Klonopin is a medication that is commonly prescribed for things like seizures, panic disorders, anxiety, and the movement disorder, akathisia. The working ingredient is called Clonazepam. It sits in the family of benzodiazepines and comes in tablet form. While it is a really useful drug, it has also been found to be addictive. Klonopin addiction in the US has become a problem. This is because it is used for many ailments coupled by the fact it gives you a good feeling.
It affects the chemicals in your brain that may have been unbalanced. While someone who is suffering from seizures may get positive benefits from the medication, it’s also quite possible the patient will abuse it.
It is used recreationally because it has long lasting tranquilizing effects. Drugs like Ativan and Xanax are a fast acting benzodiazepine. Klonopin takes some time to become effective (up to an hour) but the sedative feeling will last for many hours unlike the faster acting benzos. Even when it’s not abused, the person taking as prescribed will experience a calming feeling. People say there is a mild feeling of euphoria, a heaviness, and a relaxed feeling.
Klonopin addiction has become a serious problem in the United States. This might be the most over-prescribed benzodiazepine medication in our country. Ironically, benzodiazepines replaced more dangerous drugs like barbiturates of the 1950’s to manage anxiety.
Barbituates had a high potential for addiction and overdose. There was a calling for a safer class of drugs. In 1955, the Hoffman La Roche company designed the new drug compound that became the benzodiazepine drug class. As of 1964, the Hoffman La Roche company had developed and patented Klonopin. This was after benzodiazepines had shown such a high success rate in the market. By 1975, they were marketing Klonopin as a way to treat epileptic seizures.
A 2013 National Survey for Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 5,500 new users were trying prescription psychotherapeutic drugs every single day. These users were trying the drugs on non-medical terms. The data from the NSDUH report found that the average age of abusing prescription tranquilizers was 25 years old. Between 2002 to 2013, there was an average of 1.1 million to 1.4 million people who were trying tranquilizers like Klonopin.
Research indicates that the majority of people who are admitted for Klonopin addiction are males between the ages of 18 and 34. There are also a significant number of women who become addicted to it as well. This may be because women tend to suffer from panic disorders more often than men do. This medication is frequently physicians’ drug of choice to treat this condition.
A Klonopin addiction can happen occur for two reasons. Some people get addicted to it on by accident, whereas others may be abusing it recreationally. Both situations are reasons to get treatment.
As of 2011, Klonopin was the second highest diverted benzo. This is based on how much has been seized and brought to forensic labs.
There are around 5 million people in the US over age 12 who have used a benzodiazepine in their lifetime. Klonopin is included in this statistic.
There have been nearly 63,000 visits to an emergency room in 2011 alone relating to benzos.
If you’re addicted to Klonopin, or if you’ve been abusing it, you need as much information as you can get. It’s critical for you to understand the drug’s side effects and what happens when you stop taking it. Klonopin, like alcohol, can cause delirium tremens if you try to stop using it cold turkey. It is one of the drugs that usually requires you to taper off of it slowly. This should be done as a medically assisted treatment. You can You also need to know that help is available so that you can come off it safely and successfully. That’s what we would like to provide for you today.
Klonopin is available in scored tablets. There is a K-shaped perforation. This variety contains 0.5 mg of clonazepam. The unscored tablets with a K-shape contain 1mg or 2mg of clonazepam. Each tablet will include fillers such as:
The chemical makeup of clonazepam includes benzodiazepin-2-one.
(clonazepam) Tablets, for Oral Use
The warning on the label states this:
Use of any benzodiazepine mixed with any type of opioid can result in extreme sedation. This can cause respiratory depression which can lead to a coma and/or death. The label warns doctors that prescribe this drug to someone who is likely to abuse drugs is not recommended. Also, if someone has been opioid prescription medication, it’s not recommended that they’re also prescribed Klonopin. There should be a limit to the dosages and durations to this medication. Doctors are also supposed to ensure the patient does a check up to see if dependency is developing.
As of 1975, Klonopin has been prescribed for a variety of seizure disorders. This includes the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (petit mal). It has also been found useful for akinetic and myoclonic seizures. For those who have petit mal, they will often be put on succinimides (an anticonvulsant drug). If this doesn’t work, Klonopin has found to be useful.
Klonopin is prescribed for patients with panic disorder. It has been shown to decrease the intense feelings that occur in a panic attack and anxiety. It is a commonly used drugs to help a patient with panic disorder whether they also experience agoraphobia or not. Agoraphobia is an extreme, irrational fear of:
Panic disorder is when a person experiences panic attacks that occur unexpectedly. The person may also bring on a panic attack with the fear of having another one. They may start to change their behavior due to fear of a panic attack. The clinical trials related to Klonopin and panic disorder showed a major change in the behaviors that related to attacks. The trial included two trials that ranged from 6-9 weeks. When a person experiences an attack, they experience intense fear. Common symptoms develop within 10 minutes and include:
Effectiveness past the 9 week mark hasn’t been studied in trials. The doctor that prescribes Klonopin for a long period of time should reevaluate how effective it is past the 9 week point. The risk of addiction may not be worth the effectiveness.
If a patient is already using anticonvulsants and they take Klonopin, it can have an adverse effect in the brain. It can actually cause seizures or other side effects.
When a patient starts taking Klonopin for seizure disorders, they shouldn’t take more than 1.5 mg per day. This amount should be taken three times daily apart from each other. The dosage can increase in 0.5 mg to 1 mg per every 3 days. This is until the seizures are under control or side effects become too much. Maintenance dosages are dependent on each individual. The maximum amount Klonopin should be take daily is 20 mg.
Sometimes, Klonopin is given to children. As it can cause drowsiness, the initial dose for infants and children should be 0.01 mg to 0.03 depending on their weight. The daily dosage shouldn’t be more than 0.05 mg in a day. Dosage increase every three days shouldn’t exceed 0.05.
