Anxiety and stress are often hard to manage. For most people, handling stress is akin to overcoming any life challenge. For others, standard coping techniques aren’t enough. When everyday stressors become too much to bear, medical intervention often becomes necessary. In fact, psychiatrists frequently prescribe anti-anxiety medications to individuals with anxiety disorders who are unable to live normally. For the millions  of individuals prescribed anti-anxiety drugs each year, medications like benzodiazepines (benzos)— including Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan— can make the trials and tribulations of daily life more bearable. However, relying too heavily on benzos can be the start of a crippling cycle of addiction. A few pills before or during anxiety attacks can lead to a full-blown psychological and physical dependency, radically transforming one problem into another. If the prescription use becomes prescription abuse, then benzo detox becomes necessary.
Call 513-909-2225 today to get started with one of our trained intake counselors for Benzo detox.
What Are Benzos?
Benzos are a part of a class of drug knows as tranquilizers and are generally prescribed for anxiety disorders. As one of the most prescribed drug types in the United States, benzos are used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures. While addicting for many patients, benzos are not as dangerous as compared to other drugs. So, professionals have categorized benzos as Schedule IV controlled substances.
In order to produce stress-fighting results, benzos target Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, or GABA, receptors in the brain. These receptors are part of the GABA system, a complex structure within the central nervous system that addresses stress signals. In high anxiety times, the GABA system releases additional molecules designed to stimulate calming feelings and reduce the physiological effects of anxiousness.
However, in some individuals, the GABA system doesn’t work as it should, causing severe and ongoing anxiety in normal situations. Benzos stimulate the body’s natural stress management techniques, allowing those with anxiety disorders to live a healthier, happier life.
The term “benzodiazepine” applies to numerous medications. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved roughly 15 of them. These drugs can be divided into three distinct classes: short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting.
Short-acting benzos include Versed and Halcion and act extremely quickly once within the body. Responses are fast, and peak onset is often within an hour or less. Intermediate-acting benzos, like Xanax and Ativan, take a little longer to take effect, peaking within a few hours. These medications are often best for insomnia, due to the fast-acting behavior and quick effects.
Long-acting alternatives like Valium, on the other hand, take longer to affect the body, but results have a longer duration. Long-acting benzos can trigger more severe withdrawal symptoms for those who develop usage dependencies.
Addiction to medications like Xanax isn’t as publicized as dependency on substances like cocaine or heroin, but benzo abuse is just as dangerous. Although physicians typically approve short-term benzos use to treat stress and anxiety, misuse has the potential to lead to addiction. After all, medications like benzos specifically alter brain chemistry through the artificial generation of molecules that bind to receptors. This is what affects mood and reduces stress. However, extreme chemical changes in the brain put prescription users at risk of developing dependence and, ultimately, benzo addiction.
Over time and with regular use, the body and brain develop a tolerance toward benzos. Most users respond to this tolerance by taking their medications more frequently, at more massive doses, or both to achieve the same desired results as the initial prescription dosage. However, increasing dosages can intensify side effects and make it much harder to stop using. In time, even casual users may find it more challenging to quit benzos use.
For most users facing a benzo addiction, breaking the habit is almost impossible without professional benzo detox. A team of detox professionals— especially ones that offer comprehensive inpatient support— can help you take the first steps toward rehabilitation and lifelong sobriety.
Signs of Benzo Addiction
Although benzos are legally available through a doctor’s prescription, it is imperative to use it as directed. Misusing benzos can turn into a life-changing habit.
Generally, high doses can lead to loss of inhibitions, trouble focusing, and erratic driving. However, you may also notice signs like:
Fatigue or drowsiness
Hostility or aggression
Blurred or double vision
Amnesia or memory loss
Stomach cramps or vomiting
Dizziness or muscle weakness
Due to the differences between the numerous forms of benzos available, symptoms may differ from person to person and from pill to pill.
Consequences of Benzo Addiction
Benzo overdose is possible but rare. In general, an overdose will cause slow, shallow, or labored breathing, severe fatigue, and weakness. Overdoses rarely cause death or coma unless mixed with other substances, like alcohol. Still, benzo-related death rates are on the rise . Those who take benzo should never mix their prescriptions with alcohol or other drugs, but addicted individuals may be less likely to follow this recommendation.
As with most addictions, quitting benzos without medical help can lead to uncomfortable or even painful withdrawal symptoms. Due to the physical component of dependency, long-term users are especially at risk. In most cases, quitting Valium, Xanax, Ativan, or similar brands of benzos requires medical intervention from a trained physician. Severe anxiety is a frequent side effect of withdrawal in all benzos, which makes the compulsion to keep using extremely strong.
The severity of withdrawals will depend both on the medication in question, body chemistry, and length of use. Some benzos are less intense than others, making it easier to detox. Others, especially long-acting medications like Valium, can be especially challenging to purge from the body.
Some common symptoms of withdrawal include:
Agitation or aggression
Severe anxiety or worry
Confusion or headaches
To make withdrawal as comfortable as possible, those who are struggling with benzo addiction should always detox in a certified and accredited rehabilitation facility.
