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Klonopin, the brand name for clonazepam, is a powerful relaxant commonly prescribed to control panic attacks, anxiety, and seizures. As a type of benzodiazepine, it is most addictive and has been associated with thousands of abuse cases throughout the United States. This anti-anxiety medication has two key components that make it a prime target for people with drug addiction: a long half-life and a rapid onset of action.

Despite being one of the top five most commonly abused benzodiazepines across the U.S., Klonopin addiction is completely treatable. There are several steps to overcome it that guarantee a safer return to a happier, healthier life.

Klonopin Addiction

The addiction potential of Klonopin is very high, with many instances leading to the development of tolerance and dependency, especially in the case of long-term use. When someone takes this drug over time, its efficacy may continue to reduce. This happens as the body starts adjusting to the high levels of neurotransmitter GABA that Klonopin triggers inside the brain. The consequent tolerance that builds up forces the user to take higher quantities of this substance more frequently to experience the same benefits. This may lead to the body functioning sub-optimally unless it always has some level of Klonopin in its system. Once the dependence completely overtakes, a withdrawal may set off as soon as these levels fall below a certain level.

As soon as Klonopin addiction begins, an abuser is likely to begin thinking and behaving differently, with an increased attention and focus on acquiring and using more of this drug. Several factors determine the potential for Klonopin abuse and addiction in an individual, such as:

  • How long have they been using Klonopin
  • The frequency of use
  • The typical dose used each time

In general, a higher level of use leads to greater levels of dependence and tolerance, thereby increasing the risk of addiction. It is important to remember that even those taking Klonopin as prescribed and for legitimate medical reasons may also become dependent on this medication.

Some common Klonopin abuse symptoms include:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Clumsiness
  • Increased feelings of sleepiness throughout the day
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Delayed and slowed reaction time
  • Slurred speech
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Depression or low mood
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, including an upset stomach, vomiting, and nausea
  • Constipation
  • Aggression
  • Engaging in violent behaviors
  • Psychotic symptoms, such as paranoia and hallucinations

Some of the signs mentioned above may be subtle at first but may intensify with time as a user increases their Klonopin dosage or frequency. Concurrent use of other mood-altering substances, such as opioids or alcohol, significantly increases the dangers associated with Klonopin abuse and may result in severe negative outcomes for health, including the potential for early mortality.

As with all benzodiazepines, Klonopin withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable and requires careful management and monitoring. This requires the support of a medically-trained detox team at a rehabilitation center that will guide the individual through a tapering schedule. This tapering schedule gives the brain and the central nervous system enough time to stabilize as the levels of Klonopin in the body slowly reduce. Throughout the detox and withdrawal process, a support team is available to patients around the clock. Experienced professionals also provide several medical interventions and emotional support to relieve discomfort.

Following the successful management of Klonopin withdrawal, most patients embark on the treatment phase of recovery. This phase is essential to overcome Klonopin dependence and addiction in the long run and to reclaim control over life more permanently.

Formal Treatment for Klonopin Addiction

Following withdrawal management, most patients fighting Klonopin addiction symptoms undergo formal rehabilitation and treatment to address the psychological aspect of this issue. Each treatment plan will vary according to the individual needs and requirements; however, there are some general components to expect in most types of these programs. These include:

A customized treatment plan

Individualization and customization of an addiction treatment plan form the core of recovery. Each patient can choose between outpatient and inpatient treatment, depending on their personal and financial circumstances. A treatment team will be there to guide them and recommend the best choice based on their clinical needs.

Substance abuse education

While working to eradicate addictive behaviors and patterns, each patient also gets an opportunity to attend educational sessions on substance abuse. In these sessions, they will learn how Klonopin and other drugs affect their body and how the mechanism of addiction works. With this knowledge, patients are better at understanding their addictive behaviors and can eventually come up with the best ways to manage recovery.

Therapy

Therapy forms the most important step of formal Klonopin addiction. There are several types of addiction therapy, one of which is individual therapy. In individual therapy, patients work one-on-one with a therapist to address their issues and work on individual recovery goals, one at a time. Group therapy is also available at most drug rehabs in which a therapist works with several patients at a time and helps them overcome their common issues with each other’s support. Additionally, a formal treatment plan for Klonopin abuse may include approaches like music therapy, art therapy, and EMDR therapy to support the process of recovery.

Medication-assisted treatments

During treatment, an expert may offer medication-assisted therapy to make the recovery process more comfortable and pain-free. This type of treatment involves prescribing safer alternatives to Klonopin that can help with the painful withdrawal symptoms without reinforcing the addictive behaviors.

Relapse prevention

Addiction is a chronic disease with a very high chance of relapse, even for someone in active recovery. To address this risk, many rehabs include relapse prevention strategies as a part of their recovery program, which involves the identification of relapse triggers to prepare better patients about avoiding them or healthily managing them.

Aftercare planning

Aftercare planning allows patients to sustain their sobriety for years after the formal treatment concludes. Each patient works with their therapist to build their aftercare plan before they leave treatment. This includes follow-up therapy sessions with psychiatrists, participation in educational sessions, and alumni events.

How long treatment for Klonopin addiction lasts depends on individual circumstances. Treatment may take more time if someone has been abusing this drug for a long time or along with other drugs and alcohol. It generally lasts for 28 to 90 days but may extend beyond this period, depending on the severity of the addiction.

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