To start, the dose for adults will be 0.25 mg. This can increase to 1 mg after three days. This is the recommended dose based on a fixed dose study. In the same study, it was found that doses ranging from 2 mg to 4 mg were actually less effective. In fact, adverse effects occurred. It’s recommended that the last dose of the day be taken before before bed as it Klonopin makes you drowsy. Coping with a triple dose of Klonopin throughout the day can cause you to become unable to cope with responsibilities because you’re always tired.
There is no evidence from studies that tell us how long a person on Klonopin should stay on it. It is up to the doctor that prescribes it. There should be revaluation often as this drug can be highly addictive.
No clinical trials have been conducted in regards to patients taking Klonopin for panic disorders that are under 18 years old.
The precise mechanism by which clonazepam exerts its antiseizure and antipanic effects is unknown, although it is believed to be related to its ability to enhance the activity of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
Clonazepam is rapidly and completely absorbed after oral administration. The absolute bioavailability of clonazepam is about 90%. Maximum plasma concentrations of clonazepam are reached within 1 to 4 hours after oral administration.. Clonazepam is approximately 85% bound to plasma proteins. Clonazepam is highly metabolized, with less than 2% unchanged clonazepam being excreted in the urine. Biotransformation occurs mainly by reduction of the 7-nitro group to the 4-amino derivative. This derivative can be acetylated, hydroxylated and glucuronidated. Cytochrome P-450 including CYP3A, may play an important role in clonazepam reduction and oxidation. The elimination half-life of clonazepam is typically 30 to 40 hours. Clonazepam pharmacokinetics are dose-independent throughout the dosing range. There is no evidence that clonazepam induces its own metabolism or that of other drugs in humans.
Controlled studies examining the influence of gender and age on clonazepam pharmacokinetics have not been conducted, nor have the effects of renal or liver disease on clonazepam pharmacokinetics been studied. Because clonazepam undergoes hepatic metabolism, it is possible that liver disease will impair clonazepam elimination. Thus, caution should be exercised when administering clonazepam to these patients (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
In children, clearance values of 0.42 ± 0.32 mL/min/kg (ages 2 – 18 years) and 0.88 ± 0.4 mL/min/kg (ages 7 – 12 years) were reported; these values decreased with increasing body weight. Ketogenic diet in children does not affect clonazepam concentrations.
There have been two double blind controlled studies that involved placebos in the controlled group. The diagnosis was mainly for panic disorders that either did or did not involve agoraphobia. Klonopin did show to be much more effective than those in the placebo group. The frequency of panic attacks reduced more so in the Klonopin group.
The first study went of for nine weeks with fixed doses of 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 mg per day. There were four phases in the study.
A 1-week placebo introduction.
A 3-week upward titration.
A 6 week fixed dose.
A 7 week discontinuation.
There was a significant different from the placebo and the 1 mg per day of Klonopin group. At the endpoint, 74% of the patients who had clonazepam with a 1mg per day dose were free of the full panic attacks. Within the placebo group, there were 56% free of their full panic attacks.
In the second study, it lasted for six weeks. This was a flexible Klonopin dose study that ranged from 0.5 mg to 4 mg per day or a placebo. There were three phases which included:
A 1-week placebo introduction.
A 6-week optimal-dose.
A 6-week discontinuation dose.
The average Klonopin dose within the optimal dosing period was 2.3 mg per day. The difference between the Klonopin group and placebo group was that the Klonopin group experienced a reduction in panic attacks. An average of one per attack per week. There were 62% of patients who took Klonopin that were free of their full panic attacks. The placebo group ended up with 37% being free of their attacks.
A 1 mg Klonopin pill can cost about $1.00 each. You can get 2 mg pills for about $3.00. The street value varies upon the municipality. For one hundred tablets that have .05 mg, you’ll pay $275. This is slightly dependent on the pharmacy you go to. They aren’t valid with insurance plans. There is a generic version of Klonopin that may cost less as well. Klonopin is relatively cheap when you have a prescription. If you don’t have a prescription, it’s illegal to purchase because it’s a Schedule IV drug.
Klonopin is a benzodiazepine that is used in part as an anti-anxiety medicine. The body reacts to it in the same way it would Valium and Xanax.
When comparing Klonopin vs, Xanax, there are a few differences. If a doctor is prescribing a benzo for anxiety, they are more prone to offering Xanax because it’s a fast acting drug. Klonopin takes longer to work so if a person is experiencing an anxiety attack, it’s not going to be effective. It is a good preventative but due to it’s addictive nature, you don’t want to use it consistently long term. It should only be used short term for panic disorders.
Valium is for occasional use and is meant to be used to relieve anxiety when it occurs. It is also highly addictive with severe withdrawal symptoms. Doctors are more likely to prescribe Valium or Xanax for panic disorders or anxiety.
Klonopin’s chemical or generic name is clonazepam. It is a drug that is very similar to Xanax and Valium. It belongs to the benzodiazepine classification of medications. These types of drugs are a GABA-inhibitory benzo. The GABA receptors in the brain release chemicals that allow us to relax naturally. When that’s not possible, drugs like Klonopin are introduced. This would be part of the addiction risk too. When a person has been taking Klonopin for long enough, they can’t relax on their own because the brain isn’t capable of releasing the relaxing chemicals any longer. It Klonopin can be very effective, and tends to work quickly. In fact, it is often used as a rescue medication for people who have seizures.
For people who have a prescription for Klonopin, they need to follow their doctor’s orders exactly. They shouldn’t miss a dose of it because doing so can actually cause seizures. However, physicians should also be careful to only keep their patients on it for a short period of time.
Here, two physicians discuss Klonopin and how doctors use it to treat their patients:
Benzos are used to treat a number of different conditions. They’re often helpful in treating anxiety and panic disorders. They are sedatives, and they can be useful in treating insomnia.
Benzodiazepines are very good at treating seizures, and they are excellent anticonvulsant medications. Doctors may also prescribe them to treat restless leg syndrome. and They’re also used for those who suffer from alcohol withdrawal.
