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Klonopin Addiction: Symptoms and Signs of Abuse

About Klonopin

Klonopin addiction signs and symptoms can relate to use, abuse, or withdrawal. The most common psychological, physical, and behavioral symptoms associated with the different stages of Klonopin abuse are:

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Slurred speech
  • Insomnia
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Doctor shopping for Klonopin pills
  • Coma
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Excessively spending money on Klonopin
  • A fatal overdose if Klonopin is combined with drugs or other alcohol

Individuals who are seeking recovery for themselves or a loved one can rest assured that help is available. A rehab center that offers a full continuum of care can provide medical detox from Klonopin and a therapeutic program in an outpatient or inpatient capacity.

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

drug abuseEvery 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
Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Klonopin Abuse

woman depressed and on drugs

It is likely that a person who abuses Klonopin manages to fulfill their supply needs through doctors. In some cases, a person may sell their Klonopin pills to someone to make extra money. Doctor shopping, the practice of going to different doctors to get more pills than medically necessary, is a serious behavioral sign of addiction.

Sometimes, individuals may try to convince a doctor that they lost their pills. In view of the fact that the US is steeped in a prescription drug epidemic, doctors are aware of the possible lies that some patients may tell them. While states are in the process of, or have, implemented prescription monitoring systems, some individuals may still be able to successfully doctor shop for Klonopin and fill prescriptions at different pharmacies. A concerned person may find different prescription pill bottles with labels showing different doctors’ names and pharmacies within overlapping periods of time.

The 11 criteria for a substance use disorder, taken from the DSM-5 and discussed above, include information about behavioral changes that can occur as a result of Klonopin abuse. Additional signs of substance abuse in general that can apply to Klonopin addiction include but are not limited to:

  • Legal troubles: For instance, if a person operates a car after taking a more than medically necessary amount of Klonopin and is involved in an accident or traffic stop, there may be criminal charges under the state’s drugged driving laws.
  • New friends: Individuals who do drugs often group together to do so. These new individuals in the person’s life may show signs of substance abuse. As a duo or group, they may engage in drug speak. Street names for Klonopin include pin, benzos, tranks, and downers.
  • Withdrawing or becoming isolated: Although drug use can be social, it can also cause a person to uncharacteristically withdraw from family, friends, coworkers, classmates, and activities in general.
  • Being secretive: In order to protect the Klonopin abuse, people may conceal their activities, tell lies when asked about them, or become hostile to avoid any questions or criticisms.
  • Emergence of unexplained injuries: Klonopin abuse is associated with a host of side effects, such as poor judgment and impaired coordination, which can lead to personal injury. The individual may increasingly get into accidents and  refuse to explain how they happened, downplay them, or shrug off other people’s concerns.
  • Changes to one’s appearance: As a person’s preoccupation with Klonopin abuse increases, there may be less effort spent in other areas, such as hygiene, personal grooming, and wearing clean clothes. An uncharacteristically slovenly appearance can be a sign that a person is falling into addiction.

When in the grip of a sedative use disorder, which may or may not involve polydrug use, a person may feel out of control. For this reason, it is critical to keep in mind that recovery can help.

Many people have recovered from Klonopin addiction and learned how to embrace the process of maintaining abstinence while living a fulfilling life.

Last Updated on January 31, 2020
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