There are many prescription drugs that are abused. In other words, they are used in ways that they were not prescribed to be used or are used by people for whom they were not prescribed. Benzodiazepines like Klonopin are one of the types of medications that are widely abused.
Klonopin (clonazepam) is a prescription benzodiazepine similar to Xanax, Librium, and Valium. It is a short acting drug with sedative effects that is often used to treat anxiety and seizure disorders. The peak action of this drug typically occurs within an hour or two, but it can last for several hours. In addition to treating anxiety, this drug may be used to treat sleep disorders and muscle spasms.
Klonopin is widely abused because, like other benzodiazepines, this drug helps the user feel relaxed. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), this drug, and other benzodiazepines, produces hypnotic effects when used in higher than normal doses. At any given time, more than seven million people in the United States alone use Klonopin for non-medical reasons.
This drug is often mixed with other drugs and alcohol to produce a more intense high. These combinations are often deadly because of the combined central nervous system effects. This drug is a central nervous system depressant. So is alcohol. When the two are taken together, the body can literally "forget" to perform critical life functions like breathing.
People with a Klonopin addiction may experience headaches, drowsiness, and even hangovers. Other effects include the loss of coordination, joint and muscle discomfort, blurred vision, decreased sex drive, increased saliva production, and problems with cognition or memory. Serious side effects of Klonopin addiction may include skin irritations like rashes and hives; swelling of the face, mouth, and esophagus, unexplained bruising and bleeding; and seizures. Signs of an overdose may include slurred speech, hallucinations, trouble breathing, muscle weakness, and coma.
Benzodiazepines are not meant to be used for long periods of time. These drugs are highly addictive and they stay in the body for an extended period. This makes Klonopin addiction difficult to detox from.
Benzodiazepines may require an extended period of detoxification because traces of these drugs stay in the body longer than some other addictive drugs. The best method of detoxification for Klonopin addiction is in a residential drug rehab center. Extended, around the clock care is critical for a successful benzodiazepine detoxification because this type of detox can be dangerous, even life threatening. Many experts estimate that it may take as long as 60 to 90 days in a treatment facility to detox from benzodiazepines, but a minimum of one month of detox treatment is recommended.
Like any addiction, detoxification is the first step toward wellness. Once detoxification has taken place, the addict may proceed to therapies designed to help him/her stay off drugs. Cognitive behavioral strategies are the most widely used therapeutic interventions for the treatment of benzodiazepine addiction (and many other types of addictions) because they teach the addict an awareness and understanding of the addiction in addition to strategies designed to help him/her prevent further use.
Changing behaviors is a major key to success in Klonopin addiction treatment or the treatment for any drug or alcohol addiction. But changing behavior requires that the individual obtain an awareness of what behaviors to use that are more appropriate than behaviors that individual has used in the past that may have led to addiction. Stress relief, exercise, and therapy may be key behaviors that are used to replace drug use and other addictive behaviors.
If you or someone you love is struggling with Klonopin addiction or addiction to any other prescription drug, call Denver Drug Treatment Centers at (303) 225-2945 for help finding the right place for you or your loved one.