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Understanding the Dangers of Klonopin Dependence

Clonazepam is marketed in the United States under the brand name of Klonopin which is a benzodiazepine known for its anti-convulsive properties as well as its sedative, hypnotic, anti-anxiety, and muscle relaxant properties. Klonopin works by decreasing electrical activity in the brain and other functions within the central nervous system. It is used to control seizures in children, as a muscle relaxant for restless leg syndrome, as treatment for alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and is often used to mitigate acute anxiety in drug detox programs.

Klonopin Dependence

klonopin addiction

Using Klonopin regularly leads to dependence, which makes it difficult to get off of the medication.

As an anti-anxiety medication with similar, but, longer lasting, effects compared to Alprazolam (Xanax), Klonopin is considered to be well-tolerated and safe for short term use. Long term use, however, causes a tolerance and users require more of the medication to achieve the desired effects. Dependency can result in just a few weeks and if the medication is suddenly stopped, withdrawals are likely to occur.

Psychological dependency is a major concern because Klonopin actually changes the way the brain function and the user may lose interest in other things and Klonopin becomes their “life line”. Over time, the brain becomes adapted to Klonopin in order to feel “normal”, but, the “normal” state of mind may, too often, lead to uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors.

Klonopin Withdrawals

Klonopin withdrawals have more extreme psychological effects than physical. Symptoms of withdrawal from Klonopin may include insomnia, gastric problems, agitation, increased anxiety, depression, muscle spasms, depersonalization, suicidal tendencies, and hypersensitivity to stimuli. Some symptoms may endure for months and gradual reduction of Klonopin use is recommended.

Klonopin Side Effects

The most notable side effect of Common include decreases concentration and alertness, drowsiness, dizziness, lack of coordination, memory loss, muscle relaxation, confusion and decreased libido or erection problems. Although prescribed for anxiety disorders, Klonopin has been known to actually increase irritability, aggression, anxiety, depression, suicidal or harmful tendencies, and other effects such as euphoria, depersonalization, or nightmares may occur.

Understanding the Dangers of Klonopin Dependence

Klonopin slows down the central nervous system and in cases of overdose it can cause respiratory depression, slow blood pressure, coma, seizures, and death. Dependency to Klonopin can also cause the user to lose their inhibitions and engage in unwanted or risky behaviors such as operating a vehicle or heavy machinery, swimming, or combining Klonopin with other drugs or alcohol. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, in 2009, there were a reported 57,633 emergency department visits involving nonmedical use of Klonopin and 112,552 involving Xanax. This is the most recent data available and the figures are probably much higher today, as prescriptions for Klonopin have become more acceptable to the medicine community.