When people are provided with a prescription for Klonopin or the generic clonazepam, they’re given an intensive list of instructions that tell them just how the drug should be taken and just what might happen if they take the drug improperly. Simply reading through this list can make some people feel panicked and worried. For example, Medscape reports that Klonopin can interact in a significant manner with 208 different substances, including alcohol and even caffeine. For some people, reading through the list of hazards provides a necessary incentive that can keep them from making a mistake that could lead to addiction.
Once this drug enters the body system, however, chemical changes could make Klonopin seem rewarding. The impact of this drug can be the same for people who have been prescribed clonazepam and for those who try this drug recreationally. People who don’t even have a prescription for this drug may not be aware of the dangers they’re taking with their use of it, but they might also develop dangerous habits with the very first dose they take.
Benzodiazepines are Powerful Prescription Medication
Klonopin and the generic clonazepam, are both the same benzodiazepine drug, similar in structure to Valium or Xanax. Benzodiazepines slow down electrical signals throughout the brain, bringing a person a temporary sense of relaxation and calm. They work by triggering chemical reactions within brain cells, and those reactions can bring about unwanted consequences. For example, researchers writing in the journal Trends in Neurosciences suggest that benzodiazepines like Klonopin alter cells that are responsible for feelings of pleasure. By suppressing parts of that pathway, Klonopin can deliver a creeping feeling of euphoria.
Anyone who takes Klonopin is susceptible to this change, and for that reason, most medical professionals place restrictions on the amount of pills they dispense, and they may even limit the amount of time in which patients are allowed to take the drug. When the treatment program is complete, they taper the drugs slowly and allow their clients to return to a state of normalcy in a slow and steady fashion.
People who are addicted, however, may resist the idea of only using a small amount of Klonopin for a short period of time. They may become intrigued by the sensation of pleasure each pill delivers, and they may begin to take doses close together. They may take too many pills at one time, or they may crush the pills and snort them or swallow the resulting powder. Since their prescriptions may run out due to this abuse, some patients may constantly ask their doctors for new doses of drugs, or they may shop for new doctors who are willing to give them access to the drugs they want.
Recreational Use of Klonopin
While some people develop a Klonopin addiction due to a prescription, there are others who have no medical need for the drug and who take it for pure pleasure.
Many people obtain drugs through:
- Prescriptions they find in the medicine cabinet or the homes of loved ones
- Online dealers
Adults might also research the conditions that tend to merit a prescription of Klonopin, and they might visit doctors with perfectly rehearsed symptoms, just so they can get the drugs they want.
Many people might simply take these drugs orally, following a dosing pattern that provides them with the sensation they desire. But they might also research their use online. There are a variety of different pro-drug Internet forums that allow users to ask for advice on how much drugs to take, how to take them and what to mix those drugs with. These forums may even spur on dangerous addictions, as many users claim to experience bliss while on Klonopin, with no reactions felt the next day. A casual reader might come to believe that abuse of this drug is relatively safe, since some online writersclaim to experience damage due to the behavior.
The Dangerous Habit of Klonopin Use
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, approximately 21.5 million people in the United States have used a prescription drug like Klonopin for a recreational purpose at least once. Some people take the drug by itself, focusing on the sensations it can deliver. Others blend their Klonopin use with the use of other drugs. These users might lean on Klonopin to help them relax after the use of stimulants, for example, or they might top off Klonopin use with a bolt of alcohol, hoping to make the sensation of relaxation deeper and more persistent. These users may find that their lives begin to revolve around the use and misuse of Klonopin, but when they try to stop their use, they may experience such intense discomfort that they return to the arms of the drug they claim to despise.
- Muscle pain
- Blunted emotions
- Blurred thought
These aren’t mild sensations that might come and go. Some people feel absolutely debilitated without Klonopin, unable to work, sleep or play. Some people even become so agitated and so upset that they develop seizures. This kind of misery can be almost immediately relieved by Klonopin, and people who revert to drug use during a failed home withdrawal might be locked into an addiction. Each time they think about stopping the abuse, they may remember how terrible they felt and how horrible the withdrawal experience really was. They may not even consider withdrawing in the future, since the past held so much pain. A treatment program could ameliorate that pain, but they may not know that therapy is an option.
Klonopin Dependence Recovery
People who have a Klonopin addiction can and do get better with treatment, and that remains true no matter how the behavior began. Those who started taking Klonopin for a panic disorder, for example, might benefit from therapies in which they’re allowed to examine the behaviors that cause them fear, and then learn how to handle those triggers without resorting to dysfunctional behavior. According to the American Psychological Association, experts suggest that therapy like this is the “best treatment for panic disorder.” It could be just the kind of intervention a person with this mental illness needs in order to break a dependence on Klonopin.
Those who don’t have an addiction that sprang from a mental illness might benefit from the same types of therapies. They might also have panic disorders they’ve been self-medicating with drugs, or they might have panic left behind due to the withdrawal process. In therapy, they can learn to manage those feelings. Those who mask emotional pain due to prior trauma, as well as those who have poor emotional coping skills they medicate with drugs, might also benefit from behavioral therapies.
Treatment programs can also help people learn how to meet their need for relaxation without the use of addictive drugs. Treatment programs might provide courses in meditation or deep breathing, allowing for a natural feeling of calm and quiet. Programs might also provide massage or yoga, allowing people to find relief through the push-pull of muscle.
Any kind of treatment is better than living with a Klonopin addiction, but experts suggest that those who have addictions complicated by mental illness might need more robust care. Leaving their mental illness unchecked leaves them many individuals to continue Klonopin abuse when the program is though. A dual diagnosis program, like the program at The Canyon, treats both conditions at once. If you’d like to find out more about our programs, please call our confidential helpline today.