What Is Klonopin (Clonazepam) Withdrawal?
People addicted to Klonopin often experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and anxiety if they try to quit on their own. These symptoms develop because the user’s brain has become dependent on Klonopin to function normally.
Klonopin blocks receptors in the brain that signal stress and anxiety. Without the drug blocking these receptors, Klonopin users can become overwhelmed by withdrawal symptoms.
It takes a little as one month to develop a dependence on Klonopin. When this happens, the user needs to keep taking the drug to stop withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal from this drug can be dangerous, and users should not attempt to quit cold turkey.
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There are a variety of withdrawal symptoms someone addicted to Klonopin can have when they stop taking the drug. The intensity of these symptoms depends on how severe the addiction is. Like other benzodiazepines, Klonopin slows down brain activity to relax the user. When an addicted person stops taking Klonopin, the brain becomes hyperactive, causing withdrawal symptoms.
Klonopin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Increased body temperature
- Trouble with coordination
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Increased pulse rate
- Hand tremors
- Panic attacks
Rebound Anxiety and Insomnia
Many people are prescribed Klonopin to treat anxiety and insomnia. Unfortunately, those who become addicted to Klonopin and then stop using it may experience a resurgence of problems the drug was initially meant to treat.
While in the short term [benzodiazepines like Klonopin] provide rapid and pleasing relief, in the long-term they ultimately lead to more insomnia and anxiety. They create a whole other nightmare.
If these rebound effects appear, they typically last between two or three days before fading away. Luckily, rebound anxiety and insomnia are less common in Klonopin users than users of other benzos.
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Duration of Withdrawal
Klonopin builds up in the user’s body over time, and it takes as long as two days for the drug to leave the body. Once the drug has completely left the body, people addicted to Klonopin start feeling the symptoms of withdrawal.
Klonopin’s withdrawal symptoms can last up to 90 days, but the exact duration of withdrawal is different for everyone.
The duration of withdrawal depends on how long the user took Klonopin and how much they took. Withdrawal symptoms last longer for those who took large doses over a long period of time.
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Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline
|Days 1-3||The first signs of withdrawal appear one to three days after the last dose. Mild anxiety and other mood changes start becoming noticeable. It may also be harder to fall asleep or get a full night’s rest.|
|Days 7-14||Withdrawal symptoms from Klonopin start to peak in one to two weeks from the last dose. Anxiety and irritability are typical during this time. Those who quit cold turkey may experience intense body tremors, hallucinations or seizures.|
|Weeks 3-4||Withdrawal symptoms start to fade in three to four weeks. It is still common to have symptoms like anxiety during this time. Some days may be harder than others, but the worst of Withdrawal is usually over at this point.|
|Months 2+||Mild withdrawal symptoms are still possible up to three months after quitting Klonopin. Those with severe addictions are most likely to continue having noticeable symptoms. Tapering down a user’s Klonopin dose can prevent prolonged symptoms.|
Klonopin detox involves slowly tapering down daily doses to minimize withdrawal symptoms and prevent other complications. Safely tapering down Klonopin doses can take months for long-term users.
Former Klonopin addict, Kelley McMillan struggled with alcohol abuse and was subsequently prescribed Klonopin for anxiety. She took 1.5 milligrams of Klonopin a day, always following her prescription, but eventually became addicted to it. In an article she wrote for Vogue, McMillan explained how detoxing from Klonopin can be difficult without tapering down doses.
For the most part, giving up alcohol was easy and the results were almost immediate. But whenever I lower my Klonopin dose too rapidly, my world starts to teeter out of control.
A 2010 study of 73 long-term Klonopin users found tapering doses to be an effective detox strategy. These people had all become addicted after taking Klonopin to manage panic attacks for over three years. Researchers reduced each person’s daily dose by 0.5 milligrams every two weeks. Once the participants were taking 1 milligram per day, doctors decreased the dose by 0.25 milligrams every week until doses were stopped altogether.
The improvement in panic disorder and general well-being was maintained during both the taper and follow-up phases. [Klonopin] can be successfully discontinued without any major withdrawal symptoms if the dose is reduced gradually.
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Treatment for Klonopin Addiction
Inpatient and outpatient rehabs can help you overcome a Klonopin addiction. The best rehabs have physicians and counselors on staff who specialize in treating addictions. Combining therapy with a medically supervised Klonopin detox increases your chances of success.
It’s especially important to get medical help with Klonopin detox if you have a polydrug addiction. This is because withdrawals from different drugs are treated differently. For example, professionals can tell the difference between Klonopin and alcohol withdrawal and treat each appropriately.
In Klonopin treatment, a physician may prescribe antidepressants or other mood-stabilizing drugs to help with withdrawal. They also outline a detox schedule to help you safely reduce Klonopin doses. Call for help finding a Klonopin rehab near you.
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