As you can see, these drugs are very versatile. This is one of the reasons they’re so highly prescribed in the United States. But their versatility can result in overprescribing, which is also why so many people are dependent on them.
What a drag it is getting old
‘Kids are different today,’ I hear ev'ry mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she’s not really ill
There's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper.
– The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones hit, “Mother’s Little Helper” came out in 1966. The song was all about Valium and is considered observation on a social problem happening at this time. Valium had just hit the market a few year before and became popular with American housewives. For over a century, drug manufacturers had been trying to develop an anti-anxiety medication that wasn’t addictive. First there were opiates which came with devastating results. Then there was the age of barbiturates which were highly addictive too. Antipsychotic drugs (phenothiazines) were also introduced but the side effects were extreme.
Benzodiazepines work by attaching themselves to a receptor in the brain. This causes an activation of the GABA neurotransmitter. When GABA is released, simply put, it calms you and makes you sleepy. This occurs in minutes. In the 1960’s, Valium was considered a miracle drug. At this time, benzodiazepines became the most widely prescribed class of drugs across the globe. To this day, they are still popular even though we now know how addictive they can be. The recommended amount of time to take any benzo, including Klonopin, is 2-4 weeks. This is often extended however, causing problems for the patient.
For people with severe anxiety, Klonopin can almost seem like a wonder drug. It’s not the type of medication that has to take time to build up in your system. This is the case for drugs like Prozac and Lexapro. It will work as soon as you take it the very first time.
After their first use of Klonopin, people are usually amazed at how well it calms them down. They generally feel the effects of it within the first hour, and those effects can last for several hours.
Here, you can listen to one man talk about his experience with taking only a microdose of Klonopin. He was terrified to even take the full dosage that his doctor prescribed, which was 0.5 mg. Instead, he cut the pill into four pieces and only took one of them. He was surprised at how well it worked for him.
First, it’s important to identify what we mean when we say, taken properly. The medical community often defines this as being with a doctor’s prescription. However, research has shown that benzodiazepines should not be taken long-term, even when they’re prescribed. No more than 2-4 weeks for Klonopin generally.
Most addiction recovery professionals believe that medications like Klonopin should only be taken for a few weeks. Other drugs that are less addictive should be used once the issue it was prescribed to treat is under more control.
When Klonopin is taken properly (short-term), there is still a risk that you can build a slight dependency. Many patients that are prescribed Klonopin will experience mild symptoms when they stop using it. This is even if they’ve used it short-term and as directed.it is not dangerous at all. It works very well at calming brain activity for people with panic disorder, anxiety and seizures. This can become comforting so when you stop taking it, the old feelings could come rushing back. The brain may not be as effective in releasing calming chemicals. This won’t last long however.
As Americans focus on the opioid epidemic, another, very real problem is lurking in the shadows. Benzodiazepine drugs are just as addictive as opioids, and yet, they don’t get the attention they deserve. The fact is that when someone dies of an opioid overdose, most toxicology reports find benzos in the system too. This is despite the fact that there is a warning on the label in bold to not mix benzodiazepines and opioids. It causes serious risks such as heavy sedation, respiratory depression, coma that possibly leads to death. It’s extremely dangerous to mix the two and yet many do as found in toxicology reports.
Tolerance for benzodiazepines are believed to occur because they weaken the natural response of the GABA receptors in the brain. This means the use will need to continue taking the drug, and increasing dosages to be able to trigger the receptors. This is what will keep them calm. If they don’t have the hit they need, they may become extremely fearful and anxious. This feels like walls are caving in. GABA governs quite a few of your actions. This includes motor control, how you think, anxiety, and your ability to rest. For someone taking the drug for social anxiety, they are changing how they think, sleep, and act.
When a person tries to come off benzodiazepines, they may experience all the things they’ve been avoiding plus more. This is what creates a major challenge for getting off of them. It’s rare that someone with Klonopin addiction will admit to it because the pills feel like a part of their own health and well being.
Back in the 1970’s, when benzodiazepines were being popped like candy, there was a young scientist who looked into the craze. He was a psychologist and pharmacologist and took to studying the effect of the drug on people. Based on how dependent people were in his study, he had assumed patients were upping their dose to become hooked. What he found was that most users had stayed on the prescribed dosage but were still addicted.
It was in the 1980’s that a team of researchers finally issues warnings of long-term benzodiazepine use. There have now been decades of studies to prove that using benzodiazepines (even as prescribed). Still, they are incredibly popular because of their superiority for anti-anxiety issues.
The sales of these medications have increased tremendously over the last ten years. Every year, more and more people are taking them without much thought of a possible addiction.
The benzo problem in the United States has become a hidden epidemic. It’s one that many doctors refuse to acknowledge. It all started in the 50s and 60s when these drugs were viewed as an easy quick fix. They were most often prescribed for women who had nervous conditions or struggled to fall asleep. In some cases, they were even prescribed to teenagers with the same issues.
Today, these drugs are being prescribed at an alarming rate despite the risks. They’re also given to patients with conditions that don’t require long-term medication therapy.
Dr. Drew had a lot to say about the hidden epidemic of benzodiazepines. Watch this video to get his take on this problem and how it has been ignored.
Dr. Richard Ries of the University of Washington conducted a study on the use of benzos in the U.S. He reported the following statistics:
His research also found that while there are a lot of nonmedical opioid-related ER visits, benzos aren’t far behind. 32.2% of all ER visits are related to the nonmedical use of opioid drugs. Close to 27% of them are related to the misuse of benzodiazepines.
The current statistics on the abuse of benzodiazepines like Klonopin are staggering. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that:
The CDC has changed their guidelines regarding these medications for doctors. They recommend that they avoid prescribing them at the same time whenever possible. Benzos now care black box warnings that offer warnings about using them along with opioids.
