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Clonazepam is the generic form of the brand name medication called Klonopin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved clonazepam in 1975 to treat symptoms of seizures and panic disorders. Although the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies clonazepam as a Schedule IV Substance, which is defined as “drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence,” it is intended for short-term use only. Clonazepam belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. It affects the central nervous system by blocking certain neurotransmitters and reducing electrical activity in the brain. When taken exactly as directed by a qualified medical professional, it can be a highly effective medication, and an individual that is prescribed clonazepam can experience panic disorder and/ or seizure disorder symptom-related relief. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “psychical dependence may develop after 2 or more weeks of daily use.” Long-term clonazepam abuse could lead to a plethora of adverse short and long-term consequences. 

Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms

Because clonazepam work by adjusting one’s brain functioning, the immediate stopping of use can result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is highly recommended to go through a medically supervised detox program. In a medically supervised detox facility, an individual will have twenty-four-hour access to a medical professional. A trained professional will be present to help an individual with his or her withdrawal symptoms and oversee his or her entire detox process. A person going through detox from clonazepam abuse or addiction may exhibit any of the following withdrawal symptoms, provided by Medical News Today:

  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness

An individual may experience any combination of the above withdrawal symptoms. The precise duration and severity of presenting withdrawal symptoms will be dependent on several contributing factors (e.g., personal health history, how long the individual abuse clonazepam, the frequency of use, dosage abused, if the individual mixed clonazepam with other substances, etc.). The withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours after a person has taken his or her last dose. The length of time an individual may experience his or her withdrawal symptoms can last between seven days to three months long, and in some cases longer.

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment-related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact us anytime via email at admissions@hhtxc.com