Clonodine Addiction Hotline

Get your clonidine questions answered here. Is clonidine addictive? Can clonidine be abused? The National Rehab Hotline has the answers for you.

Clonidine is a drug that’s frequently used to treat high blood pressure and can also act as a sedative. Like many drugs, if it’s used improperly, it can have dangerous side effects. Can clonidine be abused? Perhaps more importantly, is clonidine addictive? We’re here to answer those questions and many others about the side effects and risks associated with this medication.

What Is Clonidine?

Clonidine is an Alpha-2-Agonist drug. It acts as a sedative and can be used to treat high blood pressure. Doctors also prescribe clonidine in combination with other drugs as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The drug also has other uses, such as treating Tourette’s syndrome, menstrual pain, anxiety and even withdrawal symptoms from other drugs. In 2021, an estimated 1.8 million people in America received clonidine from their physician.

Is Clonidine Addictive?

Any prescription medication has the potential for misuse, but is clonidine addictive? The answer is yes. If someone takes clonidine for a long time, it’s possible for them to become physically dependent on it. It’s often abused alongside prescription painkillers and other drugs, and there’s a high risk of adverse effects from this kind of drug abuse.

Some rehab facilities use clonidine to manage the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids. In general, clonidine has fewer side effects and is less addictive than opioids. When it’s used as part of a properly supervised withdrawal process, clonidine can be incredibly helpful for people trying to free themselves from opioid use disorder. However, if a person takes high doses of the drug or takes it for too long, it can be harmful in its own right.

The Dangers and Side Effects of Clonidine

Clonidine works by decreasing a person’s heart rate and relaxing their blood vessels. When the drug is prescribed to treat high blood pressure, these effects are desirable. However, if the drug is being misused or taken at an incorrect dosage, these effects could be dangerous.

Short-term side effects of clonidine use include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

Mixing clonidine with alcohol can be dangerous because alcohol can increase the effect of the medication.

Long-term use of clonidine can have more serious side effects, including fever, weakness, headaches and heart failure. While some of these side effects are treatable, especially if they’re caught early enough, others may cause lasting damage.

Clonidine also acts on the central nervous system. Long-term use can cause anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties and hallucinations. Anyone who’s experiencing these side effects should seek professional medical advice immediately.

It’s possible to overdose on clonidine, but if the overdose is noticed quickly, it can be treated. Most people who accidentally overdose on the drug will make a recovery if they seek treatment.

Going Through Clonidine Withdrawal

Short-term use of clonidine at a level prescribed by a doctor is unlikely to cause addiction. However, long-term use of the drug can. Some warning signs of addiction include developing a tolerance to your normal dosage and feeling unable to control your use of the drug. Addiction to clonidine can also affect a person’s decision-making capabilities, making them less accountable and more impulsive.

It can be difficult to stop taking clonidine once addicted to it. Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Headaches

In some cases, unsupervised withdrawal from clonidine can lead to fatal side effects. If someone close to you has been taking clonidine and is now showing any of the above symptoms, contact their physician for advice.

It’s possible to stop taking clonidine safely. If you or someone close to you is concerned about clonidine dependence, contact a rehab center that specializes in clonidine to arrange for a medically supervised withdrawal.

Treatment Options for Clonidine Withdrawal

It’s rare for people to abuse clonidine on its own, but some individuals who were prescribed the drug to treat a health issue may become dependent on it. Misuse of clonidine alongside other drugs is slightly more common because clonidine can enhance the effects of some other drugs.

Whatever the reasons someone has for misusing clonidine, they must work with a physician to stop taking the drug. When you go to a rehab center that offers drug detox services, one of the first things that happens is an intake assessment, where you’ll meet with physicians and counselors who’ll give you a health check and talk to you about your drug use.

Depending on your health and whether you’re taking clonidine alongside other substances or on its own, the doctors will devise a detox plan and then monitor your well-being in the days after you stop taking the drug.

Some common symptoms of clonidine withdrawal include:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Gastric distress

Someone who was taking other drugs alongside clonidine may have other symptoms. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the clinic’s doctors may offer medication to help manage the side effects of withdrawal and reduce the risk of complications.

The physical symptoms of withdrawal usually peak within a few days, but other symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, can remain longer.

Once you’ve completed the detox period, the next phase of rehab involves counseling, therapy sessions and other support to help address the emotional challenges of withdrawal. Outpatient therapy programs can last as long as 90 days. They operate on this kind of time line to provide stability and give people a chance to form long-lasting good habits.

Recovery isn’t always a linear process, and those who are addicted to more than one substance may find staying clean particularly challenging. By encouraging regular check-ins and ongoing therapy, rehab clinics increase the likelihood of their patients continuing their efforts to beat addiction, even if there are some challenges along the way.

When to Call a Clonidine Addiction Hotline

If you’re concerned that you’ve become dependent on clonidine or that someone close to you is abusing the drug either alone or alongside other substances, know that you don’t have to try to tackle the problem by yourself.

The National Rehab Hotline is open 24 hours a day and provides free, confidential advice. We can put you in touch with a local rehab clinic that offers detox services. Our compassionate hotline staff understand how difficult it can be to reach out and seek support. They’re trained to offer nonjudgmental help and set you or your loved one on the road to recovery. The sooner you make that call, the sooner you’ll beat clonidine addiction. Call the National Rehab Hotline today.