Popularly Abused Klonopin

Klonopin is a very popular anti-anxiety drug and muscle relaxant, sometimes used as an anti-convulsant to treat epilepsy. In one government study, Klonopin was ranked number six in the top 10 list of most popularly abused prescription drugs.

If you have been abusing Klonopin for more than two weeks, you probably developed side effects such as muscle weakness and fatigue, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, slurred speech, clumsiness, unsteadiness, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. You put yourself and others in danger if you drive a car or operate machines while on Klonopin.

The main danger, however, in abusing Klonopin is that it affects the brain. Some people go into psychosis the first time they take it, or experience hallucinations and delusions.  Others feel unbalanced and anxious. Klonopin can cause irreversible brain damage if not used under medical supervision. Klonopin is one of the stronger benzodiazepines and therefore, it is easy to become physically dependent on it, sometimes within a matter of weeks. Some people try to get off Klonopin by substituting Valium, but this just begins a new problem with a different drug.

It is best to withdraw from Klonopin or any other benzodiazepine under medical supervision. You can experience seizures and other severe problems if you withdraw too quickly. Some people have actually died after they suddenly stopped taking benzodiazepines. 

Your symptoms will depend upon how long you have been using Klonopin and at what levels. They will also depend on your current health, age, weight, sex, medical history, additional drug use, and so forth. Your symptoms may be only mild depression and sleeplessness. However, some people go into a major withdrawal syndrome that includes flu symptoms like vomiting, sweating, convulsions, tremors, and abdominal and muscle cramps, and dangerous problems such as delirium, visual and auditory hallucinations, and lowered blood pressure. These symptoms begin between 12 to 24 hours after your last dosage of Klonopin and are worst between hours 24 and 72.   Some clinics help you through this period by using medications or by gradually decreasing your levels of Klonopin.

Once all traces of Klonopin are removed from your body, you may experience deep anxiety and panic at higher levels than before you took the drug. Depending on the level of your involvement with Klonopin, you may want to remain in a residential center for a few months or weeks to get help with any anxiety and depression that may surface.

When you call, you can discuss your treatment options with a trained counselor. Depending on your budget, lifestyle, and level of drug use, you can choose a residential or outpatient center for treatment. Residential treatment is more intense in that you live with others undergoing treatment, along with full-time counselors. You participate in group and individual counseling, and may attend classes in nutrition and relaxation techniques. Usually, your family members will become involved in counseling, too, often by telephone. Most centers offer both indoor and outdoor sports, yoga, art, music, drama, and other activities that teach you how to relieve stress and anxiety in healthy ways. You also learn to deal with situations and people that may “trigger” a relapse into using drugs.

Once you return home, you usually will attend support meetings in your community, such as Narc-Anon. You will likely continue with individual and family counseling on an outpatient basis.

The National Institute of Health has done research that indicates people who spend at least a year in active treatment have better outcomes and are more likely to become permanently drug-free. Give yourself time.

If you are the custodial parent of a child who is abusing benzodiazepines, you have the right to place your child in a drug treatment center. Even teenagers who go through drug rehabilitation unwillingly can achieve excellent outcomes. 

Please call now and discuss your situation with a counselor. All of our counselors are professional, informed, and non-judgmental – and some have been through the same problems you are now experiencing.