The Importance of Benzo Detox
One’s ability to independently quit an abused substance is one of the biggest fallacies of addiction. After all, addiction is a disease, not a choice. And addicts cannot stop without help. This is especially true of brain-altering medications like benzos.
The nature of benzos makes detox an uphill battle. Some patients, especially those taking short-acting variations, may only need a few days to get over withdrawal symptoms. Others, however, may take multiple weeks to begin feeling normal once more. This is especially true for those addicted to medications with a longer half-life, like Valium. Plus, detoxing from benzos alone is dangerous. Without medical intervention, benzo withdrawal can have severe side effects like seizures, extreme anxiety attacks, or chronic insomnia. So, medically-supervised benzo detox is necessary for patient safety.
Undergoing Benzo Detox
Detoxification (detox) is almost always the first stage in inpatient rehabilitation. Once patients enter treatment, they start with a private detox experience, removed from others in recovery. Distractions like music, television, or Internet access are also cut off. This allows patients to work one-on-one with the medical staff to focus on nothing but recovery.
Doctors and nurses keep patients fed, hydrated, and properly medicated to minimize withdrawal symptoms during the time spent in detox. Most detox programs span from three days to a week or more and are generally customized based on a patient’s unique needs.
Acute Benzo Withdrawal and PAWS
The process of withdrawing from benzos happens in two stages: acute withdrawal and PAWS. Detox programs generally only address the first stage, although both are a significant part of the addiction recovery process.
During acute withdrawal, recovering substance abusers feel the most significant side effects. The first week or two of benzo detox is often the worst. Symptoms typically appear within two days of the last benzos dosage and will become more severe over the next five to ten days. During this time, most patients experience a full range of side effects including sweating, anxiety, muscle pain, and insomnia. Acute withdrawal usually fades within three to five weeks. Once it passes, most people in recovery go on to experience PAWS.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) refers to the lingering effects that endure after initial withdrawal symptoms fade. PAWS can last from several months to several years, but the side effects are not permanent and do decrease in time.
The length of time your benzo detox takes will depend on your specific benzo addiction and the severity of your dependency. However, programs follow one of two pathways.
The Benefits of Benzo Detox
If you have tried and failed to quit, or you are afraid to try, detox is the best possible way to improve your chances of success. With medical supervision, you can learn the best ways to stay mentally strong, resist cravings, and stay calm and focused throughout the process. Working with doctors and nurses provides a resource when times get tough and ensures access to medications like Flumazenil, as well as other aids like sleeping pills or anti-seizure drugs should problems arise.
While detox is crucial to the addiction recovery process, most licensed rehabilitation facilities have more to offer their patients in recovery. Rehabilitation provides tools that can help you stay strong against cravings and psychological pressures, making assimilation into the outside world easier.
Once detox is complete, and the withdrawal symptoms have dwindled, patients have the opportunity to participate in rehab programs like individual and group therapy sessions. These sessions are designed to boost self-esteem, teach coping techniques, improve stress management skills, build a supportive network of peers, and guide those in recovery toward a brighter, substance-free future.
Fighting Back Against Addiction
The number of people receiving treatment for prescription drug addiction has tripled since 2002 . This is a sad testament to the rise of drug abuse in the United States. If you or someone you love is struggling with benzo addiction or benzo dependency or is showing worrisome signs associated with use, you are not alone.
Our dedicated team of professionals includes doctors, therapists, and counselors who are eager to help you find your footing while overcoming addiction. Our intake counselors are standing by 24/7 to provide help at a moment’s notice. Call 513-909-2225 to get started on the road to a sober future.
If you’ve ever had a bad cough, you’ve likely come in contact with codeine. Once sold over the counter but now available only with a prescription, codeine cough syrups are a highly popular way to trounce a bad respiratory infection or, as many drug users have discovered, to get high, usually leading to codeine addiction.
Codeine is an opiate that doctors now know to be very addictive. Despite its classification as a controlled substance, codeine is less monitored than its opioid peers, like oxycodone or morphine, making it far easy for recreational users to obtain. It is available in a number of harmless-sounding medications, like Tylenol 3, a combination of codeine and acetaminophen, in addition to the more common cough syrup.
However, despite its innocuous appearance and relative accessibility, codeine can be very dangerous, hooking thousands of individuals across the United States every year. Codeine is the most widely used opiate in the world , affecting countless lives with the crushing effects of addiction.
Like with many addictions, the negative symptoms of codeine aren’t always clear to those who begin using with a legitimate prescription. However, the effects are pleasurable and it doesn’t take long before a full-fledged dependency is born. If you or someone you care about is addicted to codeine, there’s no need to suffer alone. We are available 24/7 to take your calls, offering the supportive Codeine detox experience you need to get clean.
Call 513-909-2225 to learn more about our medically monitored Codeine Detox program.
What Is Codeine?
