Klonopin is the brand name of clonazepam, a benzodiazepine commonly prescribed to treat seizures, panic attacks, and anxiety. Like many drugs in the benzodiazepine class, Klonopin can be habit-forming even for those who take it as prescribed.
Suddenly quitting Klonopin can result in severe and potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms. 3 Professional substance abuse treatment can help minimize the risks of relapse.
Benefits of Quitting Klonopin
Klonopin can be therapeutic in the short-term. But long-term use poses significant health risks as well as psychological and social problems.
Quitting Klonopin can help a user avoid a number of serious and possibly life-threatening consequences: 6
- Overdose. Users who combine Klonopin with other substances, such as alcohol, put themselves at increased risk of overdose and even death.
- Interpersonal problems. Klonopin abuse is associated with behavioral changes and poor judgment. People who abuse Klonopin may be more likely to get into arguments and fights, damaging their relationships in the process.
- Risks to health. Klonopin intoxication slows reaction times and impairs coordination, and can lead to accidental injuries and automobile accidents.
- Legal problems. People who abuse Klonopin and get into fights or accidents may be more likely to suffer legal consequences.
- Relying on a substance. Many people who abuse Klonopin struggle with anxiety or insomnia. Learning how to manage these conditions without drugs can free someone from having to depend on a substance to sleep or be at ease.
Who Answers? to get help finding Klonopin recovery centers in your area.
Klonopin Addiction Treatment Center and Recovery Program Options
Quitting Klonopin without medical supervision can be uncomfortable and, in some cases, dangerous. Attempting to quit on your own can be life-threatening and may increase your risk of relapse. Seeking professional treatment can keep you safe and help improve your chances of long-term recovery and sobriety.
Treatment programs and therapies available for Klonopin addiction include:
- Inpatient treatment: Inpatient rehab takes place in a residential facility on a 24/7 basis for a designated period of time, typically ranging from 30 days to 90 days. However, inpatient can last from several months to a year or more in severe cases. Inpatient treatment allows users to focus exclusively on their recovery in an environment free of the stresses and triggers of the outside world.
- Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment generally includes many of the same services as inpatient rehab programs, but care takes place on a part-time basis. This option may be better for those with less severe addictions or those who wish to remain active in their careers or family lives during treatment.
- Group counseling: Group counseling offers the support of peers who are fighting similar battles. It may also include family and friends whose lives have been affected by the addiction.
- Individual counseling: Individual counseling and therapy helps users address any underlying emotional or psychological problems that may be contributing to their addiction. Since Klonopin is commonly prescribed for anxiety, cognitive behavioral techniques are often used to help users learn to cope with anxiety without medication. 3
- 12-step programs: Twelve-step programs offer peer support and structure to help maintain sobriety in the long-term.
Recovery from Klonopin addiction is an ongoing process that continues well after initial treatment has been completed. Because it is significantly more difficult to remain sober outside of the treatment environment, people in recovery should have a solid aftercare program to help them manage day-to-day life without drugs.
There are many forms of aftercare treatment, including:
- Sober living communities: Sober living communities offer people in recovery a safe, supportive, drug-free environment with peers who are also in recovery. These communities often offer relapse prevention programs, counseling, job placement assistance, and recreational activities for residents.
- 12-step programs and support groups: Twelve-step programs and support groups are ongoing programs that extend well beyond treatment. Many people in recovery continue going on a weekly basis for years after they have completed rehab.
- Outpatient visits: Outpatient visits with a physician or a psychiatrist can help recovering Klonopin users maintain sobriety and health in the long-term.
- Counseling: Individual and group counseling programs can help recovering users continue to address problems related to their addiction.
Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms and Side Effects
Abruptly stopping Klonopin use can lead to withdrawal symptoms as well as a return or “rebound” of anxiety, insomnia, or other issues. Within the first few days after quitting, some of the withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and medically supervised detox is recommended to account for this possibility.
