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Klonopin is one of a group of drugs collectively known as benzodiazepines. These medications are commonly used to treat seizure disorders, panic disorders and anxiety. Klonopin or Clonazapam (its generic name), is addictive, and prolonged use can cause withdrawal symptoms if a dose is skipped or users suddenly stop using the medication altogether. Street names for this drug include K-pin, tranks, Super Valium, downers, and benzos.
Other commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium) or lorazepam (Ativan).
Even before addiction becomes an issue, Klonopin side effects might make it a less than ideal choice. Users may experience drowsiness, unsteadiness, difficulty remembering things, dizziness or blurred vision. More serious side effects can include changes to libido, loss of muscle coordination, muscle and joint pain, seizures, rashes or hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling and excessive bruising or bleeding.
Abuse and Addiction
The unfortunate truth is that even when taking clonazepam as prescribed, addiction may be the result. It is highly addictive medication, and prolonged use may leave users dependent on it. Klonopin addiction symptoms include withdrawal from family, friends and activities, problems at work, drug cravings and extreme paranoia or anxiety.
Over time, Klonopin abuse can leave users with memory issues, loses in cognitive function, an inability to focus, mood swings and a chronic lack of coordination. In addition to these, many experience a general feeling of sickness, agitation, tremors, difficulty concentrating and a rapid heartbeat.
Mixing with Alcohol
Mixing this medication with alcohol is a recipe for disaster. Both substances act as CNS depressants which slow brain activity. Drinking, while taking benzodiazapines, can increase your risk of side effects and may make addiction more inevitable. It can also lengthen the effective time for an individual dose.
Klonopin vs. Xanax
Both Klonopin and Xanax are often prescribed as anti-anxiety medications. However, there are some differences in how they work. Klonopin is slower acting for a longer period of time. Xanax works faster and wears off faster. Both can be addictive, and both have a similar list of side effects and withdrawal symptoms.
Missing a dose of this medication or taking less than usual can leave users facing a host of problems in just a few hours. Some withdrawal symptoms include:
. Panic Attacks
. Memory loss
. Personality Changes
. Light sensitivity
. Numbness or tingling
. Rapid heartbeat
. Cognitive difficulties
. Excessive sweating
These are just some of the withdrawal symptoms that are possible. Not everyone experiences all of these issues, but these are some of the most common.
Stopping any benzodiazepine suddenly can cause intense withdrawal symptoms. For those addicted during a regular course of treatment, most doctors slowly wean users off using a tapering prescription. For those using Klonopin illicitly, an inpatient detox program, followed by long-term outpatient therapy, is usually the best option. Treatment for a Klonopin addiction starts with detox. An outpatient detox program might include weaning users off the drug slowly, but a more intense, inpatient setting is faster. One of the biggest challenges facing many Klonopin addicts is the reality that they need some form of anxiety medication. The most effective of these drugs are often habit-forming. Working with doctors to create a long-term plan for anxiety management and addiction treatment is an essential part of getting sober.
Call Drug Treatment Centers Rye if you have an addiction to this or any other prescription medication. Our team of medical and mental health professionals can help you get back in the right track. Call and speak to one of our addiction specialists today at 914-829-5799.