Codeine, which falls into the same class of drugs as opiates as oxycodone, heroin, and morphine, is a narcotic pain reliever often prescribed for mild to moderate pain. Despite popularity over the last several decades, codeine is not prescribed as much as it once was. However, codeine is often easier to secure, making it much easier to abuse than other controlled substances.
Like other drugs of its kind, codeine mimics the natural release of endorphins, the pain-reducing chemicals that occur naturally within the body. When you are hurt, scared, or threatened, endorphins may flood the brain, controlling your pain until you are safe or relaxed. Codeine triggers the release of molecules within the brain that can bind to opioid receptors, controlling the sensation of pain within the body. As these receptors exist across the nervous system, including along the spinal cord, codeine can provide a numbing effect that, when combined with the release of endorphins, creates a euphoric feeling.
Most products containing codeine are Schedule III controlled substances, indicating a propensity for addiction that is notable, although less severe than other opiates.
When taken in small doses, codeine can effectively mitigate low to medium pain levels within the body. However, when taken over a longer period of time, the changes to behavior in the brain can lead to a physical dependency.
Addiction to pain killers starts slow, and is often not noticed immediately by most users. In time, the dosages provided by a doctor will start to feel less effective, driving patients to take larger amounts, push for higher dosages, or start purchasing codeine illegally to feed cravings. At this point, the brain becomes used to the higher levels of endorphins, and users will start to feel psychologically dependent on the euphoria that accompanies pain killer abuse.
Others, however, are never prescribed codeine and instead come across it recreationally, often at a party or as offered by a friend. These users willingly choose codeine as a way to get high, and are thus more likely to develop an addiction. Some individuals may be able to try codeine a numerous times without developing an addiction, but others may be hooked after a few strong doses.
Codeine is less regulated than other opiates, making it easier to access. Some addicts beg for prescriptions from doctors or hospitals, while others purchase pills from online black market drugstores. Some codeine addicts manifest traditional drug-seeking behaviors, including shopping around for doctors to obtain new prescriptions, frequent emergency room visits, and theft from family and friends.
Many users also purchase codeine illegally off the street, where it is more commonly known as cough syrup, schoolboy, or coties. The term “purple drank,” also known as sizzurp, is a codeine-infused concoction made from soda and cough syrup. Popularized in rap songs, the danger of this concept was illuminated when rapper Lil’ Wayne suffered intoxication and seizures related to high dosages of codeine .
Symptoms of Codeine Addiction
Codeine addiction manifests much like other opiate addictions, showing both physical and psychological symptoms. Many users who started out with prescriptions do not realize their addiction at first, wrongly believing that codeine is less dangerous and thus less addictive.
In addition to the drug-seeking behavior outlined above, users often display numerous symptoms when high or abusing codeine, including:
Loss of appetite or weight loss
Nausea and vomiting
Disinterest in former hobbies and activities
Cold sweats and clammy skin
Mood swings, including anxiety and aggression
Changes in sleeping habits
Codeine doesn’t offer a high as strong as more potent opiates, so some abusers mix codeine with other substances, like alcohol, to intensify the sensation. This is extremely dangerous, and should never be undertaken. Alcohol or other drugs can both intensify the high felt as well as increase the chances for potentially fatal side effects. Codeine and alcohol can cause seizures, coma, or even death.
Long-term effects are possible, also. Due to the damage that can come from prolonged addiction, chronic codeine abuse can cause problems like sleep disorders, depression, brain damage, and irregular heart rhythms. For those who inject codeine, so-called needle diseases, like HIV, are also a possibility.
Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms
The effects of codeine often set in within an hour of taking a dose, and can last six to eight hours. For addicts, near-consistent levels of intake are required to keep from experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
For some drugs without a physical component, withdrawal is often mental. For opiates like codeine, the reality is a little more literal. The body rebels when not provided with adequate dosages, leading to unpleasant side effects that make quitting a challenge. The severity of withdrawal depends on the severity and longevity of addiction, but common signs include:
Restlessness and insomnia
Mood swings and anxiety
Congestion, watery eyes, and a runny nose
Diarrhea and vomiting
Muscle aches and weakness
Despite the unpleasant nature of withdrawal, these symptoms are not generally life-threatening or permanent. However, long-term addicts may be at risk for seizure or depression and thoughts of suicide.
Withdrawing from Codeine
Withdrawing from codeine is never a pleasant process. While those with a minor addiction or newly addicted individuals may be able to quit cold turkey at home, those with more significant addictions likely will not be able to overcome the mental and physical side effects without assistance.
For traditional abusers, the process of withdrawing often lasts about a week. Side effects are worse in the first one to three days, with a rise in physical symptoms like anxiety, nausea, muscle aches, sweating, and vomiting. The process is at its worst during this time, and often is accompanied by strong cravings. Most addicts who relapse are likely to do so during this period.
Days four to eight will be better for most abusers, but will not be pleasant overall. Physical symptoms will start to fade at this time, but psychological effects, like depression and paranoia, may take their place. Users may feel physically unwell due to dehydration or a lack of food from throwing up or diarrhea.
After this point, most physical and mental signs will fade away. Users will feel healthier and more energized. Physical cravings will be minor, but psychological cravings can endure for up to a month.