In the movie, Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper have a conversation about drugs they’ve taken for their mood disorders. The storyline is based on two people that have both experienced problems with anxiety and other mood disorders. They had very little to say to each other until they talked about the drugs they’d been prescribed. Then it was something they had in common that seemingly, nobody else understood. Both of them mentioned being on Klonopin and then made facial suggestions of it being mind blowing. Their response to Klonopin was, “what day is it?”
Lena Dunham wrote, directed and starred in the hit HBO show, “Girls.” She recently admitted that she was six months sober from abusing Klonopin. She started taking it because her anxiety was so intense she was unable to manage her life. She couldn’t focus on her work because it was always an anxiety filled affair. She had a lot of responsibilities and said that Klonopin gave her the ability to meet them. Dunham also said that Klonopin made her feel like the person she was supposed to be. She went on further to say that the drug made her feel like she had tapped into the part of herself that allowed her to do her thing.
The actor/writer/director said it wasn’t hard to continue getting Klonopin from a doctor. She didn’t have to doctor shop or anything. Nobody tried to tell her that she had anxiety issues and it needed to be dealt with instead of using a bandaid. She even had an increase in dosage after being diagnosed with PTSD. She used to just take a Klonopin when she was flying but it turned into when she awake and the abuse worsened.
Her PTSD was causing panic attacks and Klonopin helped with that. She misused benzodiazepines for three years and it was all prescribed by doctors. Dunham was surprised at how difficult it was to stop using Klonopin when she decided it was time. She said that nobody she’s spoken to is ever really warned about the incredibly challenging withdrawal symptoms.
Lena had this to say about her long term experience with Klonopin.
“still feels like my brain is recalibrating itself to experience anxiety,” she told Dax Shepard about being sober on his podcast 'Armchair Expert.' "I just feel, literally, on my knees grateful every day."
Hollywood is a swimming pool for stress. There is so much pressure and someone who is hot today, may not be tomorrow. There is so much to lose and everyone is watching you so closely. We are all human and mistakes happen, especially when we’re nervous. There is a loss of clear thinking when anxiety comes up. This might be the reason why so many in Hollywood abuse various types of legal and illegal drugs.
A Beverly Hills psychotherapist said that within the California State, there’s a lot abuse happening. Self-medication is huge and has been going on in Hollywood for a long time. Everything from drugs that keep you awake to drugs that calm your nerves. Interestingly, a lot of actors are extroverts. They are artists doing a job. Having to go to social gatherings isn’t fun. It causes anxiety.
The most in-demand prescription drugs are Xanax, Klonopin, and Adderall. These drugs help to calm a person down and gives actors and entertainers peace of mind so they can do their jobs. A term used is that it’s the glue that holds them together. Directors, executives, and actors are the main people in Hollywood asking for these drugs.
When prescription run out, patients go through great lengths to get more. They will get their assistants to come over and lie, saying the person lost their medication. Assistants will even pretend to be a patient with anxiety to get an addiction prescription. Doctor shopping is not uncommon.
There are a lot of opioid overdoses which is headline news. They are increasing all the time. What a lot of these reports don’t mention is the fact that almost two-thirds of overdose deaths include a mixture of other drugs. A JAMA study shows that opioids and benzos are a particularly risky mixture within the first 3 months of concurrent use. They are both also highly addictive. Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin are highly prescribed benzos so it’s easy for opioid users to get their hands on them. The study looked at over 71,000 Medicare beneficiaries to see how concurrent use of opioids and benzos are influencing the risk of overdose.
Patients were divided up dependent on whether they’d only had opioids before their overdose or if they were mixing opioids and benzos like Klonopin. For a patient who had a supply of both drugs, they were then subdivided based on cumulative days that the patient had taken opioids with benzodiazepines.
Once analyzed, it was found that the overdose risk was five time greater in patients who were taking both drugs in a three month period. After 6 months, the risk of overdose was nearly the same as taking just opioids.
For a patient that requires both an opioid and a benzodiazepine, extreme caution should be made. The patient should be closely monitored by professionals. There is a major risk of overdose because the heart becomes so depressed. It causes such extreme sedation that people can just fall into a coma and their heart will stop beating.
Part of the cause of overdose is the lack of communication occurring between doctors that are treating the same patient. The study found a lot of fragmented care at play regarding inappropriate use of opioids. Mixing opioids and benzos have been studied extensively. Public health groups and government agencies have sounded the alarms on this issue. There is an emphatic warning the FDA released about mixing the two together. They said that there is a high risk of respiratory depression when they are mixed. This is because they both depressing the central nervous system simultaneously. When used on their own, it’s already potent on the body. Respiratory depression is what happens when breathing becomes so slow, the body can’t remove carbon dioxide.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that over 30% of opioid overdoses also included benzos. A 2017 study stated that over 300,000 privately insured patients were prescribed opioids and benzos. This was an 80% increase from 2001.
As discussed above, mixing benzodiazepines and opioids is extremely dangerous. There are multiple warnings about the use of the two drugs together. Patients may go to multiple doctors for different reasons. One doctor may not know that they are prescribing a drug that interacts with another drug the person is already on. While you’ll notice a physician always asks if you’re taking other prescriptions, it’s possible that a patient doesn’t remember the name and really has no idea they’re taking an opioid.
The effects that concomitant use of benzos and opioids has proven devastating. They cause major problems with your ability to breathe. Benzos interact with the GABA receptors, calming the body. Opioids interact with mu receptors. When combined, they are hitting the central nervous system with two seperate reasons for the body to relax. The problem is that the heart relaxes to the point where it can stop. Benzodiazepines worsen the respiratory depression further past what the opioids are doing. Dosages should be extremely limited when they must be used together. Most doctors are not going to prescribe these two drugs together simultaneously. Other side effects that can occur when the two drugs are combined include:
The depressed action that the benzodiazepine class of drugs cause on the central nervous system can cause major issues when mixed with other substances. When we say substances, we are referring to other prescription medications and illicit drugs. Klonopin and it’s reaction to the CNS means it should not be mixed with the following:
When used with other anticonvulsants medications, there doesn’t seem to be much problems with interaction. However, Clonazepam can potentially disturb concentrations of phenytoin with is sold under the brand name Dilantin. A doctor should monitor the phenytoin concentration if Klonopin is also being administered at the same time.
