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Clonazepam Withdrawal

Many Americans struggle with anxiety disorders and insomnia, two conditions that can impair normal daily functioning. The most common treatment for these maladies is a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin). Clonazepam is unique among the benzo class due to its rapid onset along with a long half-life. Clonazepam can stay in someone’s system for up to three days.

Clonazepam is usually only prescribed for a short duration, such as two weeks, as the drug has a high risk of dependence and addiction. The lingering effects of the drug, staying in the body for days, can increase the risk of increased tolerance. The sedative effects, as well as mild euphoria, make it a popular medication. It is possible to become physically dependent on clonazepam in just a couple of weeks’ time.

As the individual begins to ramp up dosing to continue to experience the initial effects of the clonazepam, the brain becomes accustomed to the higher levels of the drug in the system. Clonazepam affects the GABA receptors, with is how the nerve cells transmit messages throughout the brain system, slowing brain activity. Over time, neural pathways become altered in response to the impact of dopamine, and the body now requires the drug. This is physical dependence.

Making the decision to get help for a clonazepam dependency or addiction is a difficult one. The individual is keenly aware that clonazepam withdrawal will be an unpleasant experience, keeping many from taking that first step toward recovery. But it should be understood that in a supervised detox environment, clonazepam withdrawal symptoms are closely monitored and interventions will be provided ongoingly.

Effects of Clonazepam Use

It is hard to imagine that the innocent looking little pill could have such devastating effects of some individuals. But, as with all benzos, clonazepam is a powerful sedative that can quickly develop into a dangerous habit, leading to both physical and psychological dependence. Some of the effects that can be experienced from long-term or excessive clonazepam use may include:

  • Impaired cognition
  • Vertigo, dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Mental confusion
  • Sleep problems
  • Short-term memory disruption
  • Numbness or heaviness in arms and legs
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Suicidal ideation

Because benzos are habit forming, increased tolerance to the drug may lead some to double up on dosing or take the drug more often than is prescribed. Of the benzos, clonazepam has a higher risk of overdose due to its longer half-life. Signs of a clonazepam overdose may include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Clammy skin
  • Profound confusion
  • Delirium
  • Slowed respiratory rate
  • Coma

Breaking Free From a Clonazepam Addiction

It is a dangerous mistake to believe that one can just stop taking these drugs cold turkey. Benzodiazepine addiction is one of the most dangerous to detox from and must be accomplished under the care of a trained detox team. Abruptly stopping the clonazepam use will swiftly bring on intense rebound effects, meaning intense symptoms of anxiety and agitation, convulsions, and potential seizures. For this reason, clonazepam withdrawal must be a gradual process, conducted through a scheduled tapering process of the drug.

Clonazepam withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Shakiness, tremors
  • Shortness of breath, hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Muscle spasms, aches, and pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tinnitus
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Feelings of bodily detachment
  • Delirium
  • Memory problems
  • Grand mal seizures

A detox professional will assign a tapering schedule that will basically trick the body into thinking it is not in withdrawal. This process takes time, but the clonazepam withdrawal symptoms will be greatly diminished. Generally, clonazepam detoxification can take 1-3 weeks, depending on the length of history of the drug abuse and other factors. Lingering psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or agitation, do occur for a small number of individuals and may last for months.

Rehab for Benzo Addiction

Transitioning from detox over to treatment is an essential aspect of achieving a lasting recovery from the addictive behaviors associated with benzo dependence. Without making fundamental shifts in thoughts and behavior patterns, drug use will likely return as soon as a triggering incident occurs. Rehab teaches clients how to manage these triggers and to rely on alternative responses using the recovery skills taught in therapy.

Addiction treatment can be obtained in either an outpatient or residential environment, with pros and cons to consider for each option. Generally, more entrenched addictions, poly-drug addictions, and dual diagnosis (both drug addiction and a mental health disorder) are best treated in a residential program.

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety Without Drugs

In addition to rehab providing psychotherapy, group therapy, 12-step groups, and addiction education, it also utilizes several holistic methods to teach clients how to manage stress without medication. These holistic practices can be accessed at home, and some are accessible anywhere. These practices include:

  • Mindfulness training. This teaches the individual to focus their attention on the moment while also concentrating on breathwork.
  • Yoga. Yoga classes can be accessed at gyms, yoga studios, or online videos and teach individuals the practice of slowly posing the body to help induce relaxation.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise, especially cardio, can help individuals reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, and enhance the mood while also benefiting physical wellbeing.

