Klonopin Addiction: Treatment Steps

Klonopin is often a helpful tool for people with short term insomnia, chronic anxiety, or panic attacks. The drug can help to ease unpleasant symptoms while therapy uncovers the root causes and helps patients to develop better coping mechanisms. Unfortunately, this is rarely how Klonopin is used.

Many people find themselves addicted to Klonopin, either by taking their prescriptions or from buying the drug illegally. If you’re worried that you or someone you love might have a problematic relationship with Klonopin, you need to learn the warning signs and understand the available options for help. 

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin is a brand name of the drug clonazepam. Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine drug like alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan). Klonopin works to suppress certain brain receptors that cause anxiety or excessive alertness. With these receptors blocked, people are less prone to experience insomnia or panic attacks. They find it easier to relax. 

Klonopin was initially developed to manage seizures in patients who experienced them frequently. Further studies determined that the drug should not be used long term in the way that other seizure drugs are intended to be used. 

How Should Klonopin Be Used?

Klonopin is generally recognized as safe when prescribed at a proper dosage and for a limited duration. Klonopin was never intended to be used for longer than two weeks, but many physicians continuously refill scripts for their patients. This means their patients are technically abusing the drug, but are completely unaware that they’re doing so. 

Klonopin should not be taken in conjunction with many other drugs, particularly opioids. When benzodiazepine drugs and opioids are taken simultaneously, they overlap to create the effect of increased potency. This significantly increases the potential for accidental overdose, which can sometimes be fatal. 

Are Benzodiazepine Drugs as Dangerous as Opioids?

Opioid pain medications are widely regarded as controversial for their addictive potential and the physical dependence they create. Benzodiazepine drugs were once regarded as safer, and are regulated less intensely than opioids. This doesn’t mean that benzodiazepine drugs like Klonopin are not addictive. 

Klonopin has the potential to be the most addictive benzodiazepine drug. It differs from its counterparts in the way it works. Klonopin is rapid acting and has a very long half life. Its effects begin to take hold within an hour and remnants of the drug can remain in the system for a few days. This is the perfect storm for fostering drug dependency. 

Much like opioids, benzodiazepine drugs like Klonopin change the way your brain works. Any drug that alters your brain’s balance of chemicals or the way that its receptors or neurotransmitters work can cause dependency. The brain adapts to the changes the drug causes and notices when the drug is missing. Its response leads to withdrawal symptoms.

What Are The Signs of Klonopin Addiction?

If you have been taking Klonopin for longer than two weeks, you are technically addicted to Klonopin. Even if you’re taking it with a prescription and medical supervision exactly as you are directed to, the drug has changed the way your brain works. 

If you find yourself having to take more of the drug to experience the same effects you did when you first began taking it, this tolerance is indicative of a drug dependency. This is true for both patients being medically treated with Klonopin and people who purchase the drug illegally. 

Other signs of Klonopin addiction include legal or financial trouble relating to your use of the drug, persistent cravings for the drug, loss of interest in day to day activities, and difficulty stopping the medication even if you feel the desire to do so.

Detoxing From Klonopin

Some medications are more dangerous to detoxify from than others. Klonopin withdrawal can be extremely dangerous for some of its users. Since Klonopin changes the brain’s balance of chemicals, withdrawals can lead to major events like seizures, coma, or death if not properly supervised. 

Some people may experience nausea, tremors and trouble with coordination, sensory hallucinations, increased temperature and pulse, and insomnia. Increased anxiety and panic attacks are also common This is because Klonopin had changed the receptors in the brain that regulated those feelings, and with the absence of the drug to suppress them, they kick into overdrive. 

Detoxing from Klonopin isn’t something you can safely do at home. You’ll need the supervision of a medical professional or addiction specialist. He or she can monitor your symptoms and provide you with adequate care to help make the detoxing process a little more comfortable. This is especially important because severe adverse reactions like seizures can be life threatening if not handled properly. 

Most people who detox from Klonopin find that the worst of the symptoms subside within four days of stopping the medication. Some symptoms will linger for up to two weeks. It’s going to take your brain a little while to come back to its proper balance once Klonopin is done changing the way it works. 

Some people are left with symptoms like depression or persistent anxiety that can last indefinitely if not properly addressed. Therapy and safer alternative medications may be helpful in overcoming the long term aftereffects of Klonopin use. They may also help to treat any co-occurring conditions that contributed to your medical need or personal desire to take Klonopin. 

Drug Rehabilitation Treatment

After you have safely detoxed from Klonopin, you will begin a drug rehabilitation treatment program. This treatment will involve a combination of therapies. Both individual therapy and group therapy sessions are beneficial to people who have struggled with drug or alcohol use disorders. 

