Is Klonopin an Opioid?
Although Klonopin is a narcotic like any prescription opioid, it is not an opioid. Instead, Klonopin belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines.
Many people ask the question, “is Klonopin an opioid?”. The answer would be a resolute no; although Klonopin is a narcotic like any prescription opioid, it is not an opioid. Klonopin belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Clonazepam, the generic form of Klonopin, is used to prevent and control seizures. It is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. This medication calms the nerves and brain, so it is often used to treat panic attacks.
More than 30 percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzodiazepines. Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67%, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. Combining opioids and benzodiazepines can be unsafe because of both types of drugs sedate users and suppress breathing – the cause of overdose fatality – in addition to impairing cognitive functions. In 2015, 23 percent of people who died of an opioid overdose also tested positive for benzodiazepines. Unfortunately, many people have prescribed both drugs simultaneously. (DrugAbuse.gov)
Sometimes Klonopin is mistaken for an opioid because it’s also a depressant commonly prescribed in the United States. Opioids and benzodiazepines (which is the class of drugs that Klonopin belongs to) are both VERY addictive and dangerous when misused.
What is Klonopin Used For?
Klonopin or Clonazepam is a seizure medication (antiepileptic) that enhances the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. It is also used to treat panic disorder and agoraphobia in adults. Agoraphobia is the extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded places, leaving one’s own home, or being in places where escape is difficult. Klonopin is also used for generalized anxiety disorder and, more specifically, social anxiety.
Klonopin Addiction and Withdrawal
Klonopin is very addictive; some people can get addicted to it within only a few short weeks. Many people have become addicted to it by taking only the amount prescribed by their doctor. Klonopin blocks special receptors in the brain to reduce anxiety, stress, and difficulty relaxing. When a person becomes dependent or addicted to it, their brain no longer produces feelings of relaxation and calmness without it; the brain becomes hyperactive. This is why it’s so hard to quit once you’ve become addicted; the person cannot function normally without it.
Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can potentially be lethal. People addicted to it either gradually cut down their dose or seek professional medical help to withdraw from the medication safely. When someone addicted or dependent on it decreases their dose or completely stops, their system is thrown off balance. This causes various withdrawal symptoms. Here are some of the withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin.
- Increased body temperature
- Trouble with coordination
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased pulse rate
- Hand tremors
- Panic attacks
Klonopin withdrawal can also cause rebound anxiety and insomnia. If these effects occur, it usually takes two or three days before fading away. Klonopin withdrawal can last up to 90 days, but the length of withdrawal is different for everyone. The duration of withdrawal depends on several factors: how long the person took Klonopin, how frequently they used it, whether they abused any other drugs, and their medical and mental history.
As stated above, Klonopin withdrawal can potentially be fatal. Therefore, the person addicted must seek professional medical help; medically-supervised detox is the safest way. During detox, patients are monitored closely and given various prescribed medications to reduce symptoms and maximize comfort.
Get the Help You Need for Klonopin Addiction
If you or someone you love has an addiction to Klonopin and needs help, talk to an Absolute Awakenings treatment specialist today. Let Absolute Awakenings guide you to a lasting recovery. Start healing today through our evidence-based addiction treatment programs. We are available around the clock to explain the recovery process. Whether for yourself or a loved one, it’s never too late to make the right decision and enter a treatment program for opioid or benzodiazepine dependency.
- Klonopin Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Warnings. Drugs.com. Accessed January 18, 2023. https://www.drugs.com/klonopin.html
- Abuse NI on D. Benzodiazepines and Opioids. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Published November 7, 2022. Accessed January 18, 2023. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/opioids/benzodiazepines-opioids
- Cohen B, Ruth LJ, Preuss CV. Opioid Analgesics. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed January 18, 2023. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459161/
- Bounds CG, Nelson VL. Benzodiazepines. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed January 18, 2023. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470159/
- Osburn CO. How Long Does Withdrawal From Klonopin Last? Verywell Mind. Published November 5, 2021. Accessed January 18, 2023. https://www.verywellmind.com/klonopin-withdrawal-symptoms-timeline-and-treatment-4176203