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Klonopin (clonazepam) Withdrawal

Klonopin, generically known as clonazepam, is a sedative to treat seizures, panic and anxiety disorders. It’s also used often as an anticonvulsant and antiepileptic drug. It is available by prescription only and should never be used with other drugs, especially alcohol.

Klonopin is in the benzodiazepine family and works by calming your brain and nerves.

When taken safely, it can greatly help those who are epileptic or struggling with panic disorders. It is when the over-consumption or misuse of Klonopin begins that can cause problems such as addiction.

What Are Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms?

Once you become addicted to a benzo, the body will go through a detox period that produces withdrawal effects when you try to stop taking the drug. Never try to quit taking Klonopin cold turkey, as you must always taper off the drug slowly to avoid further complications.

Some of the main withdrawal symptoms include:

  •     Tremors
  •     Anxiety
  •     Sweating
  •     Insomnia
  •     Muscle Spasms
  •     Seizures (especially if you’re epileptic)
  •     Headache
  •     Vomiting
  •     Confusion
  •     Hallucinations
  •     Nightmares
  •     Irritability
  •     Trouble focusing
  •     Muscle Pain and Stiffness
  •     Memory loss
  •     Mood swings
  •     Cravings
  •     Feeling spaced out

What Are the Stages of Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline?

Like any other addiction, the timeline for withdrawal can vary depending on a lot of factors such as:

  •         The amount of the drug you were taking
  •         How long you’ve been taking the drug
  •         The strength of the dosages
  •         Overall health condition
  •         Polydrug use
  •         Support System
  •         Taper schedule
  •         Age
  •         Metabolism
  •         Mental health

Klonopin has a long half-life of about 24 to 48 hours, which basically means that it takes longer to metabolize and eliminate it from the body. This tends to cause withdrawal symptoms to begin a bit later than drugs that have a short half-life. For Klonopin, this means that perhaps you’d start to feel some symptoms between days two or three after the last dose.

A general Klonopin withdrawal timeline is as follows:

Symptoms are likely to start between days two and three. You could find yourself with an upset stomach, restlessness and panic and anxiety attacks. It is important during this week to do your best to stay calm and remember that detox is part of the process of addiction recovery. Having professional support during this time can be quite helpful.

Some symptoms will peak during this week. You may also feel more physical symptoms, such as loss of appetite, tremors, diarrhea, and insomnia. Do your best during this time to stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and sleep when possible.

After week two, your symptoms may be decreasing nicely. The rate of symptom decline is likely to depend on your taper schedule.  It is important to continue with addiction treatment, even at this part of the timeframe, so you can be monitored for the more dangerous symptoms like seizures or hallucinations.

Why Should I Detox?

Since Klonopin is a benzodiazepine, it is never suggested to stop taking it without medical approval first. If you decide to do it cold turkey at home alone, you can experience severe seizures or hallucinations that can be life-threatening.

There are ways to safely end the addiction and abuse of Klonopin and many reasons to do so. Detoxing from this drug can help you get your life back, especially if you’ve been abusing Klonopin and have experienced negative consequences as a result.

When you contact your doctor to begin tapering off, they will assess your physical health and check if you have any pre-existing conditions to evaluate how long the process could potentially take. When you first begin to taper off, doses may be cut by 10%-25% immediately and then by the same 10%-25% every week or two until you are completely weaned off. Again, by doing this with your doctor, you can ease your anxiety knowing it is a much safer and more successful detoxing process.

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What is the Next Treatment Step?

Detox is just the first step toward overcoming Klonopin addiction. Allowing your body the time it needs to get the drug out of your system, while physically and mentally healing in the process, is incredibly important. Allow your doctor to help you with any questions you may have and be open and honest with them about your situation.

During or after detoxing, there are different treatment options you can choose to continue treating the addiction. Your particular treatment route will depend on your level of addiction.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is the most intense and most successful of the three options. At a residential treatment center, you’ll have 24/7 medical supervision from a team of professionals that include a physician, therapist, and substance abuse experts. This type of treatment offers you the chance to leave home and focus solely on you and your recovery from addiction for a while.

You may choose to stay at the facility anywhere from 28 days to six months, depending on your level of addiction or preferences.  Success rates for long-term recovery tend to be higher at a residential rehab over outpatient options.

Anxious woman curled up in a bar

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment can be common for people with a less dependent addiction. Outpatient lets you schedule appointments for check-ups and attend group sessions, all while carrying on your normal, everyday life. This is the most independent of the three treatment options. This could be the route for people who haven’t been using long or taking a smaller dosage, even if they’ve abused the drug in the past.

Intensive Outpatient Program:

Intensive Outpatient Program, also known as IOP, is similar to outpatient treatment, but it’s less independent. You will still have the freedom to go to work and enjoy your social life with your friends and your family, but there is more supervision and groups and therapies can be mandatory. IOP usually requires that you attend more than 12 hours per week.

Sources

Very Well Mind. Klonopin. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/klonopin-clonazepam-2584302

Drugs. Klonopin. Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/klonopin.html

PsyCom. Klonopin (clonazepam) for Anxiety. Retrieved from https://www.psycom.net/anxiety-medications-klonopin-clonazepam

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