Why Codeine Addiction Detox?
If withdrawal can be managed in a week or two, why do you need detox to get clean?
Despite how easy it sounds to simply walk away from a drug addiction, the reality is a different story. A majority of drug users try and fail to quit at least once , and many struggle to stay clean for any enduring period of time.
Due to the physical components of addiction, cutting ties to a drug dependency is extremely hard. Despite best intentions, many substance abusers give in to temptation and relapse prior to overcoming withdrawals. Peer pressure from friends, stressful situations, and unpleasant side effects can all contribute to unstoppable cravings.
A Codeine detox program, however, cuts off access, keeping codeine addicts away from substances in a supportive environment. Physicians and counselors are available 24/7 to provide guidance, prescribe medications to ease the process, and manage withdrawal side effects, creating a comfortable atmosphere in which to focus on nothing but sobriety.
Codeine detox provides a network of assistance to substance abusers, guiding you through the challenges of recovery while you relearn how to live a life of abstinence. Access to Codeine detox professionals can also provide immediate aid should issues arise during detox, including seizures or other threatening medical conditions.
Codeine Detox Process
Once enrolled in a Codeine detox program, you will be placed in an environment that strongly discourages drug use. In most facilities, patients are removed from outside distractions, like cell phones and the internet, in order to keep all focus on the process of breaking the cycle of addiction. Codeine detox can last a week or more, but most programs hope to transition patients out of a restrictive detoxification environment and into a community-oriented setting for the remainder of therapy as soon as possible.
How your detox program will progress depends on body chemistry, the nature of addiction, and the severity of dependency. For some patients, full cessation, also known as cold turkey, is the preferred method. Despite the unpleasant effects, codeine withdrawal is less severe or dangerous than withdrawing from other opiates. Those who are in a position to detox this way are encouraged to do so.
For more severe addictions, medical interference may be necessary. Suboxone is a common prescription provided to opioid addicts to promote a safer way to quit. The trade name for a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, Suboxone is a Schedule III controlled substance that acts as an opioid antagonist to block the effects of opiates within the brain. Naloxene in particular is designed to block all positive side effects of Codeine, curbing cravings and preventing against relapse. Methadone is also an alternative, but due to its highly addictive nature, most doctors don’t use this medication unless it is necessary.
With the help of medications, Codeine detox should last one week or less for the majority of patients.
Codeine Addiction Detox and Inpatient Rehabilitation
The detoxification process will be different from one user to another, leading to a unique regimen customized around your needs to help you get clean. A successful rehabilitation program goes beyond simply helping you overcome physical symptoms, however; in addition to taming dependency within the brain, rehab can help you learn the skills necessary to assimilate into normal life once more.
Instead of defining your actions through your drug dependency, your counselors and therapists will help you explore the motivators behind your addiction in order to target areas of weakness or anxiety in your life. Over time, you can learn how to transcend the influence of drugs, focusing on the value you bring to the world and the lives of others.
An accredited rehabilitation program provides:
24/7 access to trained addiction professionals
Group and individual therapy with addiction specialists
Group support system of others going through the same journey
Fitness and nutrition counseling
Coping skills and stress management
Recovering From Addiction
In the United States alone, over 2 million individuals are addicted to opioid pain relievers like codeine . If you or someone you love is a part this staggering number, it’s always the right time to seek help. With professional support and guidance, you can recover quickly and comfortably, leaving drugs behind once and for all.
Our joint commission accredited facility is a comprehensive resource, helping you to overcome your codeine addiction, one day at a time. All consultations are confidential and we are here 24/7 to take your call. Contact us today for codeine addiction detox at 513-909-2225
Understanding detox is an important component of treatment both by the individual suffering through this addiction and to the family that must support their loved one through the process. Detoxification, commonly called detox, is a complex process that removes toxins from drug and alcohol abuse from a person’s body. But, what is detox and what does that mean and what is involved in the process?
At Lumiere Healing Centers, our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive, safe detox program to help you to remove the substances from your body. We provide a medically supervised detox program to ensure you are safely detoxing from the drugs and alcohol in your body. If you are struggling with alcohol and drug dependency right now, please call us now 24/7 for a confidential discussion about your options. Don’t wait to get help for you or your loved ones: 513-909-2225.
What is Detox Like?
In substance abuse detox, the goal is to allow the body to safely process and metabolize the drugs and alcohol within the system if this is feasible to do while the individual’s health is maintained. When this happens, it removes the toxins from the body. Detox is not treatment, but rather an instance in which the substances are removed from the body – there is much more treatment necessary to start on the road to recovery.
There are two forms of detox in general terms.
Medically Assisted Detox
In this treatment, sometimes called medically supervised, the treatment is done under the specific care of health professionals. These individuals, who focus on both the mental and the medical aspects of the detox process, have the goal of ensuring the patient’s needs are met during the process. This helps to ensure the detox is safe and that an individual remains as comfortable as possible. It’s important to know that detox is not simplistic, but it is often painful and soul-wrenching. There are many instances when medically assisted detox will include the use of medications that can ease the process, reduce cravings, and help to slowly wean the body off the drugs or alcohol.
