Clonidine Addiction: Can This Prescription Drug Really be Dangerous?

Clonidine addiction is becoming a serious problem in the United States. This drug is one of many that are used to help people going through opiate detox. Unfortunately, it has addictive properties of its own. Most people don't realize that when they start taking it. They often will inadvertently become Clonidine addicts without meaning to.

What is Clonidine?

Clonidine is a prescription drug that goes by a number of different names. These include:

  • Catapres
  • Kapvay
  • Nexiclon
  • Clophelin

It is used to treat a number of different conditions. Some of these include hypertension, ADHD, anxiety and migraines. It is also a drug that is frequently used for those who are in drug or alcohol detox facilities. It's been shown to help with withdrawal from opioids, alcohol and even smoking.

Clonidine is classified as a centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agent.

How is Clonidine Given to Patients?

This is a drug that can be given in many different forms. It can be given as:

  • A Clonidine injection. This may decrease the risk of addiction in some people.
  • The Clonidine patch or transdermal film
  • The Clonidine oral tablet. This is probably the easiest type of the drug to abuse.
  • As an extended release tablet.
  • As a compounding powder.

How Serious is Clonidine Addiction?

Clonidine addiction is very serious. Because this drug is used to control blood pressure, controlled doses are an absolute necessity when taking it. Unfortunately, people tend to increase how much Clonidine they use when they find out what it can do.

For someone who suffers from an opiate addiction, Clonidine offers an alternative to taking more opiates. Instead, they can use Clonidine to increase the intensity of the high they experience with the opiates.

As you can see, this presents a real problem. The potential for Clonidine addiction is made even worse by another fact. It's not a drug that is readily recognized as being addictive. This means that many physicians are prescribing the drug without realizing the damage it can do.

How Does a Person Become Addicted to Clonidine?

There are a few ways that people may become addicted to Clonidine. Of course, this is because there are a few different types of addictions.

There are those who choose to abuse Clonidine. These are individuals who may have sought to recover from addiction at some point. However, they eventually learned that Clonidine could be used to intensify their high.

There are also those who honestly thought they were taking Clonidine to help with their addictions. Or, they may have been taking it to help with other medical issues they had. They may have increased the dosage they were taking on their own to get better results. People will often do this as a way to self-medicate. What they don't realize is that this quite often leads to an addiction.

As far as how Clonidine addiction occurs, it has to do with how the brain responds to this drug. This can happen when it is taken for too long, or when dosages are increased unnecessarily.

Medications like Clonidine can lead to increased dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. These are two chemicals that the brain makes on its own, usually. As time goes on, the brain stops doing this because the drug has taken over the job.

Serotonin and dopamine are responsible for making people feel good. They are sometimes known as the “happiness chemicals” in the body. This is why it's so hard to stop this medicine. Clonidine makes them feel normal, and like they can function regularly.

Clonidine abuse is a term that people will frequently use to mean Clonidine addiction. It's important to understand the difference between these two conditions.

When someone is abusing Clonidine, they have not yet formed an addiction to it. This might refer to increasing their dosage of the drug. Clonidine can also be abused in other ways, such as taking the dosages too close together.

For someone who is a Clonidine abuser, they don't feel an internal need to use the drug. They will be able to stop using it without any serious consequences. They won't go through Clonidine withdrawal. They may never even think about the drug again.

Even so, it's important to remember that all Clonidine addictions begin with abuse. For someone who is abusing Clonidine, an addiction can happen at any moment.

The euphoric effects of DMT mean that it is highly likely to be abused. For those who prefer psychedelic drugs, DMT serves as an alternative to other drugs. Some of these might include LSD or Ecstasy.

Fortunately, DMT does not appear to be physically addictive. However, that does not mean that it doesn't have some psychological addiction components to it. According to SAMHSA, in 2013, about 280,000 people in the U.S. had a hallucinogen use disorder. DMT is a drug that is undoubtedly counted among these individuals.

Continuing to use DMT regularly can lead to a physical tolerance to the drug. This tolerance means that someone must take more of it in order to get the same effects. This increased tolerance is a sign of addiction to DMT. However, for the most part, the addiction is psychological, and not really physical.

Perhaps you've been abusing Clonidine yourself. You may be very concerned that your abuse of this drug has become an addiction. It's important to know the different signs and symptoms of Clonidine addiction. This will allow you to see your relationship with this drug in a clearer light.

Some signs and symptoms of Clonidine addiction include:

  • Frequently using more Clonidine than you intended to use
  • Not being able to control how much or how often you use Clonidine
  • Spending a lot of time recovering from your latest Clonidine use
  • Focusing entirely too much on getting more Clonidine
  • Being unable to fulfill your responsibilities because of your Clonidine use
  • Feeling a strong urge to use Clonidine regularly
  • Using Clonidine even though you know it's causing you problems
  • Going through Clonidine withdrawal when you stop taking the drug

If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, you may have a Clonidine addiction.

