Prescription Drug Abuse in the United States Today: The Number One Drug of Choice

In the United States today, prescription drug use and abuse is one of the most concerning health issues of the nation.  True enough, since the turn of the century, prescription drug abuse has veritably taken off and has become now the country’s most popular drug of choice.  Prior to the turn of the century prescription drug abuse certainly did exist, but it wasn’t nearly as prevalent or as serious as it is today.  The early 2000s saw several changes in drug addiction and substance abuse in general for the American populace.  All of them led to more and more prescription drug abuse for all involved.

Prescription drugs, mainly opiate pain relievers and benzodiazepines, are perhaps one of the greatest lies of the 21st century.  There’s a reason why the United States is considered to be the most overmedicated nation in the entire world.  There’s a reason why the United States consumes over seventy-five percent of the world’s supply of prescription drugs yet contains only five percent of the world’s population.  There’s a reason why drug companies in the United Stated increased the production of, distribution of, and proliferation of prescription drugs into the hands of the American populace by over three-hundred percent in just the five years between the end of 2000 and 2005.  America is overmedicated and is constantly convinced that prescription drugs are the cure all and that, most importantly, they are safe, easy to use, convenient, and harmless.  This could not be farther from the truth.

Prescription drugs are the most deadly of drugs abused in the United States today.  Prescription drugs are the cause of more and more deaths in the United States every year, and now literally tens of thousands of Americans die at the hands of prescription drug abuse in the United States every year, and millions of Americans are addicted to them as well.

The problem is that these drugs are simply addictive.  That’s all there is to it.  They are incredibly addictive on both chemical/physical levels and spiritual/behavioral levels too.  The drugs create a powerful chemical dependence in the individual which causes him or her to go into withdrawals if he or she does not keep taking them.  These drugs also cover up a lot of problems for the individual too and create strong mental and personal reliance upon the drug substances themselves.

Clonazepam: An Increasingly Popular Drug with Increasingly Dire Consequences

Clonazepam is a well-known and popular prescription drug that belongs to a group of medications called benzodiazepines.  A benzodiazepine is a psychiatric drug prescribed for mental or psychological reasons and is prescribed to attempt to treat various issues or difficulties.  Clonazepam is known also by the brand name Klonopin.  This drug is actually the third most prescribed benzodiazepine in the United States, behind alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan).  These three medications all have very similar properties and are a part of the same family, but vary in their speed of onset and duration of their effects.  As for its intended and supposed purpose, clonazepam is used to treat a number of anxiety disorders.

Beyond its supposed “mental health” applications though, clonazepam is prescribed to treat spasticity and seizure disorders, as well as to manage some various symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal.  It is tricky to use it during alcohol withdrawal as more often than not the individual withdrawing off of alcohol will just end up getting addicted to clonazepam in the end anyway.

On a more practical note, clonazepam is sometimes used as an induction agent prior to the administration of anesthesia before a surgical procedure of some kind.  The medication works by regulating overexcitement or overstimulation in the brain to calm one down right before the incredibly anxious surgery that one might be facing.  However, because of the effects that this drug creates, many people abuse the drug for non-medical purposes to experience its sedating range of effects too.  This is also where addiction comes in too.  For one to be administered clonazepam once right before a survey to calm him or her down so that he or she lies still during the surgery is fine, but to use clonazepam several times for recreational purposes will almost certainly guarantee an addiction to not only the chemical effects of the drug, but to the mental effects of the drug as well.

Benzodiazepines like clonazepam have depressant effects on the body too.  Essentially this almost always results in various slowed mental and physical processes for the individual.  Benzodiazepines are supposedly therapeutic medications that have sedative, anti-anxiety, muscle relaxant, anti-convulsant, and hypnotic effects when taken, but the downsides of the drugs often far outweigh the benefits of the drugs.

When abused, clonazepam can create a powerful euphoric high, as well as a sense of calm marked by diminished worry and anxiety overall, and a relaxation of the body marked by less tension and restlessness in the individual.  Though not indicated for insomnia at all, clonazepam is sometimes misused as a sleeping pill due to its ability to elicit drowsiness in the taker.  This is really dangerous though because one can often overdose on the drug if he or she is taking it to try and fall asleep at night.

Facts and Statistics About Clonazepam and Benzodiazepine Abuse and Addiction in the U.S.

To provide the reader with some context as to just how serious of an issue the abuse of benzodiazepines is in the United States, some facts and statistics have been included below that highlight the issue and show its severity:

• Nearly 17 million prescriptions for clonazepam were written in the United States in the year 2011.

• Benzodiazepines like clonazepam are a very commonly abused class of prescription drugs, an in fact rate in second place for most commonly abused prescription drugs after only opiate pain relievers.

• According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA), the number of people seeking treatment for benzodiazepine abuse or addiction in general shockingly tripled in the ten year period between 1998 and 2008.

• In the year 2010, more than a full 80,000 calls were made to poison control centers involving benzodiazepine misuse and abuse.

• Also in the year 2010, there were almost 350,000 visits to ERs due to benzodiazepine use and abuse.  Of the 350,000 visits, clonazepam ranked behind only alprazolam in number of visits—with over 62,000 instances just by itself.  Obviously, individuals overdose on this drug quite frequently.

• A 2011 survey found that over 20 million people in the United States alone have used benzodiazepines for non-medical reasons in their lifetime.

• The Monitoring the Future Study done recently sadly found that 7.4% of high school seniors have abused tranquilizer substances in their lifetime, a category that includes benzodiazepines such as clonazepam too.

Rehabilitation: How Americans are Able to Beat Clonazepam and Klonopin Addiction for Good

Rehabilitation is the only way to effectively recover oneself from and addiction to clonazepam.  In truth, if one is addicted to this drug then he or she certainly is in for a very dangerous and potentially fatal trip, though it doesn’t actually have to be that way.  In truth, anyone who is addicted to any type of benzo for that matter can kick his or her addiction if he or she applies himself and works at it hard enough.  This is of the utmost importance too because one needs to win the battle against addiction once and for all if he or she is to be able to go about pursuing a new and better life not only for himself or herself but for his or her family too.

Inpatient rehab is the way to address clonazepam addiction because inpatient rehab has the best services and techniques by far.  It takes both detox and rehab to address such an addiction, and only inpatient rehab centers have both.  For those addicted, it can be a tough ride but inpatient rehab makes all the difference.  With detox to eradicate chemical dependence to clonazepam and with rehab to get rid of mental addiction to the drug, literally anyone can go free from clonazepam addiction with the help of an inpatient rehab program.