Clinically Managed Detox
A secondary option is clinically managed, which is sometimes known as a social detox program. This is a non-medical method of detox. It is a short-term solution in most cases. It can still help an individual to stop substance abuse, of course. However, there are few medical and mental interventions available to help to make the detox process safer and less painful. In these settings, just a room is provided for the detox to occur. Some locations do provide peer encouragement as well as some level of professional mental health support during the detox, but it may not be as much as in a medically assisted detox program.
The goal of detox is to achieve several outcomes:
Comfortably and safely clear the body from all drugs and alcohol.
Control any symptoms that occur, most commonly associated with withdrawal.
Begin – though it is not possible to finish – substance abuse treatment for the individual so that he or she enters on the right path for future recovery.
We can only do the true recovery and treatment when a person is detoxed. That is why it is so important for your family to work together on recovery from day 1 of detox and for many months later.
What Happens During Detox?
This is perhaps the hardest time of your life and you want to know how you are going to get through it. There are three stages that you will go through during the detox process. Each stage requires a very specific focus on your long-term well being.
Stage 1 involves an evaluation. You will be assessed to determine if there is a presence of alcohol or drugs. This is done through blood, breath, and urine testing. Then, we assess a person’s mental state, any existing medical issues, and determine the best type of strategy to use
Stage 2 focuses on stabilizing the situation. This is where most people will spend most of their time. We’ll help you to ease into detox to ensure that all of your medical and mental health needs are met throughout the process. We treat the symptoms you have as they occur.
Stage 3 combines with Stage 2 in that we work to build trust and focus to allow you to work toward true drug and alcohol treatment. Eventually, you will be out of detox but you will still work on treatment.
How Long Does Detox Take?
This is a hard question to answer because each person’s experience is different. There are a number of factors that contribute to this. For many people, it can take a matter of hours. For others, it can take a few days. Some may need longer-term care. Factors that contribute to the length and difficulty of the detox process include:
The type of drug or alcohol abuse
The setting for detox
The length of time, the amount you used, and the overall severity of your addiction
Whether or not you have any poly-substance abuse present
Your current health outside of drug and alcohol use
It can be painful and complications can occur. That is why it is so important to access a medically assisted detox program whenever it is possible to do so. Keep in mind that detoxing on your own at home is never recommended. There are many withdrawal symptoms that can cause a life-threatening situation. You do not want to do this on your own without a medical professional – or at least someone that knows how to provide medical care – available to you.
Do I Need Detox at Lumiere Healing Centers?
Here’s the biggest question many people ask. Do they need to go through detox or can they just attempt drug and alcohol treatment right now? The answer isn’t as clear as it may seem. In fact, you should begin seeking out care right away no matter what type of care it is. If you drink or use drugs every day, thinking about using every day, or you are unable to make rational decisions for yourself, it is time to seek out drug and alcohol detox and treatment.
At Lumiere Healing Centers, we understand just how hard it is to make the decision to enroll in a detox and treatment program. We’re here for you. We will help you to overcome this process during your recovery. Contact us now for a confidential consultation: 513-909-2225.
Clonazepam, with a trade name of Klonopin, is an anxiolytic drug prescribed to manage seizure disorders and also panic disorders by slowing down some of the bodily and brain functions related to anxiety and stress. Clonazepam is thought to increase the presence of gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps to slow down heart rate and blood pressure, and calm emotional disturbances.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, warns that taking Klonopin can be habit-forming and that users may become physically and psychologically dependent to the drug. Users should therefore not stop taking clonazepam suddenly without medical supervision due to the dangerous side effects, or withdrawal symptoms that may occur even when taken as prescribed.
Klonopin and other benzodiazepines are commonly abused and even taken with other drugs and/or alcohol, which may increase the withdrawal side effects. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported that over 61,000 people sought emergency department treatment for a negative reaction involving the recreational, or nonmedical use, of clonazepam in 2011.
Clonazepam, when taken or abused for any length of time, can create chemical changes in the brain. Parts of the brain that are normally suppressed by the drug may become accustomed to the interaction of the drug and stop performing normally without it. This is when a dependence on the drug has been formed. When clonazepam is then removed, these functions that were being dampened are suddenly not, and a kind of rebound may occur. The symptoms that Klonopin may have been managing, such as anxiety, panic, seizures, and insomnia, may then be magnified.
The drug should not be stopped suddenly or without the direct supervision and guidance of a medical professional. Potentially fatal seizures or a coma may occur with the sudden cessation of Klonopin.
Catatonia is also a rare, but documented, side effect of Klonopin withdrawal, as reported by the journal Psychosomatics. Vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration levels, and body temperature may need to be monitored during withdrawal, as they can jump to unhealthy levels rather quickly as the brain and body attempt to restore order without clonazepam.
