Klonopin Addiction: Symptoms and Signs of Abuse
Klonopin, the trade name for the generic drug clonazepam, is a long-acting medication used to treat anxiety, seizures, and other health conditions. Within the drug classification system, Klonopin is a benzodiazepine, and benzodiazepines (benzos) carry a significant potential for abuse. For this reason, it is especially important for any individual who takes Klonopin to know the symptoms of addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Klonopin Addiction
Every mental health professional and addiction treatment specialist in America is familiar with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). Per the DSM-5, the term substance use disorder has replaced the term addiction. The new conceptualization of drug abuse, as set forth in the DSM-5, provides clinicians with 11 criteria to consider when treating or diagnosing a patient. If there are at least two of the 11 criteria present in a patient in the same 12-month period, then that patient is in the realm of a substance use disorder. The next step will be to grade the severity of the disorder. The more criteria that are present, the higher the grading. A person can be diagnosed with a mild, moderate, or severe substance use disorder.
The 11 criteria (paraphrased here) can be thought of as symptoms and signs, and are applied to Klonopin as follows:
- Taking greater amounts of Klonopin, or taking it for a longer period of time, than intended
- Having the desire to stop taking Klonopin or to reduce the familiar amount, but not being able to do so
- Using an excessive amount of time, resources, and energy to get Klonopin, use it, and/or recover from it
- Having a strong desire to use Klonopin (i.e., cravings or urges that can include obsessive thoughts)
- On an ongoing basis, not being able to perform important obligations related to school, work, or home life
- Continuing to use Klonopin even though it persistently causes or worsens interpersonal or social problems
- Cutting back on activities related to friends, family, hobbies, or work because of Klonopin use
- Using Klonopin even when it results in risky situations
- Even though the Klonopin abuse is worsening physical, psychological, or social aspects of life, continuing to use it
- Experiencing tolerance and having to take more Klonopin over time in order to achieve the desired high
- Withdrawal symptoms when the dose of Klonopin lessens
Many people have recovered from Klonopin addiction and learned how to embrace the process of maintaining abstinence while living a fulfilling life.