Is Klonopin Addictive?

Klonopin is a potentially habit-forming benzodiazepine. When asking yourself, how addictive is Klonopin, consider this: some people can become addicted to Klonopin in as little as a few weeks. Even if you are taking the amount prescribed by your doctor, you can still become addicted to it.


Addiction to Klonopin happens because it blocks special receptors in the brain to reduce anxiety, stress, and difficulty relaxing. After you are addicted to Klonopin your brain can no longer produce these feelings of relaxation and calmness without it. This is why people addicted to Klonopin struggle to quit. You may even feel that you are unable to function normally when you do not have it.

An overturned bottle of Lorazepam overturned with pills coming out

Signs of Klonopin Addiction: is Klonopin Addictive?


  • Craving Klonopin
  • Continued Klonopin use despite negative consequences
  • Having a desire to quit but being unable to do so
  • Losing interest in things you used to love
  • Not taking care of responsibilities
  • Developing legal or financial issues


Klonopin addiction starts when you begin to build a tolerance. This means that you will need larger doses of the drug in order to get the same effects that you once had with smaller doses. After your tolerance builds, you might begin taking more than you were originally prescribed. This can eventually lead to using Klonopin simply to get high.


Whether you believe you have an addiction, or you simply used Klonopin for medical purposes, anyone with a developed tolerance will experience withdrawal symptoms. When you stop taking the drug you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These can be intense anxiety, or worse, like seizures. These symptoms can also be deadly, making it dangerous for users to quit.

What is Klonopin?


Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine. The name Klonopin itself is the brand name for clonazepam. The drug slows down brain activity which can help you to feel relaxed. Originally, Klonopin was used to help manage symptoms of epilepsy to manage seizures. The drug’s rapid and powerful calming effects originally became recognized as a way to treat panic attacks, without much concern for ‘is Klonopin addictive,’ and will regular usage become problematic.


  • Klonopin is often prescribed to ease anxiety
  • It is also prescribed to avoid withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other addictive substances
  • Doctors may also prescribe Klonopin for short-term insomnia
  • Klonopin is swallowed as a pill or can be taken as a quick-dissolve tablet
  • It should be 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 generally recommended for long-term use because of its addictive potential
  • The drug has a relatively long half-life

Model of the molecular structure of lorazepam

How Long Does Klonopin Stay in the Body?


As compared to other benzodiazepines, Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine. This means that it lasts anywhere from 18 to 50 hours. Xanax on the other hand is a short-acting benzodiazepine and lasts anywhere from six to 10 hours, while Librium lasts for five to 30 hours.

Side Effects of Klonopin


Although Klonopin is effective in treating severe medical problems like epilepsy, it is still considered an extremely addictive drug with a likelihood to be abused. It is important to note that any type of use of Klonopin without a prescription is considered abuse.

It is also important to be aware that at higher than prescribed doses, Klonopin greatly depresses the central nervous system. This can be extremely dangerous and cause a short, euphoric “high” followed by a hazy, intoxicated stupor. Some people choose to snort Klonopin to intensify the effects.


Side effects of Klonopin include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Fainting
  • Numbness
  • Impaired cognition
  • Confusion
  • Slow reaction time
  • Impaired judgment
  • Reduced libido
  • Peace with a feeling of strong euphoria


Mixing Klonopin With Alcohol and Other Drugs


Klonopin is most frequently abused with alcohol to intensify the effects. This can often lead to blackouts and even respiratory failure. In high enough doses, Klonopin can produce hallucinatory effects. Regardless of the reason for abuse, taking large doses of Klonopin can put users at risk of overdose because Klonopin is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant.

Mixing the drug with other depressants makes it more dangerous, and even more potentially addictive, making clear the definitive answer regarding: is Klonopin addictive?


Signs of a Klonopin overdose include:

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


When you begin to abuse Klonopin you are likely to struggle with normal everyday functions. You may not have overall alertness and even suffer from paradoxical reactions. Paradoxical reactions are the opposite effect of what the drug is supposed to be doing. This means that you can experience increased irritability, anxiety, agitation, and poor sleep. Long-term use of Klonopin can also lead to depression and panic attacks.


