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Klonopin And Alcohol: Can You Mix Them?

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

January 31, 2024

Table of Contents

Mixing Klonopin and alcohol can trigger severe reactions and a range of unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects.

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Both alcohol and Klonopin are CNS depressants, that slow activity in the brain. Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the United States. Klonopin is a branded formulation of clonazepam, a Schedule IV benzodiazepine that is commonly indicated for the treatment of panic disorders and seizures.

If you combine Klonopin with alcohol, it may intensify the effects of the medication. Alcohol is also known to worsen mental health conditions like anxiety disorder.

Discover the dangers of Klonopin mixed with alcohol, get answers to questions like, “Will Klonopin help with alcohol detox”, “can you mix clonazepam and alcohol together ?”, and find out how to connect with the treatment you need to combat addiction to benzos and alcohol.

Can You Take Klonopin with Alcohol?

Can you drink klonopin with alcohol?” is perhaps the most common question asked by those prescribed benzos like Klonopin.

It is never advisable to drink alcohol while using any benzodiazepine medication like Klonopin, as alcohol can intensify the sedative effects of Klonopin and provoke dangerous side effects that include:

  • Confusion
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Respiratory depression

Beyond this, both substances can be habit-forming. The sustained use of alcohol or benzos causes tolerance to form, diminishing the effects and prompting many people to use more of the substance. This pattern of abuse will accelerate the formation of physical dependence, often but not always leading to addiction when untreated.

If you are prescribed Klonopin by your healthcare provider, you should take the medication only as directed. It is also generally recommended that you refrain from alcohol while taking benzodiazepines. 

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Dangers and Warnings of Mixing Klonopin and Alcohol

Klonopin (Clonazepam) and alcohol are both depressants of the central nervous system. When Klonopin is prescribed in small doses, it induces calming, relaxing effects. Regrettably, these effects can lead to the development of addiction when the medication is taken long-term. Clonazepam mixed with alcohol can increase the liklihood and severity of an addiction developing, along with other symptoms. 

Mixing Klonopin and alcohol can lead to increased drowsiness. Additionally, combining CNS depressants can depress heart rate and breathing to potentially life-threatening levels. If this triggers respiratory depression, breathing may slow to the extent that your system is not getting enough oxygen. Symptoms of oxygen insufficiency include pale and clammy skin or a blue tinge to the lips and fingernails. Breathing can stop completely if respiratory depression is not medically monitored.

Another danger of mixing klonopin with alcohol is that the intoxicating effects of both CNS depressants will be enhanced. In addition to triggering extreme drowsiness, coordination will be drastically impaired, increasing the likelihood of accidents, falls, and other injuries.

Klonopin and alcohol in large doses may also be used as date rape drugs. Be warned that some people attempt to spike alcoholic beverages with Klonopin or other date rape drugs like Rohypnol for this purpose – never leave your drinks unattended in a bar.

Can You Drink Clonazepam with Alcohol ?

Many people prescribed clonazepam (Klonopin) have questions like “can you drink on Klonopin?” or “Is it OK to mix Clonazepam with alcohol?”.

Clonazepam is safe and effective when used short-term and as directed by a physician. Taking too much Klonopin can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Mixing clonazepam with alcohol increases the risk of dangerous side effects, serious injury, hospitalization, and death. 

If you are engaging in clonazepam and alcohol use and can’t stop, it’s important that you reach out to a treatment center for help before health risks begin to manifest. 

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How Long After Taking Klonopin Can I Drink Alcohol?

You should never mix Klonopin and alcohol. Drinking on Klonopin is never recommended, as Klonopin has an extremely long elimination half-life. The half-life of a substance is how long it takes the system to eliminate half of a substance. It takes from four to five half-lives for a substance to be eliminated completely. With a half-life of between 18 and 50 hours, Klonopin will stay in the system for several days.

It is advisable to wait for two weeks after discontinuing the use of Klonopin before you consume alcohol unless your physician recommends otherwise.

Can Klonopin Help with Alcohol Withdrawal?  

Will Klonopin help with alcohol withdrawal, then?

Some people who are detoxing from alcohol in a drug rehab or licensed medical detox center are prescribed benzos like Klonopin to reduce the intensity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Klonopin is also effective for treating anxiety and seizures associated with alcohol withdrawal.

Klonopin and alcohol withdrawal do not mix well if the person detoxing from alcohol has a co-occurring benzodiazepine addiction.

Alcohol and Klonopin Withdrawal

If you have been using alcohol and Klonopin, abruptly discontinuing the use of either substance is inadvisable and potentially life-threatening.

Severe alcohol withdrawal may trigger delirium tremens, with symptoms presenting that include nausea, anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and seizures. A supervised medical detox that involves continuous medical monitoring and medications will mitigate complications.

If you have been prescribed Klonopin and you intend to stop using the medication, your prescribing physician can oversee a tapered reduction in dosage and provide support during the benzo withdrawal process. The taper may last for a few weeks or a few months, depending on your specific situation.

Klonopin and alcohol withdrawal is not safe to go through outside of a medically supervised environment as some of the symptoms can be deadly. After you have detoxed from alcohol and Klonopin, ongoing psychotherapy – typically CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) – will help you unpack the psychological side of addiction.

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Get Treatment for Alcohol and Klonopin Dependence at Renaissance Recovery

If you have been mixing Klonopin with alcohol to the extent that physical dependence has developed, you should consult your prescribing physician. They can initiate a tapered reduction in dosage to mitigate severe benzo withdrawal. We can connect you with licensed medical centers near you if you require a supervised medical detox for clonazepam and alcohol use.

At Renaissance Recovery addiction treatment center in Southern California, we can help you address the psychological component of addiction to alcohol and benzodiazepines like Klonopin.

Choose the level of treatment intensity you need from the following outpatient treatment programs for Klonopin and alcohol addiction:

  • PHPs (partial hospitalization program)
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient program)
  • Dual diagnosis treatment programs (for co-occurring disorders)

All treatment programs at Renaissance combine holistic and evidence-based treatments that include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Experiential adventure therapy
  • Aftercare

Call admissions today at 866.330.9449 to combat addiction to Klonopin and alcohol.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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