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Klonopin Addiction | True Sustainable Recovery

This entry was posted in Benzodiazepine and tagged on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by Diane Ridaeus

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Alternative to Meds Center has helped thousands of clients overcome Klonopin addiction and dependence. Our published success rate speaks for itself. Unlike other treatment centers, we do not look for a better drug, but look at root causes and by eliminating those, also eliminate the need for medication to control a person’s unwanted symptoms.

We are evidence-based in our approach, insurance friendly, and fully accredited with over 50 professionals to guide you on your unique healing path. We strongly urge you to watch the accompanying video for a broader, deeper understanding of the mechanics of your suffering or that of your loved one, or with respect, if you are a prescriber, the very real suffering of your patient.



Has Klonopin Addiction Hijacked Your Life?
klonopin addiction recovery

Doctors have written continuing prescriptions for benzodiazepines 9 times more frequently than new prescriptions, according to the 2020 National Health Statistics Report.1 Continuing a prescription of benzodiazepines for more than a few days or weeks is a direct route to addiction. Benzos are viciously addictive, despite the fact that regulators have categorized them as Schedule II drugs. Once dependence has developed, stopping the drug presents a herculean task. We’ve been there, and we can help.

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Did Your Doctor Explain the Risks of Klonopin Addiction & Dependence?

At the center, a majority of our clients tell us that nothing was explained about the liabilities of developing dependence or Klonopin addiction prior to their prescription. If this was you, we hope the information here will help enlighten you on what the doctors should have told you, and in all probability, did not know themselves.

It is truly tragic that so many have suffered Klonopin addiction and the overwhelming debilitative effects from trying to get off the drug. Yet, many persons have been discarded by the very people who tell them they are delusional or that they are just making it all up. Nothing could be further from the truth. The risks of Klonopin addiction are very, very real.

Does Klonopin Cause or Cure Abnormal Brain States?

No drug can fix abnormal brain states. Moncrieff,11 Ashton,10 Crowe,19 et al, discuss this in their detailed research papers. Yes, there may be a “coincidental relief” of symptoms on a temporary basis, but clinical evidence shows that drugs actually cause abnormal brain states. There are no drug cures, according to the entire body of clinical research on mental disorders. In fact, the success of pharmaceutical drugs has been so dismal, some believe there needs to be a “psychedelic renaissance” in the use of LSD, magic mushrooms, and other hallucinogens for at least some relief. Recent clinical “trials” on rodents, examining their mental states after ingesting hallucinogens, have been published by researchers who are greatly fascinated with pursuing these types of novel “treatments.” During its long history, the pharmaceutical industry has been desperately seeking, for centuries now, some drug — ANY drug — that can cure abnormal brain states.22

One is acutely reminded of Einstein’s famous quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

So there seems to be something of a mythical idea or wishful thinking, that drugs can “fix the brain” and this has been projected on the public by drug advertising, movies, and other media. Drugs DO NOT fix the brain. Drugs do, however, manipulate, overstimulate, impair, and disable normal brain chemicals and neurons, and create a subsequent state of dependence on the drug. Drug dependence is an abnormal brain state. Unquestionably, long-term benzodiazepine use can not only cause addiction and abnormal brain states, but their abrupt discontinuation can also cause neuronal injury, cognitive ruin, hypersensitivity, severe insomnia, seizures, and other potentially fatal and debilitating adverse effects.2,11-14,18,19

Understanding How Klonopin Addiction & Dependence Develop

Benzos are quickly and thoroughly distributed throughout the tissues of the body, which is why their effects come on so quickly. Due to their high lipid absorption and protein binding, their tissue concentrations are higher than their concentration in the blood. Klonopin’s half-life ranges from 18-50 hours, making it one of the slowest for elimination from the body.3

how does klonopin addiction developKlonopin is thought to affect at least 2 major neurotransmitters primarily, GABA and serotonin. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurochemical in the central nervous system. What inhibitory neurochemicals do is to buffer or tone down sensitivity to stimuli. Serotonin is also an inhibitory neurochemical. Klonopin increases the effectiveness of GABA and serotonin. This causes a set of responses, including calmness and sedation, by “spending” the existing neurotransmitters, magnifying their effects, until they become depleted.

