In recent months, we’ve brought up the risks associated with benzodiazepines (or “benzos,” for short). But there are many drugs that fall into that category; with one particular strain making headlines, as of late. Klonopin is an extremely popular med in that family, often prescribed to treat panic attacks and anxiety. But it is also leading to a wide range of dependencies and overdose deaths across the United States.
A recent high-profile Klonopin story came from noted actress Lena Dunham. In the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine, the Girls star opened up about her lifelong anxiety struggles and how Klonopin appeared to be a viable treatment option. But the drug ultimately wreaked havoc on her life and led her into an aggressive recovery program.
“Back in 2017, it became clear—first to everyone who knew me, and then, finally, to me—that I was addicted to benzodiazepines, specifically Klonopin,” Dunham wrote. “The fact that I had myriad explanations for this dependency (among them chronic pain, heartbreak, the cracking of the brittle facade created by public life) didn’t matter; everyone has good reasons to stay in bed if you really think about it. And so I went to rehab.”
Indeed, extreme depression is a common side effect of Klonopin addiction. Though it does help with people facing anxiety issues, abuse of the drug can lead to isolation and withdrawals from friends and family. It is also said that Klonopin is one of the hardest benzos to detach from. Dependencies to this particular drug can be extreme and long-lasting.
Another celebrity who famously battled a Klonodin addiction was musician Stevie Nicks. She has now become an outspoken recovery advocate, urging her fans to seek out help if they feel they’ve developed a dependency. In her case, it was hard to diagnose the problem as this is a med that is commonly distributed at doctors’ offices.
“I didn’t really understand right up until the end that it was the Klonopin that was making me crazy,” Nicks explained in an interview. “I really didn’t realize it was that drug because I was taking it from a doctor and it was prescribed.”
The truth of the matter is, Klonopin slows down brain activity and, when taken in large doses, can shut down the central nervous system. Common side effects from abusers include fainting, confusion and impaired cognition. Fatal OD’s are very real with this type of addiction and we urge anyone who thinks they may have a problem to seek out help immediately.