The word ‘benzodiazepine’ often evokes thoughts of Xanax or Ativan, but there’s actually an entire spectrum of benzodiazepine drugs, each of which pose a major threat to our well being. In fact, a benzodiazepine called Klonopin is often cited as one of the most dangerous of all benzodiazepines for a number of key reasons, one of which being that we actually know very little about how Klonopin behaves once it’s been introduced to the body. Since it’s such a dangerous and highly addictive drug, it’s important to be knowledgeable about Klonopin, including what it is and what makes it so dangerous.
What is Klonopin?
When you compare it to benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium, Klonopin is much less well-known. Typically, the most desirable benzodiazepines are Xanax, Valium, and Ativan, leaving Klonopin very much by the wayside until somewhat recently. To be clear, the name ‘Klonopin’ is actually the brand name of a drug called clonazepam, which has historically been offered to patients suffering from seizures, severe anxiety, panic disorders, and akathisia, which is a movement disorder that causes people to feel an intense inner restlessness and anxiousness that makes it very difficult for them to sit still. In short, Klonopin has a history of similar uses as the vast majority of other benzodiazepines. However, it’s generally held that when it comes to strength, Klonopin lies somewhere in-between Xanax and Valium; it’s not quite as strong as Xanax, but it’s a bit stronger than Valium.
The fact that it’s not quite as strong as other benzodiazepines doesn’t mean that Klonopin, or clonazepam, is a safe drug. On the contrary, it’s estimated that about one in three people who use Klonopin for more than a month become addicted to the substance. It’s for this reason that Klonopin is usually prescribed to individuals only for very short periods of time. For instance, some of the use cases for Klonopin involve treatment disorders in which the individual suffers from epileptic seizures; when Klonopin is prescribed to an epileptic, it’s under the pretense of being only a temporary solution while the individual and his or her physician work together to find a safer and more permanent solution. In some instances, patients could be prescribed Klonopin for extended periods of time—or even indefinitely in the most rare cases—but there’s usually a requirement that the patient can only take the drug infrequently such as in situations where the Klonopin is absolutely needed.
Being an addictive benzodiazepine, there have been a growing number of people who have begun to abuse Klonopin recreationally. In some instances, they abuse Klonopin simultaneously with another drug, which is known as polydrug use. Whether abusing Klonopin on its own or with other drugs, Klonopin addiction occurs extremely easily with continued, regular use of the drug, leaving people who are addicted to Klonopin in need of Klonopin detox treatment.
Why Klonopin is Dangerous
Interestingly, much of what we know about the use of Klonopin is based on deductive reasoning and conjecture. Although it’s been around for several decades now, scientists aren’t entirely sure of what Klonopin does once it enters the body. Of course, the symptoms that it produces would suggest that it functions much the same as other benzodiazepines, but there are some unique traits to Klonopin that suggest slightly different routes of action. What we know for sure, though, is that Klonopin significantly alters the functioning of the brain. If we were to view neurological activity as a bonfire, taking a dose of Klonopin would be akin to throwing a swimming pool’s worth of water on it.
With the continued use or abuse of Klonopin, evidence indicates that addiction is an inevitability. When a person has become addicted to Klonopin, the individual must continue to imbibe the substance in order to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. There’s evidence to suggest that the amount of one’s dosage of Klonopin also has a significant effect on the development of an addiction. But according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, a person can become addicted to Klonopin even if he or she takes the drug as prescribed and at the recommended dosage due to the type of drug that it is.
Addiction to benzodiazepines like Klonopin is extremely dangerous. Due to how the drug affects the brain, particularly a neurochemical called GABA, a person’s ability to overcome feelings of stress and anxiety is reduced because he or she is getting that effect from pharmaceutical drugs. This spells disaster when the individual is unable to obtain more Klonopin as it leaves him or her unable to combat stress, resulting in an increase in nervous or anxious energy as well as the potential for a variety of physical symptoms throughout the body..
As with any other addictive substance, people who have become addicted to Klonopin will experience withdrawal symptoms when they’re unable to obtain their substance of choice. Being a benzodiazepines that amplifies the brain’s ability to calm itself and combat stress, the lack of Klonopin for a Klonopin addict results in immense discomfort, anxiousness, restlessness, and agitation. People experiencing Klonopin detox withdrawals find themselves experiencing severe insomnia, sometimes being unable to sleep for days at a time. Due to the lack of sleep and the neurochemical instability, it becomes quite difficult to concentrate, causing an overall sense of confusion. There may be a change in coordination as well, making a person clumsy and more likely to injure themselves.
Overcoming Klonopin Addiction at Malvern Institute
Klonopin is a potent and highly addictive benzodiazepine. Many individuals who have experienced Klonopin withdrawals find themselves averse to the prospect of recovery, but detoxing in a safe and supervised environment is a totally different experience. At Malvern Institute, we provide individuals who are addicted to Klonopin with all the tools they need to regain their sobriety. Our Malvern Model of Care guides individuals through the entire continuum of care, beginning with detoxification, continuing through induction and inpatient care, and concluding with outpatient treatment. Upon completing treatment, patients are encouraged to participate in our alumni and aftercare programs, allowing Malvern to be a continuous resource as our program graduates progress to more advanced stages of recovery.
If you’d like to learn more about Klonopin addiction treatment at Malvern Institute, or if you have any other questions, please call us anytime at 610.MALVERN (610.625.8376).