Klonopin Abuse Causes, Statistics, Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin addiction is a terrible disease. The dependency can take control of the user’s life, and it knows no boundaries. Klonopin (chemically known as Clonazepam) is a high potency benzodiazepine that affects the central nervous system, and it is also an anti-convulsant, hypnotic, sedative and muscle relaxant that is highly addictive. When used properly, Klonopin is taken in pill form, but those addicted to and abusing Klonopin will snort it (inhale it through the nose).

Klonopin is primarily used to treat panic disorder, tourettes syndrome and epilepsy, but it is also used to treat anxiety disorders, migraines, acute psychosis, restless legs syndrome, and bruxism. However, due to its negative effects, there are many drawbacks. This includes drowsiness and “paradoxical effects”. “Paradoxical effect” is a reaction to a drug that has the opposite effect that was intended. An example is when a drug is supposed to decrease pain but instead increases pain. Additional short comings of Klonopin include a rapid tolerance, motor performance interference, confusion, psychomotor agitation, loss of libido, short-term memory loss and hallucinations.

Developing a Klonopin addiction is relatively easy. This is due to its quick tolerance, long half-life and highly addictive characteristics. There are various causes that help lead to a Klonopin dependency. Some examples can include social pressures from friends, stresses from work or self-medicating to avoid the pain of a trauma. Often, Klonopin is used in conjunction with an assortment of other illicit drugs. This increases the likelihood of developing a Klonopin addiction as well as other drug or alcohol addictions. There are numerous reasons as to why someone begins to abuse Klonopin. The results are often the same, a Klonopin addiction.

Klonopin is also known as K-pins, pins, K-cuts, Rivotril, Clonex, Paxam, and Kriadex.

Klonopin Abuse Statistics

Specific Klonopin statistics are not readily available, but there is substantial information on benzodiazepines which is Klonopin’s drug class. Almost all benzodiazepine admissions (95 percent) reported abuse of another substance in addition to abuse of benzodiazepines: 82.1 percent reported primary abuse of another substance with secondary abuse of benzodiazepines, and 12.9 percent reported primary abuse of benzodiazepines with secondary abuse of another substance [1]. Additional statistical data includes:

  • The majority of benzodiazepine admissions were male, between the ages of 18 and 34, and non-Hispanic White. Compared with all admissions, benzodiazepine admissions were more likely to be female (44.0 vs. 32.0 percent), more likely to be between the ages of 18 and 34 (55.3 vs. 44.5 percent), and more likely to be non-Hispanic White (84.8 vs. 59.7 percent) [1].
  • Compared with all admissions, benzodiazepine admissions were much more likely to report the abuse of another substance (95.0 vs. 54.4 percent). Of those benzodiazepine admissions that reported multiple substances of abuse, 82.1 percent reported primary abuse of another substance with secondary abuse of benzodiazepines, and 12.9 percent reported primary abuse of benzodiazepines with secondary abuse of another substance [1].
  • Benzodiazepines ranked in fifth place in the proportion of total substance abuse admissions in the first half of 2011 in Cincinnati, and in sixth place in Baltimore City, Boston, and South Florida Broward County [2].
  • Of special concern is that persons between the ages of 18 and 25 reported higher lifetime non-medical use of pain relievers, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants than did other age groups. Between 2004 and 2005, there was a significant increase in the number of persons in this group who used hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, clonazepam, or alprazolam [3].

Causes of Klonopin Addiction

The likelihood of developing a Klonopin addiction is quite high. It is highly addictive both physically and psychologically. It has an unusually long half-life, and quick tolerance also aids it addictiveness. People using Klonopin under the supervision of a physician often develop an addiction, but someone abusing Klonopin will surely fall into a dependency. The reasons for abusing Klonopin are as numerous as the people with a Klonopin addiction. Some reason may begin with peer pressure from friends or pressure from work. The addict may also be depressed or experienced a trauma and is now self-medicating to avoid the pain. In addition to simply abusing Klonopin alone, it is often used in combination with other illicit drugs and alcohol. This increases the potential of developing a Klonopin addiction and an addiction to other drugs or alcohol. Seek a Klonopin rehabilitation program for help in ending the Klonopin addiction.

