Klonopin (clonazepam) falls under a class of medication known as benzodiazepines and is approved for treating different types of seizures, certain movement disorders, and panic disorders. The drug is also known as an antiepileptic or anticonvulsant medication. Data between 2015 and 2016 found that 30.5 million people in the U.S. used clonazepam.1
The medication was approved as a generic drug in 1996, and in 2019, it became the forty-sixth most prescribed drug, with more than fifteen million prescriptions written. The government classifies Klonopin as a Schedule IV drug, meaning it has a low potential for abuse and dependence. However, there is a high potential for getting addicted to Klonopin, especially with long-term use.2
Once addicted to the drug, the brain can’t produce feelings of calmness or relaxation without Klonopin, resulting in a higher chance of overdose. Benzodiazepines are the second most abused drugs that result in deaths, accounting for 16% in 2020.3
Common short-term side effects include feeling dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, impaired coordination, and decreased concentration ability. If you experience these symptoms after starting your Klonopin prescription, they will improve over time as you continue taking the medication. Other short-term effects of Klonopin may include:
Can you take Klonopin for life? While Klonopin is an effective and safe medication in the short term, negative effects, dependence, tolerance, and addiction are all risks with long-term use. In some cases, people can become physically dependent on the drug after two or more weeks of daily use, causing withdrawal when they stop using the drug. Here are some of the long-term side effects of Klonopin use:
If you notice any of these dangers of Klonopin, you should book an appointment with your doctor immediately instead of stopping use, as a sudden stop after long-term use can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.
As a benzodiazepine, there are high chances that the body will develop tolerance and dependence if clonazepam is taken for extended periods.
Over time, the body builds tolerance to the drug, which results in more consumption of Klonopin to replicate the initial effects of the drug. As a result, the body will function sub-optimally until there is some level of clonazepam running in the system.
Once Klonopin dependence has set in, people will begin to experience potential withdrawal symptoms when clonazepam levels fall below a certain level.
At this time, individuals are highly likely to become addicted to the drug as they start behaving and thinking differently with increased attention and focus assigned to acquiring and consuming more Klonopin. The following factors influence the rate at which the body becomes addicted to Klonopin:
Those who consume Klonopin at great levels will have greater tolerance and dependency, increasing the risk of Klonopin addiction. Remember, even if you are taking the drug as prescribed by your doctor, you could still become dependent on the drug.
The treatment can be administered in an outpatient setting, inpatient setting, or at the doctor’s office, depending on the person’s body health and the severity of their addiction. As part of treatment, the doctor can use other drugs to help lower the urge for Klonopin consumption.
Therapy is an additional layer of treatment that comes after medically supervised detox. Therapy helps people better understand their behavior and motivations that led to the misuse of clonazepam. Therapists can also help patients develop a stronger sense of self and identify positive and healthy coping strategies.
Whether people seek outpatient or inpatient treatment, multiple treatment layers are likely to be used to tackle some of the complex issues associated with the drug. The multifaceted approach ensures patients remain drug-free and become productive members of society. Here are other layers of treatment that are commonly used:
There is no one-solution-fits-all to long-term side effects of Klonopin. Effective dependency treatment is usually unique for each individual, and professionals adjust each treatment accordingly. If you are struggling with clonazepam dependency issues, we are here to help.
At Irish healing, we provide exceptional comprehensive care for your recovery and treatment needs. We design each program based on the individual, thanks to our highly skilled team, who work with you on a personal level.
Get in touch with us today and talk with us about the long-term side effects of Klonopin.