There have been no clinical studies to support this but based on what is known about clonazepam metabolism, things like antifungal agents (fluconazole) should be used with caution. It’s possible that they can impair the metabolism of drugs like Klonopin. When this happens, it can increase the concentration and effect of the drug.
The risks of mixing alcohol and Klonopin are similar to any kind of depressant drug. Fatal overdoses that involved Klonopin have included alcohol. This is with or without signs of opioid use. Klonopin is a popular drug for polydrug users who like to mix and match drugs. Alcohol intensifies the side effects of Klonopin. For someone who is using the drug without having a prescription won’t know the risks behind mixing alcohol and Klonopin. These risks can be fatal and include:
If someone continues to abuse the sedative with alcohol, there are also long term effects. This includes your mood, your memory and brain function. You may become depressed and experience learning problems. There is a major risk of overdose when you mix Klonopin and alcohol.
A mother filed a $2 million wrongful death suit against the woman’s doctor and the companies that are connected to him. A Wytheville recovery center would be involved in the suit too. The woman who overdosed was Cassandra Hill. She was 32 and was the mother of three young boys. Her doctor prescribed opioid medications that included Buprenorphine (Suboxone and Subutex). The doctor should have known, from being her doctor for such a long time, that she suffered from mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. This is what had led her to psychiatric treatment and her own fear of committing suicide.
The doctor also prescribed medications for Cassandra like Klonopin which should not have occurred. The suit claimed this about prescribing these two families of drugs together,
"that can cause serious respiratory distress, especially when combined with Buprenorphine.”
If a doctor is going to prescribe the two together, it should not have been given to someone who already had psychiatric issues. The doctor continued to prescribe her these drugs simultaneously with little supervision.
The doctor breached the accepted standard of care he owed to his patient as her physician. He didn’t consider the risks involved with the types of medication he was giving her. He never offered her another alternative for her treatment.
Cassandra would die of an overdose of the medications that were prescribed to her by her doctor on January 11, 2017. Ultimately, the suit alleges the negligence of all parties involved in giving Hill Buprenorphine and other addiction, dangerous medications. They didn’t monitor her properly or give her adequate holistic treatment for her illnesses.
Cross addiction is another risk that occurs when you abuse two drugs enough. You can become addicted to two different drugs which makes it harder to recover from. There are special addiction programs available that address this complex disorder. You might be addicted to Klonopin which can promote other addictions to occur. Your mind starts to change and behavioral problems can occur. When you have one addiction, you are prone to other addictions.
The fact that Klonopin is used sometimes to help with anxiety implies an obvious co-occuring disorder to occur. When someone has anxiety, they have a hard time staying normal and it becomes scary. Klonopin is used for panic attacks which are directed to anxiety disorders. As Klonopin is addictive, there is a risk of someone with anxiety become addicted. They will often misuse the drug because it’s a part of the symptoms of mood disorders.
Sometimes Klonopin is given to those with a bipolar disorder to stabilize the mood. Not all, but many cases of people having bipolar disorder include problems in childhood. This could be abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences. Addiction is often born out of people looking to numb the pain of their past experiences. Benzodiazepines relaxes the body and mind which is alluring for those who can’t face their emotions. This is prevalent in those with bipolar disorder.
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Building a tolerance to a drug is one of the first signs that you have become dependent on it. It’s possible to build a tolerance to Klonopin even if you haven’t been taking it for very long.
Whenever you take any type of drug for a period of time, your body will start to get used to your normal dose. Eventually, you’ll find that the drug doesn’t seem to work as well as it once did.
Sometimes patients will bring this to their doctors’ attention, and they’ll change their dosage or prescription. But the vast majority of people will simply increase their doses on their own. This is a form of self-medication.
You may find that you’ve formed a high tolerance for Klonopin after only a month or so of using it. This should be a cause of concern for you. Your body is getting used to the drug, and it isn’t working the way it did when you first started taking it. If this is what you’re experiencing, please talk with your doctor before taking matters into your own hands.
Benzodiazepine dependence is a condition that occurs just before an addiction begins. It is in many ways the bridge over to addiction. This means that it’s possible to be dependent on a drug without being addicted to it. On the other hand, if someone is addicted, they are also dependent.
When it comes to addiction vs. dependence, you’re considered dependent on benzos if you physically need them. You have probably formed a tolerance to them and stopping them may lead to withdrawal symptoms.
When you’re dependent on any drug, you may experience physical cravings for it. Mentally, you might wish that you could stop taking it, and you don’t believe you really need it. Your body sends signals to your brain that indicate otherwise.
Unfortunately, benzo dependence alone doesn’t last very long for most people. It usually doesn’t take much time before they form addictions to drugs like Klonopin. Dependence does require people to get treatment in order to stop taking their medication safely. It would be easier to withdraw and recover from Klonopin if you seeked out treatment before becoming addicted.
Once you begin taking clonazepam, you’ll probably notice that you experience some side effects. This is normal with any drug, and some of its effects will fade as you continue to take it.
The more common side effects of clonazepam include:
Occasionally people will experience more severe side effects. These should be reported to your doctor immediately if you experience them:
When you abuse Klonopin, you’re most likely doing any of the following:
Klonopin abuse is very serious, and most people do it for the short-term effects the drug causes. These effects are mostly pleasant, which is what keeps drawing people back to this medication.
The short-term effects of Klonopin abuse include:
These effects aren’t harmful on their own. As long as the drug is discontinued shortly after it’s started, there won’t be any damage done. However, any instance of abuse is a cause for concern, and it’s very likely to lead to an addiction quickly.
