When pharmaceutical companies develop new medications to treat illness or disease, the names they affix to these drugs must go through a rigorous regulatory approval process, and the results aren’t always positive. In 2010, according to American Public Media, the Food and Drug Administration turned down almost half of all the names submitted by drug developers. That’s a pretty dismal record, and sometimes, drug companies choose to skirt those stringent rules by using one name within the United States, and using another name in other countries. This dual approach allows them to follow the rules while using the most effective name in markets which the company wants to sell products.
That seems to be the path followed by the developers of clonazepam. This benzodiazepine drug is sold under the brand name Klonopin in the United States, but it’s sold under the name Rivotril in other countries. A Rivotril addiction is just as serious as an addiction to Klonopin, as the medication is exactly the same, but the name may cause confusion and keep people from getting the help they’ll need in order to get well.
Rivotril is designed to work like the brakes on a speeding car, slowing down activity until movement can take place at a slow and controlled rate. It can be a remarkably helpful medication for people who have anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses in which the brain is firing at a fast and unhealthy pace. For example, a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that clonazepam was “significantly more effective” than other medications studied in helping people with obsessive-compulsive disorder during three weeks of treatment. People who take this drug to help with a mental health condition, and who follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter, might never develop an addiction, although they might find that they have a physical dependence on the medication.
People who take benzodiazepines like Rivotril respond to the drug in a profound way. The sedation caused by the drug seems abnormal to the body, and it responds by amending chemical processes, making the subsequent reaction to the next dose of the drug just a bit less strong. The person might respond by taking a larger dose, and the body might respond by amending its response once more. If the person stops taking drugs, the body will need to work back through all these steps and undo all the amendments it has made, until it is functioning at a normal level once more. It’s a natural and organic process, and both people who abuse Rivotril and those who take it per doctors’ orders will need to follow many of the same steps.
People who take the drug with a doctor’s help may be at an advantage, however, as they’ll know what they need to do to stop taking the drug and they’ll likely be given information on what to expect when they begin to taper off the drug. Those who take Rivotril abusively may have no guidance, and they may simply stop taking the drug on their own and develop problems including nervousness and seizures. This may drive them back into the arms of addiction, as the idea of quitting begins to seem dangerous.
While some people abuse clonazepam intentionally, there are some who seem to take the drug without fully realizing the risks they’re taking. For example, in a study in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, researchers found that 20 out of 20 patients in a drug dependency program who had been taking clonazepam addictively had no idea the drug was considered a drug of abuse. They might have felt the drug was “safe” since it was a prescription medication. People in the United States might face similar problems if they take Rivotril. They may know that Klonopin is addictive, but since they’ve not heard the name “Rivotril” marketed, they may not realize that this drug is also dangerous, and addictions may set in before they realize what has taken place.
In a Rivotril addiction treatment program that offers detox with supervising physicians, addicted people get help for the withdrawal symptoms they face. This help might come through:
- A slowly tapering dose
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Supportive care, including warm food and comfortable sleeping areas
- Education about the nature of addiction
When the person feels calm and able to move forward with care, the real work begins. In structured therapy sessions, people learn more about how addictions to Rivotril develop on a chemical level, and they learn how their minds can work against them as they attempt to achieve sobriety. People might learn, for example, that job stress tends to augment their cravings for drugs or that a poor family environment causes them emotional distress that Rivotril seems effective at ameliorating. When people have an understanding of the concepts that underlie an addiction, they can develop tools that will help them to move forward.
Therapy sessions might be held on an individual basis, but group counseling also plays a meaningful role in Rivotril addiction treatment programs. A counselor stays involved in these sessions, directing the group and ensuring that all participants stay focused and on task, but the addicted people all learn together as a group. According to an article produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the benefits of group therapy include:
- Reducing a feeling of isolation
- Enabling people to watch others succeed
- Offering family-like experiences
- Allowing peers to influence and inspire one another
- Providing feedback in an open and honest setting
Treatment programs might augment this learning by asking clients to participate in support groups. These organizations hold informal meetings where no therapist is in charge, and they allow people to spend time really thinking about how others have moved through recovery and what lessons they thought were important as they began to heal. Informal settings like this can be transformative for people, allowing them to make new connections and support people who need help recovering from their own addiction issues.
Moving Back Into Life
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most addicted people need at least three months of addiction care in order to stop abusing drugs. Some people enroll in long-term, inpatient treatment programs to combat their Rivotril addictions while others use outpatient programs to help them reach their goals. Either method can be helpful, as long as people continue to work toward their recovery. If people slip back into bad habits during treatment, it’s typically a sign that more intense therapies are required. A person living at home who starts taking Rivotril again while in outpatient care, for example, might consider enrolling in an inpatient program in order to remove the temptation to slip back into full-blown drug abuse.
Rivotril addiction treatment programs might provide targeted help that can allow people to develop a solid home life that will be protective against future drug use.
Some people might benefit from parenting classes, for example, so they’ll be able to spend time with their children when their formal treatment program is over and not feel tempted to use Rivotril in the process. Programs might also provide stress management or anger management courses, allowing people the opportunity to learn more about controlling their tempers and speaking their minds without subduing their thoughts with drugs. Programs might even provide help with employment. According to research highlighted by SAMHSA, pre-treatment employment accounted for about 50 percent of the reasons why addicted people succeeded in treatment programs. Raising employment rates after treatment could have a similar laudatory effect, providing people with a reason to get out of bed each morning and stay sober all day long.
Finding the Right Program
Treatment programs may not offer specialized modes of care for people who are addicted to Rivotril, as the therapies provided to people who are addicted to all benzodiazepines are much the same. Whether someone takes Rivotril or Klonopin doesn’t matter, as far as addiction treatment professionals are concerned. Both sets of people will need help from licensed therapists and medical professionals in order to heal. Instead of looking for a specialized Rivotril program, it might be beneficial to look for programs with experience in handling prescription drug addictions, perhaps focusing on facilities that can handle detoxification supervised by consulting physicians.
These programs can help clients wean away from Rivotril, and they’re likely to provide the kinds of therapy techniques that have been proven effective in the fight against a benzodiazepine addiction. Looking through online photographs, and following up that browsing with a telephone interview with admissions counselors, can help people to learn more about how the programs work, and why they might be right for them.
At Michael’s House, we help people overcome Rivotril addictions, and we provide targeted care for the mental health concerns that often lie beneath an addiction issue. We provide a drug detoxification program supervised by consulting physicians, and we offer both inpatient and outpatient programs that can help people amend their lives and protect their sobriety. Please call our toll-free line at 760.548.4032 to speak with an admissions specialist to start your recovery from Rivotril addiction today.