It may not receive as much public attention as alcoholism or heroin abuse, but Klonopin addiction is a real and serious problem across the United States. Klonopin, whose generic name is clonazepam, belongs to a category of drugs called benzodiazepenes. This type of medication is used to treat panic disorders and anxiety; other well-known drugs in the same class include Xanax, Valium and Ativan.
A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration reveals the pervasive problem of anxiety medication addiction in America, reporting that the number of individuals admitted to hospitals due to benzodiazepine abuse tripled between 1998 and 2008.
If you are struggling to control your use of prescription drugs, please call Drug Treatment Centers Norwalk at (203) 242-8279.
Klonopin is often referred to by a variety of street names, including K-pins, downers, benzos and tranks. Like other drugs classified as benzodiazepenes, Klonopin induces a feeling of calmness and euphoria in users. The drug is a central nervous system depressant that works by altering specific chemicals in the brain.
In addition to a feeling of relaxation, the medication can also cause drowsiness and difficulty processing information. Users sometimes report feeling like they have a mild hangover when they come off a dose of the drug. In certain cases, clonazepam has been known to cause homicidal or suicidal thoughts in users because of the way it alters the brain’s chemicals, and it can also lead users to participate in risky behaviors.
While many individuals who are taking this drug as prescribed by their doctor have no ill effects, others find themselves developing a tolerance. These users end up taking increasingly higher amounts of it in order to achieve the same measure of anxiety relief, which leads to a psychological and physical dependence on the drug.
Certain signs and symptoms may indicate that an individual has an addiction to clonazepam or another anxiety medication. When missing a dose of the drug causes feelings of withdrawal, a physical dependency may exist. Other signs of abuse or addiction include cravings for the drug, neglecting work or personal responsibilities, severe paranoia or anxiety and a withdrawal from regular activities.
An individual who has been abusing Klonopin for a long period of time should not attempt to stop taking the drug on their own. Stopping the use of benzodiazepenes can produce acute withdrawal symptoms that include severe anxiety, sweating, elevated blood pressure and insomnia. Withdrawal can even lead to seizures, so it’s important for users to enter a drug treatment program where the detoxification process can be medically supervised.
Treatment for Klonopin addiction requires an individualized approach. For severe or prolonged abuse of the drug, the around-the-clock care and supervision of an inpatient addiction treatment program may be the best choice. Individuals who have a less severe addiction and who have a reliable support network may be able to succeed with an outpatient program at a drug treatment center.
Outpatient programs provide the same type of counseling, support groups and other services during the day, but participants may go back to their homes for the evenings. Most professionals in the field of addiction and recovery agree that a rehab program for anxiety medication should last at least one month, since it often takes up to a few weeks just to get the drug out of a person’s system. If possible, a 30-day or 60-day program is preferable.
Many Klonopin addiction cases begin with a prescription to treat an anxiety or panic disorder, so it’s important to select a treatment program that will address the underlying issue. Choosing a facility that offers aftercare services can help patients avoid relapse and stay on track once their rehabilitation is complete.
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