One of the most important steps in addiction recovery is to uncover the root cause of the addiction. Many people use substances as a method of self medicating, or escaping unwanted feelings. Drug use disorders only add to the issue. They don’t resolve underlying feelings or problems. They allow them to compound unattended in the background, sometimes causing them to become worse than they were before the addiction began. 

Group therapy provides a safe environment for people with substance use disorders to share their feelings. Often, people who live with these disorders feel very alone. It’s difficult to find others to relate to, especially when it feels like most people don’t understand what they’re going through or judge them for the behavior surrounding their addiction.

Group sessions provide the foundation for empathy and understanding that many addicts require during this trying time. It’s easier to open up with people who have lived similar experiences or have made decisions they aren’t proud of as a result of their addiction. Group therapy keeps addicts from feeling alone, or “othered”.

Individual therapy will help to address deeply personal issues that some people may not feel comfortable sharing in a group. A therapist can help you address your unique behavior patterns and work with you to create a sustainable plan for a healthy future. 

Focusing on your strengths and weaknesses, as well as helping to establish better coping mechanisms, is an important part of drug rehabilitation treatment. You’re less likely to relapse if you have clearly defined alternatives to problematic habits and behaviors.

Maintaining Sobriety with Aftercare

The last part of Klonopin addiction treatment is aftercare, which can span an indefinite period of time. Some people decide to participate in aftercare, like individual therapy or group sessions, for the rest of their lives. They enjoy the accountability that aftercare enforces and will continue to learn, grow, and explore their emotions in a healthy way. 

Aftercare is not just the treatment methods you utilize after you have officially completed a treatment program, but the healthier choices you make and commit to. Some people find that their healthy emotional outlets are a crucial component of their aftercare. 

Activities to achieve and maintain better physical and emotional health are common. Yoga, martial arts, fitness programs, gardening groups, book clubs, educational courses, and volunteer programs can be helpful tools for people in recovery. They’re a healthy and productive way to spend time that an addict might have otherwise devoted to using drugs or alcohol. 


Although the basics of the treatment steps for Klonopin addiction will be the same for everyone, you will need your own roadmap. Addiction is highly personal, and recovery is no different. The tools and methods that work for you may vary significantly from the tools the people sitting around you in group therapy need. 

It’s hard to know exactly what recovery will look like, and that’s a good thing. It means you aren’t confined to a prepackaged solution. You’re a dynamic human being who deserves to be happy and healthy, and the right rehabilitation center will treat you like one. 





5 Drug Detox Medications That Help

There are plenty of safe and effective drugs that can be immensely helpful for you during drug detox, and when administered correctly, none of them will trigger addictive patterns or foster a dependency. 

If you’ve ever been without drugs for a prolonged period of time, you’re familiar with withdrawal symptoms. You know that they can be so severe that it deters you from completing the detox process, whether you want to or not. 

Withdrawal is unpleasant, but medically managed detox with the right medications makes the process significantly easier.

The Process of Detoxing from Drugs

Most people don’t realize that the symptoms and side effects of withdrawal are a good thing. They feel so unpleasant to deal with — how can they possibly be good for you? 

When you were on drugs, you didn’t realize that you actually felt unpleasant. The drugs blocked your brain from ever registering those feelings. 

You didn’t know that all of the neurotransmitters in your brain were heavily impacted by drugs, unable to perform their necessary functions. The “high” feeling, loss of coordination, slurred speech, and profound sense of relaxation you felt were a result of your brain being so impared that your body couldn’t function properly.

When you remove the drugs from your system, your brain is happy. It wants to fix you right away. It rapidly attempts to rebalance your chemicals and eliminate toxic byproducts from your body, and the result of this process is what causes the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is a complicated and transformative form of healing. 

Your body rapidly attempts to flush your system, leading to nausea, vomiting, fevers, diarrhea, and cold sweats. While it’s trying to purge things it knows shouldn’t be there, it’s also trying to replenish the things it knows it needs.

Chronic drug use has prevented your body from producing adrenaline, the same chemical that rushes when you’re on a rollercoaster or watching a scary movie. It heightens all of your senses, makes your heart beat faster, raises your blood pressure, and changes your respiration. When surges of adrenaline seemingly come out of nowhere, you might feel anxious, irritable or prone to mood swings. 

Although withdrawal symptoms are a sign that your body is successfully rebounding from the trauma you’ve subjected it to, the process will still be physically and emotionally taxing. Some medications can help to ease or mitigate the severity of these symptoms, making it easier to fully commit to one of the hardest parts of recovery. 

Many of these medications are best used in an inpatient treatment environment.

1. Methadone

Methadone is a drug used to treat or prevent withdrawal in opioid addicts. Methadone is an opioid, but it’s ability to induce the kind of high that most addicts seek is only possible with larger doses of the drug. Otherwise, it works on the brain exactly the same way that any other opioid might. It binds to the same receptors and dampens them the same way.

