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Klonopin Addiction: Half-Life, Side Effects, & Treatment

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Klonopin is a prescription sedative prescribed as an anti-anxiety or anti-convulsant medication.

Physicians mainly prescribe Klonopin (clonazepam) to reduce the anxiety associated with panic attacks.

A long-acting benzodiazepine, Klonopin stays in the system for a long time. The sustained use of clonazepam can lead to the development of:

  • Tolerance
  • Physical dependence
  • Klonopin addiction (substance use disorder)

Today’s guide highlights the side effects triggered by Klonopin and explains how long the medication stays in your system. We will also show you how to connect with evidence-based treatment for addiction to prescription medications in Orange County.

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What is Klonopin?

Klonopin is a branded version of a long-acting benzodiazepine called clonazepam. The medication slows brain activity, inducing feelings of relaxation and calm. 

First formulated for the management of seizures in those with epilepsy, the medication was subsequently used to treat panic attacks once its fast-acting and potent calming properties were recognized. 

Klonopin is now also prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and short-term insomnia. 

The medication comes as a blue tablet or a tablet that dissolves on the tongue. 

Klonopin dosage will vary from person to person and depending on the condition it is being used to treat. You may take up to three daily doses. 

Informal names for Klonopin include: 

  • Benzos
  • Downers
  • K-pins
  • Tranks

Klonopin is typically only recommended for short-term use. Although fast-acting and effective, the drug has a long half-life – this means it remains active in the body for a long time – the sustained use of Klonopin can lead to abuse, dependence, and addiction in the form of substance use disorder.

What is it Used For?

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) reports that Klonopin is approved to treat: 

  • Panic disorder
  • Panic disorder with agoraphobia
  • Seizure disorders

Beyond these approved uses, Klonopin can be prescribed to treat insomnia and alcohol withdrawal.

Klonopin Half-Life

Klonopin has a lengthy half-life. The half-life of a medication is how long it takes for half of the substance to be eliminated from the system. 

According to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), Klonopin has an elimination time of between 30 and 40 hours. 

How Long Does it Stay in Your System?

Long-acting benzos like Klonopin stay in the body for between 18 and 50 hours. 

Intermediate-acting benzos like Librium stay in the body for between 5 and 30 hours. 

Short-acting benzos like Xanax stay in the body for between 6 and 10 hours. 

Klonopin is detectable for up to one month on a urine test or hair test. The benzo is detectable on a saliva test for up to one week.

Is Klonopin Addictive?

Klonopin, like all benzodiazepines, carries the risk of tolerance and dependence forming. This often but not always leads to addiction. 

Klonopin is especially addictive due to two components: 

  1. Its rapid onset of action.
  2. A long half-life.

When you take Klonopin, the medication enters your bloodstream and travels to the brain within one hour. The substance can remain in your system for up to three days due to that lengthy half-life. 

Klonopin is often diverted for non-medical use. The medication is sold on the black market since it is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance.

Taking Klonopin for more than a few weeks can cause tolerance to build. If you use more Klonopin to counter the diminished effects of the medication, this can accelerate the development of physical dependence. 

Addiction to Klonopin can develop, requiring inpatient or outpatient treatment and a tapered withdrawal.

Klonopin Withdrawal & Detox

Klonopin can be dangerous, so medical supervision and guidance is recommended. Attempting to stop using Klonopin abruptly at home can be uncomfortable and life-threatening. 

Withdrawal from Klonopin is characterized by an array of physical and psychological symptoms. This is the body’s response to functioning without the presence of a substance to which it had become accustomed. These symptoms include:

  • Increased body temperature
  • Irritability
  • Impaired coordination
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Panic attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

The intensity of Klonopin withdrawal depends on many factors, including: 

  • Duration of Klonopin use.
  • Amount of Klonopin taken.
  • Frequency of Klonopin doses.
  • Presence of other addictive substances.
  • Underlying mental health conditions.

Klonopin withdrawal usually takes between 7 and 14 days. A tapered reduction in dosage can streamline the intensity of detox and minimize the intensity of Klonopin side effects during withdrawal.

Klonopin Rehab at California Detox

If you are addicted to Klonopin or any other another benzodiazepine, we can help you address the physical and psychological aspects of dependence and addiction here at California Detox. 

By withdrawing from Klonopin at our licensed medical detoxification center, you can streamline the intensity of detox. 

When you are ready to engage with ongoing treatment for benzo addiction, choose from the following evidence-based programs: 

  • Inpatient program (residential rehab)
  • OPs (outpatient programs)
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)
  • Virtual IOPs (remote rehab)
  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)
  • Dual diagnosis treatment program (for addictions with co-occurring mental health conditions)

All treatment programs at California Detox provide access to these holistic and research-backed therapies: 

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Psychotherapy (CBT and DBT)
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Holistic therapies

When you’re ready to move beyond Klonopin addiction, reach out to California Detox for help with a tapered withdrawal, a clinical detox, and assistance from detox to discharge and beyond. Call 949.390.5377 for immediate assistance.

FAQs

Discontinuing the use of Klonopin can be challenging. The safest and easiest method of withdrawal involves a gradually tapered reduction in Klonopin doses. Tapered withdrawal will mitigate adverse withdrawal symptoms and minimize the complications associated with benzo detox. It typically takes two to three weeks to incrementally reduce doses of Klonopin to the point of discontinuing use.
If you take Klonopin daily, you could develop physical dependence in as little as one month. If this occurs, you will require benzodiazepines to prevent the manifestation of uncomfortable Klonopin withdrawal symptoms.

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