You are worried about your or a loved one’s Klonopin use. Although you haven’t been using it for long, the drug plays a bigger role in your life than you’d like it to. Is it too soon to be addicted? How long does it take this disease to develop?
The answer is: It varies.
So many things influence if and when you become addicted. The drug used is only one of these. Consider what exactly addiction is. Determine your personal risk factors.
What Drug Are You Using?
Your drug of choice does matter when it comes to addiction development. It isn’t the only factor involved, but it does play a role. Abuse potential varies even within Klonopin’s drug class. This benzodiazepine class includes Klonopin, Xanax, Valium and Ativan. These are brand names for clonazepam, alprazolam, diazepam and lorazepam. They are just a few of many benzodiazepines. Each one has its own potentially addictive effects and side effects. CNS Drugs found that these drugs can be, “identified according to their abuse potential: very high abuse potential (flunitrazepam); high abuse potential (diazepam, clorazepate); intermediate abuse potential (alprazolam, bromazepam, clonazepam); and low abuse potential (other benzodiazepines).”1 Klonopin (clonazepam) may not fall into the “high abuse potential” category, but use still involves risk. This intermediate risk also jumps dramatically if you use Klonopin in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol.
How Old Are You?
Age matters when it comes to addiction development. Using drugs like Klonopin when you’re young puts you at risk for addiction then and later.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine explains, “Frontal lobe morphology, connectivity and functioning are still in the process of maturation during adolescence and young adulthood, and early exposure to substance use is another significant factor in the development of addiction.”2
This is a fancy way of saying when you’re young, your brain is still growing. It is making new and important connections. Using drugs like Klonopin interrupts this process. It makes you more vulnerable to addiction at the time. It leaves you at greater risk for addiction later. If you are young or used drugs when you were young, you may develop Klonopin addiction faster than other people.
Do You Know Other Addicts?
Addiction is an individual disease. It is also a genetic and social disease. When wondering how long it takes to become addicted, consider others around you. Do family members struggle with health issues like addiction? Do your friends? If so, you are at greater risk. The National Institute on Drug Abuse shares, “Genetic factors account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person’s vulnerability to addiction; this includes the effects of environmental factors on the function and expression of a person’s genes.”3 Your genetic makeup and the social world around you interact regularly. These factors can protect you from addiction or they can put you at risk. Know which is true for you. Be careful when using Klonopin. If friends and family abuse drugs or are addicted, you may quickly begin to struggle with similar issues as well.
Changing the Timeframe of Klonopin Addiction
If you are worried about Klonopin addiction, forget about the days, weeks or years of use involved. Think about how Klonopin affects your life or the life of a loved one. If it creates problems, it’s time to stop using. Call Black Bear Lodge for a free addiction assessment. We can help you determine your best next steps. We can put you in touch with our caring, experienced professionals and programs. We offer integrated, holistic care to ensure you leave treatment in mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Recovery is about more than no longer using a drug. It is about creating an enjoyable, rewarding life. It is never too early or too late to begin. Reach out to us today.
1 Pradel, Vincent; Delga, Catherine; Rouby, Frank; Micallef, Joelle; Lapeyre-Mestre, Maryse. “Assessment of Abuse Potential of Benzodiazepines.” CNS Drugs. Jul. 2010. Accessed 21 Jun. 2017.
2 American Society of Addiction Medicine. “Definition of Addiction.” 19 Apr. 2011. Accessed 21 Jun. 2017.
3 National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Drugs, Brain, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.” Jul. 2014. Accessed 21 Jun. 2017.