Managing chronic pain takes time, effort and professional support. It may take finding the right balance of pain medications and natural pain management solutions. It may involve addressing any anxiety or depression associated with the pain. It certainly takes being aware of addiction risks and treating any co-occurring substance use disorders.
What Is Clonazepam?
Clonazepam is an anti-anxiety medication within the benzodiazepine family of medications. It is sold under brand names like Klonopin. Clonazepam is prescribed for anxiety, panic disorders and certain types of seizures. It doesn’t treat pain directly, but it may be prescribed as a supplemental medication to treat additional symptoms or co-occurring mental health concerns. Clonazepam works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. As it does so, it produces feelings of calm and pleasure that can lead to repeat use, abuse and addiction.
Is Clonazepam Addiction Likely?
Benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule II drugs by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This classification is given to drugs that have a high risk for dependence and addiction. And you don’t have to be misusing or abusing the drug to develop a substance use disorder.
The longer a controlled substance is used, the more likely addiction becomes. Because clonazepam is often prescribed for several weeks or longer to enable people to receive the full benefit of the drug, there is a high risk of dependence.
Am I Addicted to Clonazepam?
If you have been prescribed clonazepam or if you are using it without a prescription, monitor your use of the medication.
Some signs of misuse and addiction include the following:
- Taking any amount without a prescription
- Taking a higher dose than was prescribed
- Taking the drug more frequently than prescribed
- Taking the drug even though you no longer experience anxiety or panic
- Experiencing feelings of withdrawal symptoms when you miss a dose
- Becoming withdrawn from friends and family
- Experiencing feelings of anxiety about discontinuing use of the drug
- Using the drug with alcohol, opiates or other substances
If you are experiencing any of these signs of abuse, don’t wait for things to get worse. Explore the issue of clonazepam addiction with loved ones, medical professionals and addiction treatment specialists.
Can I Take Clonazepam and Painkillers?
Doctors are eager to treat low back pain, myofascial pain syndrome and other chronic back pain conditions with powerful painkillers. Oxycodone, fentanyl and other opiate painkillers are meant for short-term use. Yet they are often prescribed for long-term pain management. And they are often prescribed, or at least used, alongside clonazepam. This increases the potential for addiction and puts individuals at great risk for serious health consequences and overdose. The National Institute on Drug Abuse shares, “More than 30 percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzodiazepines.”2 Both substances sedate the nervous system, slowly breathing and heart rates. When combined, this effect escalates and is unpredictable.
Treatment for Clonazepam Addiction and Chronic Back Pain
You can treat addiction and manage chronic pain. Treatment begins with detox and slowly weaning patients off of clonazepam and any other addictive medications. You may be able to end use with the help of a physician or outpatient services, but clonazepam can remain in a person’s system for up to 30 days. This makes relapse likely without a supportive, drug-free environment and professional help to learn relapse prevention skills, coping strategies and stress management for pain relief.
Other services provided by quality rehab programs like those at Black Bear Rehab include:
- Individual and group counseling
- Education about addiction, cravings, and triggers
- Treatment for use of or addiction to multiple substances
- Treatment for co-occurring mental health issues like anxiety and depression
- Integrated physical healthcare for chronic pain issues and other health concerns
Quality treatment facilities help you learn a variety of safe, effective and drug-free strategies to manage your chronic pain. If you or someone you know is struggling with back pain and substance use concerns, get help for clonazepam addiction. Reach out to Black Bear Rehab and ask any questions you have about clonazepam, pain and the most modern, effective and compassionate treatment methods.
By Alanna Hilbink
1 Lane, Christopher. “Brain Damage from Benzodiazepines.” Psychology Today. 18 Nov. 2010.
2 “Benzodiazepines and Opioids.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Mar. 2018.