The Dangers Of Klonopin
Klonopin (clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine (“benzo”) that was introduced in 1975 to calm panic attacks and control seizures. It is similar in some respects to other benzos like Valium and Xanax, but the addiction potential of Klonopin is much stronger.
Doctors sometimes prescribe Klonopin to ease the symptoms caused by withdrawal from other substances. However, this drug can be just as deadly and just as addictive as the substances that caused the withdrawal symptoms that Klonopin is being prescribed to treat. Klonopin is now one of the most commonly abused prescription medications on the market, second only to opioid painkillers like OxyContin.
Because of the “practice of medicine exception,” psychiatrists and physicians can prescribe Klonopin for anything from weight gain and chronic fatigue, to insomnia. Initially, the drug produces “an energized euphoria,” but the side effects are unpredictable, and the withdrawal is described as “hellish”. Withdrawal can bring on feelings of “horrifying anxiety”, a sensation like sticking your tongue into an electrical outlet, and feeling like your brain is on fire.
What Makes Klonopin So Dangerous?
This drug is intended for short-term use only (7-10 days maximum) because of its high potential for abuse. The action of Klonopin is long-lasting, and it takes longer to metabolize than Valium and Xanax. That means you shouldn’t need as much of it. However, if you enjoy the effect, it’s tempting to take it more often than prescribed. Also, because you will develop a tolerance to it, you’ll need more and more to produce the desired effect. A big problem with this drug is that many physicians and psychiatrists disregard the “short-term use only” warning and keep patients on Klonopin for years at a time, increasing the dosage as time passes.
Benzos mixed with other substances like opiate painkillers and alcohol are a lethal combination. The leading cause of death by drug overdose involves interactions between benzos and other substances. Emergency room visits for benzo abuse outnumber visits for street drug abuse by a three-to-one margin.
How Does Klonopin Affect The Brain?
Klonopin has a powerful effect on brain function. In essence, it suppresses electrical activity. Because no one really knows exactly which brain activities are suppressed, there can be unpredictable reactions. This medication does seem to suppress seizure activity in those with a history of seizures. However, when the drug is prescribed for something else, which it often is, it could actually cause a seizure. Klonopin can also cause depression, drowsiness, lack of coordination, and suicidal thoughts. It can make those taking it feel like zombies. Another common side effect is called “paradoxical disinhibition”. This happens when someone taking Klonopin develops extreme and unexpected characteristics like aggression, impulsiveness, hostility, and excitability.
What Does Klonopin Detox Involve?
This drug has a very high potential for abuse and addiction. Dependence can develop in as little as two weeks. The withdrawal effects are so numerous, severe, and unpleasant that most addicts will do anything at all to get relief. Dangerous withdrawal symptoms can include elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, suicidal thoughts, nightmares, panic, anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, depression, paranoia, seizures, muscle spasms, and death. Klonopin is not an easy drug to kick. Detox should always take place under medical supervision. After detoxing, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to two years before the withdrawal symptoms completely disappear.