Physical symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal may include:
Nausea and vomiting
Short-term memory loss
Irregular heart rate or heart palpitations
Increased blood pressure
Muscle spasms and cramps
Impaired coordination and motor functions
Benzodiazepine withdrawal is also known for the debilitating psychological side effects that may occur after a drug such as clonazepam is stopped. Perhaps one of the most serious emotional side effects of Klonopin usage is the increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, as the FDA even made a point to add warnings about the potential for increased suicidal ideations to Klonopin labels in 2009.
Psychological symptoms of Klonopin withdrawals may also include:
Short-term memory lapses
Drastic mood swings
Trouble feeling pleasure
Lack of motivation
Feeling “out of it” and disconnected from reality
Anger and hostility
The emotional Klonopin withdrawals will usually subside with time and psychological support.
There are generally three main phases of Klonopin withdrawals: early withdrawal, acute withdrawal, and protracted, or late withdrawal. Since Klonopin is a benzo with a long half-life of 18-50 hours, as published by the journal Case Reports in Psychiatry, Klonopin withdrawals will not usually start until about 1-3 days after the last dose, or when the drug stops being effective.
Early Klonopin withdrawals usually lasts about 2-4 days and is likely to include “rebound” symptoms, such as anxiety and insomnia. Acute Klonopin withdrawals usually peaks around two weeks after stopping clonazepam and may last anywhere from a week to a month, according to information published in the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory. The bulk of the withdrawal side effects will likely occur during acute withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal may include a continuation of psychological symptoms and drug cravings that may appear without warning at any time for several months or even years after the cessation of Klonopin.
Not everyone will experience all three phases of Klonopin withdrawals as addiction and withdrawal are unique to each individual. For instance, protracted Klonopin withdrawals is considered fairly rare; however, it may be more likely to occur in someone taking clonazepam than someone taking a shorter-acting benzo such as alprazolam (Xanax). Protracted withdrawal may be able to be avoided or controlled with therapy and mental health treatment.
Treating Klonopin Withdrawals Safely
AS WITH ANY BENZODIAZEPINE, MEDICAL DETOX IS NECESSARY FOR THOSE WITHDRAWING FROM CLONAZEPAM.
Medical detox ensures that trained professionals are on hand to monitor progress 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and medical detox will often utilize medications to help control the more difficult withdrawal symptoms. Since it may be dangerous to stop taking clonazepam “cold turkey” due to the range of withdrawal symptoms, detox will often include a tapering schedule. This is a way to slowly lower the dosage over a safe period of time, which can minimize potential physical and emotional side effects. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that major withdrawal symptoms can be largely avoided with a gradual weaning, or tapering, of clonazepam. Medical detox will usually last about 5-7 days until the peak of withdrawal symptoms has passed, and the drug is fully removed from the body.
There is no specific medication currently approved to treat benzodiazepine dependence directly; however, there are several medications that may be useful during medical detox. Antidepressants may be helpful to manage depression and suicidal behaviors that may occur during detox and clonazepam withdrawal, and other medications that work to influence GABA levels, such as gabapentin, are also being studied.
Klonopin (clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine drug that has a number of therapeutic uses.
It is used to assist in the control of seizure disorders, assist in the control of anxiety disorders, and may be used as a muscle relaxant or sleep aid. Klonopin’s primary action, like all benzodiazepines, facilitates the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (often abbreviated as GABA) in the brain and spinal cord. This action results in a decrease in the firing rates and excitation levels of all other neurons, resulting in sedation, relaxation, and a sense of overall calmness. These effects are therapeutic at lower levels of the drug.
Benzodiazepines such as Klonopin also produce feelings of mild euphoria and wellbeing. They are classified as controlled substances by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (Schedule IV controlled substances). Klonopin and other Schedule IV substances have a potential for abuse and the development of physical dependence. They can only be legally obtained with a prescription from a physician.
Because Klonopin is a high-potency benzodiazepine with a relatively short onset of action, it is used in the treatment of serious anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder.
However, these properties also leave open the potential for the development of a serious physical dependence on Klonopin. The syndrome of physical dependence occurs as an individual’s system adjusts to the presence of a drug in the system and in a sense learns to operate efficiently only when the drug is present in the system at certain levels. Other system functions compensate to operate for the presence of the drug, and the release and maintenance of freestanding levels of neurotransmitters, hormones, and the functioning levels of all systems in the body are adjusted according to the presence of the drug.
When an individual stops taking the drug or reduces the dosage of the drug significantly, and these freestanding levels of the drug in the system decline, the individual’s system is thrown out of balance, resulting in a reaction that leads to the release or inhibition of neurotransmitters, hormones, etc. This situation results in the physical withdrawal symptoms that occur when one stops taking Klonopin. The physical withdrawal symptoms are accompanied by emotional and behavioral symptoms that are very uncomfortable for the person.
It is important to note that benzodiazepines like Klonopin are more often secondary drugs of abuse that are used in conjunction with some other primary drug, such as alcohol or narcotic medications.
When there is polydrug abuse to substances that also carry a high risk for physical dependence, the withdrawal process is much more complicated.
