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Updated on September 13, 2023
4 min read

Is It Safe to Mix Klonopin and Alcohol?

Clonazepam is the generic name for Klonopin. It’s an anticonvulsant and antiepileptic drug used to treat various brain-related conditions.

Medical providers initially used clonazepam to treat seizures. But now, they use it more frequently to treat panic disorders and relieve anxiety symptoms.

Can You Mix Klonopin and Alcohol?

You shouldn’t mix Klonopin and alcohol. These substances enhance their mutual effects on the brain and body, almost always leading to complications.

The severity of the complications from mixing Klonopin and alcohol depends on how much of each substance you consume.

Klonopin is typically a safe and effective medication if taken for short periods and not mixed with other substances. It’s dangerous to mix alcohol and any drug in the benzodiazepine class.

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Side Effects and Risks of Mixing Klonopin with Alcohol

There are several dangerous side effects of mixing Klonopin with alcohol, including:

  • Depressed breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Pale or clammy skin
  • Blue tint around the lips or beneath the fingernails 
  • Serious physical coordination impairment
  • Reduced liver function
  • Short- and long-term memory loss

If any of these symptoms are left untreated without immediate medical help, it could lead to death. 

The most severe risk of mixing Klonopin with alcohol is that they enhance one another’s intoxicating effects. They can significantly increase drowsiness and impair coordination even in small doses, leading to severe injury or coma.

How Does Klonopin (Clonazepam) Work?

Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine (tranquilizer). Benzodiazepines are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, slowing brain activity and leading to sedation or relaxation.

Klonopin is a prescription medication that is taken orally as a tablet. The effects of long-acting benzodiazepines like clonazepam typically begin less than one hour after ingestion and last between five and ten hours.

Klonopin is one of the most commonly prescribed medications to ease anxiety and treat withdrawal symptoms. However, medical professionals do not recommend Klonopin for long-term use due to its addictive potential.

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Side Effects of Klonopin

Several common side effects may occur from using Klonopin, including:

  • Tiredness or drowsiness
  • Depression or other mental health episodes
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of memory and other memory problems
  • Issues with coordination or balance

Klonopin may also cause more severe side effects, which include:

  • Severe drowsiness and confusion
  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Involuntary eye movement
  • New or worsening seizures
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Can You Overdose on Klonopin??

Yes. It is possible to overdose on Klonopin. The risk of overdose increases if you mix it with alcohol.

Overdosing on clonazepam alone is rarely fatal. But when combined with alcohol or other drugs, it creates dangerous drug interactions that often cause serious harm and possibly death.

Some signs and symptoms of an overdose of Klonopin and alcohol together may include:

  • Increased drowsiness
  • Serious confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Slowed breathing
  • Stopped breathing
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

Many treatment options are available for alcohol use disorder (AUD) and addiction, including:

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient treatment takes place at a licensed residential treatment center.

These programs provide 24/7 comprehensive, structured care. You'll live in safe, substance-free housing and have access to professional medical monitoring. 

The first step of an inpatient program is detoxification. Then behavioral therapy and other services are introduced. These programs typically last 30, 60, or 90 days, sometimes longer. 

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) provide similar services to inpatient programs. Services include:

  • Medical care
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Support groups
  • Customized therapies

However, in a PHP program, you return home at the end of the day. Some treatment centers provide food and transportation, but these services vary by program.

PHPs accept new patients and people who have completed a shortened inpatient program of 1 to 2 weeks but still need focused recovery care.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient treatment is less intensive than inpatient or partial hospitalization programs.

These programs organize your treatment session based on your schedule. Outpatient treatment aims to provide therapy, education, and support in a flexible environment.

They’re best for people who are highly motivated to recover and cannot leave their responsibilities at home, work, or school. Outpatient programs are often part of aftercare programs once you complete an inpatient or PHP program. 

Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)

Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) uses medications in alcohol addiction treatment.

Some medicines can help reduce the adverse side effects of detoxification and withdrawal. Others can help you reduce cravings and normalize body functions. The most common medications used to treat AUD include:

When combined with other evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), MAT can help prevent relapse and increase your chance of recovery.

Support Groups

Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) are open to anyone with a substance use disorder.

They are peer-led organizations dedicated to helping each other remain sober. Support groups can be the first step towards recovery or part of a long-term aftercare plan.

Summary

Klonopin and alcohol are a potentially dangerous combination. Combining the two can lead to serious drug interactions.

Fortunately, many treatment options are available for those struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and addiction. Talk to a professional to know which treatment plan is best for you.

Updated on September 13, 2023
6 sources cited
Updated on September 13, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Clonazepam.” National Institute of Health.

  2. Kacirova et al. "A Case Report of Clonazepam Dependence: Utilization of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring During Withdrawal Period." Medicine (Baltimore), 2016.

  3. Basit H., Kahwaji, CI. “Clonazepam.” StatPearls Publishing, 2020. 

  4. “Klonopin Tablets (Clonazepam).” United States Food and Drug Administration.

  5. Wang et al. "The Efficacy and Safety of Clonazepam in Patients with Anxiety Disorder Taking Newer Antidepressants: A Multicenter Naturalistic Study." Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci, 2016.

  6. "Drug Fact Sheet: Benzodiazepines." DEA.gov.

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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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