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Klonopin / Clonazepam Detox
Clonazepam is a tranquilizer that fits into the benzodiazepine class of prescription narcotic medications. Clonazepam frequently goes by several brand names, with the most popular brand being Klonopin. This medication is typically used to treat and prevent:
- General anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
- Akathisia; a movement disorder
Klonopin / Clonazepam Side-Effects
Klonopin dosage typically depends on the condition being treated, so an abuse of the medication by excessive use may depend on the initial prescription, but should still be monitored. Below are variations of side-effects, but others may occur. Communication with a physician is critical to monitoring Klonopin or Clonazepam use.
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of balance
- Poor coordination
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Blurred vision
Typically, benzodiazepine drug withdrawals are infamous for the debilitating psychological side effects that may occur. So after a drug such as clonazepam is stopped, these issues often come into play.
Perhaps one of the primary and more serious emotional side effects of Klonopin usage is the increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
FACT – the FDA even made pharmaceutical companies add warnings about the potential for increased suicidal ideations to Klonopin labels in 2009
- Memory loss
- Weak or shallow breathing
- Unusual or risk-taking behavior
- Involuntary eye movements
- Pounding heartbeat
- Painful urination
- Pale skin
- New or worsening seizures
Probably one of the more serious side-effects is a serious physical or psychological dependence on the drug after long-term use.
Along with those listed under severe side-effects, excess doses of drugs containing Clonazepam may result in:
- Profound sedation
- Respiratory depression
- Central nervous system depression
- Loss of consciousness
- Low blood pressure
Klonopin Abuse and Addiction
When Klonpopin or Clonazepam drugs are abused they typically create a euphoric high, marked by the sense of calm it creates as a depressant and the relaxation of the body due to its muscle relaxing properties. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that taking Klonopin can be habit-forming, especially after extended use. With drugs of this class one of the more dangerous aspects is developing tolerance to the drug.
FACT – 1/3 of individuals treated with benzodiazepine drugs for longer than 4 weeks develop dependence and experience withdrawal with dose reduction.
The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported that in 2011 more than 61,000 people sought emergency medical services for problems resulting from recreational use of Clonazepam drugs.
Because of the serious risk of dependence, and withdrawal, these medications are generally not recommended for long-term use. Clonazepam and Klonopin are commonly abused by teens and young adults because:
- It is widely available
- It is cheap compared to other drugs
- Perceived to be safer because it is a prescription medication
One of the most common misconceptions that make prescription drug abuse such a problem is that people consider them to be safe because they are legal. The truth is prescription drug abuse has become one of the highest causes of death in the nation.
Klonopin / Clonazepam Withdrawals
Withdrawal symptoms can be intense and harmful, even when the drug is taken as prescribed. Therefore, users should not suddenly stop taking clonazepam without medical supervision due to the dangerous side effects, or withdrawal symptoms that may occur. Klonopin has a half-life elimination of 30- 40 hours, so individuals may not begin to feel serious acute withdrawal symptoms for a day or two following discontinuation.
Because Klonopin and other Clonazepam medications have such a high potential for physical dependence, it’s very likely that an individual abusing the drug take very high doses very frequently. The more often and higher dose used, the quicker withdrawal symptoms will show up. So for people using high doses more often withdrawals may actually appear within just a few hours of the last dose.
Some withdrawals from these medications can be hazardous to the body or even life-threatening.
Withdrawal Symptoms from Drugs Containing Clonazepam
- Stomach pain
- Muscle spasms and cramps
- Craving drug
- Mood swings
- Thoughts of suicide
Klonopin and other benzodiazepines are commonly abused with other drugs or alcohol, or both, which can increase the intensity and damage of Klonopin withdrawal side effects.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with Klonopin and Clonazepam drugs typically peak around two weeks after discontinuing the dosage, but more subtle withdrawal symptoms can last over a month.
A rebound effect is what happens when a medication is designed to treat a certain issue and someone stops taking the medication, causing the symptoms of the original problem to return with great intensity. So for a medication like Klonopin to be used to manage anxiety, someone who has been using it for a while and stops may experience increased levels of agitation, anxiety and nervousness.
Importance of Medical Detox
Powerful narcotic medications such as Klonopin, and other drugs containing Clonazepam, should not be stopped abruptly. The FDA explicitly suggests that Klonopin should not be stopped without medical supervision due to dangerous effects and withdrawals. Medical detox is incredibly important with these drugs because of the strong physical dependence and psychological impact of prolonged use. In the right setting there are essential resources to help maintain a healthy transition. Vital signs need to be closely monitored, and any other complications can be addressed.
When the drug has been used along with other substances it is never advisable to try to cease these substances without medical support.
Medical detox for Klonopin is so important because this level of assistance is meant to minimize the risk of potentially dangerous symptoms while providing as much comfort as possible. A professional medical team should always be on hand to assist with any physical discomfort and administer the appropriate medications if necessary.
Medical detox can make all the difference by making sure the individual is not only kept safe while detoxing, but also to provide a supportive environment that is designed to promote wellbeing.
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