Long Term Effects of Klonopin
Klonopin is one of many medications belonging to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines in general provide relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as treating certain types of seizure disorders, according to the University of Maryland.
Drugs capable of acting on brain processes carry certain risks when used for long periods of time. Likewise, the effects of Klonopin can cause long-term alterations in overall brain function, especially when used for recreational purposes.
Perhaps the most dangerous long term effects of Klonopin have to do with the drug’s abuse and addiction potential. These risks become an issue whether a person takes the drug as prescribed or not. For people using Klonopin as an anxiety treatment, the long term effects of Klonopin can bring on adverse consequences that leave a person worse off than before taking the drug.
As a prescription benzodiazepine medication, Klonopin falls under the Schedule IV class of controlled substances. Schedule IV category drugs carry a low to moderate risk of abuse and addiction. For these reasons, Klonopin should only be used as a short-term treatment remedy.
Klonopin’s ability to relieve depression and anxiety symptoms also comes with certain aftereffects that encourage ongoing drug use. Aftereffects may be experienced as mild euphoria and relaxation. These effects of Klonopin account for why so many people take to using the drug on a recreational basis.
Mechanism of Action
Klonopin’s mechanism of action targets the GABA-producing cells throughout the brain. GABA, also known as gamma-amino butyric acid, is a one of a few primary neurotransmitters that inhibits motor neuron activity in the brain. In effect, GABA reduces the brain’s overall electrical activity.
By stimulating GABA chemical secretions, the effects of Klonopin can alleviate anxiety-based symptoms as well as interrupt activity that may give rise to seizure events. When used over long periods of time, GABA-producing cells gradually lose their functional capacity. When this happens, larger Klonopin doses are needed to produce the same desired effects.
Long Term Effects of Klonopin
As a primary neurotransmitter chemical, any long-term alterations in GABA production can have adverse effects on various bodily processes. Over time, GABA secreting cells become depleted causing widespread chemical imbalances throughout the brain.
As a result, long term effects of Klonopin may take the form of –
- Confused thinking processes
- Episodes of hysteria
- Slurred speech patterns
- Tremors in the extremities
- Erratic eye movements
- Comatose-like states
Once GABA-producing cells lose their functional capacity, they start to deteriorate with ongoing drug use. Over time, the long term effects of Klonopin work to alter the brain’s actual physical structure. Physical dependency and addiction grow out of the drug’s damaging effects on the brain’s structures and chemical processes.
Addiction results when the brain’s reward system comes to view Klonopin effects as a positive influence in a person’s everyday life. At this point, Klonopin becomes a primary motivating factor that influences a person’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors.