Klonopin is the brand name version of clonazepam, a benzodiazepine medication used to treat seizures, anxiety, and panic disorder. It is a commonly prescribed drug and a commonly misused drug. Some people abuse Klonopin because it has sedative effects and results in a sense of calm and relaxation. As helpful as Klonopin is, it is also addictive.
Even people who use it as prescribed can experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it. However, people who abuse Klonopin repeatedly are more likely to experience severe symptoms. It can be very difficult to manage Klonopin withdrawal symptoms alone so it’s highly recommended that anyone struggling with addiction consider entering a Klonopin detox program.
In a medically supervised detox program, you’ll have access to doctors and addiction professionals who can help to ensure you’re safe and as comfortable as possible while your body clears itself of the drug.
How Does Klonopin Work?
Klonopin influences a neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It slows the central nervous system and, therefore, reduces agitation and nervousness. Klonopin should only be used for short periods of time. Otherwise, the body adjusts to the increase in GABA that it causes and develops a tolerance. This means the same dosage no longer has the same effects and the individual takes more of the drug or more frequent doses to achieve the same results. Soon, the person no longer feels normal unless Klonopin is in their system. This is a sign of addiction and the first step to recovering is to undergo Klonopin detox.
Signs of Klonopin Addiction
Some people assume that Klonopin is safe because it is a prescription medication. However, any type of addiction is dangerous and needs to be addressed. Signs of Klonopin addiction include:
- Trying to quit using Klonopin but finding it impossible to do so
- Being unable to function when you haven’t used Klonopin
- Concealing your Klonopin from loved ones or feeling guilty about using it
- Neglecting your personal, academic, or career responsibilities
- Isolating from your loved ones
- Getting into financial or legal problems because of your Klonopin abuse
- Spending large amounts of time getting Klonopin, using it, or recovering from using it
Why Is Klonopin Detox Necessary?
Some people have prescriptions for Klonopin because of standalone conditions. Others use Klonopin for opiate detox. Regardless of how a person becomes dependent on Klonopin, they need to quit in the safest way possible. Since the body becomes accustomed to the drug, the person will experience uncomfortable physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. In a supervised detox program, you’ll get the support you need to make it through the Klonopin detox process.
Clonazepam (Klonopin) Detox Symptoms
Whenever your body undergoes a major change, it needs time to adjust to the new normal. Therefore, as Klonopin leaves your system, your body will have to learn how to function without it once again. When you go through Klonopin withdrawal, you may experience rebound effects. These are intense withdrawal symptoms that resemble the problems that caused you to be using Klonopin in the first place. Since Klonopin is often used to treat epilepsy, seizures, insomnia, and anxiety, rebound effects can include seizures, sleeplessness, anxiety, and panic attacks.
There are as many as 40 withdrawal symptoms and side effects associated with Klonopin. These symptoms are both physical and mental. The most common physical symptoms are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased body temperature
- Faster pulse
- Coordination problems
A few days after these symptoms begin, the psychological effects will start. These include:
- Aggression or hostility
- Suicidal thoughts
- Intense dreams
- Drug cravings
Klonopin withdrawal can be very dangerous especially when you don’t have medical supervision. However, if you enroll in a Klonopin detox facility, you’ll benefit from both medical and psychological support to make the process more manageable.
A Typical Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline
The specifics of Klonopin withdrawal differ from one person to another. However, there are three main phases involved. These are early withdrawal, acute withdrawal, and post-acute withdrawal.
It is during the early withdrawal stage that people experience rebound symptoms. This usually starts within a day or two as the last dose of Klonopin leaves the bloodstream. People with a severe dependence on the drug can experience extreme early withdrawal symptoms including huge increases in blood pressure. These symptoms usually go away after four days.
In the acute withdrawal stage, people experience most of the typical Klonopin withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, confusion, mood swings, and suicidal thoughts. This stage can last for as little as two weeks or as long as three months depending on how dependent on Klonopin the individual is.
The post-acute withdrawal phase is also known as protracted withdrawal. Not everyone goes through it but if they do, they often experience depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Protracted withdrawal is most common in people who consistently abused Klonopin in large doses. The symptoms can last for a long time and many people need mental health treatment to help them cope.
A Klonopin withdrawal timeline may look like this:
- Week 1: Mood changes, sleeping difficulties, and other mild symptoms start to occur.
- Week 2: Klonopin withdrawal symptoms typically peak during this week and this is the most challenging time for many people going through detox. Many people experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms including nausea, headaches, and anxiety.
- Weeks 3 and 4: By the third and fourth weeks, the withdrawal symptoms have usually lessened in their severity. Even though some symptoms may linger, the most challenging part of the Klonopin withdrawal and detox process is usually over.
Factors Affecting Klonopin Withdrawal and Detox
Several variables determine the experience a person will have during Klonopin withdrawal. The duration and severity of the symptoms are affected by:
- Age: Older people may have more intense symptoms.
- The amount of Klonopin you took. The more of the drug you ingested each time, the faster dependency may set in and the more dependent you may become.
- The length of time you were taking the drug. The longer you took Klonopin, the more dependent your brain may be.
- Whether you have a co-occurring mental health disorder. Other mental issues may come to the fore when you start to detox.
- Whether you used other substances at the same time. Using alcohol or other substances along with Klonopin can exacerbate the effects of each substance and make withdrawal more complicated.
- Your physiology. Some people are more susceptible to the side effects of withdrawal than others.
- Environmental factors. Being in a stressful or non-supportive environment during withdrawal can make recovery more difficult.
The more dependent on Klonopin your brain is, the longer and more uncomfortable withdrawal is likely to be. However, the way in which you go about detoxification will also affect the experience you have. Some people opt not to enroll in a detox program and they try to quit cold turkey or detox at home. These options usually result in a Klonopin detox process that’s highly uncomfortable and difficult to withstand. When you undergo medically supervised detox, the process will be a lot more manageable.
What Is the Klonopin Detox Process Like?
There’s no single withdrawal process that applies to everyone who is detoxing from Klonopin. If your dependence is severe, detoxification will take longer since all the toxins have to leave your body. This doesn’t mean you need to have an excruciating experience.
Medical detox can include a clonazepam taper schedule which allows for a gradual reduction in the amount of Klonopin you take. This usually results in a safer and more comfortable experience than quitting cold turkey or trying to detox at home. If you took high doses or took Klonopin for a long time, the tapering process can run for months.
Typically, doctors reduce the dosage by 0.5 mg every two weeks until the individual is taking only one milligram per day. At this point, the dosage is reduced by 0.25 mg per week until the patient can stop taking Klonopin completely.
Trying to taper off without medical supervision is dangerous because even though the above schedule is typical, it won’t be right for everyone. When you go to a detox facility, you’ll receive medical assistance from trained professionals along with therapy for any other addictions or mental health problems. This is important since all co-occurring disorders need to be treated at the same time and they will likely need to be treated in different ways.
Medications Used During Klonopin Detox
There’s no drug that’s approved specifically for the treatment of benzodiazepine withdrawal. However, multiple medications can be used during the withdrawal process to treat the symptoms that arise. These include:
- Prozac, Paxil, and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These can address anxiety and depression.
- Tegretol or other anticonvulsant medications to control seizures. Some anticonvulsants may also relieve other side effects of detox.
- Melatonin to induce sleep and possibly reverse tolerance and relieve other Klonopin withdrawal symptoms.
What Happens After Detox from Klonopin
When your physical condition stabilizes, the treatment team will turn more of their attention to your mental and emotional wellbeing. Several types of therapy can be used to assist people in recovery from benzodiazepine addiction.
However, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing are quite popular. CBT can take place in both group and individual settings. It helps the patient to identify the cause of their addiction and find ways to avoid stressors and triggers. Meanwhile, MI may keep you motivated to stay clean by providing small rewards when your drug tests come back clean.
Peer support and holistic interventions are also included in many addiction treatment programs. The intensity of your treatment will vary according to your needs. It is very important that you enter rehab after detox and continue into an aftercare program. Not only will you continue to be at risk of relapse but using Klonopin again after getting clean can be deadly.
The Danger of Klonopin Overdose
It’s rare but not impossible for a person to overdose on Klonopin. While you may have become accustomed to using a certain dose of the drug, taking that amount after detox can lead to an overdose. A Klonopin overdose can also occur intentionally, and it can result in mild, moderate, or serious symptoms.
The risk of overdose is higher when Klonopin is combined with other substances, taken in larger amounts than prescribed, taken for non-medical reasons, or otherwise abused. Combining it with alcohol, sedatives like Xanax or Valium, or illicit drugs like heroin can lead to severe breathing problems, overdose, or death.
Taking it with opioid medications is also dangerous. You should never take Klonopin with:
Using Klonopin along with any of these medications can result in overdose as well as lightheadedness, breathing difficulties, unusual dizziness, extreme sleepiness, and unresponsiveness.
If a person overdoses on Klonopin they may pass out and be difficult to awaken. Other signs of overdose include:
- Clammy skin
- Dilated pupil
- Slowed reflexes
- Impaired coordination
- Weak pulse
In the case of a severe overdose, the individual may stop breathing and this can lead to death.
Get Help With Klonopin Struggles from Divine Detox
If you or a loved one is battling to control your use of Klonopin, the sooner you get help, the better it will be. The only way to get clean and stay sober is to undergo Klonopin detox and then enter rehab. While detoxing will result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, medical supervision and guidance can make the process a lot easier. In a safe, comfortable, and distraction-free environment, you’ll get medication to relieve your symptoms and therapy to help you cope. Contact the experienced and highly-trained team at Divine Detox today to learn more about the journey towards a Klonopin-free life.