Signs of Klonopin Use, Addiction and Dependence

There are signs that are exhibited when someone is abusing Klonopin. These symptoms can be observed by others, and identifying these signals may help save the life of a Klonopin addict. The warning signs presented by Klonopin abuse affect both psychological and physical characteristics of the body. A few of the symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Loss of libido
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Psychosis
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression

Klonopin Effects

Klonopin addiction has a large number of negative effects. It can be quite dangerous for a Klonopin addict to abruptly stop using the drug. Some of the issues and consequences affect several areas of the user’s life such as their physical, psychological and personal existence. Some of these negative effects are listed below:

Physical consequences:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Motor performance
  • Amnesia
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Loss of libido
  • Paradoxical effects
  • Dizziness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Impaired balance
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired motor function
  • Death

Psychological consequences of abuse:

  • Psychosis
  • Euphoria
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased risk of suicide
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive difficulty
  • Hostility
  • Memory problems
  • Agitation
  • Mania

Personal consequences:

  • Personal relationships are lost
  • Career fails
  • Family withdraws
  • Finances are depleted
  • Becomes reclusive
  • Stops doing enjoyable activities

Klonopin Withdrawal

The addiction properties of Klonopin are incredibly strong, and tolerance is quickly built up. It is extremely dangerous for someone with a Klonopin addiction to try to stop on their own. The best way to end a Klonopin dependency is to uses the services of a Klonopin treatment center and gradually wean off the drug. If the addict abruptly stops using Klonopin, then the person will experience withdrawal symptoms. The severity of the withdrawal is directly dependent on the dosage frequency, dosage strength, length of use, previous use of cross-tolerant or cross-dependent drugs, and the manner in which the dosage is reduced. Some of the withdrawal effects include insomnia, tremors, potential to intensify existing panic disorder, hallucinations, anxiety, and aggressiveness. Sudden stoppage of Klonopin use can possibly induce “status epilepticus”. Status epilepticus is a condition in which the brain is in constant seizure. Some seizures can last as long as five minutes and are incredibly life threatening.

Klonopin Addiction Treatment Help

It is exceedingly dangerous for someone with a Klonopin addiction to try to stop abusing the drug on their own. There is a medicinal antidote available, but it is reserved for the most severe cases of benzodiazepine poisoning. Romazicon, chemically known as flumazenil, reverses the sedative symptoms of the benzodiazepine. Its reservation for the direst cases of poisoning is due to Romazicon’s increased potential to bring on withdrawal and seizures. This occurs as it reverses the sedative effect. Therefore, gradual reduction is the most successful method in ending the Klonopin dependency. The gradual reduction can infer that the process of ending the Klonopin addiction will be a lengthy one. Some contributing factors that influence the amount of time needed to end a Klonopin addiction include strength of the dosage and the length of the habit. If the user has been abusing Klonopin for a long time and has continually increased the strength of the dosage, then the detox will a longer amount of time. The treatment level will also be determined by the severity of the addiction. A Klonopin addiction treatment center should be used to help with the rehab and recovery. Help is available, just ask for it.

Other Articles About Klonopin

  • Klonopin, which is the brand name for the generic drug, Clonazepam, is part of the drug classification group of benzodiazepines. The main purpose of benzodiazepines is to reduce the excess levels of electrical brain activity that is related to feelings of panic and severe anxiety.

References

[1]: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k11/WEB_TEDS_028/WEB_TEDS-028_BenzoAdmissions_HTML.pdf

[2]: http://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/cewg_january_2012_tagged_v2.pdf

[3]: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh.htm

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on AddictionHope.com, Addictions Treatment Guide