Klonopin (Clonazepam) Addiction

Doctors may prescribe Klonopin, the brand name for clonazepam, to treat panic disorder or seizures. It may be used for other conditions as well. While it can be helpful for its intended purposes, benzodiazepines like Klonopin can be misused, which increases the risk of dependence and addiction.1

This article will help you understand what you should know about Klonopin, including what is Klonopin, Klonopin uses, whether Klonopin is addictive, signs of Klonopin addiction, Klonopin dependence, how medical detox can help with Klonopin withdrawal, and how to find Klonopin addiction treatment.

What Is Klonopin?

Klonopin is a prescription benzodiazepine and sedative medication. Like other benzodiazepines, Klonopin is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, which means that it slows down an otherwise over-excited central nervous system.2,3

Klonopin Uses

What is Klonopin used for? Klonopin is FDA-approved to treat panic disorders and certain kinds of seizure disorders. Doctors may also prescribe Klonopin off-label to treat additional conditions, such as restless legs syndrome, mania, alcohol withdrawal, and tardive dyskinesia (sudden, irregular movements of the face and body that a person can’t control).1,2

Klonopin is typically intended for short-term use due to its potential for dependence and risk of misuse. Dependence can occur even if you take the medication as directed but can occur more quickly if it is regularly used at higher doses.1

Klonopin Side Effects

Using this medication can result in short-term Klonopin side effects and is associated with with potential long-term health risksTheir duration and severity  may be affected by Klonopin dosage, length of use, the reason you’re taking Klonopin, your overall level of health, whether you also use alcohol or other substances (including prescription medications or over-the-counter supplements), and other individual factors.3

The most common short-term side effects have been reported to include:3

  • Drowsiness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Poor motor coordination, including problems walking.
  • Dizziness.
  • Depression.
  • Memory problems.

Misuse of benzodiazepine medications, including Klonopin, has been associated with a number of adverse effects. These include:3

  • Gastrointestinal distress, including pain and indigestion.
  • Memory impairment, including amnesia.
  • Poor muscle control and tremors.
  • Confusion and concentration difficulty.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Disorientation.
  • Dizziness or vertigo.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Aggression and irritability.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.

Severe effects from the misuse of Klonopin, both alone and in conjunction with other substances, can include:3

  • Convulsions.
  • Seizures.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Mania.
  • Psychosis.
  • Catatonia.
  • Delirium tremens.
  • Suicidal ideation.

Misusing benzodiazepine medications, including Klonopin, may increase the likelihood of developing long-term effects, which can include and as well as withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly cut down the dose or stop using Klonopin, and addiction.3

Is Klonopin Addictive?

Yes, Klonopin can be addictive. As a Schedule IV controlled substance, Klonopin has a recognized potential to cause dependence and addiction—even when using it as directed. People who misuse benzodiazepines almost always take doses that are higher than prescribed, and they commonly combine benzos with other substances, such as alcohol and opioids.3

Prescription drug misuse, also sometimes referred to as non-medical use, means that a person takes a medication in doses or ways other than prescribed, uses someone else’s prescription—even if it’s for a valid medical problem, or takes it to feel euphoria, or to get high. Misuse can increase the risk of addiction, which is diagnosed as a substance use disorder.5

According to the  2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 4.8 million people aged 12 and older misused prescription benzodiazepines in the past year—with 1 in 4 of those people reporting misuse of clonazepam.7

Additionally, 1.2 million people aged 12 and older had a prescription tranquilizer use disorder or sedative use disorder (the diagnostic terms used by the NSDUH that include benzodiazepine addiction) in the past year.7

Signs of Klonopin Addiction

Only a qualified healthcare professional can diagnose a substance use disorder, but knowing what to look for can be helpful for getting necessary treatment if you or someone you care about are struggling with Klonopin misuse or addiction.

Someone who is misusing prescription drugs may display specific signs or actions, such as:8

  • Seeking multiple prescriptions or doctor shopping.
  • Forging prescriptions.
  • Buying diverted pharmaceuticals on the illicit market.
  • Having someone else’s prescription or their prescription bottles.

Healthcare professionals use diagnostic criteria as outlined in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to guide their diagnosis. To be diagnosed of sedative use disorder, a person must meet at least 2 of the following criteria within a 12-month period:10

  • Taking sedatives (including benzodiazepines like Klonopin) in increasing amounts or for longer periods of time than originally intended.
  • A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control sedative use.
  • Spending a lot of time in activities that are necessary to obtain sedatives, use them, or recover from their effects.
  • Cravings, or strong desires to use sedatives.
  • Recurrent sedative use results in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Continuing sedatives use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of Klonopin.
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of sedative use.
  • Recurrent use of sedatives in situations where it is dangerous to do so (such as driving or operating machinery).
  • Continued sedative use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by Klonopin use.
  • Tolerance, which means you need to take higher amounts or more frequent doses to feel the same effects, or that you experience a markedly decreased effect with the same amount of Klonopin. (This criterion cannot be used in diagnosing in someone using Klonopin as prescribed by a doctor, as tolerance is a natural adaptation that can arise as a result of therapeutic use.)
  • Withdrawal, which means you develop unpleasant and uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms when you stop using Klonopin. (This criterion cannot be used in diagnosing in someone using Klonopin as prescribed by a doctor, as tolerance is a natural adaptation that can arise as a result of therapeutic use.)

Klonopin Dependence & Withdrawal

Continued use or misuse of Klonopin can result in physical dependence on the drug. Once dependence develops, a person will experience withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to suddenly stop or reduce their dose.1,3

Klonopin withdrawal can be severe and is associated with certain symptoms (e.g., seizures) that can be life-threatening. Treatment professionals typically recommend inpatient medical detox to minimize the risk of serious complications and ensure patient safety and comfort during the process.3,11

Klonopin Addiction Rehab in Florida

Continuing addiction treatment after detox is important to minimize relapse and to help cement your recovery efforts. Treatment can involve different components, such as various types of behavioral therapy, counseling, support groups, evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions, and aftercare.12

Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can teach you new skills and different ways to change your thoughts and behaviors related to substance use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that CBT has been shown to be an effective tool to help people stop benzodiazepine use.9,12

Recovery First offers a complete continuum of care that includes different levels of addiction treatment that can begin with detox and involve a transition to one of our comprehensive addiction treatment programs, such as:

  • Inpatient addiction rehab. Inpatient treatment can be a beneficial option for many people, including people with severe addictions, people who have co-occurring disorders or physical health conditions, people who need more intensive care, people without safe or stable housing, and people without supportive family or friends.13
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP). This is an intensive, highly supportive form of outpatient treatment. You live at home but travel to our outpatient facility, where you’ll participate in our program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for 5–7 days each week, depending on your needs. PHP is sometimes used as a stepdown from inpatient treatment or as a form of treatment for people who require a high level of care but are unable to commit to an inpatient stay.14
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP). Is a structured form of outpatient treatment that is less intense than partial hospitalization but more supportive than standard outpatient care. Our program takes place on 3 evenings a week—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., so you can continue to live at home, work, and attend to other responsibilities during the day.14

After completing an intensive program, you might transition to another less structured form of outpatient care or move on to aftercare, which will help you maintain your recovery.12

If you want to learn more about rehab or you’re ready to start treatment at our drug rehab near Miami, please contact our admissions navigators at to find out more about the admissions process, how to pay for rehab, and paying for rehab with health insurance.

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