Klonopin Addiction and Abuse

Klonopin, or Clonazepam, is a highly addictive prescription drug used to treat panic attacks, anxiety, and seizures.

Addiction to Klonopin

Klonopin is a potentially habit-forming benzodiazepine, which some people become addicted to it in as little as a few weeks. Many people have become addicted to Klonopin taking only the amount prescribed by their doctor. Once an individual is addicted to the drug, their brain can no longer produce feelings of relaxation or calmness without it.

Some signs that you may have a Klonopin addiction include:

  • Persistent cravings for Klonopin.
  • Continued Klonopin use despite negative consequences.
  • Having a desire to quit but being unable to do so.
  • Losing interest in social or professional obligations.
  • Developing legal or financial issues.

“I didn’t really understand right up until the end that it was the Klonopin that was making me crazy. I really didn’t realize it was that drug because I was taking it from a doctor and it was prescribed.” – Stevie Nicks, SFGate, 2001.

Users with a tolerance will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking Klonopin. Klonopin withdrawal symptoms range from intense anxiety to seizures. These symptoms can be deadly, making it dangerous for Klonopin users to discontinue use without medical supervision.

Understanding Klonopin (Clonazepam)

A fast-acting benzodiazepine, Klonopin is the brand name for Clonazepam. Klonopin slows down brain activity to help users feel relaxed. It was initially formulated to help people with epilepsy manage seizures. Later, the drug’s rapid and powerful calming effects were also recognized as a way to treat panic attacks.

Klonopin can be prescribed to ease anxiety and mental withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other addictive substances. Doctors may also prescribe Klonopin for short-term insomnia.

The drug is swallowed as a blue tablet or taken as a quick-dissolve tablet placed on the tongue as often as three times a day. Slang terms for Klonopin include k-pins, tranks, downers or benzos.

Klonopin isn’t recommended for long-term use because of its addictive potential. The drug has a relatively long half-life, or length of time the drug is active in the body.

How Long Do Benzos Stay in the Body?
Brands Ativan Librium Klonopin
Length of Action Short-acting Intermediate Long-acting
Time 10-20 hours 10-30 hours 19-60 hours

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Klonopin Effects and Abuse

When higher than the prescribed dose is taken, Klonopin greatly depresses the central nervous system. This causes a short, euphoric high followed by a hazy, intoxicated stupor. Some people crush Klonopin tablets up into a fine powder and snort them to intensify the drug’s effects.

Signs of a Klonopin overdose include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Unsteady walking
  • Reduced attention span
  • Memory impairment
  • Lack of coordination

Signs of Klonopin (Clonazepam) Abuse

It can be difficult to spot Klonopin abuse because addicted people often learn how to hide their drug use. Individuals with a prescription for Klonopin may be unintentionally abusing the drug by taking unprescribed doses to cope with sudden anxiety or insomnia.

Visible signs of Klonopin abuse might include:

  • Seizures
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Vomiting

The Dangers of Klonopin

The side effects of Klonopin range from mental fogginess to seizures. Many Klonopin users report feeling like they’re in a fog, devoid of empathy and creativity.

An addiction to Klonopin can also spark deadly physical and mental complications. Although it’s prescribed to treat epileptic seizures, Klonopin can actually cause seizures in nonepileptic patients.

Another worrisome reported side effect of Klonopin abuse is suicidal ideation, or the sudden onset of suicidal thoughts and actions.

Other symptoms of Klonopin abuse include:

  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Panic attacks
  • Slowed thinking
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

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Recognizing a Klonopin Addiction

The abundance of the drug on the market makes succumbing to a Klonopin addiction. Many prescription users don’t even recognize their own addiction.

A person suffering from a substance use disorder like Klonopin addiction may show a sudden dismissal of meaningful people or activities, or an inability to control his or her substance use despite trying to quit.

Other signs of a Klonopin addiction include:

  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Depending on Klonopin to manage withdrawal symptoms
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Spending a lot of time getting Klonopin
  • Making persistent, unsuccessful attempts to cut down use

Withdrawal from Klonopin and Treatment

Klonopin withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable. Klonopin users who take frequent, large doses of the drug can experience muscle cramps, shaking and seizures. People addicted to Klonopin often experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and anxiety.

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Increased body temperature
  • Irritability
  • Trouble with coordination
  • Sweating
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Hand tremors
  • Panic attacks

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Duration of Withdrawal

Klonopin builds up in the user’s body over time, and it takes as long as two days for the drug to leave the body. After the drug has completely left the body, people addicted to Klonopin start feeling the symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can last up to 90 days.

Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline

Days 1-3 The first signs of withdrawal appear one to three days after the last dose. Mild anxiety and other mood changes start becoming noticeable. It may also be harder to fall asleep or get a full night’s rest.
Days 7-14 Withdrawal symptoms from Klonopin start to peak in one to two weeks from the last dose. Anxiety and irritability are typical during this time. Those who quit cold turkey may experience intense body tremors, hallucinations or seizures.
Weeks 3-4 Withdrawal symptoms start to fade in three to four weeks. It is still common to have symptoms like anxiety during this time. Some days may be harder than others, but the worst of Withdrawal is usually over at this point.
Months 2+ Mild withdrawal symptoms are still possible up to three months after quitting Klonopin. Those with severe addictions are most likely to continue having noticeable symptoms. Tapering down a user’s Klonopin dose can prevent prolonged symptoms.

Klonopin-specific Treatment Centers

Thousands of people check into rehab for a Klonopin addiction every year. Finding the right Klonopin treatment center depends on the individual’s location, price and personal needs. The best treatment centers for a Klonopin addiction have physicians and certified mental health counselors on staff.

Some top treatment centers for Klonopin addiction include:

Utah Addiction Centers



Questions about treatment?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

Call one of Addiction Center’s treatment specialists now for help finding treatment for your Klonopin addiction.