Golf Drug Rehab Provides Clonazepam Addiction Treatment in Orange County

Golf Drug Rehab is an upscale golf-centered rehab program located in a coastal community in Southern California. Our unique program utilizes an evidenced-based approach to treating benzo addiction and dependency, offering the most effective psychotherapies for profoundly changing addiction behaviors and replacing them with positive, constructive ones. By providing our clients with access to three stellar golf courses, recreational golf therapy helps balance the work of therapy with the relaxation-inducing properties of engaging in an outdoor activity. For more information about our program, please contact Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320.

effects of quitting drinking timeline

Examining the Stages of Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

When considering treatment for an alcohol addiction one of the biggest deterrents to following through is the fear of going through the detox process. Alcohol detoxification involves a period of about 5-7 days following cessation of drinking when the toxins related to alcohol are purged from the body. During this timeframe, the body and brain will attempt to recalibrate and stabilize as it adjusts to the absence of alcohol. Alcohol detox is an unpleasant phase of recovery, but a necessary first step on the journey to living a satisfying sober life.

Understanding the effects of quitting drinking timeline can help prepare someone for what to expect, as well as assure them that a detox program will make medications available to ease the withdrawal symptoms throughout the process. Knowing that they will be closely monitored and will receive interventions as needed goes a long way toward easing anxiety related to the detox experience.

What Happens During Alcohol Detox?

When an individual has a long history of excessive alcohol consumption their brain chemistry is altered as a result. By the time the person is addicted to alcohol, the brain has turned over the job of dopamine production to the alcohol and ceases to produce it naturally anymore. Alcoholism alters many other bodily systems over time as well. Because of these adaptations, when alcohol intake is interrupted by the decision to get sober the body scrambles to adjust. This period of adjustment and stabilization is the detoxification phase of recovery.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms start off feeling like a bad hangover, but quickly escalate in severity. In fact, alcohol detox does carry risks and should always be supervised by trained detox professionals who can quickly manage any urgent health event that might arise. These providers will ensure that the detox process goes as smoothly as possible by administering needed medications as the withdrawal symptoms dictate. Benzodiazepines are offered to minimize the risk of seizures, aid in managing anxiety, and also help promote sleep. Other medications will manage gastrointestinal distress, headache, and fever.

What Are the Stages of Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox and withdrawal can vary dramatically from one individual to another. The factors that influence how severe the withdrawal symptoms might include the length of time the person engaged in heavy drinking, how much they would typically drink in a day, their age, whether there are conditions, and if there is a co-occurring mental health disorder. For this reason, the effects of quitting drinking timeline described here are just a general template, as each person will experience variations of it.

Mild Stage: Once an individual has stopped drinking they can expect withdrawal symptoms to emerge at about the 8-hour mark. The withdrawal symptoms in the first stage of detox include:

  • Sweating
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hand tremors
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Clammy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite

Moderate Stage: Within 12-48 hours withdrawal symptoms begin to become intensified. It is important that vital signs are constantly monitored at this point as symptoms can suddenly become problematic. The withdrawal symptoms in this middle stage include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fever
  • Mental confusion
  • Irritability
  • Changes in respiratory rate

Severe Stage: Days two and three are the time during alcohol detox when symptoms can suddenly become dangerous. Most will not experience these severe symptoms, but individuals with a long history of heavy alcohol consumption and co-occurring health issues are at the highest risk of the most severe withdrawals called delirium tremens (DTs). The withdrawal symptoms during the late stage of detox include:

  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Trembling
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

Comprehensive Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

It is an error to believe that all that is needed to enjoy a long-lasting recovery is to go through detox and withdrawal. This is not the case! After successfully completing the effects of quitting drinking timeline there is some additional work to be done. Until the alcoholic learns how to change their addictive behaviors, and this is done through extensive individual and group therapy, they will simply return to drinking once the cravings return.

Addiction treatment covers a range of therapies and classes that equip the recovering alcoholic with coping tools, conflict resolution skills, stress-reduction techniques, relapse prevention planning, and a recovery community. These integrated treatment elements prepare the individual for managing life without alcohol, giving them the best shot at sustained, life-affirming recovery.

Golf Drug Rehab Provides Detox for Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Golf Drug Rehab is an upscale addiction treatment program serving Orange County, California. Understanding the effects of quitting drinking timeline, and how to mitigate withdrawal symptoms, the expert detox staff will safely guide clients through the detox phase of treatment. Following detox, a comprehensive addiction treatment program will provide the client with the means to remain sober, including psychotherapy, coping skills, stress reduction techniques, holistic tools, and relapse prevention strategizing. Golf Drug Rehab is unique in its blending of evidence-based treatment methods with recreational golf to round out the program. For more information about the program, please contact Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320.