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Klonopin Addiction

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin has the generic name of Clonazepam. It is a benzodiazepine commonly used to treat various conditions, including anxiety disorders and epileptic seizures [1]. However, due to its low price and easy availability, it has become a widely misused medication in medical and recreational contexts. Someone can develop Klonopin addiction even if they take medication as prescribed by a healthcare provider.

There is concern about their potential to cause withdrawal symptoms. How does Benzodiazepine withdrawal kill you? Heart palpitations are among the last things any anxious individual wants to undergo, but they’re quite common when withdrawing from Klonopin. Benzodiazepines’ cardiac side effects can be fatal without professional healthcare assistance. Klonopin detox at a medically supervised facility can lessen the severity of the symptoms and make the withdrawal process significantly safe and more comfortable to endure.

Can you smoke Klonopin? Smoking is among the fastest drug delivery methods, with the drug reaching the brain in seconds. This also means that smoking Klonopin can have some of the most intense and dangerous outcomes. Can you mix Klonopin and Xanax? Taking benzodiazepines like Klonopin with alcohol (benzos and alcohol), opioid medicines, or other central nervous systems (CNS) depressants (including street drugs) can cause breathing problems (respiratory depression), severe drowsiness, coma, and death.

klonopin addiction
It’s very important to undergo a medical detox program for Klonopin addiction. 

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Is Klonopin Addictive?

Klonopin is a central nervous system (CNS )depressant with a high potential for addiction when taken long-term or in recreational doses or combined with alcohol or other drugs. Taking Klonopin may lead to dependence and tolerance, even when taken as prescribed. Some people may underestimate the addictive potential of Klonopin because it is prescribed to them by a doctor.

Klonopin is often diverted for nonmedical use and sold illegally due to its ability to produce euphoria, relaxation, and feelings of calm in some users. Unfortunately, other users may become dependent on the drug to help keep their anxiety under control. If you or a loved one is currently using Klonopin, educate yourself on the signs of Klonopin addiction to recognize a problem and seek professional help.

How Addictive is Klonopin?

The two serious risks of benzodiazepines such as Klonopin are the potential for abuse, which may lead to overdose, and the development of physical dependence, which may lead to Klonopin addiction. Klonopin enters the bloodstream and makes its way to the brain in an hour, while it can remain in the system for close to three days, depending on the dose size (the half-life is between 18 and 39 hours).

Since Klonopin and other benzodiazepines act on GABA receptors in the brain, there is some cross-tolerance with alcohol, which also affects GABA receptors. As a result, people with a history of alcohol abuse and drug addiction are at a greater risk of developing Klonopin addiction due to the GABA receptors’ changes to the brain’s reward system.

How Long Does It Take To Become Addicted To Klonopin?

Klonopin produces happiness and relaxation, often a desirable alternative when a person struggles with depression or sleeping disorders. That is why developing an “addiction” to this drug doesn’t take long. In some cases, addiction can happen after only three to four weeks of regular use. At this time, the person will experience withdrawal symptoms if they try to reduce or stop taking the drug.

For this reason, most treatment plans for mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder and depression, which involve Klonopin, are limited to no more than thirty to sixty days. When someone struggles with Klonopin addiction (or any benzodiazepine), it is crucial to seek detox and treatment help in a professional addiction treatment setting where medical support is available.

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How Do You Get Addicted to Klonopin?

Klonopin addiction can occur more easily when an individual misuses the prescription drug. Klonopin has been mixed with alcohol, opioid drugs, and even methadone to enhance the potency of these drugs. 

Individuals who use Klonopin without a prescription to get high take the pill differently than prescribed, whether by taking more or crushing the pill instead of taking it whole and by taking the medication more frequently. Through this process, the body develops a tolerance and a need for the drug. 

Klonopin’s most common side effects are ataxia, drowsiness, and behavior problems. However, there are several additional side effects listed on the warning label. 

