How Does Clonazepam’s Classification Affect Addiction?
The US Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration classify addictive drugs depending on their medical usefulness and potential for abuse. Highly addictive drugs with no approved medical purpose, such as heroin, are in Class 1, while drugs with approved medical uses are classified in Classes 2-5. Clonazepam, a benzodiazepine also sold under the name Klonopin, is used to treat anxiety, seizures, and even restless leg syndrome. It is a class 4 benzodiazepine, which means that it has a lower risk of addiction relative to other classes of drugs, but is still potentially habit forming.
One in three people who use clonazepam for at least four weeks will become dependent on it. While euphoria is not the primary intended effect of clonazepam, users often experience a mild high when they first use it. Other co-occurring symptoms of psychological distress may be relieved by the drug and the brain may then crave that relief. As the user develops a tolerance for the drug he will need larger or more frequent doses in order to feel that high. In time, users feel no longer experience the euphoria no matter how much of the drug they use, but experience symptoms of withdrawal if they don’t have access to it. These withdrawal symptoms can be extremely distressing, painful, or even life-threatening.
Why Classify Drugs?
Addictive drugs are classified in order to enable law enforcement agencies to reduce abuse and addiction. Specific laws apply to the prescription and dispensing of these drugs and to provide legal penalties for their illegal use. Without classification these medications would be available over-the-counter, without a prescription, and the amount of abuse would escalate. As new drugs enter the marketplace these classifications help doctors and patients better understand the risks associated with them.
Clonazepam Addiction Treatment
Because clonazepam is both physically and psychologically addictive, treatment must address the body and the mind. It is not safe to quit taking benzodiazepines “cold turkey” as the following withdrawal symptoms are possible:
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
When the addict’s use of the drug is tapered off gradually, and with close medical supervision, these symptoms can be minimized. Concurrent with this physical detoxification, however, addicts must receive carefully planned psychological rehabilitation. The most effective benzodiazepine rehab programs accomplish this through the following therapeutic techniques:
- Individual and group counseling
- Coping skill enhancement
- Identifying and treating all co-occurring psychological issues
Depending on the severity of the addiction and the presence of dangerous underlying issues, clonazepam rehab can be administered in either outpatient or residential formats. Recovery professionals can help you decide which approach will best meet your individual needs.
Clonazepam Rehab Helpline
If you have additional questions about the risks associated with clonazepam, or would like more information about effective benzodiazepine rehab, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our intake coordinators are available 24 hours a day to provide you free, confidential answers and assistance. Clonazepam dependence is a serious disease, as indicated by its classification by the Food and Drug Administration. Safe, reliable help is available. Call now.