Seventies-era rock star Stevie Nicks is the poster girl for the perils of Klonopin addiction.
In almost every interview, the former lead singer of Fleetwood Mac makes a point of mentioning the toll her abuse of the drug has taken on her life.
While promoting her new solo album, In ‘Your Dreams’, she told Fox that she blamed Klonopin (clonazepam) for the fact that she never had children.
“The only thing I’d change [in my life] is walking into the office of that psychiatrist who prescribed me Klonopin.
That ruined my life for eight years,” she said. “God knows, maybe I would have met someone, maybe I would have had a baby.”
Whitney Houston’s songs became the universal voice of love. That’s how much Whitney came to mean to so many of us who knew her only through her music.
She came to embody all that precious emotion we carry in our hearts.
Whitney Houston’s death at 48, has raised the specter that she was taking Xanax (alprazolam) at the time she died.
What both situations have in common is that they were taking drugs in the benzodiazepine family.
And when it comes to prescription drugs that are able to destroy you, it’s hard to top the benzodiazepines.
Experts feel that chronic use of benzodiazepines may lower seizure threshold, especially in patients with epilepsy or predisposing disorders.
This is beyond the withdrawal mechanism which can occur even in low dose use for long time. That’s why it’s rarely used for a long-term in seizure disorders.
The operative word here is: long time.
Another “benzo” which has been lethal to millions of Americans is Klonopin.
It’s not as famous as OxyContin, but the prescription drug Klonopin can be just as dangerous.
Klonopin or clonazepam, was originally brought to market in 1975 as a medication for epileptic seizures.
Eventually, though, the medication was given patients who were subject to panic attacks and to addicts trying to get off drugs or alcohol, because of its ability to prevent seizures and control the symptoms of acute withdrawal.
The latter decision led Klonopin and other benzodiazepines to become the second most abused class of prescriptions, after opioid painkillers like Oxy.
But what Klonopin can do to a patient who abuses it is pretty horrific.
Scientists can’t say for sure what Klonopin does when ingested, except that it dramatically affects the functioning of the brain.
This much we know: If your brain is on fire with electrical signals — like, say, you’re having an epileptic seizure — a dose of Klonopin will help put out the flames.
It does so by lowering the electrical activity of the brain. But specifically which electrical activities it suppresses is something that nobody really seems to know for sure.
But when a patient goes off of Klonopin, there is a burst of excess neural firing and cell death. That’s the havoc we hear about that is mistakenly called withdrawal.
And that’s why Klonopin, like nearly the entire class of benzos, causes such unpredictable reactions in people.
Among the celebrities who have taken benzodiazepines with unfortunate results:
Actress-model Margaux Hemingway, who died in 1996 from a benzo-barbiturate mix…
Actress-model Anna Nicole Smith, who died in 2007 after an overdose of Klonopin and other drugs…
Author David Foster Wallace, who had Klonopin in his body when he hanged himself in 2008.
Since then, Klonopin, along with the other drugs in this class, has become a prescription of choice for drug abusers from Hollywood to Wall Street, where drug abuse for any reason is rampant.
Although Xanax (alprazolam) is the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine, it’s probably one of the most dangerous.
It now accounts for as many as 60% of all hospital admissions for drug addiction, according to some research.
What’s more, violent and psychotic responses to Xanax are not limited to humans.
In May 2009, a 200-lb chimpanzee being kept as a house pet by a Stamford, Conn. woman, went on a rampage after being dosed with Xanax, escaping into the neighborhood and ripping off the face of a friend of its owner.
Sometimes, the continuous use of Xanax causes certain side-effects and the permanent use of Xanax can even give rise to biochemical transformation in the body which, in turn, causes different effects.
Since Xanax is an anti-depressant affecting the nervous system, it slows the neural activity and the ability of one’s mind to work. Especially on a high dose.
When you look at both drugs, you can see the commonality. Just like Stevie Nicks and Whitney Houston were singers, both drugs are benzodiazepines and essentially they work the same way.
They affect the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that is naturally calming.
GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain.
It’s important to remember is that both drugs are purposely prescribed to treat epilepsy and it’s causes.
They are not recreational drugs, even though some choose them for that and other benzo cocktails.
And as far as addiction goes, anything can be addictive if misused.
Perhaps the reason I’m arguing so vehemently is that I am on both Klonopin — with Xanax, as a back-up in case of emergency. (Panic attack?)
I have taken the same amount for five years. And I feel — like anything else — if you abuse these drugs, they will abuse you.
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