Klonopin (clonazepam) is a member of a family of drugs called benzodiazepines (or benzos) and it’s among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. Klonopin is intended for the short-term treatment of anxiety and insomnia. This is because the drug, which works by altering the effect of a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter (called GABA), is habit-forming and often abused. It’s easy to become dependent on the drug. And when someone is dependent, it means he or she will experience withdrawal.
If you take benzos for more than three to four weeks, you can experience symptoms of withdrawal. In fact, people who use benzos for more than six months have roughly a 40 percent risk of moderate-to-severe withdrawal symptoms. The other 60 percent of users will experience withdrawal as well but the symptoms will be much milder.
Klonopin Withdrawal: What to Expect
In general, the severity of your withdrawal depends on the severity of use; for example, whether you’re taking the drugs as prescribed or abusing the drugs by taking larger doses or frequent dosing. Whether or not Klonopin is mixed with other drugs or alcohol is also a factor.
According to experts at the World Health Organization (WHO), acute withdrawal symptoms can last from two to eight weeks, on and off, and vary depending on the following factors:
- How long you’ve been taking it and how many times you’ve increased your dose
- Whether you regularly mix it with other drugs (opioids, stimulants) or alcohol or other benzos
- Your age and physical health
- The severity of your mental health problems
- Your current mental health
- Your history of drug and alcohol abuse
- Your previous experiences with withdrawal
Understanding the Symptoms of Klonopin Withdrawal
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly how Klonopin withdrawal will affect you – and each time could be completely different. Some say that it’s similar to the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, including feeling edgy, irritated and flu-ish.
Experts break the symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal into two general categories: physical and psychological symptoms. Here’s a closer look.
Physical symptoms may include:
- Sleep problems (nightmares, waking in the night)
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Dizziness or unsteadiness
- Muscle aches and pains
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Grand mal seizures
Psychological symptoms may include:
- Irritability and agitation
- Sleep issues (insomnia, nightmares)
- Panic attacks
- Problems concentrating
- Trouble remembering things
- Auditory or visual hallucinations
- Distorted body image
Although this doesn’t happen to everyone, some users do experience what’s known as protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal. This can last from a couple months to more than a year. Symptoms include depression, anxiety and agitation.
Helping a Loved One With a Klonopin Addiction
If you or a loved one suffers from a prescription drug addiction, NorthStar Transitions can help! For more information, call us today: 303-974-7953.