  • Cardiovascular: Palpitations
  • Dermatologic: Hair loss, hirsutism, skin rash, ankle, and facial edema
  • Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, coated tongue, constipation, dry mouth, diarrhea, encopresis, nausea, gastritis, increased appetite, sore gums
  • Genitourinary: Dysuria, nocturia, enuresis, urinary retention Hematopoietic: Anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia
  • Hepatic: Hepatomegaly, transient elevations of serum transaminases and alkaline phosphatase
  • Musculoskeletal: Muscle weakness, pains
  • Miscellaneous: Dehydration, general deterioration, fever, lymphadenopathy, weight loss
  • or gain
  • Neurologic: Abnormal eye movements, aphonia, coma, diplopia, dysarthria, dysdiadochokinesis, ‘‘glassy-eyed’’ appearance, headache, hemiparesis, hypotonia, nystagmus, respiratory depression, slurred speech, tremor, vertigo
  • Psychiatric: Confusion, depression, amnesia, hysteria, increased libido, insomnia, psychosis (the behavior effects are more likely to occur in patients with psychiatric disturbances).
  • The following paradoxical reactions have been observed: irritability, aggression, agitation, nervousness, hostility, anxiety, sleep disturbances, nightmares, abnormal dreams, and hallucinations.
  • Respiratory: Chest congestion, rhinorrhea, shortness of breath, hypersecretion in upper respiratory passages

These side effects can place additional stress on the body. Additionally, the FDA recommends that individuals prescribed Klonopin be monitored closely for changes and possible side effects.

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klonopin addiction
Trying the Klonopin detox at home would be a grave mistake,

Klonopin Addiction Symptoms 

Someone with Klonopin addiction will continue taking the drug even if they know that taking it is harmful to them. They may seek Klonopin in high doses even though they see the drug’s negative impact on their life.

Common symptoms of Klonopin addiction may include:  

  • Needing the drug to function.
  • Making excuses to use Klonopin in a way other than prescribed.
  • Neglecting to eat or having a poor appetite.
  • Becoming defensive when discussing use.
  • Experiencing cravings for the drug.
  • Tolerance, or needing to increase the dose to achieve the same effect as before.
  • Missing work, social activities, or hobbies because of drug use.
  • Continuing to use the drug despite any harm it may be causing.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped.

Klonopin Addiction Rate

When benzodiazepines appeared on the scene, this sedative-hypnotic drug class was considered a safer alternative to barbiturates. Barbiturates are less common today because of the risk of abuse, certain side effects, and barbiturates withdrawal.

Benzodiazepines are sedative first introduced in 1900. Valium, the first benzodiazepine on the market, was introduced in 1963, and by 1977, it was the world’s most prescribed drug. While benzodiazepines are not quite as dangerous as barbiturates, mostly because with benzodiazepines, the correct dosage is easier to identify and reduces the danger of overdose. These drugs are highly addictive substances prone to abuse.

Klonopin is just one of the drugs in the benzodiazepine class. Others in this group include Valium (Diazepam), Ativan (Lorazepam), Xanax (Alprazolam), Restoril (Temazepam), and Librium (Chlordiazepoxide). The abuse and overdoses of benzo drugs have steadily risen in recent years. These stats highlight how big of a problem they have become.

According to the SAMHSA [3]:

  • Among adolescents aged 12 to 17 in 2019, 1.5 percent (or 381,000 people) misused prescription benzodiazepines in the past year. The percentages among adolescents remained stable between 2015 and 2019.
  • Among young adults aged 18 to 25, percentages for the past year of misuse of prescription benzodiazepines declined from 5.2 percent (or 1.8 million people) in 2015 to 3.8 percent (or 1.3 million people) in 2019. These estimates in 2019 were lower than those in 2015 to 2018.
  • Among adults aged 26 or older in 2019, 1.5 percent (or 3.2 million people) misused prescription benzodiazepines in the past year. The percentage remained stable among this population between 2015 and 2019.

Symptoms Of Clonazepam Overdose

A standard dose of Klonopin is 0.5 mg. Ingesting too much can result in a Klonopin overdose. While symptoms of an overdose may vary from person to person, they primarily include extreme drowsiness or dizziness, confusion, slow reflexes, fainting, and muscle weakness. Reduced coordination, lowered attention span, memory impairment, and slurred speech are warning signs.

Slowed or labored breathing, unresponsiveness, and loss of consciousness indicate a serious overdose. Respiratory arrest is another sign of a serious Klonopin overdose, as the central nervous system is depressed to the point where the individual stops breathing.

