Side Effects of Klonopin Abuse
A large number of side effects of Klonopin abuse exist, each distinct and potentially harmful in itself.
The side effects of Klonopin abuse are in most cases benign and not fatal. Klonopin is the market name in the United States for clonazepam. It is a prescription drug that has many uses ranging from the treatment of anxiety, nightmares and schizophrenia to use as an antioxylic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and amnesic.
Many people abuse Klonopin as it produces a feeling of being ‘high’. However, the side effects of Klonopin abuse are very numerous. These side effects are further intensified if the drug is consumed together with alcohol.
Klonopin tends to form dependency among its users and therein lies the greatest danger in its abuse. When someone abuses this drug over time, they become dependent on the drug, leading to eventual addiction. Thus, the greatest side effect of Klonopin abuse is its high risk of addiction. Once someone becomes addicted to the drug, they become unable to stop using and it is no longer just about getting ‘high,’ but rather a matter of survival.
If at this point the supply of the drug is abruptly stopped, the user will develop some severe or even potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms, characterized by impaired motor function, impaired coordination and balance, anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, tremors, irritability and confusion. The user may also experience symptoms similar to those of a hangover such as general weakness, severe headaches and nausea.
This is because while Klonopin abuse produces a feeling of drunkenness similar to that of alcohol, it has a far longer half-life of 18-50 hours, remaining in the body for longer. The symptoms of withdrawal take between 5-7 days to reach their maximum level. The amount of time taken depends on the metabolic rate of an individual user.
For a person abusing the drug, suddenly stopping consumption of Klonopin may result in protracted withdrawal, which is withdrawal over a long period of time. This is due to the permanent and irreversible brain damage that results from long-term abuse. This protracted withdrawal produces symptoms such as cramps, irritable bowels, insomnia, muscle pain and tension, cognitive difficulties and anxiety.
In some rare cases, people who have abused Klonopin have been reported to be affected by other side effects including serious dysphoria, loss of libido, behavioral disturbances, personality changes and ataxia.
To prevent these adverse side effects of Klonopin abuse, Klonopin should only be administered for medical purposes in controlled dosage by a trained medical practitioner, to reduce the chance of developing dependency. Access to the drug by individuals not under prescription should be restricted, to prevent any risk of them developing an addiction and potentially facing deadly side effects. Users of the drug are urged to carefully read and follow all instructions that come with the medicine pack, so they fully understand the risks involved and the side effects associated with Klonopin abuse.
When side effects of Klonopin abuse become evident, quick measures should be taken to control them. Such measures may include switching medication to diazepam, which is a different form of benzodiazepine.