Variance in human physiology and psychological makeup can affect the intensity and length of withdrawal symptoms.
The length of time the individual abused Klonopin will influence the length and intensity of withdrawal symptoms.
The frequency of use and dosage used also affect the withdrawal process.
The most often cited depiction of withdrawal from Klonopin (or any benzodiazepine) indicates that withdrawal really occurs in two major steps. Some sources will increase this to three steps or even more to account for very acute feelings of withdrawal and/or for a post-acute withdrawal syndrome. That being said, benzodiazepine withdrawal is generally considered to occur in two stages:
Acute withdrawal: This period occurs within a period of 1-4 days following last use, depending on the half-life of the benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines with longer half-lives will result in the appearance of acute withdrawal systems later than benzodiazepines with shorter half-lives. Klonopin has a half-life elimination of 30- 40 hours, so individuals may not begin to feel serious acute withdrawal symptoms for a day or two following discontinuation. The other variable that affects the onset of acute withdrawal from Klonopin is the frequency and dosage of use. The more often and higher the dose used, the sooner the withdrawal symptoms will appear. Because Klonopin has a high potential for physical dependence, it is quite possible that abusers of the drug were taking very high doses very frequently, and withdrawal symptoms can appear in just a few hours in these individuals. Acute withdrawal symptoms can be quite variable but most often will consist of some combination of:
Somatic symptoms (e.g., headaches, sweating, and tremors in the hands)
Gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps)
Cardiac symptoms that often appear as the result of an anxiety rebound syndrome (e.g., increased blood pressure and heart palpitations)
Cognitive symptoms and psychological symptoms (e.g., confusion, irritability, mood swings, and rebound anxiety)
The potential to develop seizures
A rebound effect refers to the return of symptoms that were controlled when one took a specific medication. Since benzodiazepines like Klonopin are used in the control of anxiety rebound, anxiety is a common acute effect of stopping the drug. Some sources may recognize rebound anxiety as a first step in the withdrawal process from Klonopin as it often presents early in the acute withdrawal process.
Full-blown or protracted withdrawal: This stage is often referred to as simply withdrawal and occurs after the acute phase, typically extending 10-14 days. However, people who abuse Klonopin and were taking extremely high doses of the drug may experience more extended periods of withdrawal. Individuals will experience general feelings of malaise, cravings, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and may continue to experience some somatic symptoms, such as nausea, lightheadedness, headache, mild fever or chills, and so forth. An additional period of rebound anxiety may also occur near the end of this stage.
There is a section of the literature regarding withdrawal from drugs in general, including Klonopin and other benzodiazepines, that describes a third phase of withdrawal that consists primarily of psychological symptoms, such as mood swings, periods of irritability, periods of anhedonia (difficulty experiencing pleasure), and depressive symptoms that continue to present themselves on an intermittent basis for weeks to years following discontinuation of the drug of choice. This post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is not universally accepted as a stage of withdrawal by many researchers, nor is it formally listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; however, the syndrome is accepted by some individuals in the field of addiction as legitimate. It is suggested that individuals who do not have the symptoms of PAWS addressed are at a higher risk for relapse.
If you or a loved one have questions about Klonopin withdrawal, contact an admissions specialist today 513-909-2225.
Celebrities You May Not Have Known are in Recovery
Addiction can happen to anyone, and that includes celebrities. Despite a role in the public spotlight and a position as a global role model, it’s not uncommon at all for fame and fortune to give way to substance abuse. The drivers behind abuse are diverse; some celebs pick up a drug problem as a part of a party-heavy lifestyle, while others begin using to dull the pressures of maintaining a public image.
No matter the reason, thousands of prominent names have spent time in rehabilitation. Here are five celebrities in recovery you may not know about.
He may have played a squeaky clean health food addict in Parks and Recreation, but Rob Lowe’s past tells a different story about the actor’s vices. A product of the Brat Pack in the 1980s, Lowe spent much of his early stardom abusing alcohol and cocaine. However, after attending rehabilitation in the early 1990s, Lowe straightened up his act and has been sober ever since. He frequently speaks out about his struggles with addiction, and even published a book about his journey called “Love Life.”
Demi Lovato may have started as a Disney Channel star on shows like Sonny with a Chance and Camp Rock, but she didn’t stay innocent for long. Around age 18, Lovato started partying heavily, frequently abusing substances while on tour. After a physical altercation with a dancer, she entered rehabilitation for bipolar disorder, bulimia, and substance abuse, later admitting that she used cocaine several times a day. She remains sober to this day, and tells her story to encourage other struggling teens to seek help.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis first rose to fame in 1987 with the smash hit Halloween, and her career took off from there. With starring roles in Halloween II, The Fog, Prom Night, and Terror Train, it wasn’t long before Curtis became a household name. However, the pain of fame soon became too much to bear, leading to self-medication with painkillers and alcohol. She entered rehabilitation in 1993 and to this day claims that recovery is her greatest achievement.