As addiction and dependence develop, taking additional doses of the drug will temporarily fill in the gap, but cannot be sustained over time — just as pumping the gas peddle without refilling the tank will eventually leave you stranded. This is how the body becomes dependent on the drug for “revving up” certain neurotransmitters, but is also how the body’s stores of neurochemicals become exhausted and dysfunctional over time. Klonopin (or any drug) doesn’t create neurochemicals but only manipulates what is available and how quickly it is used up. This underlying factor in Klonopin addiction & dependence is similar to any other addictive substance, and is what ultimately drives the need for increasing dosages for relief.20,21

Nutrition:  An Overlooked Strategy in Correcting Neuronal Dysfunction

Recent studies show that certain mental health conditions including anxiety — for which Klonopin is often prescribed — are observably linked to an existing neuronal deficit or dysfunction that negatively impacts neurogenesis, mood, and cellular repair.16 Drugs cannot fix this. However, diet has now been shown to support adult neurogenesis (repair and repopulation of damaged neurons) which can allow for increasing and preserving cognitive function, mood regulation, learning, memory, improved stress response, and many other positive health effects. Foods and supplements, exercise, and other holistic approaches can actually bolster neurogenesis and successfully sidestep the liabilities of addiction.17

We urge you to find out more about these effective strategies by reviewing other articles on the site including benzodiazepine alternatives, orthomolecular medicine, neurotransmitter rehabilitation, and many others. Please take some time to review these for better understanding. Share the information with your healthcare providers, and let them know you are interested in implementing such strategies and ask them to help you or find a practitioner familiar with Klonopin addiction recovery, who can help you navigate safely through the recovery process.

Signs of Klonopin Addiction & Dependence

In practical terms, “addiction” and “dependence” are quite interchangeable. When one is dependent or addicted to something, things perceived as bad or uncomfortable happen when they don’t get more of it. Klonopin is a very commonly prescribed drug, but like other benzodiazepines, recreational use and subsequent addiction have also been reported as on the rise.15

Addiction as a term has perhaps accrued a tint of social irresponsibility, questionable morals, or even drama, but these are not important to our discussion here. Whether a drug was taken recreationally or prescribed for medical use, the characteristics of addiction are, in a biological context, mainly the same.

Klonopin addiction here means, “Do withdrawals occur when the drug is stopped?” Signs of dependence and addiction to benzodiazepines can be physical and psychological.4 For our purposes, learning and recognizing the signs of addiction or dependence is the real focus.

Signs of dependence or addiction to Klonopin can include:
  • benzo addiction sedona drug rehabDrug cravings
  • The rebound of original symptoms when the drug is stopped or delayed
  • Rebound symptoms can include insomnia, agitation, nervous reactions, anxiety, and others, which can be worse than they originally were
  • New symptoms can emerge when the drug is stopped or delayed, including tremors, nausea and dry-retching, racing heart, muscle stiffness and pain, insomnia, involuntary muscle movements, panic attacks, and many, many others.
  • Obtaining the drug becomes a prime mover in day-to-day life
  • Doctor shopping or finding other sources for an adequate supply
  • Taking higher doses and more frequently for the same effects, or to tame the withdrawal effects
  • Sense of panic when the supply runs out

Should You Stop Taking Klonopin Suddenly?

No. Doing so can be life-threatening, and commonly causes drastic adverse effects that make it near to impossible — not to mention extremely unsafe — to stop taking Klonopin suddenly.

According to the drug’s label, abruptly stopping Klonopin after regular long-term use causes similar symptoms as coming off alcohol or barbiturates. The drug label acknowledges that abrupt withdrawal has not been adequately studied, but does mention some of the adverse effects that were known at the time the drug was approved. These include seizures that do not stop, convulsions, psychosis, hallucinations, behavioral disorders, tremors, dysphoria, insomnia, and abdominal cramps.5

Other studies also found additional severe adverse reactions to suddenly stopping Klonopin that would require hospitalization including catatonia which means acute confusion, mutism, refusing food and water, grimacing, and a condition known as “stereotypic behavior.” Examples of stereotypic behavior are biting oneself, hitting oneself, head banging, rocking, repetitive or patterned involuntary motions such as skin picking, marching or walking in place, not responding to outside stimuli, and other such presentations.6-8

The way to discontinue Klonopin, especially after months or years and/or high dosages is VERY GRADUALLY.

