Am I addicted to Klonopin? The popular and potent anti-anxiety medication increases the risk potential for abuse. Learn about Klonopin addiction warning signs below.
Klonopin (clonazepam) was developed to treat epileptic seizures and address various forms of panic disorders. The prescription medication is a potentially habit-forming benzodiazepine and should be taken with extreme caution and only as recommended by a practicing physician. As a potent sedative, this medication is extremely addictive because it affects a person’s mind and body.
Anxiety on the Rise
Currently, anxiety is the most common mental health condition in the world. According to several surveys, about 34% of people experience anxiety at some point in their lifetime. But as a frequently used medical term, anxiety remains ambiguous. Its use is really a catch-all term to describe numerous psychological disorders.
The five major types of anxiety disorders are:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
These groups of mental illness can cause constant and overwhelming anxiety and fear. Excessive anxiety can cause shame and make individuals avoid work, school, family, and social settings that can trigger or worsen symptoms.
Treatment of Anxiety
Am I addicted to Klonopin? Let’s take a look at some of the facts surrounding substance abuse, particularly with antidepressants. Each prescription can provide relief from symptoms of panic and anxiety. However, each carries its risks and short- and long-term health issues.
Over the last several decades, the development of medications to treat anxiety symptoms has risen sharply. Doctors continue to prescribe benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium to address these psychological disorders’ complexities. However, these medications are the most heavily prescribed, and evidence of misuse continues to impact thousands of Americans’ health and well-being.
According to the Center for Disease Control, antidepressant prescriptions are significantly higher than any previous year. In 2018, it was estimated that approximately 15% of adults actively use antidepressants. Most of these adults also reported a significant fear of discontinuing the use of medications. The number one worry regarding the discontinuation of use is fear of symptoms of depression and anxiety returning.
How do different medications function?
There are several medications used routinely that are designed to help manage mental health disorders. Many of these medications are quite successful and allow those struggling with severe mental illness to manage their symptoms appropriately and healthily. Anxiety treatment is most effective when medication is used temporarily. For long-term treatment, ongoing therapy should be provided to address any underlying causes of mental health disorders.
Some common medications used for anxiety include Valium, Ativan Xanax, and Klonopin. These benzodiazepines are typically used for short-term treatment due to their high potential for abuse. They can increase drowsiness and cause problems with balance and memory. Currently, there’s an increasing epidemic of benzodiazepine misuse.
Benzodiazepines are sedatives that can help relax muscles and calm the mind. They work by increasing the effects of certain neurotransmitters. Certain benzos like Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax are fast-acting, and due to their short half-life, can be highly addictive. Dependency has been shown to start in as little as a few weeks. Stopping the use of these medications should incorporate a slow tapering process overseen by a doctor. Withdrawal symptoms can be lethal.
What is Klonopin?
Despite the support that psychological medications can give to those struggling with mental health problems, many have addictive components that may place an individual at significant risk of substance abuse.
Clonazepam, marketed under the name Klonopin, is a benzodiazepine and has highly beneficial properties. Klonopin is often used to treat severe anxiety disorders or to minimize trauma-related symptoms. Some common problems a physician may prescribe Klonopin include:
- Panic Attacks
- Panic Disorder
- Trauma/Stressor Related Disorder
- Other psychotic disorders
Research shows Klonopin is highly effective, but it also contains highly addictive properties. Because of Klonopin’s addiction potential, this medication is considered a controlled substance and must be monitored closely by a trained professional. To limit Klonopin’s abuse or other benzodiazepine medications, those prescribed Klonopin are required to sign an agreement that holds the user accountable for their use of the drug.
Klonopin is fast-acting and generally starts working within an hour and will then last anywhere from 8-10 hours.
What Are The Side-Effects of Klonopin Use?
Am I addicted to Klonopin? Consider the side effects of this potent medication. Before use, patients should work with a physician on a short-term strategy to reduce use with time.
A person abusing Klonopin will experience a range of effects from the drug, from fatigue to complete sedation. Using Klonopin can increase the quality of life for those that suffer from anxiety and other psychotic disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular use of Klonopin may have mild to severe side-effects which include:
- Body Aches
- Difficulty Breathing
- Runny Nose
- Mood Swings
- Irregular Heart Beat
Please visit mayoclinic.com for a full list of common, uncommon, and rare side effects. AspenRidge is also able to help discuss possible side effects of Klonopin or other medications used. Discussing these side effects is critical to proper care throughout the use of this medication. Participating in medication management with a doctor is crucial to maintaining health and safety throughout Klonopin’s use.
Am I Addicted to Klonopin?
Klonopin is part of the benzodiazepine group, which has seen a significant increase in use over the last 10 years. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the world faces a major opioid epidemic. The use of benzodiazepines and opioids increased by approximately 150% from 2016-2018.
According to WebMD, “although over 2,000 different benzodiazepines have been created, only 15 medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA.” Many unknowns exist about benzodiazepines, and it can be hard to know what constitutes an addiction. Common signs of possible abuse of Klonopin or other benzodiazepine medications include:
- Problems with the nervous system
- Heart Problems
Many of the problems with Klonopin occur when an individual consumes other drugs or alcohol simultaneously as using Klonopin. This is why doctors and physicians will highly encourage abstinence from other substances while using Klonopin. The majority of the life-threatening problems from Klonopin or other benzodiazepine medications occur due to comorbid use of drugs and substances.
If you feel there may be an ongoing benzodiazepine or Klonopin use, please contact your physician or reach out to AspenRidge to discuss possible Klonopin addiction and treatment options.
I Need Klonopin, But I Am Showing Signs Of Abuse?
If you are showing signs of substance abuse but are prescribed Klonopin, it is essential to speak to an addiction specialist immediately. As mentioned previously, Klonopin’s use can be detrimental if used in a way that is not appropriate for yourself and your body. Some ways to discuss medication information and use include:
- Contacting your primary care physician
- Contacting AspenRidge
- Partaking in online self-assessments
- Contacting Addiction Hotlines
Suppose you seek further options for medication side-effects and possible dependency on medications. In that case, you are encouraged to contact AspenRidge to discuss your concerns with our certified addiction specialists and therapists.
AspenRidge also offers online self-assessments that help to assess mental health, alcohol use, and substance use. For further information on medicines and addiction, please visit the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
How Can AspenRidge Help?
AspenRidge understands the challenges that arise from addiction. Not all addiction occurs from illegal substances, and AspenRidge highly encourages you to assess your current medication regimen for possible psychological dependency.
Proper assessment prior to engaging in treatment is crucial, and AspenRidge offers quick and accurate evaluations. You are invited to AspenRidge’s self-assessments. These assessments take approximately five minutes to complete. Within 24 hours, you are connected with a specialist who can discuss the assessment results and properly guide you through the initial steps towards recovery.
Self-Assessments & Quizzes
Proper assessment is an important step in the recovery process. Prospective clients are encouraged to participate in these quizzes. Questions were created by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Understanding alcohol and other drug use can be complicated. Treatment specialists have developed a self-evaluation as a resource to help families and individuals identify larger issues.
AspenRidge is dedicated to tailoring treatment as much as possible to each client. Prospective clients may contact AspenRidge Recovery Centers to discuss addiction treatment options and resources at (719) 259-1107 or at www.aspenridgerecoverycenters.com. Gaining knowledge before taking the steps towards recovery is essential, and AspenRidge is dedicated to guiding clients and their families through the process of recovery.