When considering the full range of potential symptoms, the acute and post-acute withdrawal syndrome associated with benzodiazepines can last for days, weeks or, in some cases, months.
Some common symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal include: 1,2
- Rebound anxiety.
- Rebound insomnia.
- Panic attacks.
- New or worsening seizures.
- Stomach cramps.
- Muscle cramps.
- Uncontrollable shaking.
- Behavioral changes.
- The dosage used and how often it was taken.
- Duration of addiction.
- Individual physiology.
- Whether the person was abusing other drugs.
Treatment of Withdrawal
As mentioned above, users who are trying to detox from Klonopin should work with a physician. The physician may slowly lower the dosage over time to minimize withdrawal symptoms (also called “tapering”) or prescribe you another non-addictive medication for anxiety, seizures, or insomnia.
- Tapering involves administering lower and lower doses of Klonopin over time while monitoring the person for any medical complications.
- Anti-hypertensive medications, including clonidine and propranolol, can also be prescribed to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Anti-seizure medications can also be used to help control withdrawal symptoms.
Tips for Quitting
- Address the reasons you started using in the first place. Getting at the root of the problem can help prevent relapse. Many people use the drug to cope with anxiety. For these individuals, counseling and therapy can help them learn how to manage these symptoms without using Klonopin.
- Get professional help. It can be difficult and medically unsafe to quit Klonopin alone. Seek professional help from physicians, psychiatrists, counselors, and other addiction professionals.
- Find support. Having a solid support system is crucial to the recovery process. Locate support groups for people facing similar addictions and don’t be afraid to call on your family and friends for support when you need it.
- Try to avoid triggers. Many people, places, things, and experiences may trigger a desire to use Klonopin. When possible, avoid triggers to help prevent relapse. Inevitably, you will be faced with stress, so learn healthy coping mechanisms to deal with it when it arises.
How to Help an Addict Quit
It can be incredibly difficult to watch a loved one suffer from Klonopin addiction. Friends and family of Klonopin addicts often want to help, but remain unsure of what to do.
Below are some tips for how you can help someone quit Klonopin and seek professional help: 5
- Educate yourself on Klonopin addiction. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you will be to help.
- Approach the person from a place of compassion and concern. Don’t use blame, shame, or guilt.
- Encourage the person to seek professional treatment. Try to dissuade the person from quitting alone.
- Approach the person one-on-one before staging a group intervention. Find a private place, and don’t talk to the person when he or she is intoxicated.
- Offer help without enabling the person. Offer to support the person if he or she seeks treatment, but don’t engage in behaviors that prolong the addiction, such as loaning money or covering for them.
- Explain how the addictive behavior has personally affected you. Use “I” statements, such as, “I am worried about you” or “I get upset when you come home intoxicated.”
- Understand that relapse is common. Stay involved in the recovery process and offer ongoing support even after treatment ends.
Is It Dangerous to Quit Cold Turkey?
Quitting Klonopin “cold turkey” or suddenly can be physically and emotionally problematic.
- Medical complications. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and seizures may occur, especially when use is stopped or decreased rapidly.
- Cravings and relapse. Cravings can be difficult to resist during the withdrawal period because taking the drug can make the symptoms stop.
- Mental health risks. Depression and suicidal thoughts may also occur during withdrawal, which can be life-threatening for some.
It is highly recommended for people attempting to quit Klonopin to do so under medical supervision. 3 The dose can be slowly tapered over time. Medically supervised detox also maximizes the chance of making a full and lasting recovery.
Find a Rehab Center for Klonopin
If you or a loved one is suffering from Klonopin addiction and in need of treatment, contact one of our recovery support specialists at 1-888-319-2606 Who Answers? for assistance finding a treatment center.
. Food and Drug Administration. (2013). Medication Guide: Klonopin.
. National Library of Medicine. (2010). Clonazepam.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Treating Addiction to CNS Depressants.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide. Behavioral Therapies.
. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. (2015). Helping a Family Member or Friend.
. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. (5th ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
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