Clonazepam, a benzodiazepine medication marketed under the brand name of Klonopin, is used to treat seizures, panic attacks, and anxiety. One of the greatest signs that a person is abusing Klonopin is when they misuse this medication and use it in a way other than prescribed.
This may include self-medicating any of these conditions without a doctor’s guidance, taking this medication to self-treat another problem, or using this drug to create a euphoric state or high.
Major Signs And Symptoms Of Klonopin Abuse And Addiction
When a person abuses Klonopin they will likely experience distinct physical, mental, and behavioral changes. As patterns of abuse intensify into the chronic behaviors of addiction, many of these side effects will become apparent to an outside observer.
Becoming aware of the following major signs of Klonopin addiction can help friends and family to more quickly spot addiction. This can help them to promptly get their loved one into a comprehensive addiction treatment program.
As a person’s Klonopin abuse becomes more compulsive, they will likely experience strong and frequent urges for this drug. At this time, their mind may be so overwhelmed by thoughts of finding and using Klonopin, that they’re unable to think of much else. Eventually, these cravings can be disruptive to their life.
When a person is craving Klonopin, they may speak about it or make jokes about wanting to use it. As a person takes Klonopin to feed their cravings, the substance use disorder can become more severe.
When a person has a tolerance, it typically means that they use a drug on a fairly regular basis. Once a person becomes tolerant, they will no longer feel the sensations a smaller dose once produced.
To overcome this, many people will increase the dose they take. By doing so, the risk of dependence and addiction rises. If a person is already dependent on or addicted to Klonopin, these behaviors can cause these states to become more severe.
Like a tolerance, the emergence of a dependence means that a person has been frequently taking Klonopin. The more a person takes, the greater the measure of dependence. When a person is dependent, their body has developed a reliance to it, specifically to the chemical changes the drug creates.
The human body runs smoothly due to countless chemical processes. When a person is dependent, the body doesn’t produce normal levels of its own chemicals, instead expecting the drug’s to fill this role.
A person can develop a physical dependence when they take a medication as prescribed by a doctor. Dependence, by itself, does not mean that a person is addicted. It’s when a dependence is accompanied by other signs of addiction that there should be cause for concern
Withdrawal symptoms occur when a physically dependent person abruptly discontinues using Klonopin. If a person is using a large enough dose, this may even occur if they reduce the amount they take by a significant amount.
Signs of Klonopin withdrawal include:
- hand tremor
- muscle cramps
- panic attacks
- poor concentration
- stomach cramps
Like withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be deadly. Signs of severe Klonopin withdrawal may include behavioral changes, convulsions, hallucinations, psychosis, and seizures.
5. Drug-Seeking Behavior
When a person is addicted to Klonopin, they may expend large amounts of time and energy to find and use the drug. A person will often hoard pills to make sure they have the drug on hand.
Some people may steal pills from close loved ones. They may even steal money so they can buy pills. Purchasing pills illegally from friends, family, or strangers is a sign of addiction.
Even though doctor shopping is much more difficult in many states than it once was, some people may go to multiple doctors in an attempt to amass a large quantity of Klonopin. A person who doesn’t have a prescription may fake anxiety or panic attacks so that they can receive a new prescription for this drug.
6. Loss Of Control Over Klonopin Abuse
A major sign of addiction is when a person can no longer control their drug abuse. At this stage, a person may use Klonopin for longer periods of time than they intended. They may not be able to limit the amount they take and consume larger amounts than they planned on.
A person may also be unable to reduce their consumption or stop taking Klonopin even though they’ve tried multiple times to do so. If someone does try to quit, they may start taking Klonopin again to reduce symptoms of withdrawal.
7. A Declining Quality Of Life From Klonopin Abuse
Substance abuse can seriously damage a person’s health, family, job, or education. When a person is addicted, they may continue to take Klonopin even though it’s hurting them in these ways.
Compulsive Klonopin abuse can cause or aggravate physical and mental health problems. Further, many people first start abusing this drug to self-medicate symptoms of a mental illness.
But instead of treating these problems, Klonopin abuse will only serve to mask the symptoms. As abuse accelerates, the mental illness may actually become worse, as can the substance use disorder.
If a person isolates themselves from loved ones in favor of using Klonopin, they likely have a problem. Should an individual keep on taking this drug after it causes problems on the job or at school, addiction is a very real concern.
Treating Klonopin Addiction
Klonopin treatment is often a two-pronged approach that requires both a medical detox and rehab program.
Prolonged Klonopin abuse can create a strong physical dependency. In this state, a person’s body will likely react very harshly in the absence of the drug. The resulting symptoms can be both dangerous and life threatening. Attempting to treat withdrawal without professional help could jeopardize a person’s sobriety and life.
A medically supervised detoxification program provides around-the-clock care while a person’s body flushes the drug’s toxins from its system. To reduce withdrawal symptoms and help a person safely detox, medications will likely be administered. Once a person’s body has begun to normalize and withdrawal symptoms have subsided, the psychological addiction can be treated.
Severe addiction, especially one that coexist with a mental disorder, may be better treated in an inpatient drug rehab program. Here, individuals who self-medicated with Klonopin can learn healthier and non addictive ways to cope with the symptoms of mental illness.
Contact DrugRehab.org for more information on Klonopin addiction and treatment.