Prescription Drug Abuse: Clonazepam Addiction
In the beginning, clonazepam seemed like a blessing. It could help control your anxiety. You could sleep at night again. It was supposed to be just a temporary solution, a way to control the symptoms until you could get treatment for your underlying issues. But, as time went on, you needed it more and more, just to get through the day. Clonazepam has gone from helping you to hurting you. It’s taking a toll on your family, your work, and your relationships. You’re ready to heal and move beyond it, but you can’t do it alone.
We understand how difficult it can be to overcome a dependence on clonazepam. Contact us if you’d like to talk about treatment and healing.
Doctors know that clonazepam can lead to dependency. It’s part of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, sedatives that have fast-acting, temporary effects. Doctors prescribe drugs in this class for sedation surgeries, panic attacks, insomnia, and muscle spasms. Clonazepam can also prevent certain kinds of seizures. It acts quickly, but is relatively slow to metabolize and can deliver an extended period of calm.
Over time, your body may develop a tolerance to clonazepam. You’ll need larger and larger amounts of the drug to achieve the same positive effects. Meanwhile, these larger doses can also cause increased drowsiness, dizziness, clumsiness, and forgetfulness. You may find yourself too ‘zoned out’ to live your life.
Addiction can also develop when you’re unable to get treatment for underlying issues. While clonazepam can treat acute panic attacks caused by anxiety, it can’t treat or cure anxiety. If your anxiety is getting worse, you may find yourself taking ever larger doses of clonazepam, but without the results. Instead, you’re left with a life-controlling addiction.
Withdrawal from Clonazepam
Unsupervised withdrawal from clonazepam can be dangerous. Ideally, you should complete the process of detoxification while being supervised by a medical professional. Withdrawal can cause seizures, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and other physical and mental illnesses. Even someone who’s taken the medication as directed can suffer these symptoms when they try to step down their dose.
Withdrawal is especially dangerous when the medication was used to treat the symptoms of an underlying mental illness. As the drug leaves your system, so too do its positive effects, and your co-occurring mental health disorder is left without the help the medication gave it. It’s very easy to return to your addiction if your anxiety isn’t addressed simultaneously. To overcome your dependency on clonazepam, you need both physical care and mental health care.
Treating Underlying Issues to Conquer Dependence
Because clonazepam is used to treat mental illness, you need appropriate mental health care to overcome your dependence. Ideally, the detoxification process should occur in an environment where you have access to co-occurring treatment to address both issues at once.
Because the drug is used mainly to treat anxiety and panic attacks, care should occur in a soothing, encouraging environment. Successful clients are often taught other ways to control the onset of panic attacks and reduce anxiety. Some find that breathing routines, meditation, yoga, or other tactics can help reduce their need for drugs like clonazepam in the future.
The recovery process necessary to overcome a clonazepam addiction may seem daunting. It’s a difficult journey, but caring professionals can help you through the process towards a life without addiction.
We’re here for you if you’d like to learn how treatment can help you overcome your dependence and begin a new, healthier life.