Rivotril is a common brand name for the prescription drug clonazepam. It is in a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines (benzos), which are primarily used to prevent and treat seizures and relieve anxiety symptoms.
In the United States, clonazepam is usually sold under the brand name Klonopin. Outside the United States, it is commonly found as Rivotril, despite being manufactured by the same company, Roche. Compared to other benzos, Rivotril is particularly long-acting.
Once taken, Rivotril works by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA. This action produces feelings of relaxation and reduced anxiety.
Rivotril Dependence and Addiction
Physical or chemical dependence is a condition in which the central nervous system (CNS) adapts to the constant presence of a substance and stops producing some of its own natural chemicals. If a dependent person then attempts to stop using or rapidly cut back doses of the substance, they will experience unpleasant, sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
The unpleasantness of these symptoms often compels people to relapse to escape them—this is why benzos are so addictive. If an individual chronically abuses Rivotril, they will likely develop a full-blown addiction.
Warning signs of addiction may include the following:
- Increasing tolerance (more of the drug is required to experience effects)
- Dependence (withdrawal symptoms occur when use is halted)
- Being unable to quit despite wanting to
- Persistent cravings for the drug
- Failure to attend to social, family, school, or work responsibilities
- New financial or legal problems
- Continued drug use despite the incurrence of adverse consequences
Rivotril is known to be habit-forming and causes both physical and psychological dependence after just a few weeks use. Note that using Rivotril as directed by a doctor may still cause dependence and addiction. To reduce this risk, it is usually only prescribed for a short time.
If you have become dependent on clonazepam, never attempt to quit without medical supervision. As a benzo, clonazepam withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of Rivotril withdrawal may include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle aches
- Stomach pain
- Suicidal ideations
Rivotril Abuse and Effects
Clonazepam is able to treat serious medical conditions, such as epilepsy. But, again, it is known to have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Using Rivotril without having a legitimate prescription, using it in higher doses than prescribed, or in combination with other substances constitutes abuse.
Abusers of this drug generally seek the potent, albeit brief, euphoria produced when abused in large doses. Individuals sometimes attempt to enhance the effects of clonazepam by snorting the powder after crushing them. Following the high, users are often left feeling anxious, depressed, and lethargic.
Other effects of abuse may include:
- Impaired cognition
- Impaired judgment
- Reduced sex drive
- Slowed reaction time
- Vertigo and fainting
When Rivotril is abused over the long term, it can lead to paradoxical reactions where it produces symptoms that the drug is supposed to help treat. These symptoms may include increased anxiety, depression, agitation, trouble sleeping, and panic attacks.
Rivotril is often abused in combination with alcohol to enhance the CNS depressant effects of both substances, which can cause blackouts and lead to overdose. Likewise, users are known mix other substances, such as cocaine or other stimulants, with Rivotril to reduce unwanted side effects, such as sedation. This can precipitate many unwanted and unpredictable effects and limit a person’s ability to judge when they’ve taken too much, leading to an overdose.
Even when taken by itself, high doses of Rivotril can cause overdoses which slow the nervous system, impairing vital functions such as breathing and heart rate. Rivotril overdose can be life-threatening or result in permanent damage.
Signs of a Rivotril overdose include the following:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Impaired coordination
- Memory impairment
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Slowed reflexes
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady gait
Getting Help for Rivotril Addiction
Just Believe Recovery offers state-of-the-art, comprehensive treatment programs for addiction in both partial hospitalization and residential formats. Individualized treatment plans feature numerous services clinically proven to be beneficial for the recovery process. Services we offer include cognitive-behavioral therapy, 12-step group support, individual and family counseling, relapse prevention, aftercare planning, and much more.
We also provide dual diagnosis treatment to address substance use disorders and any co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety as depression. We seek to provide treatment for the whole person, not just one aspect. Our professional, compassionate staff provides those we treat with the care and expertise needed to help them make a full recovery and achieve the sober, fulfilling life they deserve.