptoms.
Klonopin and related benzodiazepines are highly addictive. Like alcohol, Klonopin can cause feelings of relaxation. With high doses, it can provide a high. Klonopin is often misused in stressful life circumstances. For instance, you may start taking it to ease stress, and use can quickly escalate.
Be aware of these common signs of Klonopin abuse:
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal after not taking Klonopin.
- Wanting to control or decrease use but being unable.
- Taking significant measures to obtain Klonopin, even if money is tight or the process is time-consuming.
- Problems meeting personal, professional, or academic responsibilities because of drug use.
- Needing larger doses of Klonopin to achieve necessary or desired effects.
Additional signs of Klonopin abuse:
- Carelessness about appearance or hygiene.
- Sudden economic difficulties that do not have a reasonable explanation.
- Slurred speech, unsteady gait, and symptoms that are like drunkenness.
- Different behavior, such as a more irritable mood or secretive behavior.
Some people are more prone to misusing benzodiazepines because of genetic or environmental factors, such as:
- Using Klonopin for more than four weeks.
- Personal history of abusing alcohol or other substances.
- A family history of substance abuse.
- Mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety.
- Friends or family members who abuse drugs or alcohol.
- Dealing with anxiety or panic attacks for a long time.
Self-Assessment: Am I Addicted?
How Do You Treat Klonopin Addiction?
If you regularly abuse Klonopin or other drugs, it’s likely you’re struggling with addiction. While addiction is a chronic condition, it can be managed with comprehensive treatment. Each addiction treatment program will vary according to the needs of the individual, but there are some general components you can expect with most programs:
- Diagnosis is the first step in treatment. Medical and behavioral health professionals will give you physical and psychological assessments to determine the severity of your addiction, your physical and mental health, and any co-occurring conditions.
- Detox is often the next step, and usually consists of slowly reducing the Klonopin dose. Again, this tapered approach is most often recommended for withdrawing from benzodiazepines. This will decrease the likelihood that you will experience harsh withdrawal, but it will not necessarily eliminate all withdrawal symptoms.
- A customized treatment program is the core of recovery. You will choose between inpatient or outpatient treatment, and your treatment team will recommend the best choice for you based on your clinical needs. Addiction treatment and rehab typically include:
- Substance abuse education. You’ll learn how Klonopin and other drugs affect your body and how addiction works. This base of knowledge can help you understand why you feel compelled to use substances and the best ways to manage your recovery.
- Therapy. A lot of work takes place in individual therapy where you work one on one with a therapist. Group therapy is also a key part of rehab, where sessions include several clients working with a therapist. Many rehab programs offer other forms of therapy that can complement your overall program. These may include approaches like art therapy, music therapy, or EMDR therapy. Ultimately, it’s about finding the best combination of therapies that support your recovery.
- Tapers and medications. Your treatment can change as your needs change. Tapering may also take a longer time than you expect, so your dosage will be consistently monitored depending on how you respond. Addiction specialists will also make sure you’re not misusing Klonopin or other drugs during treatment.
- Relapse prevention. Addiction is a chronic disease, and relapse is common during recovery. Treatment involves identifying relapse triggers so you’re prepared to avoid them or manage them if they can’t be avoided. If relapse occurs, the key is to get back on track as soon as possible, and this may mean a return to treatment.
- Aftercare planning. An aftercare plan is essential for sustained recovery. You’ll build your aftercare plan with your therapist before you leave treatment that helps you stay sober in everyday life.
How long Klonopin addiction treatment lasts depends on your individual circumstances. If you’ve been abusing Klonopin for a long time or using it with alcohol and other drugs, detox and treatment will take more time. Treatment typically lasts anywhere from 28 to 90 days, though the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends at least 90 days of treatment.
Addiction Treatment at Footprints to Recovery
Our treatment programs at Footprints to Recovery are evidence-based and effective. We’ve helped thousands of clients take back their lives from alcohol and drug abuse. Our teams are made up of compassionate behavioral and medical professionals who are experts in the field. They will create a treatment plan that’s tailored to your clinical needs as well as your preferences and life situation.
At Footprints to Recovery, we don’t just treat the symptoms of a substance use disorder, we address the underlying issues that are perpetuating alcohol and drug abuse. This often includes difficulties like:
- Co-occurring disorders (a dual diagnosis of a substance use disorder and mental illness)
- Childhood hardships
- Poor self-esteem
- Poor coping skills
- Grief or loss
Loved ones are involved in treatment as appropriate because addiction often signals a breakdown in the family system. We offer family therapy and family groups for loved ones so they can learn how to support the individual with addiction and take care of themselves.
We have three addiction treatment center locations and several levels of care, including:
Some people who use benzodiazepines require medical detox, especially if you’ve been abusing other drugs. For instance, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, so if you’re detoxing from both benzos and alcohol, you can be at great risk for serious or deadly withdrawal symptoms.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable. Detox should be medically supervised with gradual tapering of benzos at specific intervals. Stopping cold turkey can put you at risk for issues like seizures, tremors, and muscle cramps.
We provide alcohol detox and drug detox that includes 24/7 care by a team of medical professionals who will keep you safe and as comfortable as possible. We regularly monitor your vital signs and comfort level and attend to any medical emergencies.
Time in an addiction treatment center can give you space and distance from triggers as well as keep actual physical distance between you and substances. This way you can focus on yourself and getting better.
In residential treatment, you live at the recovery center with others in treatment and go to programming during the day. Our residential programs include approaches like individual and group therapy, holistic treatments, as well as various recovery activities. The structure and 24/7 care of inpatient rehab is what some people need in early recovery, which can be a challenging time for relapse.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
Our partial hospitalization programs provide similar schedules and treatment as our inpatient programs. The difference is that you attend treatment during the day but live at home or in a sober living residence.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Many people transition from residential treatment or a PHP into an intensive outpatient program. This helps ease the move back into everyday life and the recovery challenges it brings. Our IOPs usually meet 10-15 hours a week and offer day and evening options so you can work, go to school, or attend to home responsibilities.
Outpatient treatment is typically one to three hours a week. This is the last step in formal addiction treatment before moving into independence in recovery. Outpatient treatment provides weekly check-ins to process triggers, get support from peers, and strengthen recovery skills.
Some people choose to live in sober-living residences while attending outpatient rehab if their home environment isn’t conducive to recovery. Sober-living residences are also a good option when transitioning out of treatment because they provide a supportive environment for sobriety.
Does Insurance Cover Rehab for Klonopin Addiction?
Many insurance plans cover a good portion of drug rehab costs. Specific treatment covered depends on your plan. For instance, you may need to meet a deductible before your insurance plan begins covering rehab costs or you may need to pay copays or coinsurance fees for treatment and rehab. If you have questions about your insurance benefits for drug addiction treatment, call our admissions advisors. We’ll work directly with your provider to determine any out-of-pocket cost to you.
Looking for Help?
Recovery is hard work, but it’s well worth it. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, don’t wait to get help. Call us to get all your answers to questions about treatment and find the best program for your needs.
Questions about treatment options?
Our admissions team is available 24/7 to listen to your story and help you get started with the next steps.