Long Term Effects of Klonopin Addiction
Klonopin is a benzodiazepine (i.e., benzo) drug that has sedative and anti-anxiety properties. Also known as clonazepam, Klonopin typically is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms, and seizures. The drug can be habit forming, according to the National Institutes of Medicine. Klonopin addiction can occur if you come to rely on the drug for extended periods of time, use it for recreational purposes, or take it without a doctor’s prescription.
Addiction to Klonopin can occur because the drug creates feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Taking the drug could cause you to become dependent on these pleasurable feelings. As a result, you could end up taking Klonopin to continue these feelings, as well as escape negative emotions you might be experiencing. As addiction escalates, you will need to keep increasing your dose to achieve the same desired effects. Klonopin addiction has many long term physical and psychological effects.
Physical Effects of Klonopin Addiction
About one-third of all patients who take Klonopin for four weeks or longer will become addicted. One physical long term effect from Klonopin addiction is dependence that increases over time. Prolonged abuse of Klonopin can lead to one or more of the following symptoms:
- Changes in brain chemistry
- Hangover-like symptoms such as drowsiness, irritability, and headache
- Liver damage
- Reduced libido
- Sexual dysfunction
In addition to the long term effects from addiction to Klonopin, mixing it with other drugs such as alcohol will increase the chance of overdose and may add more health-related problems.
Psychological Effects of Klonopin Addiction
Klonopin addiction has mental or psychological effects, such as hallucinations, amnesia, mild cognitive impairment, dwindling motivation, and increased aggression. Many of these psychological effects occur within two weeks of use or longer. More serious psychological effects include:
- Personality changes
- Decreased inhibition
Treatment for these psychological long term effects is crucial, even though some of the more serious symptoms might never completely disappear.
Klonopin Addiction and Withdrawal Effects
Severe withdrawal may occur if Klonopin is abruptly quit. In fact, sudden discontinuation can lead to intense withdrawal symptoms which may even pose serious health risks to the user. The nature and severity of the symptoms can depend on the frequency of use, dosage, and whether you are abusing other substances as well. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, psychosis, anxiety, muscle cramps, panic disorder, seizures, and tremors. If you develop an addiction to Klonopin, you should not immediately stop use without getting medical help. You may also need to enter into a rehabilitation program.
Klonopin is highly addictive, and long term abuse of the drug can be debilitating and life threatening. If you become addicted, it is important that you get assistance to quit the drug, and to get long term treatment for your addiction. Getting medical help for Klonopin addiction is crucial because the higher the dose and the longer the abuse, the greater the risk of dependency and long term physical and psychological effects.