Drug use may carry a negative impression because of the possible dangers, risks, and consequences associated with substance abuse. But most drugs provide some benefit, without adverse effects when used only as prescribed by a physician. But when you or your loved one are prescribed a medication, it’s important to weigh the benefits of the drug against any risks or potential side effects. If your doctor has prescribed Clonazepam, he or she feels it is the right drug to treat your current condition. Doing your own research about the drug can help you feel better about the choice to take it as prescribed or to ask your doctor to look for an alternative if one exists.
What Does Clonazepam Do?
Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine that is primarily used to treat the following:
- Anxiety disorders
- Panic disorders
- Social phobia
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA is the neurotransmitter produced in the brain that has a tranquilizing effect. Benzodiazepines contain chemicals that add to the calming effect already produced by the human body and keep the brain in a more tranquilized state.1 The drug slows the central nervous system, decreasing the heightened levels of anxiety in the patient.
Benefits of Clonazepam
Individuals using clonazepam for medical purposes can find many benefits from the drug, if they take it as directed. The drug has the ability to decrease feelings of nervousness, tension, and anxiety and provide the user with an overall calming sensation.2 This benefits many individuals who struggle with disorders that keep them feeling overly-aroused or on-edge.
Managing these symptoms can improve a person’s social life as well as their ability to perform at work, improving their overall livelihood and wellbeing. When used as directed, clonazepam can help an individual function more normally and enjoy life.
Risks of Clonazepam Use
There are many potential risks associated with both prescribed and recreational clonazepam use. Clonazepam has a very high abuse and addictive potential. Like other addictions, clonazepam dependence or addiction can take over an individual’s life.
Other potential risks of clonazepam use are directly related to the drug’s powerful side effects.
When misused or abused the drug may cause the following side effects:
- Lightheadedness and drowsiness
- Mental confusion
- Personality changes, extreme mood swings
- Lack of motivation, lack of interest in relationships, hobbies or pastimes
- Impulsivity and reckless behavior
- Irritability, aggression, rage
- Impaired motor function
- Liver damage
- Onset of seizures
- Withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped3
While under the influence of clonazepam an individual is vulnerable to hazardous decision making. The combination of intoxicating side effects and decreased inhibitions can lead accidents, injury, illness, legal trouble, and death.
Finding Help for Clonazepam Abuse
If you are concerned that you or a loved one’s clonazepam use has become a problem, we can help. Call our toll-free helpline, 706-914-2327 to speak with an admissions coordinator about finding the treatment and recovery services that you need. We are available 24 hours a day to assist you with all of your questions, concerns, and needs when it comes to finding help for clonazepam abuse. To learn more about your options, call us today.
By Melissa Riddle Chalos
1 Nordqvist, Joseph. “Benzodiazepines: Uses, Types, Side Effects, and Risks.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 5 Jan. 2018.
2 Cuncic, Arlin. “What to Know If Prescribed Klonopin for Social Anxiety Disorder.” Verywell Mind, Dotdash, 16 Nov. 2018.
3“Benzodiazepine Abuse.” WebMD, WebMD, 23 Apr. 2016.