Klonopin (Clonazepam) Addiction Treatment

Klonopin, the brand name for clonazepam, is one of the most prescribed benzodiazepine medications in the United States.1 While it can be beneficial for the short-term treatment of certain conditions, there are certain risks and side effects associated with the long-term use or misuse of this medication.2

This article will cover what Klonopin is used for, long- and short-term side effects, potential for addiction, and treatment options for someone struggling with Klonopin dependence or addiction.

What Is Klonopin and What Is it Used For?

Klonopin is a prescription benzodiazepine medication used for the treatment of panic disorders and seizure disorders.2,3 Klonopin also is used off-label (meaning not approved by the FDA) to treat:

  • Acute mania.4
  • Restless leg syndrome.4
  • Tardive dyskinesia.4

It is estimated that in 2017 there were 29.2 million prescriptions for clonazepam dispensed in the United States alone.1

Short- and Long-Term Side Effects of Klonopin Use

There is a risk of experiencing side effects when taking benzodiazepine medications, including Klonopin.2 Misuse of Klonopin increases the likelihood of experiencing these side effects, which include:2,4

  • Memory problems.
  • Slowed breathing.
  • Drowsiness and fatigue.
  • Poor motor coordination, including problems walking.
  • Dizziness.
  • Depression.

The long-term use or misuse of Klonopin may increase the risk of certain side effects including physiological dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt reduction or discontinuation of use.2

Is Klonopin Addictive?

Klonopin has a known misuse and addiction potential and is a frequently misused benzodiazepine medication.5  Klonopin misuse often — though not always — involves the use of quantities higher than the maximum recommended dosage; using the medication for non-medical purposes (e.g., to get “high”), using Klonopin in a way other than prescribed, or using the drug with other substances.2

In 2020, 6.2 million people in the United States misused tranquilizers or sedatives (including clonazepam).5 The percentage of people misusing Klonopin was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25, followed by adults aged 26 and older.5

Signs of Klonopin Addiction

Only a qualified healthcare professional can diagnose a substance use disorder (SUD); however, it can be helpful to know what signs to look for in yourself or a loved one if you are concerned about addiction to Klonopin.

There are 11 criteria that are used by specialists to diagnose an SUD.6 Some of these include:

  • Klonopin is taken in higher quantities and for longer periods of time than intended.
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut back or stop Klonopin use, despite a persistent desire to do so.
  • Strong desires to use Klonopin (cravings).
  • Continuing to use Klonopin despite negative consequences to social, relational, and vocational areas.
  • A need for more Klonopin in order to achieve the desired effect, or a reduced effect with the same amount of Klonopin (tolerance).

Is Klonopin Dangerous?

When used as directed, for its intended purpose, and under the supervision of a healthcare provider Klonopin is safe for individuals whose health history does not preclude its use.

Klonopin Overdose

Taking more Klonopin than recommended, more frequently than prescribed, or taking Klonopin with other drugs, like opioids and barbiturates, can result in overdose.4 Symptoms of Klonopin overdose include: 4

  • Decreased reflexes.
  • Confusion.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Double vision.
  • Impaired coordination.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Coma.

Klonopin and Alcohol: Increased Overdose Risk

The misuse of benzodiazepines commonly involves the use of other substances, including alcohol. Combining Klonopin and alcohol (or alcohol with any benzodiazepine medication) increases the likelihood of experiencing serious adverse outcomes, including overdose, respiratory depression, and death.2

Klonopin Dependence and Withdrawal

The risk of developing dependence and experiencing symptoms of withdrawal increases with higher daily doses and longer duration of use of Klonopin.2 However, a person can develop dependence and Klonopin addiction symptoms even if the medication is taken as prescribed by a healthcare provider.3

Abruptly reducing or suddenly quitting Klonopin use may cause withdrawal symptoms, particularly after longer-term use or misuse.2 Withdrawal symptoms may develop within several hours after the last dose used.6 Symptoms of withdrawal include:6

  • Sweating.
  • Increased pulse rate.
  • Hand tremor.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Insomnia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Auditory, visual, tactile hallucinations or illusions.
  • Pyschomotor agitation.
  • Grand mal seizures.

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can be severe and potentially dangerous — especially if you are discontinuing use without medical advice or supervision.7 A medically supervised detox is generally recommended for people who are stopping Klonopin use.7

Medical Detox for Klonopin Withdrawal Management

Acute withdrawal reactions from the abrupt discontinuation of Klonopin can be life-threatening.2,7 In a medical detox program, individuals receive round-the-clock supervision and have immediate access to medical care in the event of an emergency.7 Additionally, while in a medically supervised detox, medications may be used to help mitigate withdrawal symptoms and keep you as comfortable as possible.

While detox is an important first step on the road to recovery, it’s not considered addiction treatment in-and-of-itself.7 Often people will need additional treatment in order to identify and treat underlying triggers associated with Klonopin misuse and to build a strong foundation for long-term recovery.7

Klonopin Addiction Rehab

Greenhouse Treatment Center offers addiction-focused care to help people get on the road to recovery from Klonopin dependence and addiction. Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Greenhouse offers multiple treatment levels including:

Patients participate in evidence-based therapies  led by a caring team of industry experts. Therapies offered at Greenhouse to treat drug and alcohol addiction include:

If you or someone you love are experiencing symptoms of Klonopin dependence or addiction contact our admissions navigators available 24/7 at to find out more about the rehab admissions process, using insurance to pay for rehab, and how to pay for addiction treatment.

Start treatment today at Greenhouse and begin your recovery journey with the highest-quality addiction rehab near you.

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