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Klonopin Overview

Klonopin (clonazepam) is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). Clonazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety. Klonopin is used to treat seizure disorders or panic disorder. Klonopin® (clonazepam) is a prescription medication approved to treat the following conditions:

  • Epileptic seizures

  • Seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy)

  • Akinetic seizures (also known as atonic seizures), which are characterized by a sudden loss of muscle tone, causing "drop attacks"

  • Myoclonic seizures, which are characterized by sudden, brief muscle jerks

  • Absence seizures, which are characterized by brief periods of decreased awareness or "spacing out"

Klonopin Abuse Treatment

Despite their many beneficial effects, benzodiazepines have the potential for abuse and should be used only as prescribed. Additionally, they should be prescribed only by a legitimate healthcare professional that has seen you in person (not someone who has evaluated you over the Internet). During the first few days of taking a benzodiazepine like Klonopin, people usually feel sleepy and uncoordinated. However, as the body becomes accustomed to the effects of the drug, these feelings begin to disappear. If a person uses these drugs long-term, the body will develop a tolerance for the drugs, and larger doses will be needed to achieve the same initial effects. Continued use can lead to physical dependence and when use is reduced or stopped, a withdrawal can occur. Because Klonopin works by slowing the brain's activity, when an individual stops taking this medicine, the brain's activity can rebound and race out of control, potentially leading to seizures and other harmful consequences. Although withdrawal from Klonopin can be problematic, it is rarely life-threatening. Therefore, someone who is thinking about stopping Klonopin therapy or who is experiencing a withdrawal from Klonopin should speak with a physician or seek medical treatment.

Klonopin Signs of Abuse

When a person is addicted to a medicine and he or she stops taking the medicine, the body is not able to function properly and withdrawal symptoms can occur. Some signs of abuse of Klonopin include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes
  • Sensitivity to sound or light

Effects of Klonopin Abuse

Some side effects of Klonopin, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:

  • Depression (or worsening of existing depression)
  • Problems with balance, especially frequent falls (which are especially dangerous in the elderly)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Memory problems
  • Anxiety, excitation, or agitation
  • Hostility, aggression, or rage
  • Insomnia

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

Stopping Klonopin too quickly (especially if you have been taking high doses of Klonopin) can cause withdrawal symptoms. Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • Numbness or tingling
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • A rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss

Klonopin Abuse Statistics

Specific Klonopin statistics are not readily available, but there is substantial information on benzodiazepines which is Klonopin’s drug class. Almost all benzodiazepine admissions (95 percent) reported abuse of another substance in addition to abuse of benzodiazepines: 82.1 percent reported primary abuse of another substance with secondary abuse of benzodiazepines, and 12.9 percent reported primary abuse of benzodiazepines with secondary abuse of another substance. Additional statistical data includes:

  • The majority of benzodiazepine admissions were male, between the ages of 18 and 34, and non-Hispanic White. Compared with all admissions, benzodiazepine admissions were more likely to be female (44.0 vs. 32.0 percent), more likely to be between the ages of 18 and 34 (55.3 vs. 44.5 percent), and more likely to be non-Hispanic White

  • Seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy)

  • Compared with all admissions, benzodiazepine admissions were much more likely to report the abuse of another substance (95.0 vs. 54.4 percent). Of those benzodiazepine admissions that reported multiple substances of abuse, 82.1 percent reported primary abuse of another substance with secondary abuse of benzodiazepines, and 12.9 percent reported primary abuse of benzodiazepines with secondary abuse of another substance.

  • Benzodiazepines ranked in fifth place in the proportion of total substance abuse admissions in the first half of 2011 in Cincinnati, and in sixth place in Baltimore City, Boston, and South Florida Broward County.

  • Of special concern is that persons between the ages of 18 and 25 reported higher lifetime non-medical use of pain relievers, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants than did other age groups. Between 2004 and 2005, there was a significant increase in the number of persons in this group who used hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, clonazepam, or alprazolam.

References
http://www.drugabuse.gov
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs
http://www.usa.gov/
http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/factsheets.shtml
http://druginfo.nlm.nih.gov/drugportal/drugportal.jsp

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Clients being treated in our residential program reside with us for the specific amount of days established in their individualized addiction treatment program.

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