Just like opioid drugs such as oxycodone and Vicodin, benzodiazepines like Klonopin are highly addictive. The euphoria that results when you take these medications is really the result of a dopamine surge in the brain.
When people continue to take benzos long term, their brains come to rely on the drug to produce dopamine. This is the chemical that causes you to feel happy and allows you to feel more like yourself. This was something that Lena Dunham had mentioned about taking Klonopin. She found the part of herself she knew could handle anything.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that when you miss a dose of Klonopin, you don’t feel normal anymore. You may be more anxious, or you could just have a hard time experiencing joy in your life. This is because you rely on the drug to produce your dopamine.
Researchers have found that addictive drugs like Klonopin cause significant changes in the brain that are difficult to reverse. NIDA tells us that, “Dopamine surges are transient events, but addictive drugs cause long-lasting changes in the reward system.” This means that when you take excessive amounts of drugs like benzodiazepines, it’s very difficult to stop. It is one of the drugs you need to medically detox from.
There are some physical signs of Klonopin addiction that are easy to recognize. You could be addicted if you:
Other people may notice that you seem to be acting strangely. They may recognize your addiction before you do because of your physical symptoms.
There are also some psychological signs you can look for to determine if you’re addicted to Klonopin. For example, you may notice that:
These and other mental signs may alarm you, but for most people, they’re not enough to stop the drug. It can take many individuals years to come to terms with the fact that they’re addicted to Klonopin. It is hard to admit that addiction has occurred, in fact only 10% of addicts will be real about their problem. This is why intervention might be necessary.
The long-term effects of taking benzos should not be understated or ignored. These are powerful medications, and they can negatively impact your entire life. Far too often, doctors allow their patients to remain on these drugs for many years. When they do, they’re likely to suffer from the long-term consequences of that. They may find that they:
In the long-term, using benzos continually is likely to result in a decline of in your mental health. The symptoms you may have taken Klonopin for maywill likely return with a vengeance. You could also develop, mania, psychosis and other psychological disorders.
A Klonopin addiction happens the same way that all types of addictions happen. The individual takes the drug for too long and then becomes hooked on it. Of course, there are different scenarios that allow this to occur.
It’s most common for people to get addicted after having a prescription for the drug. Their doctor will keep them on it long-term because it appears to be working well for them. As a result, it isn’t long before they form an addiction.
There are those who choose to misuse Klonopin recreationally. Even in very small doses, it can cause sensations of euphoria. This feeling is amplified when someone takes it when they don’t need it. In both of these cases, continued use of the medication is very likely to result in an addiction. Just like with other drugs, people become addicts because of frequent abuse.
You may find that you’re confused about your own relationship to Klonopin. Maybe you think you might be addicted, but you’re not exactly sure. It can help to first understand what the definition of addiction is.
An addiction is a disease of the brain. Like other diseases, it is chronic and progressive in nature. If it’s left untreated, it can even become fatal. It is a condition that impairs your normal psychological and physical functioning. It is also identifiable by certain signs and symptoms.
You can tell that you have an addiction to Klonopin if you:
Once you have started obsessing about a drug, it’s safe to say it’s become an addiction for you. If you’re still uncertain, you may find it helpful to take an addiction quiz to learn more. This quiz will give you even more information and help you decide if you need to get help.Polydrug
As we mentioned earlier, it’s fairly common for people to become addicted to other drugs in addition to Klonopin. Many people who are prescribed this medication will also drink alcohol, take opioids or use another drug at the same time. This is known as polydrug abuse, and it’s a serious problem that can cause risks such as going into a coma or death by overdose.needs to be addressed.
Klonopin should not be mixed with any other substance unless a doctor specifically prescribes it. Even then, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion just to be sure. It can be very dangerous to mix benzos, and it can even result in death. If a doctor is going to prescribe the two drugs together, you would need to be closely monitored.
Alcohol and benzodiazepines make a very dangerous combination of drugs. Both act as central nervous system depressants, and they work the same way in the brain. When the two are combined, the effects can compound. This can severe interactions, and increase the risks associated with both substances.
Both alcohol and Klonopin carry a risk of breathing problems when they’re abused. It doesn’t take high doses of either one for this combination to become deadly. Getting drunk while using Klonopin is likely to lead to irresponsible behavior and bad decisions as well.
Earlier, we briefly covered the fact that opioid drugs are often mixed with benzodiazepines. So many people who have overdosed on painkillers were found to have benzos in their systems as well. Like alcohol, opioids are also depressants, and they depress the central nervous system.
For people who take both of these drugs at the same time, the consequences can be fatal. The combination of both of their depressant qualities can result in possibly lethal respiratory failure.
People who abuse both of these drugs at the same time are at an even greater risk. Sometimes people will take Klonopin along with their opioid drugs to enhance the high they experience. They do effectively boost the high, but the risk of that euphoria is too great.
It’s been found that people are mixing opioids and sedatives more now. The sedatives are benzodiazepines. The study involved Canadian researchers analyzing data from either different US Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles. Polyabuse of opioids and benzos increased by 250 percent between 1999 and 2014.
The findings are concerning because of the risks that abusing these two drugs together can cause. The percentages of the usage are less than 2 percents but that still affects over 4 million people that are risking their lives taking both types of drugs together. The US Food and Drug Administration say they have issues the strongest form of safety issue they can. Doctors know the risks. Patients are told the risks. There still is a lot of confusion about benzodiazepines by health care providers.
It is extremely difficult to stop taking Klonopin once you have become addicted to it. Your body gets used to having its normal dose each day. When you do something to interrupt that, it’s common to experience significant side effects. This is called going through withdrawal.
