Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax? Short and Long-Term Effects, Dangers & Treatment
Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax? What is Klonopin?
Klonopin (Clonazepam) It is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic type of drug. It is used to prevent and control seizures and panic attacks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, warns that taking Clonazepam can be addictive. Also, users may become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Therefore, a person should not attempt to quit cold turkey on their own due to the dangerous side effects or withdrawal.
Clonazepam detox can be potentially fatal and requires medical treatment and supervision. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), during the 7 years from 2005 to 2011, almost a million (an estimated 943,032) emergency department (ED) visits involved benzodiazepines alone or in combination with opioid pain relievers or alcohol and no other substances.
If a person is suffering from Klonopin addiction, they will experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and anxiety.
These symptoms develop because the brain and other body systems have become chemically dependent on the drugs to function normally, is highly recommended to take the Klonopin detox process with medical help. Some people abuse the drug for its sedative effects, providing a false sense of relief. Moreover, it takes as little as 3 weeks to develop a dependence on Clonazepam. When this happens, the user needs to keep taking the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Even when taken as prescribed, Clonazepam and other benzodiazepines can produce withdrawal symptoms after only 2-3 weeks of use. Chronic abuse of these medications increases the likelihood that you could experience severe withdrawal syndrome. Because withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and challenging to manage alone, you should consider entering a detox program. Clonazepam detox is a treatment process for people who are suffering from acute intoxication and withdrawal.
Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax? What is Xanax?
Xanax, a brand name for alprazolam, is a powerful benzodiazepine that is only recommended for use for up to six weeks. Despite that, American physicians continue to refill prescriptions at often alarming rates. As a result, the number of people seeking treatment for primary benzo addictions continues to rise — from 6,929 in 2002 to 17,019 a decade later in 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Some people who are dependent on Xanax never abused drugs before. They were suffering from anxiety and looking to the medical field for support and relief. They started using Xanax and felt a vast improvement in symptoms. Some then assumed more of the drug would produce an even greater effect, so they misused it in larger doses. Others just use it for too long, and often with a doctor’s permission. They don’t realize they’re addicted to it until it’s too late.
Some people may try to decrease their dose and then experience withdrawal symptoms that mirror their initial anxiety. They assume they cannot cope without the drug and keep using or abusing it. Sometimes the anxiety symptoms that resurface are caused by substance-induced symptoms that would otherwise dissipate if the drug abuse stopped.
Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax?
Although drugs are dangerous on their own, the dangers involved with mixing them are even greater. Oftentimes, one substance enhances the effects of the other. When people mix drugs, they put themselves at risk of overdose, even more so than when they’re only abusing one substance at a time. Two drugs that are sometimes taken together are Klonopin and Xanax.
Difference Between Klonopin and Xanax
The differences between Klonopin and Xanax are:
- Klonopin is specifically used in the treatment of panic disorder and is also effective at controlling seizures.
- The effects of Klonopin last longer than Xanax, which means Klonopin does not need to be taken as frequently throughout the day.
- Xanax requires regular dosing to keep blood levels constant.
- Both drugs can cause physical and psychological dependence, particularly when taken at higher dosages for more extended periods; however, more severe withdrawal and rebound reactions have been reported with Xanax on discontinuation.
- The activity of Xanax is affected by race (people of Asian descent achieve higher concentrations and activity of Xanax lasts longer), concurrent liver or kidney disease, alcoholism, and obesity.
Klonopin and Xanax are both benzodiazepines and help relieve symptoms of anxiety.
Mixing Klonopin and Xanax
Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax? Since Klonopin and Xanax cause the same type of effects, people use the two drugs in combination with one another to enhance the effects of each drug. Klonopin lasts longer than Xanax; however, Xanax has a shorter half-life and affects people more quickly than Klonopin does. People who abuse benzodiazepine tranquilizers desire the relaxed feeling they cause. Additionally, people who use Klonopin and Xanax together want to relieve tension.
If tolerance for one of the drugs has developed already, people who use these two drugs together may be trying to feel the same effect they once felt from earlier use. They might also be trying to extend how long the “high” lasts.
Klonopin and Xanax Side Effects
What Are the Short-Term Risks of Taking Klonopin with Xanax?
People who abuse Xanax without any other substance are at risk for stomach issues, like nausea and vomiting. Those who abuse the drug may have double or blurred vision. They might also experience confusion, memory impairments, and a lack of focus. They might lose coordination of their muscles as well. Drowsiness and disorientation are common. Slurred speech and difficulty producing words are also possible. These symptoms are the same in those who take Klonopin. When the two drugs are taken together, these effects are amplified.