Controlled doses of methadone can be used to slow withdrawal symptoms by preventing them altogether. 

When you’re using an opioid, you aren’t withdrawing from an opioid. A medical professional will provide you with a minimal dose of methadone – just enough to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. Over time, the dosage of methadone will be incrementally decreased until the methadone can be completely stopped. 

At the end of managed methadone care, the withdrawal symptoms will be so minimal that they won’t have an overwhelming impact on the patient. They may feel flu-like for a couple days, but they’ll begin to get the sense that they’re getting better, rather than the sense that they’ll never feel right again.

Methadone is especially helpful when treating opioid addicts who have severely increased tolerance and may experience high-risk withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal hits these patients the hardest, and methadone can be used to help patients wean down enough to make the final blow a little less intimidating. 

Methadone is not intended to be used forever. You’ll work with your care provider to develop a plan that should always end in your cessation of the drug. 

This timeline may be different for everyone, but the end goal is always to stop using all opioids. 

2. Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine works similarly to methadone. It’s designed to be administered and reduced the same way methadone does, and it also binds to the same opioid receptors to prevent withdrawal symptoms. The biggest difference between methadone and buprenorphine is that buprenorphine is barely psychoactive at any dose. 

While methadone users may get a little bit of that “high” at the beginning of their treatment that slowly tapers down until it does away, users of buprenorphine may never get any semblance of that high at all. 

Buprenorphine only does the bare minimum. It has a maximum threshold for how much it can alter your consciousness, and once it reaches that threshold, it completely stops. This reduces the potential for abuse, as an upper limit is clearly defined.

People who have tried to use methadone and failed to fully recover or people who worry about becoming dependent on methadone have a valuable alternative in buprenorphine. Given your usage habits and medical history, your recovery specialist may recommend buprenorphine over methadone. 

3. Antidepressants

There are several reasons why antidepressants may play a crucial role in the detox process. One is that many drug users actually experience depression. Drugs are the preferred coping mechanism of dual disordered patients. A dual diagnosis or dual disordered patient is someone with a mental illness who is also addicted to drugs or alcohol. 

These patients use their substance of choice to self medicate for the mental illness, creating an endless negative feedback loop that causes them to feel worse, and in turn, use more drugs. It’s a vicious cycle, and recovery isn’t possible until that cycle can be broken. 

In order to treat the addiction, the mental illness must also be treated.

Antidepressants taken at the beginning of the detox process will begin to kick in. By the time the patient is fully detoxed and receiving therapeutic addiction and mental health treatments, the antidepressants will make the process easier. 

The patient will feel less mental dysphoria, reducing any barriers they may have about discussing their feelings or past trauma with their addiction specialist therapist. 

4. Medications to Manage Nausea

Upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea are common side effects of withdrawal. Medication can be administered to ease stomach discomfort during withdrawal. Medications for gastrointestinal distress can be administered every few hours to keep detox patients in a constant state of relief. These medications may not completely eliminate the symptoms, but they may reduce them to a point where a detox patient is comfortable enough to get some sleep. 

Nausea can also be managed through proper hydration and restoring electrolytes. Vomiting and diarrhea deplete the body of its necessary water stores and throw off its natural hydration balance. Using electrolytes and hydration balance in conjunction with medications will help to keep withdrawal patients healthy and stable. 

5. Acamprosate

Alcohol is a drug just like any other habit forming substance. Withdrawing from alcohol may even be more dangerous, complex, and lengthy than withdrawing from other drugs. There are many medications and treatments available to help those looking to overcome their addictions to alcohol, and they all serve different purposes.

One of the most promising solutions is a drug called acamprosate, and it’s been proven to safely induce long term beneficial changes that help keep patients on the right track. 

Acamprosate is a drug primarily prescribed to patients with alcohol use disorder to help with detoxification and building healthier habits. Acamprosate works to rebalance the brain, changing the way it responds to substances like alcohol and the way it craves them. 

People recovering from alcoholism will first experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and afterwards, some may experience something called protracted withdrawal syndrome. Protracted withdrawal syndrome is when some of the symptoms of withdrawal carry over even after the body has long since completed the withdrawal process, and they may remain to some degree for years. 

Acamprosate is most helpful to those recovering from alcohol use disorder that experience protracted withdrawal syndrome. It helps to restore the brain’s neurotransmitters to their ideal balance, and may reduce cravings for alcohol in the long term. 


The best solution to a drug habit isn’t a simple answer of just cutting out the drug — drug detox is a complex process that’s individualized to each person, which is why it’s so important to have a professional guide through the process. 

Don’t attempt to detox at home. It’s dangerous and it may cause you undue pain from the lack of resources you have. 

Medically supervised detox makes these drugs available, and they can be properly dispensed by a professional who knows the exact dosages you’ll need and when to administer them.