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Klonopin Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, Effects, and Treatment

Are You Addicted to Klonopin?

Klonopin (clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine commonly prescribed for epileptic seizures, panic attacks, and generalized anxiety. When taken as prescribed, on a short-term basis, the drug poses little harm or risk. However, long-term or recreational use can result in tolerance, dependence, and severe withdrawal symptoms. 1, 2

Is Klonopin Addictive?

Klonopin is a central nervous system depressant with a high potential for addiction when taken long-term or in recreational doses, or when combined with other drugs or alcohol. The drug may lead to tolerance and dependence, even when taken as prescribed.

Like many other prescription medications, people may underestimate the addictive potential of Klonopin because it is prescribed to them by a doctor.

The drug may be abused due to its ability to produce euphoria, relaxation, and feelings of calm in some users. Other users may become dependent on the drug to help keep their anxiety under control. To prevent an addiction, users who are taking the drug for anxiety should combine medication treatment with a form of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches users techniques they can use to manage their anxiety without medication.

How to Tell If You or a Loved One Is Addicted to Klonopin

As mentioned above, many users may not realize that they are addicted to Klonopin if they have been prescribed the drug by their doctor. If you or a loved one is currently using Klonopin, educate yourself on the signs of addiction so that you can recognize when there is a problem and seek professional help.

Common symptoms of Klonopin addiction include: 3

  • Needing the drug to function.
  • Making excuses to use Klonopin in a way other than prescribed.
  • Neglecting to eat or having a poor appetite.
  • Becoming defensive when discussing use.
  • Experiencing cravings for the drug .
  • Tolerance, or needing to increase the dose to achieve the same effect as before.
  • Missing work, social activities, or hobbies because of drug use.
  • Continuing to use the drug despite any harm it may be causing.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped.

Other signs of abuse and addiction include: 1, 2, 3

  • Persistent drowsiness.
  • Poor coordination.
  • Mood swings.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Memory loss.
  • Slowed reaction time.
  • Seizures.
  • Depression.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Irritability.
  • Poor hygiene.

Cost and Paying for Treatment

The cost of treatment for Klonopin addiction will vary depending on many factors. These include:

  • Whether your facility is inpatient or outpatient: In general, inpatient treatment programs are more expensive than outpatient rehab programs and may not be fully covered under insurance plans.
  • Where you stay: Each facility is unique and has different services and amenities. Therefore, the cost can vary significantly. Treatment costs also can vary by state, and some insurance plans may have different coverage options for in- and out-of-network providers. Call to see which coverage options you have when choosing a treatment facility.
  • How long you stay: Many treatment facilities charge on a per diem basis. The average treatment program is 28 to 30 days long, but some programs can last 60 days to 90 days with some even lasting 6 months or even 1 or 2 years in severe cases.

Financing Options

All too often, finances are a significant barrier to care for many struggling with drug addiction. If finances are a concern for you, don’t let that prevent you from seeking the help you need.

Some of the options for financing treatment include:

  • Health insurance: Many treatment centers accept insurance as a form of payment. Many insurance plans offer some coverage for addiction treatment, but you should still expect some out-of-pocket costs. Each insurance plan is unique and will have its own terms and conditions. The Affordable Care Act now requires that Medicaid health plans cover substance use disorders. If you do not have insurance, you may qualify for a Medicaid plan through your state. 4
  • Credit cards: If you do not have the cash on hand to cover treatment costs, you may want to consider using credit cards. If you decide to go with this option, be sure that the interest rate and repayment terms are affordable. You don’t want financial strain to be a trigger for a relapse after completing treatment.
  • Personal loans: Personal loans are another option for those who do not have the funds to cover treatment in full. You may be able to receive a loan from your bank or lender to cover the cost of treatment. Some rehab facilities also offer payment plans backed by a lender to make the payment process more convenient.
  • Borrowing: If you do not have the credit to take out a loan, you may want to consider borrowing the money from a friend or a family member.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is also a possibility if you have trouble borrowing a lump sum from one person. While it may be difficult to find the humility to ask, you may be surprised at how many people are willing to contribute to your recovery.

If you’re uninsured and are struggling to find the means to finance addiction treatment, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 24/7 national helpline for assistance and information at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Getting Treatment and Starting Recovery

Making the decision to seek treatment for Klonopin addiction is the first step toward recovery. Once you’ve made the commitment to achieving sobriety, the next step is to decide which kind of treatment is right for you.

