Are the Effects of Long Term Use of Klonopin Dangerous?
Klonopin has a greater impact over months of use than you might initially realize. Thankfully, doctors seem to realize this now, too.
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It’s good to know the short term impact of a drug on your system but what about the effects of the long term use of Klonopin? Most people understand the risk involved when you take drugs. Not everyone understands that some of those effects stick around once you quit. What does Klonopin do to your body over time?
Klonopin isn’t as widely known as some of its other prescription medication brethren. Drugs such as Vicodin, Norco, Valium, and Xanax have bad reputations while Klonopin sometimes sails under the radar. You might not know it by name but it can be just as dangerous and deadly as the others.
Do you know what Klonopin is? Are you familiar with the risks involved with both the short term and long term use of Klonopin? Continue reading to learn more about the drug and the role it plays after it leaves your system.
The Impact of Long Term Use of Klonopin
Clinicians prescribe Klonopin as an anti-anxiety medication to treat panic disorders, both with and without agoraphobia. They also use it for some seizure disorders. Panic disorders cause panic attacks, often with little warning. These debilitating episodes are characterized by sudden, intense, and uncontrollable bursts of fear coupled with physical symptoms.
The effects of Klonopin relieve some of the likelihood of a panic attack occurring and the intensity when they do. In order to do this, they slow down the responsiveness of the body’s central nervous system (CNS). When symptoms of anxiety and panic start to unfold, Klonopin steps in to slow down the brain and allow for processing time.
This makes Klonopin a central nervous system depressant, also called a tranquilizer, and classified as a benzodiazepine. This might not mean anything to you but some think of benzodiazepines as the new prescription painkillers. The opioid crisis in America is no secret. The effects of long term use of Klonopin and other benzodiazepines are not as widely recognized.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are prescription medications that slow down the brain and central nervous system. Some commonly known benzodiazepine medications include Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. They’re helpful for treating people with severe anxiety and panic disorders. But they made their way into popular culture with many young adults abusing these drugs for a new high.
The effects that Klonopin and other “benzos” have on the brain and CNS cause an overall relaxed sense of wellbeing. They relieve anxiety and aimlessly running thoughts, leaving the user in a slowed and softened sense of reality. Benzodiazepines also cause a feeling of calm euphoria, especially when you take more than the recommended dose.
Abusing these medications comes with a pretty significant set of risks. Some people actually consider benzodiazepines more difficult to quit than painkillers. Although they’ve been in use for multiple decades, doctors are finally acknowledging the dangers of these prescription drugs. Much like their painkiller counterparts, benzodiazepines are highly addictive and hard to quit.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 1.7 million people misuse prescription tranquilizers, including benzodiazepines. Additionally, overdose deaths caused by these drugs increased more than ten times over between 1999 and 2017. Benzodiazepines played a role in the overdose deaths of 11,537 people in 2017.
What Are the Effects of Long Term Use of Klonopin?
Benzodiazepines are not meant for use on a long term basis. Doctors are supposed to prescribe, treat, and remove their patient from the drug as quickly as possible. Ideally, people should never have to wonder about the effects of long term use of Klonopin. However, whether prescribed or not, people still use these drugs over long periods of time.
What happens when someone uses a benzodiazepine longer than they’re supposed to? For one, they greatly increase their risk of developing an addiction. Everyone who uses a benzodiazepine medication becomes dependent upon it. Since the drug is so tied into the function of the CNS, it’s not easy to quit using.
One of the biggest effects of long term use of Klonopin is the impact on cognitive abilities or brain function. The side effects of drowsiness, decreased reaction time, decreased motor skills, and more start to take greater hold. As someone uses the drug for longer periods of time, their decrease chances of coming back from these impacts on their brain’s function.
People who grapple with long term use of Klonopin also put themselves at greater risk for a car crash. Many grossly underestimate the impact of the drug on their reaction time and drive under the influence. But it’s just as dangerous to drive while using benzodiazepines as it is to drive while drunk.
Getting Clean Off Benzodiazepines
Again, benzodiazepines aren’t an easy medication to quit. They play a close role in brain and CNS function. Also, in the same way, painkillers affect the body’s ability to feel pain, benzodiazepines affect its ability to feel anxiety. This means a massive increase in anxiety as soon as the drugs leave a person’s system.
It might feel impossible to overcome the overwhelming anxiety but a specialized addiction treatment center is equipped to handle it. For example, Hawaii Island Recovery understands the difficulties that come with a benzodiazepine detox. And we’re here to help. With individualized and specialized treatment plans, we find out what works best to get you through.
Are you interested in learning more about how addiction treatment can help you get clean? Give us a call today at 877-721-3556 to see what Hawaii Island Recovery can do for you.