Signs of Klonopin Addiction: Helping a Sibling Recognize When They Need Help

Recognizing the signs of Klonopin addiction in your sibling is scary, but what do you do next? With the right mindset, reaching out to your sibling can be easier than you think. And after the process of detox, both of you will be able to start a new path toward a healthier, brighter future—together.

Karen knew that her brother Liam was struggling with Klonopin addiction. Although he was originally prescribed it alongside an antidepressant for bipolar disorder back when they were younger, watching him try and stop time and time again made her realize that this was much more than a simple prescription.

She knew she was losing him, but she felt helpless; she had no idea how to help.

Watching a sibling struggle with Klonopin addiction can be difficult, and you’re not alone if you don’t know what to do. Recognizing the signs is one thing, but trying to express your concern in a way that helps your brother or sister want to get treatment is another. By combining empathy with a knowledge of how and why residential treatment is so beneficial, you can help your sibling let their guard down and show them the potential for recovery that lies ahead of them.

Signs of Klonopin Addiction

No matter what the early months or years of Klonopin use looked like or how much benefit your sibling got from it in the past, what matters is their relationship with their prescription now. What began as a solution may, as it has for so many others, have since turned into a crutch, or worse.

Although it’s considered one of the safer benzodiazepines, long-term use and abuse of Klonopin can take its toll on the brain and body. Some of the most common signs of Klonopin addiction and abuse include:

  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Mood swings
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Irrational and angry outbursts
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired judgment
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

To make things more frustrating, many doctors are content to keep patients on benzodiazepines because they don’t know the dangers or simply don’t have the time to conduct a taper.

For Liam, part of the problem was rooted in the fact that his prescribing doctor simply was not knowledgeable enough about benzodiazepines and the effects of withdrawal to be qualified to properly advise Liam on his Klonopin use. This is why residential treatment facilities are so key to both the treatment of mental disorders and addiction recovery—the medical teams at such facilities are specifically trained in such areas and can expertly monitor both prescriptions and, if necessary, medical detox.

Of course, by the time Liam acknowledged his own addiction, he felt it was hopeless to seek help. After all, he’d already been to one doctor who had unwittingly steered him wrong. Just as Karen struggled to see how she could convince him otherwise, so, too, may you be wondering how to help your sibling see past their doubts to recognize the benefits of seeking professional help with their addiction. The good news is, there is still hope—both for you and for your brother or sister.

Reaching Out to Your Sibling

When many people hear the word “treatment,” they think of a rigidly structured clinical environment. And even if they don’t, the fear of experiencing withdrawal can be enough to keep people struggling with Klonopin addiction attached to their pattern of use, even when they are aware of the toll that it’s taking on their health.

However, as a member of their family, you are uniquely suited to helping your sibling come to grips with the importance of addressing their addiction in a residential setting. Being an addict is often lonely and isolating, but you have the opportunity to reach into this world and show them a better alternative to using and continuing the cycle of addiction. You can give them the courage and motivation needed to take that vital first step, which is often the hardest.

Emphasize the personalized nature of treatment centers, the safety of medical detox, and paint a picture that breaks any preconceptions of mental health treatment that might be holding them back. Remember: given the tough nature of benzodiazepine withdrawal, knowing that they will have medical professionals helping them slowly taper off of their medication is a huge comfort. In fact, it can be the difference between resigning to continue down the path of addiction and making the choice to face withdrawal in order to detox.

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What Happens After Detox?

After medically supervised detox, your sibling will enter long-term treatment. What happens then is largely dependent on their needs and situations. While steps like psychological testing and basic therapies are a given, the right program will adapt and change along the way to ensure that treatment addresses every problem and challenge that arises.

Like Liam, many people take Klonopin for mental health reasons, sometimes alongside other medications. After long enough, these issues end up going unaddressed in the face of addiction, even if the Klonopin was initially prescribed to address them. A comprehensive residential treatment program will treat any underlying conditions concurrently, taking care to do so in a way that makes it possible for your sibling to also address and take control of their addiction.

The treatment process is a learning experience that will give your sibling insight into their addiction (and themselves) that they never thought possible. That’s not to say treatment is easy—like any healing process, it will have its ups and downs. Nevertheless, the process of learning and growing will help give your sibling a forward momentum that will guide them down a positive path of recovery at long last.

Starting a New Path

The right comprehensive residential treatment program is life-changing. Even with regular hiccups and roadblocks, your sibling will be able to harness to support of professional therapists and peer support groups that always give them somewhere to turn. And as their family, you can participate in the treatment process to help them continue moving forward and also make sure that you’re not suffering because of the role you’ve played in their addiction, whatever that may be. It will be a lifelong journey for the both of you, but one that is full of continuous learning and a focus on maintaining a healthy, sober life.

When Liam finally entered residential treatment, it was an eye-opening experience—both for Liam and for his sister. As Liam moved past detox and withdrawal and began to heal in earnest, he began to explore who he was without his addiction. As for Karen, attending family therapy with her brother let her see firsthand how her brother was progressing, and for the first time in years, they were able to rebuild their sibling bond and spend quality time together in earnest.

Alta Mira offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.