Klonopin Addiction Symptoms and Side Effects

Klonopin is a drug to which people can form a physical dependence, as well as a psychological addiction to, particularly if they take high doses. It’s important to understand the signs of Klonopin abuse, whether it’s a drug you yourself take or something a friend or family member uses. While anyone who takes Klonopin without their own prescription is seen as someone who is abusing the drug, people who have a prescription can also abuse it, particularly as the build a tolerance to it. One of the first signs of Klonopin abuse is becoming preoccupied with the drug. Other general signs can include putting a lot of focus on obtaining it, taking doses that are larger or more frequently than prescribed, or mixing it with alcohol or other drugs to amplify the effects.
As noted above, one of the initial signs of Klonopin abuse is often a preoccupation with the drug. Someone who is becoming addicted might put a lot of focus on when they’re going to take their next dose, or they might seem very concerned about running out before they can get a new prescription.

In some cases, people who are addicted to Klonopin will “doctor shop,” meaning they will visit several different doctors in hopes of getting multiple prescriptions. Someone who’s abusing Klonopin will often seek to buy it illegally, and if they have a prescription, they won’t take it as is directed by their doctor. They may take higher doses than what they’re prescribed, or take it more frequently.

These are some of the first signs of Klonopin abuse regarding overall lifestyle and behavior, but these certainly aren’t the only Klonopin addiction behavior red flags you should look out for.

As someone gets more into their Klonopin addiction, they may seem to lose interest in school, work or social obligations. They may become preoccupied and unable to put attention to other areas of their lives, and there may continue to use the drug, regardless of negative consequences.

How Does Someone Act on Klonopin/Behavioral Signs of Klonopin?

Someone who takes Klonopin, whether they’re prescribed it and using it as directed or are abusing it, will often seem drowsy when they take it, but also calm and relaxed. In some cases, there can be some loss of coordination or slurred speech, by these side effects usually only happen if someone has taken too much of the drug.

When someone abuses Klonopin, takes doses that are too high or uses it for long time periods, the following may be some symptoms they exhibit:

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Fainting
  • Numbness
  • Impaired cognition
  • Confusion
  • Slow reaction time
  • Impaired judgement
  • Reduced libido

When someone is abusing Klonopin, they’re likely to seem slower than usual, and they’re also likely to have problems with alertness and overall body function. This can make it very dangerous to drive or operate machinery while using this prescription drug.

Over time and with dependency, there may be what are called paradoxical reactions, which mean the opposite can start occurring as to what’s supposed to happen with the drug, for example, increased irritability, anxiety, and agitation. Long-term abuse and addiction of Klonopin can lead to increased panic attacks and depression as well.

klonopin abuse signs
The physical symptoms of Klonopin can vary, depending on the dose a person takes, what their tolerance is like, and individual factors such as their body weight. If someone is abusing Klonopin, for example, they’re likely to display more physical symptoms than someone who’s taking a small dose as directed by their doctor.

While physical symptoms may vary and also depend on how long you’ve been taking the drug, some common potential side effects include

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Headache
  • Problems with cognition and memory
  • Slurred speech
  • Dry mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems and constipation
  • Blurred vision

The physical side effects and symptoms can also be amplified when Klonopin is mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Very serious side effects can include hallucinations, extreme confusion, shallow breathing, involuntary eye movements, fluttering in your chest, difficulty urinating, pale skin or new or worsening seizures.

In addition to symptoms that occur during its use, there are also physical withdrawal symptoms that can happen if someone stops taking it suddenly including vomiting seizures and cramping.

All of the above symptoms and side effects speak primarily to short-term impacts seen with Klonopin, and there are also potential long-term adverse effects that can occur.

Just as there are short-term side effects,  many of which are potentially adverse, there are also long-term Klonopin drug effects that are possible. With chronic use, many people wonder what does Klonopin do to you? Are there signs of chronic Klonopin abuse?

First, one of the leading long-term signs of chronic Klonopin abuse is withdrawal. When someone takes certain drugs, particularly for extended periods of time, and then they try to stop using them they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal from any benzodiazepine can include everything from anxiety and short-term memory loss to seizures and hallucinations.

Overtime with chronic use of Klonopin, there can also be a tolerance that builds. This happens as someone’s body becomes so used to the presence of the drug in their system that usual doses are no longer effective. Usually by the time someone has developed a physical tolerance to Klonopin, they also likely have a physiologic dependency, so that if the doses aren’t increased the person will experience withdrawal symptoms.

Long-term use of Klonopin may also lead to a rebound effect of the issues the drug was initially treating when someone doesn’t take it or doesn’t take enough. For example, anxiety and panic can be heightened at this point.

There has been some evidence to the point the possibility that long-term use of Klonopin can lead to damage to the brain’s natural reward system. This would make it harder to feel pleasure naturally without the drug, and that can result in extreme cravings for it. Long-term abuse may lead to declining memory function and brain damage, and it can be difficult to reverse, depending on how much and how long the drug was abused. These effects can be particularly harmful to older people, and some research has shown the risk for Alzheimer’s was doubled in patients who had a history of benzodiazepine use in general.

Can you overdose on Klonopin? The answer is yes, and it’s relatively common.

The risk of a Klonopin overdose is particularly high if it’s been combined with alcohol or another drug. Overdose symptoms that can occur with Klonopin include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slow reflexes
  • Fainting
  • Coma

Some other signs of a Klonopin overdose can include loss of control over bodily movements, very slurred speech, or paradoxical behavior, such as being hyperactive or aggressive.

If someone might have overdosed on Klonopin, it’s important to get them to the hospital quickly. In some cases with a Klonopin overdose drugs might be given to counteract the effects, but in some cases, there might just be a treatment to keep the patient more comfortable during the symptoms resulting from the overdose.

According to statistics, between 2002 and 2015, the number of deaths related to benzodiazepine went up nearly 4.5 percent, and this class of drugs, including Klonopin, were responsible for more than one million visits to the ER over six years.

The best way to avoid Klonopin overdose deaths is to first and foremost take it only when it’s prescribed to you, and only as prescribed. It’s also important not to mix it with alcohol or any other drugs, and never to take Klonopin purchased off the streets, because you may not know the accurate dosage.

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Klonopin Abuse: Signs, Symptoms & Effects
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