Schizophrenia and Klonopin Use

Schizophrenia and Klonopin Use

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects about 1% of Americans. Contrary to popular belief schizophrenics do not have multiple personalities. They interpret reality abnormally and struggle to think clearly, regulate emotions and relate to others. They often experience psychosis which is characterized by delusional thoughts and hallucinations such as hearing voices and believing enemies are plotting against them or controlling their minds.

Schizophrenia is a lifelong illness most likely triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because the exact causes are not known, treatment provided by recovery specialists focuses on relieving symptoms with medication and therapy. Klonopin (clonazepam) is one commonly prescribed medication. It works by boosting the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that creates calm feelings. Common side effects include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Increased saliva production
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea

Managing medication is an important part of a treatment program.

Can Klonopin Use Cause Schizophrenia?

A definite connection exists between substance abuse and schizophrenia, but the exact relationship is still unknown. The same genetic vulnerability that predisposes people to the illness may also increase their risk for substance abuse disorders.

Klonopin, which can create a sensation similar to drunkenness, has particularly dangerous abuse potential. Even after just one use it can create symptoms similar to schizophrenia including psychotic hallucinations and delusions. Other side effects include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Irreversible brain damage
  • Memory loss
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin rash
  • Insomnia

As one of the stronger benzodiazepines Klonopin creates dependency quickly. Stopping use of the drug can be just as dangerous as using it and should only be done under the supervision of treatment professionals. Symptoms of withdrawal include the following:

  • Fever
  • Hypothermia
  • Anorexia
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety
  • Hair loss
  • Palpitations
  • Depression
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea
  • Urinary retention
  • Hysteria
  • Suicidal thoughts

Schizophrenics exhibit higher rates of substance abuse than the general population which may be because affected people often self medicate. Treatment professionals who understand both substance abuse and mental illness are a critical part of recovery.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Schizophrenia and Klonopin Addiction

Over half of all adults with severe mental illness also struggle with substance abuse. These co-occurring diagnoses create a vicious cycle. If the psychiatric condition worsens, chances of relapse escalate, and if the addiction flares, the psychiatric condition often deteriorates. To recover both conditions must be treated with professional help. Comprehensive care usually includes the following:

  • Medication
  • Longer stay than “one-track” treatment
  • A major focus on relapse prevention
  • Therapy
  • Gradual progress

These and other treatment options can provide lasting recovery.

Need Help Finding Treatment for Schizophrenia and Klonopin Abuse?

If you or someone you love struggles with schizophrenia and Klonopin addiction, please call our toll-free number. We are here to help and can provide information about treatment for schizophrenia and drug addiction. We are available to help 24 hours a day, so please don’t suffer any longer because of untreated mental illness or substance abuse. Call us today.