Klonopin, or clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine prescribed to treat those who are suffering from excessive panic attacks, seizures, or muscle spasms. The drug has a hypnotic, sedative effect that helps put the mind and body at ease, so you worry less and get a good night’s sleep. It can also help with the pain that can come as a result of muscle spasms.
While many use this drug to keep symptoms at bay, others use the drug recreationally to enjoy a relaxed and euphoric feeling that can come as a byproduct of using it. But is it safe to do so?
How Can Balance be Attained Without Abusing?
The best way to make sure you’re not abusing Klonopin is only to use it when necessary. This could be at times where you can’t relax due to an excessive amount of stress that is causing panic attacks. Or perhaps when the pain of the muscle spasms is horrible. The key is to refrain from taking it when you absolutely don’t need it.
Also, you should never use Klonopin with other drugs. Only use when necessary and take the lowest dosage possible to ensure your health and safety while being under the influence of Klonopin.
If you can, quitting the drug altogether is truly the best way to ensure you do not abuse Klonopin. You may want to try to find a natural solution for pain and stress that may be causing your anxiety or panic attacks.
What is the Threshold – What Defines Abuse?
You can become addicted to Klonopin in just a matter of a few weeks, even if you’re following the prescription amount given by your doctor. Others may never develop an addiction to Klonopin at all. There are various factors involved in whether you will become addicted or not.
Abuse is when you’re taking Klonopin just for the relaxed or euphoric feelings you feel when on it. If you don’t have a prescription for it, but you’re using it, you’re abusing it. If you’re buying it off the street or from friends, you’re abusing it. If you’re taking more than your doctor prescribed, you’re abusing it.
The following are symptoms related to a Klonopin addiction. If you notice any of these symptoms in you or a loved one, you may need to get help:
- A persistent, sometimes intense craving for Klonopin
- Continuing Klonopin even though it is giving you negative side effects
- Being unable to stop taking Klonopin on your own
- Losing interest in day to day activities including socializing and working
- Problems with money or the law due to Klonopin
- Increase in anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia
- Sweating and muscle pain
- Headaches, nausea, and vomiting
How Fast Can Tolerance Build for Klonopin?
For some, tolerance can be built up in a matter of weeks, even if only using the amount prescribed by their doctor. This is why it is critical not to take more than necessary of this drug, as you will be at a higher risk for abuse.
How Addictive is Klonopin?
It is known by medical professionals that Klonopin can be addictive, especially for those who are prone to addictions. That is why Klonopin should only be used short term, with one to two weeks of use being the safest amount of time. You can become addicted to Klonopin in as little as three weeks, and it is especially worrisome for those who have used the drug for six months or longer.
What are the Dangers of Using It Recreationally?
There are several immediate, short, and long-term effects that go hand in hand with using Klonopin recreationally. Of course, the more you consume Klonopin, the more of the adverse side effects will relate to you.
Short Term Effects of Klonopin
There are several immediate effects of Klonopin that are deemed positive by consumers, such as relaxation and a feeling of overwhelming calm. This is what is likely to keep you reaching for more.
However, there are also many negative side effects that can occur immediately after taking the drug. These include the following:
- Confusion and amnesia
- Feeling dizzy or unbalanced
- Poor motor control
- You may also have an allergic reaction to Klonopin, which would produce trouble breathing, hives on the body, and a feeling of being choked.
Long Term Effects of Klonopin
If Klonopin is continued in large doses over a period of time, many long-term side effects can occur. Most of these long-term side effects will have the most damage to the brain and its functions. Some of these long-term effects include the following:
- Impairment on judgment
- Little or no impulse control
- Confusion and overall disorientation
- Major damage to memory
- Weakness in the muscles
- Not being able to think straight or learn properly
- Major mood swings that can lead to hostility and extremely erratic behavior
As Klonopin is an overall muscle relaxer that slows down breathing and helps you to come into a more hypnotic-like state, it is far easier to fall into an overdose. A Klonopin overdose is incredibly life-threatening, and you should seek medical treatment right away if you notice any of the following symptoms.
The symptoms of a Klonopin overdose include:
- A major increase in anxiety
- A feeling of extreme agitation
- Confusion and amnesia
- Speech becoming excessively slurred and hard to understand
- Low blood pressure
- Eye movement that happens involuntarily
- Limbs that appear to be floppy and lifeless
- Unable to control body movements
- Shallow and slowed breathing
- Falling into an unresponsive state
Tapering Off Klonopin
If you use Klonopin once or twice a month, it is likely that you are not addicted to the drug. If you’re taking it as prescribed by your doctor, your body may have become dependent on it. It’s not always easy to know until you try coming off the drug.
If you find yourself using the drug often (more than three times a week), you may have become dependent on it or have an addiction.
Instead of quitting cold turkey, professionals believe it is best to taper off the drug, taking less and less each week until you are no longer using it. This reduces withdrawal symptoms and potentially life-threatening side effects that occur when quitting Klonopin cold turkey.
It’s best to wean off under the supervision of a medical professional.
Klonopin is a drug that is used to relieve stress, anxiety, and pain. Prescribed by a medical professional, the drug should only be used for short term relief, as it can be addictive when used for longer than two weeks. If using recreationally, it is important to use the drug as little as possible, and don’t take more than the suggested amount.
Remember, there are many short and long-term side effects of Klonopin that should be taken into consideration when taking it. Watch out for any signs of overdose, as a Klonopin overdose can be seriously life-threatening.
If you become addicted to Klonopin, seek professional help to wean off of the drug. It’s vital to have that monitoring by a medical professional. You shouldn’t stay on Klonopin long-term, so talk with your doctor about alternative options for contending with anxiety or stress.