Some treatment options for Klonopin addiction you may want to consider are: 5, 6

  • Inpatient treatment: Inpatient treatment takes place in a residential facility on a full-time basis for a designated period of time – typically 28 to 90 days. Inpatient treatment usually includes some combination of individual and group counseling and therapy, medically assisted detox, support groups, 12-step programs, and other complementary or alternative therapies.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient rehab typically consists of the same services as inpatient, only the care takes place on an outpatient basis, usually amounting to 10 to 20 hours per week. This option works best for those with less severe addictions who wish to continue to go to work and remain active in their personal and professional lives outside of the treatment environment.
  • 12-step programs: Twelve-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous offer recovering users peer support with weekly or even daily meetings. Participants complete a series of steps to recover from drug addiction.
  • Teen rehab: Many treatment centers offer rehab exclusively for teens struggling with addiction. These centers focus on issues that are specifically related to teens and also offer the support of other teens fighting similar addictions.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment: Dual diagnosis treatment addresses addiction as well as any co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Because Klonopin is commonly prescribed for anxiety, many recovering users will need treatment for anxiety as well as their addiction. Many people who abuse benzodiazepines such as Klonopin also abuse other drugs such as cocaine or alcohol. A treatment plan should address all addictions as well as mental health disorders.

American Addiction Centers has helped thousands recover from addiction and we can help you or your loved one too. Check your insurance to find out instantly if your insurance provider may be able to cover all or part of the cost of rehab and associated therapies. You can also sign up 24/7 text support for addiction questions at your convenience.

Other Factors to Consider

Some other things you may want to pay attention to when choosing a treatment program include:

  • Location: Location of the treatment facility is important for two reasons. First, you’ll want to make sure it is covered by your insurance company. Some insurance plans may not cover out-of-state treatment or offer less coverage for programs that are not in-state. You’ll also want to consider how close the facility is to your family and friends as well as school or work.
  • Qualifications of staff: A good treatment center should have a well-rounded staff of physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, nurses, and other support professionals.
  • Program accreditation: Accreditation holds a facility to certain industry standards. Finding an accredited facility can provide added trust and security that you will be taken care of at your treatment center.
  • Program philosophy: To maximize your chances of recovery, choose a treatment facility whose philosophy is aligned with your own values. For example, if you are not a religious person, you may not be comfortable in a treatment center with a heavy focus on the spiritual component of addiction.

Short- and Long-Term Side Effects of Klonopin Dependence

Klonopin abuse and dependence can cause a number of mental and physical effects. Many of these are side effects that can be exacerbated by abuse and become worse over time, leading to more serious problems. Combining alcohol and Klonopin can cause extreme drowsiness and slowed breathing, and significantly increase the risk of overdose.

Common side effects of Klonopin dependence are: 1, 2

  • Drowsiness.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Dizziness.
  • Mood swings.
  • Poor coordination.
  • Irritability.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Confusion.
  • Memory loss.
  • Rebound insomnia.
  • Rebound anxiety.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Changes in sex drive.
  • Blurred and double vision.
  • Slowed reaction time.

More serious potential long-term effects of Klonopin abuse include: 1, 2
  • Physical and psychological dependence resulting in withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped or the dose lowered.
  • Depression.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Risk of accidents (such as falling or car crashes).
  • Seizures.
  • Coma.
  • Overdose (especially when combined with other drugs, such as alcohol).

Withdrawal Symptoms

Repeated use of Klonopin causes physical changes in the brain and the body. To produce its effects, the drug increases the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Over time, the brain and the body become used to this heightened activity of GABA. When the person stops using the drug, he or she may experience a rebound of excitatory brain activity and suffer from potentially serious withdrawal symptoms.

Common withdrawal symptoms include: 1, 2

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Uncontrollable shaking.
  • Sweating.
  • Rebound insomnia.
  • Rebound anxiety.
  • Rebound or worsening seizures.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Behavioral changes.
  • Depression.
  • Irritability.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

People who have been abusing Klonopin regularly over an extended period of time should seek medically supervised detox at a treatment program. Quitting cold turkey can lead to a number of risks, including seizures and self-harm or suicide. A medical provider can taper your dose slowly to make the withdrawal process safer and more comfortable.

Find a Treatment Program for Klonopin Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with Klonopin addiction, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. For assistance in finding a treatment program that suits your needs, call one of our recovery support specialists at .