Have you ever wished that you could instantly feel calm and tranquil and forget the stresses of life for just a few hours? We’ve all experienced the need to escape the pressures of a hectic world, but recreational drug use is a dangerous way to get there. Clonazepam, a sedative-hypnotic drug sold under the brand name Klonopin, is prescribed by doctors to alleviate the pain of muscle spasms, control panic attacks or prevent seizures. Klonopin is also abused by recreational users for its power as a long-acting tranquilizer.
Because Klonopin is a prescription drug, recreational users often perceive that it is less dangerous than street drugs like heroin. But misusing clonazepam can cause serious complications, including extreme sedation, loss of consciousness, dependence, addiction and fatal overdose.
Clonazepam belongs to a family of drugs called benzodiazepines, which affect the brain chemicals that promote sleep and make you feel peaceful and calm. Klonopin is available as an oral tablet, a disintegrating tablet, an oral solution or an injectable solution. Unlike faster-acting benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax), Klonopin can take 60 minutes or more to take effect, and its sedative qualities can last for several hours. When you take this drug in large doses, or use it in high-risk ways to get a high, you’re putting your health and your future in jeopardy.
Klonopin in the Home
Drugs in the benzodiazepine family, including Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam), are frequently prescribed and can be found in many households. But you don’t always need a doctor’s approval to get access to Klonopin. Recreational users often get clonazepam from a friend or family member with a legitimate prescription. A survey of undergraduate college students published in Addictive Behaviors showed that the majority of respondents obtained prescription drugs from peer sources, including friends or acquaintances.
Family members were another common source of drugs like Klonopin. A parent, sibling or spouse might share prescription drugs without considering the potential for dangerous side effects and drug interactions. Sharing Klonopin with others, even on a casual basis, can also cause legal problems, as diverting prescription drugs is against the law.
Clonazepam on the Black Market
The Internet has made it even more easy to obtain clonazepam without a prescription. Illicit online suppliers sell generic forms of Klonopin, often to young users in search of a convenient source of recreational drugs. Clonazepam is also sold through underground sources at clubs, parties or raves. On the streets, Klonopin goes by a number of slang terms:
Clonazepam is prized by many users for its long-lasting sedative properties. Recreational users often take Klonopin with other drugs, including narcotic painkillers, prescription tranquilizers or hallucinogenics. Taking benzodiazepines with depressants like alcohol can slow down the activity of your central nervous system to a dangerous rate, putting you at risk of unconsciousness, coma or death. The National Alliance on Mental Illness warns that taking clonazepam with alcohol or other drugs can increase the risk of an overdose.
How Klonopin Is Abused
Klonopin and other benzodiazepines are usually recommended for short-term use because of the risks of tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and addiction. People who suffer from panic attacks, epilepsy, restless leg syndrome or neuromuscular disorders can safely take Klonopin to control these conditions. But recreational users put their lives at risk when they take the pills in unsafe ways.
Klonopin tablets can be ground up and snorted, or injected after being dissolved in liquid. They are used to enhance the tranquilizing qualities of other drugs, or to take the edge off a stimulant high. The more you abuse Klonopin, the greater the danger of developing a physical or psychological dependence on this powerful central nervous system depressant.
Seeking Help for Klonopin Abuse
Quitting Klonopin isn’t easy; you can experience severe withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop taking the drug without professional supervision:
- Sleeping problems
- Panic attacks
- Muscle cramps
To safely stop using clonazepam, you should be tapered gradually off the drug. Drug rehab programs offer benzodiazepine detox services with the supervision of consulting physicians to help you cleanse your body of chemicals.
People abuse Klonopin for many reasons — to make life less stressful, to fall asleep more easily, to relieve unmanaged pain or to get a euphoric high. No matter what your reasons for using this drug may be, drug rehab programs can offer healthier, safer solutions. Black Bear Lodge is a comprehensive rehab facility nestled in the wooded foothills of northern Georgia. We offer a retreat from the stress and tension of everyday life— a refuge where you can focus exclusively on your recovery. If you’re ready to seek help for clonazepam abuse, call our admissions coordinators to start your journey today.