Sometimes people attempt to stop using Klonopin on their own. They assume that the medication is safe because it’s prescribed by a doctor. What they don’t realize is that their bodies and their minds have become used to it. When they stop, they don’t understand the symptoms that result. Benzodiazepines are particularly risky to withdraw from on your own as they can cause delirium tremens. It’s important to have professional benzo withdrawal help which includes rehab. What usually happens is that people relapse and they go back to taking it. That’s the only way that they can get the withdrawal symptoms to stop.
Unfortunately, it’s possible to overdose on Klonopin if you suffer from a relapse. We’ll talk more about what that means in just a moment.
Withdrawal is your body’s way of responding when you stop taking your benzo medication. You’re likely to suffer from both physical and psychological symptoms as a result.
Keep in mind that if you have been taking this drug for a long time, or in higher doses, withdrawal can be life threatening. It’s never recommended to stop taking this drug abruptly. You need to be monitored very closely. That way, your immediate medical needs can be addressed right away.
If you have been taking Klonopin for a long period of time, and you’re addicted, your withdrawal symptoms might include:
In some people, stopping Klonopin abruptly can cause the brain to go into status elipticus. This means that your brain experiences a constant seizure. It is also known as delirium tremens. The episodes can last for several minutes, and the condition can become life threatening.
Like most people, you’re probably wondering, how long will Klonopin withdrawal take? The symptoms you’ll experience when you quit using might scare you. All you want to know is how long you can expect to deal with them.
Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine medication. This means that it continues to have an effect on you long after you have taken your last dose. Most people find that they experience the psychological symptoms of withdrawal before the physical ones begin.
Unlike other drugs, it can take a few days before you begin to have withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes people don’t begin experiencing them for as long as 3-4 days after their last dose. At first, they should be relatively mild, but they will get worse as time goes on.
It usually takes about 10 days before people begin feeling better after quitting their Klonopin if they get treatment. Without treatment, they may suffer through withdrawal for several weeks. This is why it’s best to recover in a professional setting with an approved detoxification process.
You may find that many detox programs favor the use of medical tapering over going cold turkey. This is because it has a lot of benefits. A medical taper can:
Going cold turkey means that you abruptly quit the use of your Klonopin. This method is not recommended. It’s also not recommended for you to attempt a taper on your own at home. You may lower your dosages at the wrong rates, which could also be dangerous.
If you choose to detox professionally, you’ll probably undergo a medical taper for Klonopin. This is the safest way to begin your recovery.
It’s very difficult to stop using benzos on your own. This is why it’s highly recommended to get professional treatment. It’s important to treat both aspects of the addiction in order for recovery to be successful. This means getting help for both the physical and the psychological parts of the problem.
You’ll find that there are so many benefits to getting help with your benzo addiction. You’ll have access to some of the best people in the addiction treatment industry when you go to rehab. You will learn so much about substance abuse, and why you became addicted. You’ll also learn how you can avoid a relapse and go on to live a life of recovery.
The very first step in your recovery will be to go through a benzo detox. Many drug rehabs offer detoxification services on site. This makes it convenient for you to get both forms of treatment at the same location.
First and foremost, you will probably undergo a period of tapering, as we discussed earlier. Your doctor will talk with you about how much of the drug you’ve been using each day. They will slowly lower your dose of it until you’re no longer taking it at all. This will minimize your discomfort during the withdrawal process.
At some point, you may begin other detox treatments as well. The staff will talk with you about medical and holistic detoxification and the benefits of each. Usually they will combine these methods when they’re putting your treatment plan together.
Undergoing a medical detox is a great way to safely manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal. When people are addicted to benzos, their symptoms can become very severe. Quite often, they need other medications to help manage them. This is why medical detoxification is so effective.
Having seizures is a very common symptom of withdrawal for benzodiazepine addicts. Your doctor may give you a different medication that will lessen the risk of them. If you develop symptoms of depression or anxiety, they may prescribe you an antidepressant to help.
The goal of medical detox is to alleviate your symptoms in the short-term. These new medications should not be considered a long-term solution. In fact, some of the drugs used during detoxification have addictive properties of their own. This is why it’s important to only take them for a short period of time.
Holistic detoxification is also an important part of the healing process. As you were taking Klonopin, you probably noticed that it altered your appetite. Most people simply aren’t hungry, which means that they may skip meals or even stop eating altogether. It’s not uncommon for some people to become anorexic on this drug.
At the very least, your addiction probably resulted in a poor diet. You may not be getting the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be healthy. This can put a lot of stress on your kidneys and liver. Their job is to detox your body, and when they’re not healthy, they don’t work very well.
Changing your diet will be very important as you go through Klonopin detox. You’ll meet with a nutritionist who will recommend the right foods for you. You’ll also begin an exercise program that will further help to detoxify your body. Regular exercise also helps to naturally boost your dopamine levels, which makes you feel better emotionally.
It might be tempting for you to consider not going through a professional detox program. Many people with benzodiazepine addictions will spend hours online researching other ways to recover. You can find a lot of information on the Internet, but we need to caution you that most of these methods can be dangerous.
For example, you may find a lot of products to use to detox at home. There are a lot of natural, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements that claim to help. Your local pharmacy may carry drug detox kits, which promise wonderful results. These products are not safe, and should be avoided at all costs.
As of right now, there are no FDA approved methods for detox that are available over the counter. The only ones that are approved are those that are offered through professional detox programs.
It’s best to leave your detox to the professionals. These are people who understand the type of help you need. They’ll take your personal situation into account when they’re designing your treatment plan. You can be sure that they’ll take really good care of you.
Like many people, you may be concerned about how long Klonopin stays in your system. This is a common question asked by people who are addicted, as well as those who have been abusing the drug.
Since clonazepam is the active ingredient in this drug, it’s important to understand its half-life. This means the amount of the time it takes for half of the drug to leave the body. In this case, this medication half-life is between 30 and 40 hours. That makes it much longer than many other drugs.
