Clonazepam is one of the most commonly-abused of all prescription drugs, and people who develop an addiction to it come from all walks of life. There’s no typical Clonazepam abuser in most cases people who are addicted to this powerful drug were first introduced to it through their medical doctor, psychiatrist, or other professional who provided the user with a legitimate, therapeutic prescription.
Because there are many valid reasons why people may be taking Clonazepam, it can be difficult to know when they’ve crossed the line from using the drug as a valid, medical treatment into being physically and mentally dependent on Clonazepam. After all, even people who take this drug for a short period of time can develop noticeable side effects like feeling a euphoric-like high, excessive drowsiness, and lowered inhibitions, like what someone might feel like after consuming a few alcoholic beverages.
In the United States alone, addiction to benzodiazepines such as Clonazepam has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, as have overdoses and deaths related to this class of drugs. While Clonazepam has been available as a prescription medication since 1964, doctors did not widely prescribe it until the 1980s. In 1996, approximately 8.1 million Americans were prescribed benzodiazepines; by 2013, the number of prescriptions for benzodiazepines in the United States increased to 13.5 million – that means nearly 6 percent of all adults in the U.S. had filled at least one prescription for a benzodiazepine.
Not only has the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions increased dramatically over the past 20 years, but so has the average dose: studies show that the daily prescribed dosage of drugs like Clonazepam increased by about 50 percent between 1996 and 2013. Addictions experts believe that the significant increase in the number of people being prescribed benzodiazepines, combined with the rise in the average daily dosage, has led to the epidemic of abuse across the country today.
Of course, simply having a prescription for Clonazepam doesn’t mean you’ll become addicted, but it does put you at risk of developing a serious dependency. Addiction is a complex disease that tends to evolve over time, and some people are simply more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol than others are. Factors like your family history, how you deal with stress, whether you have mental health concerns or not, and if you have acute or chronic medical conditions can all influence whether you will become one of the millions of people who suffer from addiction.
Determining if you, or someone you care about, has a problem with Clonazepam can be difficult. One of the most common signs that you’re developing a tolerance to this drug is if you feel the need to take bigger and bigger doses just to achieve the effect you’re looking for – this is a red flag that you shouldn’t ignore. Remember that Clonazepam addiction can happen quickly or it can take abusers months, or even years, to achieve sobriety from this powerful drug.
Another sign to watch out for is mixing Clonazepam with alcohol or other drugs. People who are looking to enhance the euphoric-like feelings from benzodiazepines may start drinking alcohol along with their medication to boost the effects of the drug without letting their doctor know they’re becoming an addict. Like Clonazepam, alcohol has a sedative effect on the central nervous system, and this combination can lead to dangerous behavior, slowed respiration rates, loss of consciousness, and even death.
While taking Clonazepam can be dangerous, stopping cold turkey can be even more hazardous to your health, especially if you abuse other substances, have mental health issues, or have a high tolerance level to benzodiazepines. For example, if you initially started taking Clonazepam to treat anxiety, you might experience rebound symptoms when you detox – this means the anxiety could come back worse than ever for a short period of time.
Fortunately, detoxing from Clonazepam can be done safely at a licensed detox facility where addiction specialists carefully monitor and manage your withdrawal symptoms. In many cases, people who are dependent upon Clonazepam are gradually weaned off the drug by medical professionals – this process can help to minimize the potential of dangerous detox symptoms and make you feel more comfortable during the detox process.
Once you’ve completed detox, it’s important to go right into a treatment program where you’ll learn about the root cause of your addiction, connect with a supportive community, and develop healthy, drug-free ways to deal with anxiety, stress, and other triggers.
Getting clean from a Clonazepam addiction isn’t easy – you need the support of trained addiction specialists to safely detox from the drug, deal with the withdrawal symptoms, and develop healthy, drug-free coping skills. We can help you find the support you need to live a drug-free life.