Matthew Perry Friends superstar Matthew Perry is best known for his role as the beloved Chandler, an affable, witty professional with a penchant for one-liners. During filming, he began using alcohol and painkillers, a problem that caused his dramatic weight shifts throughout the show’s run. In 1997, he first attended rehabilitation for Vicodin addiction, and then returned in 2001 for opioid challenges. Today, he is happy and sober, and serves as a spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
The Hollywood dreamboat known for roles in blockbusters like Wedding Crashers and The Hangover hasn’t always been so successful. Despite a great breakout role on Alias, a lack of character growth in the second season threw his career into doubt, leading to a cycle of abuse with drugs and alcohol that eventually contributed to thoughts of suicide. In 2004, Cooper sought help for his personal demons. He has been sober ever since, and believes that continued use would have ruined his life.
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For most people, the holiday season is a time to eat, drink, and be merry. Unless, of course, you’re in recovery.
The frivolity that dominates the winter season can be extremely stressful for those attempting to embrace sobriety. With plenty of occasions to celebrate, many of which are spent surrounded by friends and family members drinking the night away, it’s easy to feel isolated, bitter, angry, or alone. And, subsequently, the likelihood of relapse increases immensely.
Staying sober during the holidays is no easy feat, especially if this is your first holiday season in recovery. However, with a little awareness and a lot of preparation, it’s possible to stay strong from November through to January, no matter how many parties you have on the calendar.
Relapse in the Holiday Season
With the significant pressures that occur during the holiday season, from social to financial, it’s not surprising that relapse rates peak during this time of the year.
Studies intimate that drinking spikes markedly around Thanksgiving, notably around Christmas, and most significantly surrounding New Years, indicating that the holiday season can certainly be a driver for those seeking relief from illicit substances. Furthermore, the holiday season can be very stressful, from forced family events with undesirable individuals to reminders of substance use during parties and celebrations. Stress can increase chances of relapse by 2.5 times, indicating that holiday anxiety can assuredly play a role as well.
Staying Sober Throughout the Holidays
Despite the rise in temptations throughout the holidays, relapse isn’t a foregone conclusion. These tips can help you in staying sober throughout even the most overwhelming of occasions.
Make a Plan for Every Day
The holiday season kicks off in November with Thanksgiving but doesn’t usually ramp up until the end of December. Instead of letting the acceleration of parties and special events stand in your way, keep your eye on the prize by creating a plan for every single day. This way, you’ll have commitments that can prevent you from attending drug-fueled parties, meeting dealers, or otherwise feeding your cravings.
Stay on Top of Meeting Schedules
Around the holidays, it’s not uncommon for AA or NA meetings to change locations, dates, or times. To avoid missing a meeting when you’re feeling vulnerable, stay on top of the schedules in your area. Most groups understand the importance of staying sober during the holidays and will publish advance calendars accordingly. If you’re feeling the need to use, it’s okay to step up your attendance during this potentially-trying time.
Your family and friends are critical parts of your recovery all year long, so why should November and December be any different? Instead of trying to stay strong and silent throughout the holidays, speak up. Let your support system know that you’re struggling with this time of year and that you may need encouragement, love, and guidance to make it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Consider putting a game plan in place so that your closest relationships understand how to best assist you.
Good food and cold weather can inspire a sedentary period, keeping you cozy inside rather than outside or at the gym. However, healthy habits are a big part of positive mental health, so don’t let activity slide off your radar while you’re busy celebrating. Make sure there’s time in your schedule at least four times a week for a run, cardio at the gym, or even a winter hike with friends. Regular exercise can increases endorphin like dopamine in the brain, decreasing the likelihood of depressive symptoms and keeping you feeling your best.
Plan a Way Out
Some parties and gatherings, especially those in high-stress situations or that involve members of an abusive community, can be especially tempting. Being around former dealers and co-users or attending events in locations that played a role in your prior life can be intensely triggering, and some recovering addicts may not have the strength to stand strong against temptation. Instead of allowing cravings to take over, have an escape plan. Appoint a friend who can excuse you from an obligation or keep a family member on speed dial who can help you exit a bad situation, ensuring you always have an out.
Mitigate Negative Feelings
The acronym H.A.L.T. is well-known in the field of recovery. Short for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, this phrase indicates the most common drivers behind relapse for the average person. During the holidays, when your schedule changes from the norm, it’s often easy to let these kinds of feelings take over. During this time, it’s important to attend to H.A.L.T. symptoms as soon as possible. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re tired, sleep. If you’re lonely, call your support system.
Take Things One Day at a Time
Recovery is a long, slow process and the holiday season doesn’t change this. Like always, it’s important to remember that every day is a journey and you can’t rush the results. Each day throughout the holiday season is another chance to stay sober, so keep your mindset positive and celebrate your successes one day at a time.
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Addiction is a condition that must be treated with care, dignity, and respect. We believe that it takes a staff of caring and professional experts to deliver the kind of treatment that our clients deserve. When you come to us for help, we want you to feel a warm welcome the moment you walk through the front door of our Ohio drug rehab.
7593 Tylers Pl Blvd, West Chester Township, OH 45069, USA