Once you do the math, you’ll find that it can take between six and nine days for a dose of Klonopin to be eliminated. Some experts even believe that it can take longer – up to 14 days. The actual number of days will vary from person to person, and it’s based on factors such as:
Most drug tests for Klonopin are urine tests. They can show a positive result for as long as one month after the last dose. It can remain in the blood for several days, and if a test is really sensitive, it may detect it for a few weeks.
Detoxing is a vital part of the recovery process, and it’s a step that shouldn’t be skipped. However, you should also know that it’s not the only form of treatment you need to recover successfully.
So many people will stop getting treatment once they’ve detoxed from Klonopin. What usually happens is they end up relapsing and the active addiction resurfaces. This means they need to start the recovery process all over again.
Even though detoxing is important, it shouldn’t be viewed as the answer for your addiction. You also need to continue to a benzodiazepine rehab to get further help. Your addiction is so complicated and complex. You need more treatment if you want to be successful, long-term.
It’s crucial for you to attend a benzo rehab after you have detoxed from Klonopin. Detoxing only addresses the physical component of your addiction. The next step is to address the psychological aspect of it. That’s the type of help you’ll receive in the next phase of your treatment.
At benzodiazepine rehab, you’ll learn more about why you became addicted to Klonopin. It’s possible that it really was just a matter of taking the drug for too long. Or, it could be that you were abusing it recreationally because it helped you deal with your personal problems. It’s your therapist’s job to help you discover the real reason behind your addiction.
Once you know what caused your addiction to Klonopin, you can begin to heal those wounds. Doing so can take some time, but you’ll get an excellent start when you go to rehab.
Every patient will be matched with a therapist who will talk with them in a one on one setting. You’ll have regular appointments with your therapist, and you’ll enjoy getting to know them.
They will ask you all about your history; from the time you were young to the challenges you face today. Some of the issues you’ll discuss include:
Your therapist will take a lot of time getting to know you better. That will help them to discover the root cause of your addiction. Once they know what that is, they’ll be able to provide you with the help you need to heal.
Group therapy is also an important component of the healing process during rehab. You may be participating in several groups with other patients. Together, you’ll share about your experiences, and you’ll help each other solve problems.
Group therapy is so effective, and it helps to know that you’re not alone in your recovery. You may learn so much from the other patients, and they’ll probably learn a lot from you as well. This might be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have during rehab.
Many rehab facilities offer this form of treatment as a part of their program. Neurofeedback therapy works by retraining a brain that has been altered because of addiction. It can decrease the chances of relapse, and it can even make you more willing to participate in the other aspects of treatment.
Whether you realize it or not, having an addiction has changed the way you think. It’s necessary to rewire the brain (in a sense) so that you can function normally again. The longer you have been abusing Klonopin, the more severe the damage may be. This is why this type of therapy is such a good idea for people in your situation.
This is a very important part of the recovery process. No one with an addiction should consider attending a rehabilitation program that doesn’t treat co-occurring disorders. That’s because they are mental health conditions that often contribute to and cause addictions.
If Klonopin has been your drug of choice, you probably suffer from anxiety, which is considered a co-occurring disorder. You may have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder by a doctor, or you may not. Everyone is different, and it’s not uncommon for people to enter rehab undiagnosed.
Either way, your therapist will work with you to determine if you do have a mental illness that needs to be treated. If you do, they will provide you with the help you need.
It’s very important for these conditions to be addressed during rehab. If they’re not, it’s likely that the addict will suffer from a relapse shortly after they’re discharged. They will usually revert back to self-medicating with Klonopin because it’s what they know will help them. Treating the root cause of the addiction could result in a much better long-term outcome.
Some other examples of co-occurring disorders include:
There are several different types of rehabilitation programs you can choose from. It’s important to find the right method that will work the best for you. Of course, you’ll be receiving a recommendation for the type of treatment the professionals feel you need. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
You will probably be recommended for one of the following options:
Most of the time, a Klonopin overdose happens for one of three reasons. People may:
Regardless of the reasons behind it, a Klonopin overdose can be fatal if medical treatment isn’t obtained right away. It’s important to know how to recognize it if you know someone who is addicted.
Overdosing on a benzodiazepine is likely to result in symptoms that are easy to recognize. The individual may:
If you suspect that someone you love has overdosed on Klonopin, you must act quickly. You should call 911 right away. Don’t worry that you could be wrong, or that you might be wasting the paramedics’ time. It’s their job to respond in these types of situations.
Once they’re on the scene, they’ll take good care of your family member. They’ll assess their heart rate and their breathing. In some cases, they may even be able to administer medications if necessary.
Acting quickly could save your loved one’s life. Don’t delay in getting them the help they need. Once they’re at the hospital, they’ll get even more care to hopefully survive the overdose.
There’s no need to worry if your insurance company will cover your treatment during your recovery. Because of The Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to provide benefits for benzodiazepine detox and rehab.
Prior to the passing of our country’s newest healthcare laws, people often had to pay for addiction treatment on their own. The costs can be quite high, which means that a lot of people couldn’t get help. Some tried to quit on their own, which could have contributed to overdose deaths. Others simply remained addicts for their entire lives.
Fortunately, this isn’t a concern you have to worry about today. Your insurance company should pick up a significant part of the cost of your treatment. Any amount that you need to pay of out pocket should be minimal.
If you don’t have health insurance, there are a few steps you can take to get the addiction treatment you need. You can:
Recovering from your addiction is so important. Please don’t let finances stand in your way. If you’re willing to do some research, you’ll learn that there are ways to get the help you need.
At Northpoint Washington, we want you to know that we’re here for you if you need help for a benzo addiction. Klonopin is a very powerful drug, and you need support if you want to stop using it long-term. Our program offers you help for both the physical and psychological parts of your addiction.
Recovery is possible. All you need to do is be brave enough to reach out for assistance. It may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but it will also be the most rewarding.
Our facilities currently open for services:
Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Boise, Idaho.
Our National Medical Detox and Inpatient Addiction Facility.
Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Washington State.