Dangerous Drug Combinations


Polydrug use is the act of using other drugs and substances with Klonopin. This is common among Klonopin users who hope to amplify the drug’s effects. Some people often take cocaine or other stimulants to counteract the sedative effects of Klonopin. Another common interaction is using alcohol to enhance Klonopin. This typically adds to the calming effects.


Consequences include fatal overdose and slowing down the central nervous system to the point where you stop breathing. Although taking cocaine and Klonopin may help you to stay awake, it also wears off, making you think you can handle more Klonopin than you thought. This can cause an overdose involving coma, seizures, and death.

Close look at white Clonazepam pills

Statistics of Klonopin Users


  • More than 75,000 people use Klonopin.
  • Over 75,000 people were admitted to the emergency room in 2011 due to complications caused by Klonopin.
  • There are more than 60,000 users in rehab.
  • There were approximately 60,000 admissions to treatment centers in 2008 for addiction to benzodiazepines such as Klonopin.
  • 15 percent of Americans have a bottle of some type of benzodiazepine in their medicine cabinet.


Klonopin Overdose Risk


  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that benzodiazepines, which is the same class as Klonopin, have been involved in 17% of all opioid deaths. Oftentimes Klonopin was abused alongside opioids, alcohol, or both in order to enhance the euphoria.
  • Mixing drugs increases the risk of overdose because the mixture can often increase the potency of the drugs involved.
  • Especially when it comes to using a high-dose, long-acting drug like Klonopin, overdose becomes very likely.
  • In a 2005 report of emergency room visits, it was found that 34 percent of all visits for prescription drug abuse involved benzodiazepines.


Klonopin Withdrawal


If you have used benzos for more than six months, then you have a 40% chance of experiencing moderate-to-severe withdrawal symptoms. The other 60% will still have symptoms, but they will be milder.


Contributing Effects to the Signs and Symptoms of Klonopin Withdrawal


The symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal are similar to alcohol withdrawal. This is interesting because Klonopin is actually used to aid in alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include feeling edgy or irritated, and as though you have the flu. The symptoms that you may have originally pushed you to begin taking Klonopin, such as anxiety and insomnia, may come back.


It is impossible to predict how Klonopin withdrawal will affect you. Even if you have gone through it before, your next time could be completely different. The severity of your symptoms will depend on a few factors:


  • The amount of Klonopin you are currently taking
  • How long you have been taking it
  • If you are mixing it with other drugs or alcohol


Contributing Factors to Withdrawal


Klonopin withdrawal causes both physical and emotional symptoms. These can vary based on the person, and due to different factors as well. This might include other factors such as:


  • How many times you have increased your dose
  • If you regularly mix Klonopin with other drugs or alcohol
  • Whether you mix it with other benzos or z-drugs such as Ambien
  • Your age and physical health
  • If you suffer from severe mental health problems
  • The current state of your mental health
  • Your history of drug and alcohol use
  • Your previous withdrawal experiences


The acute withdrawal stage is serious and begins in the days following your last dose. Acute symptoms can be intense, and even dangerous for some people. Other people may find their symptoms to be more uncomfortable than intense. It is always good to be safe and go through medical detox.


Symptoms of Withdrawal

Illustrated benzodiazepine bottles with brain and capsule shown on labels

Physical Symptoms of Klonopin Withdrawal


  • Hyperventilation
  • Troubled sleeping
  • Muscle spasms
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Blurred vision or other visual disturbances
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Tinnitus
  • Grand mal seizures

Mental Health Symptoms of Klonopin Withdrawal


  • Anxiety
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Nightmares
  • Strange bodily sensations
  • Depression
  • Strange perceptual changes
  • Problems concentrating
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Delusions
  • Confusion
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Distorted body image
  • Suicidal thoughts


Rebound Symptoms of Klonopin Withdrawal


Rebound symptoms are very common when it comes to Klonopin withdrawal. These may be symptoms of the disorder that you originally attempted to control using the medication. This might be using Klonopin to treat the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, and then those symptoms coming back. In the first few days, these can be extremely intense, and is usually an example of tapering off too quickly or “cold-turkey.”

A woman reaching out for help with her Klonopin addiction from a gloved doctor's hand

Getting Help for Klonopin Addiction


Overall, Klonopin addiction and abuse are very serious. Getting help is essential if you wish to get healthy and live the life that you deserve. Contact us today at Find Addiction Rehabs to learn more about the help that we can offer.

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