Holistic Treatment for Klonopin Addiction

The main treatment for Klonopin addiction or dependence is to safely and gradually wean off the drug. But a person’s original symptoms must also be addressed to prevent a repeat of the crisis that preceded the prescription in the first place. This very important point is often overlooked in much of the rehab field. A treatment that involves only substituting one drug for another as a “solution” to Klonopin addiction is no real solution at all.

Of course, sometimes medications are necessary in the weaning process but in general, these should not be used any longer than is necessary to overcome an impasse that may occur while discontinuing a heavy drug such as Klonopin. Other methods can be useful such as carefully managed medication cross-tapering and in some cases should be considered as a humane way to achieve a successful outcome.

Holistic treatments for support are extremely valuable in this regard as they can provide symptom relief without the use of drugs. For example, CBT and other forms of counseling have been rated as the best first-line treatment for depression and anxiety, and these benefits are available without relying on harmful pharmaceutical products.9,10

The Importance of Neurotoxin Removal for True Recovery

We have found that in a majority of cases, those persons who were troubled with chronic anxiety, insomnia or other original symptoms were neurotoxic. Until these toxins are removed from the body, neurochemical dysfunction will likely blunt or prevent full recovery. That is why neurotoxin removal is such a key component of treatment for Klonopin addiction at Alternative to Meds Center. It opens the door to neurotransmitter rehabilitation and the true recovery a person seeks.

Treatment for Klonopin Addiction & Dependence at Alternative to Meds Center

A wealth of support and therapies await you at our center. These have been carefully developed over close to 20 years of successful treatment at Alternative to Meds Center.

klonopin recovery sedona drug rehabWe understand the necessity for gradual discontinuation of a benzodiazepine, but we also know that with adequate holistic treatment, the root causes of original symptoms can be discovered and resolved. Our programs rely heavily on lab testing, diet and nutrition, neurotoxin removal, neurotransmitter rehabilitation, comfort therapies, counseling, peer support programs, and many other treatments. A program is individually designed for each client depending on their unique situation, needs, medical history, comfort level, and many other factors. Each client works closely with their team of therapists and medical doctors, meeting with them regularly to make sure positive progress is maintained throughout their stay with us.

There is much more to learn about treatment at the Alternative to Meds Center, which is a beautiful facility in Sedona Arizona. We’re here to help you. We are a team of medical professionals and therapists dedicated to providing the kind of help that we ourselves received for successful recovery. Please contact us for more information about our programs for Klonopin addiction treatment, and to find out more about how to restore mental health safely and naturally, without relying on prescription drugs.


Sources:

1. National Health Statistics Report #137 {published online jan 17, 2020) [cited 2023 Nov 15]

2. Edinoff, A. N., Nix, C. A., Hollier, J., Sagrera, C. E., Delacroix, B. M., Abubakar, T., Cornett, E. M., Kaye, A. M., & Kaye, A. D. (2021). Benzodiazepines: Uses, Dangers, and Clinical Considerations. Neurology international13(4), 594–607. https://doi.org/10.3390/neurolint13040059 [cited 2023 Nov 15]

3. Griffin, C. E., 3rd, Kaye, A. M., Bueno, F. R., & Kaye, A. D. (2013). Benzodiazepine pharmacology and central nervous system-mediated effects. The Ochsner journal13(2), 214–223. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

4. Pétursson H. The benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. Addiction. 1994 Nov;89(11):1455-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1994.tb03743.x. PMID: 7841856. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

5. FDA label Klonopin tablets (clonazepam) [cited 2023 Nov 15]

6. Brown M, Freeman S. Clonazepam withdrawal-induced catatonia. Psychosomatics. 2009 May-Jun;50(3):289-92. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.50.3.289. PMID: 19567771. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

