5 Signs Your Loved One Abuses Klonopin

Recognizing when someone is abusing drugs isn't always easy, but knowing the signs of Klonopin abuse can help you ensure they get the help they need.

Klonopin is the brand name for clonazepam, a benzodiazepine drug that’s FDA-approved to treat panic disorders and some types of seizure disorders. Some doctors prescribe it for insomnia (difficulty sleeping) and alcohol withdrawal.

Clonazepam is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance, which means it has a low potential for abuse and can cause addiction and physical dependence.

Like other substances in the benzodiazepine class of drugs—such as Ativan (lorazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), and Valium (diazepam)—Klonopin is widely abused. Many people who misuse these drugs begin with a legitimate prescription.

If you’re concerned that your loved one is abusing Klonopin, knowing the signs of a substance use disorder can help you determine if there’s really a problem.

Five signs your loved one abuses Klonopin are:

  • obtaining Klonopin illegally
  • changes in behavior
  • mental effects of Klonopin abuse
  • physical effects of Klonopin abuse
  • klonopin withdrawal symptoms

1. Obtaining Klonopin Illegally

Your loved one may have a prescription for Klonopin, but if they abuse it they’ll need more than prescribed. Klonopin abuse is taking the drug in higher doses, more frequently, or for longer than a doctor recommends.

“Doctor shopping” is a term for the illegal practice of visiting multiple doctors to obtain the same prescription. If you find several Klonopin bottles with different doctors’ names within the same period of time, that’s a red flag.

If you find pill bottles with someone else’s name on them, unmarked bottles, or pills in bags, your loved one might be getting Klonopin on the street or from a friend or acquaintance.

This practice is dangerous. They could end up with fake Klonopin pills that are weaker, stronger, or adulterated with toxins. It may even be laced with fentanyl, a deadly opioid.

2. Changes In Behavior

You can often tell if someone is abusing drugs because they aren’t acting like themselves. Their focus shifts so that Klonopin is more important—maybe more important than anything else.

They may lose interest in hobbies, perform poorly at school, or be unreliable at work. They might spend less time with friends and family and more time with people who do drugs.

If they’re afraid of your disapproval, they’ll likely try to hide their drug use from you. Secretive behavior can indicate that there’s a problem.

3. Mental Effects Of Klonopin Abuse

Klonopin can help people with panic attacks and anxiety disorders, but taking too much may have the reverse effect. Drug abuse can cause worsening symptoms of mental illness and may lead to suicidal thoughts or psychosis.

Someone who’s abusing Klonopin is likely to become addicted to it. Substance abuse changes how the brain works, making it rely on the drug to function instead of doing its job efficiently.

Your loved one may have cravings for Klonopin and be unable to cut back or stop using it, even if they try.

4. Physical Effects Of Klonopin Abuse

Klonopin is a central nervous system depressant. It slows down your breathing, heartbeat, and other vital functions to promote relaxation. This can cause your pupils to dilate. Abusing Klonopin may put you in a constant state of sedation.

Too much Klonopin slows down your reaction time. It could also severely depress your breathing, creating a deficiency of oxygen flow in the brain and body.

Mixing Klonopin with opioids or alcohol can cause life-threatening respiratory depression.

If your loved one abuses Klonopin, they have a higher risk of Klonopin side effects, like:

  • loss of coordination
  • memory problems
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • blurred vision
  • increased saliva
  • frequent urination
  • pain in joints or muscles
  • changes in sex drive

Like most benzodiazepines (“benzos”), Klonopin is usually prescribed for short-term use. Long-term use can lead to health problems and physical dependence.

5. Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

You can develop a physical dependence on Klonopin (clonazepam) if you take it as prescribed. Doctors typically make a tapering schedule to wean people off the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

If your loved one abuses Klonopin, they may have severe withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop taking it or reduce their dosage. Withdrawal symptoms occur because the body has to adjust to not having the drug.

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. They include:

  • nausea
  • tremors
  • dizziness
  • sleepiness
  • irritability
  • racing heart rate
  • changes in blood pressure
  • seizures

What To Do If Your Loved One Abuses Klonopin

If you believe your loved one abuses Klonopin, don’t stay silent. Drug addiction can be deadly and can destroy a person’s life.

Instead, approach them when they’re sober and address the situation in a loving and supportive manner. Listen to them, seek to understand, and avoid blaming, shaming, or lecturing. You may want to gather friends and family for an intervention.

Many people with drug addiction suffer alone, knowing there’s a problem but being afraid to ask for help. Let them know it’s safe to admit there’s a problem and help them find treatment.

Klonopin Addiction Treatment

Klonopin addiction treatment options include behavioral therapy, support groups, and counseling. The most effective treatment programs combine therapies to address how addiction affects every area of life.

Before drug rehab, your loved one may need medical detox, an inpatient program where medical professionals monitor their vital signs and ensure their safety through the withdrawal process. Once they’re substance-free, it’s easier to focus on recovery.

At Northeast Addictions Treatment Center, we provide several levels of outpatient care for Klonopin addiction. Our programs are tailored to your needs to increase the chance of lasting results.

To learn more about Klonopin abuse and treatment options, speak with one of our specialists today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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