Generally, the use of Klonopin or Xanax alone isn’t deadly, as noted by CBS News. However, these drugs oftentimes become deadly when they’re mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Medical News Today states that Xanax alone can cause mild to severe symptoms from an overdose. When taken with Klonopin, the symptoms are heightened.
In 2005, there were 57,419 emergency room visits involving Xanax, as noted by the SAMHSA. In 2011, the number of cases involving Xanax was 123,744. Of the 1.2 million emergency room visits involving a prescription drug, 10 percent involved Xanax.
Of all the cases, 81 percent involved Xanax mixed with another substance, such as Klonopin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated the number of visits to the emergency room for the nonmedical use of benzodiazepines increased by 89 percent from 2004 to 2008. Because Xanax is more toxic than other benzodiazepine tranquilizers, combining it with another benzo like Klonopin increases the possibility of a severe overdose.
Because drugs affect the brain and can cause extreme fluctuations in mood, suicide attempts after taking pharmaceutical products do happen. Additionally, some people purposely overdose on substances to commit suicide. In fact, according to SAMHSA, pharmaceuticals led to more emergency room visits for suicide attempts than illicit drugs. Benzodiazepine tranquilizers were the second most common drug involved in emergency room visits for drug-related suicide attempts. In 2010, 28.4 percent of drug-related suicide attempts involved benzodiazepine tranquilizers. Xanax was involved in 10.6 percent of these attempts.
What Are the Long-Term Risks of Taking Klonopin with Xanax?
Mixing Klonopin and Xanax regularly has the potential to increase the severity of the long-term consequences of benzodiazepine tranquilizer abuse. Chronic use and abuse of drugs in this classification can cause cognitive deficits. For instance, individuals who abuse these substances together may have a difficult time focusing or issues with concentration. They may have difficulty speaking. Memory impairment can develop. Generally, the impairment is mild and primarily affects people’s short-term memory.
These drugs, especially when combined, have the potential to cause brain damage. People who abuse these substances together regularly will experience delirious states. Depression can develop as a result of chronic Klonopin and Xanax abuse. It’s also possible that somebody abusing these two substances together frequently will have psychotic experiences and even act out with aggression. In addition, taking Klonopin with Xanax frequently can lead to impulsive behaviors and mood swings. Depression can occur as well.
Tolerance will occur from taking these two substances together. This means people require more of each substance to achieve the same effect. In general, taking two benzodiazepines together increases the chances of developing an addiction, and this risk is increased with higher doses of the drugs.
Benzodiazepines can result in the rapid formation of physical dependence, and reducing dosages too rapidly or suddenly stopping use can result in severe and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. The risks are even greater for those who take two tranquilizers together like alprazolam and clonazepam. Both of these medications enhance the activity of the GABA receptors, which reduces overall activity in the brain. Without the drugs, the brain goes into an overactive state to compensate, which can lead to seizures, convulsions, or even death. The associated mood changes can cause suicidal thoughts and tendencies. In as little as five hours from last use, people can begin to experience the effects of withdrawal.
People who become addicted to the practice of combining Klonopin with Xanax may experience sleep disturbances once they stop taking the drugs. They may suffer from anxiety, tension, depression, irritability, mood swings, panic attacks, and psychosis. People who go through withdrawal from these drugs can experience muscle pains, spasms, and aches. They might have difficulty concentrating or cognitive difficulties. Confusion, loss of memory, and abnormal sensory perception are possible as well. Some people have headaches, sweating, and heart palpitations due to the withdrawal process. Benzodiazepine withdrawal, especially from using two drugs in this classification simultaneously, can even cause hallucinations.
Recovery from this type of polysubstance abuse is possible, but it requires professional assistance to ensure safety during the withdrawal process. With medical detox, a supervising doctor will reduce the amount of each drug slowly, so the body can adjust to taking less. If symptoms of withdrawal develop, the taper is slowed to prevent complications. The slow and gradual tapering process tends to happen over months. The exact duration of the taper depends on how long the drugs were taken and how much was taken each time; co-occurring physical or psychological conditions are also taken into account.
After withdrawal, comprehensive addiction therapy is needed. Without therapy, relapse is highly likely since only the physical aspect of addiction is addressed with detox.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common form of therapy for benzodiazepine addiction. CBT addresses the learning processes underlying substance use disorders. It involves working with a therapist to develop a set of healthy coping strategies.
Research has shown that when used alongside tapering, CBT is effective in reducing benzodiazepine use over 3 months.
Other common behavioral therapies include:
- Self-management training
- Cue exposure
- Individual counseling
- Marital or family counseling
- Support groups
Reclaim Your Life From Klonopin and Xanax
Addiction is a condition that can cause major health problems that should not be taken lightly, including serious side effects like brain damage and seizures. We Level Up rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from addiction with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.