If an overdose is suspected, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. Combining Klonopin with opioids, alcohol, or other drugs can result in death if not treated quickly, so it’s best to call 911 at the first signs of a possible Klonopin overdose.

Klonopin Withdrawal Side Effects 

Withdrawal symptoms for most drugs and substances last one or two weeks after taking the last dose. They may begin within hours of the drug leaving your system and may sometimes come and go. Klonopin withdrawal symptoms may be similar to alcohol withdrawal and include serious side effects. The most damaging side effect of Klonopin withdrawal is grand mal seizure—which happens in as many as 20% to 30% of individuals who withdraw from Klonopin without treatment.

Klonopin withdrawal side effects include the following symptoms: 

  • Anxiety
  • Increase in respiratory rate
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Hand tremors
  • Hallucinations
  •  Grand mal seizures

Benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, are known for having long post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) or protracted withdrawal. Symptoms of post-acute withdrawal may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Feeling depressed
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Problems focusing or remembering things
  • Lack of energy
  • Cravings

“Benzo belly” itself normally starts in the protracted withdrawal phase. It may persist for several weeks after the last dose of the drug. Symptoms normally get better with time but may last a year or more for some individuals.

klonopin addiction
Klonopin addiction is treatable with the help of medically assisted treatment programs with detox to help ease the withdrawal symptoms.

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Effects of Long Term Use of Klonopin

Benzodiazepines such as Klonopin have made their way into popular culture, with many young adults abusing these drugs for a new high. However, the effects of long-term use of Klonopin and other benzodiazepines are not as widely recognized. Abusing these benzodiazepines comes with a pretty significant set of risks. Some individuals consider benzodiazepines more challenging to quit than opioid painkillers.

Benzodiazepines are not meant for use on a long-term basis. Medical practitioners are supposed to prescribe, treat, and remove their patients from the drug as quickly as possible. Ideally, individuals should never have to wonder about the effects of long-term use of Klonopin. However, whether prescribed or not, people still use these drugs over long periods of time.

The impact on cognitive abilities or brain function is one of the most significant side effects of prolonged Klonopin use. Drowsiness, slower reaction times, worse motor abilities, and other adverse effects become more pronounced. Longer-term drug usage decreases a person’s chances of recovering from its impact on the way their brain functions.

How To Avoid Klonopin Addiction?

When you take Klonopin other than directed, such as taking it more frequently or in higher doses, you are at risk of becoming dependent or tolerant of the drug. If you experience benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms when you take the normal amount of the drug later than usual or don’t take a higher than the prescribed amount, you are on the path to Klonopin addiction. Individuals taking Klonopin can become addicted to the drug both psychologically and physically, even when following the prescribed dosage.

Do you think the medicine interferes with other daily tasks and makes you miss work days? You should get assistance to quit taking Klonopin if any of these things are happening to you and you are unsure how to do so. Seizures and other significant withdrawal side effects can occur when you stop suddenly on your own. Get assistance immediately now if you are using Klonopin without a prescription. Self-medication is a life-threatening game to play. Medical detox is the only risk-free method for getting the drug out of your system.

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Klonopin Addiction Treatment

There is a strong link between mental health and substance abuse. Individuals who struggle with mood disorders like depression and anxiety are more susceptible to developing an addiction to Klonopin, often to self-medicate symptoms of their underlying mental health condition. These co-occurring disorders can make each other worse without proper benzo addiction treatment.

To determine the most effective ways to treat benzos addiction, such as Klonopin Addiction,  Ativan AddictionXanax Addictionalcohol, and anxiety meds addiction, it’s crucial first to get an accurate assessment of all the symptoms. Then, when a mental health professional has evaluated the symptoms, it may be determined that another form of mental condition is present and needs a particular type of treatment.

Medically-Assisted Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug abuse. Various benzo detox treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient benzo detox treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.

Psychotherapy for Depression and Anxiety

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of anxiety and depression, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Solution Focused Therapy – is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Substance abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both diseases done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Contact one of our helpful benzos detox treatment specialists today if you or a loved one are struggling with long-term Klonopin addiction and a co-occurring mental health condition such as anxiety and depression. We Level Up can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your specific needs.

klonopin addiction
If you are struggling with Klonopin addiction, therapy is a primary component of long-term healing. Without therapy, people struggling with addiction often relapse.

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