According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), more than 30 percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzodiazepines, a type of prescription sedative commonly prescribed for anxiety or to help with insomnia. Benzodiazepines (sometimes called “benzos”) work to calm or sedate a person by raising the level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Common benzodiazepines include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin), among others.
Both opioids and benzos sedate and suppress the users’ breathing, which is very dangerous and at more risk of an overdose, yet are very commonly prescribed together.
New Guidelines to Help with the Epidemic
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines for prescribing opioids. They recommend that clinicians avoid prescribing benzodiazepines concurrently with opioids whenever possible. Both prescription opioids and benzodiazepines now carry FDA “black box” warnings on the label, highlighting the dangers of using these drugs together.
People being prescribed any medications should inform their doctors about all of the other drugs and medications they use. Patients should consult with their doctors about the potential dangers of using various drugs and substances together, including alcohol.
Klonopin Is One of the Most Prescribed Benzo
Among the most common prescribed Benzodiazepines or benzos are Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. These are medications prescribed short term for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. The short-term use is because, after a few weeks, most people will develop a physical dependence. It doesn’t matter if you were taking the prescription as directed; there is a high chance that once you stop taking the drug, you will start to have some form of withdrawal after a few hours or days.
For the use of Klonopin, Just like any other substance, the severity of your withdrawal will depend on many factors:
- Your current Klonopin dose
- How long you’ve been taking it
- Whether you regularly mix it with other drugs or alcohol
- Your age and physical health
- And more
Klonopin withdrawal symptoms are very similar to withdrawal from alcohol. Both are probably the worst withdrawal you could experience and the only you could die from if you don’t have supervised medical detox. You can feel anxious and have flu-like symptoms. They can be severe or mild, and they can come and go.
Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms can Take a Long Time to Show.
Since Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine, it has a long half-life from 30 to 40 hours, so it can take a while for the withdrawal symptoms to start. It can start from two to seven days after the last time you took the drug. The withdrawal symptoms can last on and off from two to eight weeks. The withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin will affect you physically and mentally.
Physical manifestations of benzo withdrawal can include:
- Troubled sleeping (nightmares, waking in the night)
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Dizziness or unsteadiness
- Muscle aches and pains
- Blurred vision or other visual disturbances
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears or hearing a sound that isn’t there)
- Grand mal seizures
The psychological symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal can include:
- Irritability and agitation
- Panic attacks
- Strange bodily sensations
- Abnormal perceptual changes (things touch, taste, or feel different)
- Problems concentrating
- Trouble remembering things
- Auditory or visual hallucinations
- Feelings of unreality
- Distorted body image
Allure Detox is Here to Help
There is also a second stage to the withdrawal after the initial, post-acute withdrawal. This could last anywhere from months to a year. Again this can differ from person to person. Still, you go about getting off Klonopin, whether tapering or cold turkey; it’s best to do a medical benzodiazepine detox where you can be supervised. At Allure Detox, we can help.
Patients choose medical detox because it allows them to continue participating in their former lives. This aids in the healing process of recovery and teaches the value of living without drugs and alcohol. And it has been statistically proven that a more extended detox period is more likely to lead to long-term recovery than a shorter period.
For these reasons and many more, patients choose the expert, compassionate care of Allure Detox. We look forward to working with you and your family to get your lives back on track. Contact us around the clock for a confidential assessment, and let’s see if Allure Detox is the right treatment center for yourself or a loved one.