Are You a Clonidine Addict? Take a Quiz to Learn More

Maybe you've gone over the above symptoms and signs of addiction to Clonidine, but you're still not convinced. You're not entire sure that what you have is an actual addiction. You may be surprised, but there are many people who feel the exact same way you do.

This doesn't mean that you don't have an addiction. However, it does mean that you need more information. Sometimes, it can be helpful to answer a few more questions about your Clonidine use. You can do this by taking an addiction quiz. This will give you even more insight, and you'll have access to your results right away.

Clonodine Addiction Quiz

What is the Clonidine High Like?

The Clonidine high is actually quite dangerous. After all, this is a drug that was meant to lower blood pressure. Because of this, the high produces many of the effects you might expect.

The Clonidine high is characterized by:

  • A strong sense of sedation
  • Bouts of dizziness
  • Problems with concentration
  • Numbness in the limbs
  • A very low blood pressure
  • Hearing and vision difficulties
  • An almost constant dry mouth

When paired with opiates like heroin or Oxycontin, some of these effects can be desirable. However, it's easy to see how they also tread along a very dangerous path. The Clonidine high is not really anything like the high experienced with opiate drugs. It does make that high more intense, while adding in effects of its own.

Common Clonidine Side Effects Explained

People who are over the age of 65 are at a greater risk for Clonidine side effects. The risk of Clonidine side effects also increases for people who mix the drug with other drugs. Clonidine is a drug that should not be taken for a longer period of time.

Its side effects include:

  • Feeling extremely sedated and fatigued
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Losing your appetite
  • Gaining weight
  • Experiencing joint pain
  • Dry eyes and blurry vision
  • Symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itchiness all over the body

The Dangerous Side Effects of Clonidine

Clonidine can lead to some dangerous side effects as well. These include:

  • Getting a rash or developing hives
  • Severe breathing issues
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Swelling in various parts of the body, including the legs, face, tongue and lips
  • Becoming hoarse

Anyone experiencing these side effects is urged to contact their doctor right away.

Clonodine Addiction Information

Stopping Clonidine on Your Own: Is it Possible?

People who become addicted to Clonidine frequently try to stop using it on their own. They don't realize the dangers associated with doing so. If you're contemplating stopping Clonidine by yourself, you need to know what can happen.

For the length of time you've been using this drug, Clonidine has kept your blood pressure low. If the drug is stopped abruptly, it can lead to an extremely high blood pressure. This can be dangerous, and in some, it can even be fatal.

Also, Clonidine addiction can lead to withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped. These withdrawal symptoms are hard to cope with. More often than not, they lead people right back to using again.

In a professional setting, Clonidine withdrawal symptoms can be controlled. Some can even be eliminated. Unlike other drugs, Clonidine withdrawal can be dangerous. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Extremely high blood pressure
  • Sudden onset of hallucinations
  • Excessive anxiety or even panic attacks
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Violent mood swings
  • Tremors in the body
  • Becoming very lightheaded
  • Severe agitation

Clonidine withdrawal can also result in the rupture of blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to a loss of consciousness. In some cases, it's even possible to die from Clonidine withdrawal. These symptoms are excellent examples of why one should never stop using Clonidine without supervision.

It is possible to overdose on Clonidine, and it actually happens quite often. In many cases, overdoses are accidental with this medication. Clonidine addicts will frequently go back to using the drug after they've stopped taking it. This is what's known as a relapse. Many of them will relapse thinking that they will just quit again. They may have just reached a point where they needed some relief from withdrawal.

Unfortunately, these relapses are what usually lead to overdoses. People will continue on the same dosage of Clonidine that they've been taking all along. What they don't realize is that their tolerance levels have changed drastically. They no longer need the same amount of Clonidine to get the same high. With too much of the drug in their system, their blood pressure can plummet.

Far too many families lose loved ones to overdoses every single year. This doesn't have to be the case with you. If you have a Clonidine addiction, the best thing you can do is to get professional help to stop.

Clonidine Addiction Treatment

The Best Clonidine Addiction Treatment is Available

If you have become addicted to Clonidine, the best thing you can do is to get professional help. Clonidine rehab is available to assist you in your recovery goals.

This is a highly dangerous drug, and it's just as dangerous to stop taking it abruptly. It's much safer to go through a Clonidine detox program first. This will allow you to get through the withdrawal period, and avoid serious medical complications. Once you have finished Clonidine detox, a Clonidine treatment program is beneficial. It will assist you with overcoming the psychological and emotional side of the addiction.

At Northpoint Washington, we've seen an increase in Clonidine addictions. We understand why these addictions occur. We're also prepared to equip you with everything you need to recover. If you have recently found out that you are a Clonidine addict, please don't panic. The right drug rehab center is available to help you every step of the way. We can provide you with the right tools to break free of your Clonidine addiction safely and successfully.

Do you have a Clonidine addiction? Do you need more information about your options for Clonidine rehab and treatment? Please contact us right away.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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