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Updated on December 7, 2021

Klonopin and Alcohol Interactions

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin is the brand name of the FDA-approved prescription drug clonazepam.

Doctors prescribe it to treat, prevent, and control:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety disorders

Klonopin calms your central nervous system (CNS). This helps you get through sudden attacks as well as generalized anxiety.

Klonopin is considered an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. These belong to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. These drugs affect the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals that the nerves release to communicate.

Other common benzodiazepines include the following:

  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Versed (midazolam)
  • Halcion (triazolam)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide)

Can You Mix Klonopin and Alcohol?

It is not safe to mix Klonopin with alcohol (both are CNS depressants).

When Klonopin is combined with alcohol, the medication can be deadly.

The Klonopin half-life is about 30 to 40 hours. Consult your doctor about consuming alcohol before, during, or for some time after taking Klonopin.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe you a different medication or recommend alternative forms of treatment.

Who is Most Likely to Abuse Alcohol and Klonopin?

People with mental health disorders and those who struggle with substance abuse are at higher risk of abusing alcohol and Klonopin together.

Studies also show that people under the age of 25 and single people are at a higher risk.

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Side Effects of Mixing Klonopin With Alcohol

Drinking alcohol while taking Klonopin (like other drug interactions) can increase certain side effects.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Loss of coordination
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Memory problems
  • Increased heart rate

Mixing Klonopin and alcohol can also be fatal.

Contact your doctor immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing any side effects from taking Klonopin and alcohol.

Dangers of Alcohol and Klonopin Interaction 

Drinking alcohol while taking Klonopin is dangerous to your health.

In some cases, it can even risk your life. Central nervous system depressants like Klonopin and alcohol increase drowsiness and slow your breathing and heart rate.

Combining Klonopin and alcohol can intensify these effects. This can be dangerous since it can lead you to not getting enough oxygen, falling, or seriously injuring yourself.

Can You Overdose on Klonopin and Alcohol?

Yes, you can overdose on Klonopin and alcohol.

It’s easier to have a Klonopin overdose while drinking alcohol because of your impaired judgment. The combination of alcohol can also make certain drugs toxic to your body.

Overdosing can lead to serious harm, including permanent disabilities, and it can kill you.

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Side Effects of Klonopin

The side effects of Klonopin may range from uncomfortable to dangerous. This depends on your dosage and how long you take the drug.

High doses of Klonopin and long-term use of the drug can make side effects worse.

These side effects include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of control of bodily movements
  • Depression
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Memory impairment
  • Loss of sex drive

Klonopin can cause relaxation and euphoria. It can be addictive both psychologically and physically.

Some people abuse Klonopin to combat the anxiety that comes with other substance abuse. But poly-substance abuse can lead to serious consequences. This includes potential Klonopin overdose and organ failure.

Some signs of Klonopin abuse and misuse include the following:

  • Doctor shopping for stronger and more Klonopin prescriptions
  • Using Klonopin despite negative consequences
  • Using Klonopin for reasons that are not medical
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of motivation
  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Withdrawal from personal relationships
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Increased tolerance for Klonopin

Some adverse side effects of Klonopin abuse and misuse include the following:

  • Irritability and agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Panic attacks
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sensitivity to sights and sounds
  • Increased sweating
  • Tingling sensation
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Numbness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased salivation and urination
  • Sex drive changes
  • Seizures
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Cognitive challenges
  • Cravings
  • Psychosis

If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of Klonopin abuse, reach out for help immediately.

Klonopin use can quickly spiral out of control and lead to overdose and even death.

Treatment for Alcohol or Klonopin Addiction

The most important step of recovery is getting help. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for substance abuse and addiction, including:

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient treatment plans are an effective and all-inclusive option for those struggling with addiction. You'll live in secure housing and have access to medical care 24/7.

Depending on your needs, you can choose a 30, 60, or 90-day program with daily therapies. They will also help you set up your aftercare once you complete the program.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

A Partial hospitalization program (PHP) is also known as an intensive outpatient program (IOP). PHPs provide a similar level of care to an inpatient program, but with more freedom and independence for the patient.

Medical care, behavioral therapy, and support groups are included onsite. The main difference is in a PHP, patients go home to sleep. Services may include food and transportation for some patients.

These programs can be suitable for new patients as well as those who complete an inpatient program.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient treatment is a good option for those who have a high motivation to recover and cannot leave their responsibilities. They include therapy, education, and support in an environment that's flexible around your schedule.

Outpatient programs are a great place for new patients to start, or for people who have completed an inpatient or partial hospitalization program.

Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)

There are some medicines that can help reduce the negative side effects of detox and withdrawal. Others can help you reduce cravings and normalize body functions.

Disulfiram, acamprosate, morphine, and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat substance use disorders.

When combined with other evidence-based therapies, MAT can help you overcome your addiction, prevent relapse, and increase your chance of a full recovery.

Support Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon, along with other groups are peer-led organizations that are dedicated to helping people with substance use disorders remain sober.

These groups can be the first step towards recovery or part of a long-term aftercare plan.

Resources

MORE
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  1. “Clonazepam (Klonopin).” NAMI, www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Clonazepam-(Klonopin)
  2. “Clonazepam (Klonopin): Side Effects, Dosages, Treatment, Interactions, Warnings.” RxList, RxList, 25 Apr. 2017, www.rxlist.com/consumer_clonazepam_klonopin/drugs-condition.htm
  3. “Is Mixing Klonopin and Alcohol Dangerous? Risks and Treatment Options.” Addiction Rehabilitation at Windward Way Recovery Center, windwardway.com/alcoholism/mixing-klonopin/.
  4. “Klonopin: Abuse, Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal and Treatment.” Nova Recovery Center Near Austin Texas, 18 Aug. 2020, novarecoverycenter.com/drugs/klonopin/

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