With so many recent headlines being taken up with the opioid crisis, it’s easy to overlook the fact that other medications also pose a potential threat to health and wellbeing when misused. Klonopin has the dubious distinction of being called “America’s next big drug problem.”
Klonopin is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines.
Often referred to as benzos, this class of drugs also includes Xanax and Valium. All of them are tranquilizers and are prescribed to treat conditions like anxiety and insomnia. Klonopin is specifically used to treat panic disorder.
In the twenty-first century, the number of prescriptions for benzos has jumped by close to 70 percent. The quantities of pills being ordered by doctors have also increased and now stands at three times the number in the twentieth century.
Symptoms of Klonopin Addiction
If a loved one was taking Klonopin, how would you know that she had started down the slippery slope toward addiction? One way you could tell that you may have cause for concern would be how long your loved one has been taking the medication. Klonopin is usually meant for short-term use due to the potential for abuse and addiction.
If your loved one has to take more of the medication to achieve the same effect, that could be a sign that the medication is being abused. After taking the medication for a relatively short time, the person develops a tolerance for it and needs to increase the dose in order to get the same benefit (feeling calmer, being able to get to sleep, etc.).
This is the point where the slippery slope toward addiction can start. The person taking the medication should discuss the situation with his doctor so that the dosage can be appropriately monitored or the medication changed.
Another sign that your loved one may have developed an addiction to Klonopin is if he experiences withdrawal symptoms if he goes too long between doses of his medication. This is an indication that he has become physically dependent on the drug, which occurs with regular use.
Withdrawal symptoms from Klonopin include:
- Rapid heart rate
Psychological Symptoms of Addiction
Not all signs of addiction to Klonopin are physical. Your loved one may start to experience some psychological signs of addiction to this drug. If you notice some (or all) of these signs, then it’s likely an indication there is some type of a problem going on:
- Your loved one is moving slower than usual. Klonopin is a tranquilizer, so her thinking and reactions may be slowed down when she is under its influence.
- Your loved one may have trouble concentrating or remembering details or events that she should be able to recall normally. The medication tends to make it more difficult to recall information with regular use. If your loved one repeatedly struggles with memory, it could be a sign of Klonopin addiction.
- She feels that she “needs” to use Klonopin in order to get through the day. Instead of using the medication on an as-needed basis to deal with anxiety attacks or occasional bouts of insomnia, your loved one starts using it on a regular or a semi-regular basis. The medication is seen as something to be used as a coping mechanism, as opposed to other strategies that don’t involve using chemicals.
- A definite sign of Klonopin addiction is when a loved one has tried to stop using the drug but can’t give it up. At this point, the person needs to seek professional drug addiction treatment.
Professional Drug Addiction Treatment for Klonopin
One of the definitions of addiction is when someone continues using a substance even when they are experiencing negative consequences. A person who is in a position where they are unable to stop taking a drug because of the withdrawal symptoms (physical reasons) or they don’t think they can function without it (psychological reasons) needs professional help to break free from that substance’s influence. She will also need support to develop tools to lower the risk of a relapse.
Great Oaks Recovery has the staff and resources to help your loved one living with a Klonopin addiction. Our programs are scientifically-based and customized to meet individual needs by providing a full continuum of care.