7. Singer HS. Stereotypic movement disorders. Handb Clin Neurol. 2011;100:631-9. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52014-2.00045-8. PMID: 21496612. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

8. Burrow J, Spurling B, Catatonia [published in Stat Peals 2/12/2023] [cited 2023 Nov 15]

9. Servant D. Traitement non médicamenteux des troubles anxieux [Non-pharmacological treatment for anxiety disorders]. Rev Prat. 2019 Nov;69(9):985-987. French. PMID: 32237617. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

10. Farah WH, Alsawas M, Mainou M, Alahdab F, Farah MH, Ahmed AT, Mohamed EA, Almasri J, Gionfriddo MR, Castaneda-Guarderas A, Mohammed K, Wang Z, Asi N, Sawchuk CN, Williams MD, Prokop LJ, Murad MH, LeBlanc A. Non-pharmacological treatment of depression: a systematic review and evidence map. Evid Based Med. 2016 Dec;21(6):214-221. doi: 10.1136/ebmed-2016-110522. Epub 2016 Nov 11. PMID: 27836921. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

11. Moncrieff J, Cohen D. Do antidepressants cure or create abnormal brain states? PLoS Med. 2006 Jul;3(7):e240. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030240. PMID: 16724872; PMCID: PMC1472553. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

12. Ivanov I, Schwartz JM. Why Psychotropic Drugs Don’t Cure Mental Illness-But Should They? Front Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 6;12:579566. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.579566. PMID: 33889091; PMCID: PMC8057300. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

13. Nutt D. Psychedelic drugs-a new era in
psychiatry?
. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2019;21(2):139-147. doi: 10.31887/DCNS.2019.21.2/dnutt. PMID: 31636488; PMCID: PMC6787540. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

14. Wilczek F, Einstein’s Parable of Quantum Insanity published in Scientific American Sept 23, 2015 [cited 2023 Nov 15]

15. Dokkedal-Silva V, Berro LF, Galduróz JCF, Tufik S, Andersen ML. Clonazepam: Indications, Side Effects, and Potential for Nonmedical Use. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2019 Sep/Oct;27(5):279-289. doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000227. PMID: 31385811. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

16. Fee C, Banasr M, Sibille E. Somatostatin-Positive Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Interneuron Deficits in Depression: Cortical Microcircuit and Therapeutic Perspectives. Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Oct 15;82(8):549-559. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.05.024. Epub 2017 Jun 8. PMID: 28697889; PMCID: PMC5610074. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

17. Poulose SM, Miller MG, Scott T, Shukitt-Hale B. Nutritional Factors Affecting Adult Neurogenesis and Cognitive Function. Adv Nutr. 2017 Nov 15;8(6):804-811. doi: 10.3945/an.117.016261. PMID: 29141966; PMCID: PMC5683005. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

18. Ashton H. The diagnosis and management of benzodiazepine dependence. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2005 May;18(3):249-55. doi: 10.1097/01.yco.0000165594.60434.84. PMID: 16639148.[cited 2023 Nov 15]

19. Crowe SF, Stranks EK. The Residual Medium and Long-term Cognitive Effects of Benzodiazepine Use: An Updated Meta-analysis. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2018 Nov 1;33(7):901-911. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acx120. PMID: 29244060. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

20. Miller NS, Gold MS. Benzodiazepines: tolerance, dependence, abuse, and addiction. J Psychoactive Drugs. 1990 Jan-Mar;22(1):23-33. doi: 10.1080/02791072.1990.10472194. PMID: 1969940. [cited 2023 Nov 15]

21. NIDA. 2022, March 22. Drugs and the Brain. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drugs-brain [cited  2023, November 15]

22. De Gregorio D, Aguilar-Valles A, Preller KH, Heifets BD, Hibicke M, Mitchell J, Gobbi G. Hallucinogens in Mental Health: Preclinical and Clinical Studies on LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, and Ketamine. J Neurosci. 2021 Feb 3;41(5):891-900. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1659-20.2020. Epub 2020 Nov 30. PMID: 33257322; PMCID: PMC7880300. [cited  2023, November 15]


Originally Published November 15, 2023 by Diane Ridaeus


This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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