Klonopin (clonazepam) belongs to a sedative-hypnotic group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It works by slowing down excessive activity in the central nervous system (CNS). When used medically, Klonopin helps control seizures, abnormal muscle movement, and anxiety or panic symptoms.
Because it is a depressant, it also slows down vital body functions like respiration and heart rate. Taking too much Klonopin alone or combining it with other CNS depressants can make you feel tired, dizzy, confused and uncoordinated.
You can develop a mental and physical dependence on this drug, and dependence can easily become an addiction.
“Due to their sedative properties, The Center for Substance Abuse Research reports, “benzodiazepines have a high potential for abuse, especially when used with other depressants such as alcohol or opiates.”1 The likelihood of tolerance, dependence, and addiction increases when you mix Klonopin (clonazepam) with other drugs or alcohol. Negative side effects occur when you take Klonopin alone. Risks increase when you misuse or abuse this sedative in combination with other substances.
Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Opiates
Klonopin mixed with opiate drugs poses serious health risks. You may have prescriptions for both these substances, or you may self-medicate pain or mental health symptoms. No matter the reason for use, combining these substances results in harmful, long-term effects:
- Chronic confusion
- Memory loss
- Lack of coordination
- Slow reflexes
- Digestive problems
These long-term risks jeopardize your health, yet they are not the most pressing concerns regarding drug mixing. Taking benzodiazepines with other CNS depressants like opiates can cause immediate reactions such as extreme sedation, slow breathing, and a slow heart rate. You increase the risk of a serious overdose.
Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Alcohol
This same risk exists when you mix Klonopin with alcohol or other drugs. “Benzodiazepines often are used with other types of medications, including other drugs with abuse potential,” American Family Physician reports, “and these drugs can enhance the toxic effects of benzodiazepines.
The latter interact synergistically with other central nervous system depressants, including other hypnotics, sedating antidepressants, neuroleptics, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, and alcohol. Fatal overdoses in addicted patients often involve the combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol, with or without opiates.”2
Klonopin is a powerful, long-acting anxiolytic drug, and recreational users seek it out for its tranquilizing effects. Because alcohol intensifies the side effects of Klonopin, this combination is popular among polydrug users. Individuals with prescriptions may not realize the possible effects of combining alcohol and Klonopin and do so without thought or concern.
Respiratory failure, loss of consciousness and death may result from taking clonazepam while you’re drinking. Over time, abusing this powerful sedative with alcohol can affect your moods, memory, and cognition, causing depression, memory loss, and learning problems. Any polydrug use exponentially increases overdose risk.
Getting Help for Polydrug Abuse
You can put an end to your drug abuse or addiction concerns. Polydrug use creates additional challenges, but these are not impossible challenges. With the right physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual support, you can find freedom from addiction.
Black Bear Lodge provides a safe refuge for healing. We are located in the private, peaceful foothills of northern Georgia. Call our admissions coordinators today at 706-914-2327. Learn how our individualized treatment plans can help you or a loved one regain health and restore hope for the future.
1 Center for Substance Abuse Research. “Benzodiazepines.” 29 Oct. 2013. Web. Accessed 5 Jun. 2017.
2 Longo, Lance. “Addiction: Part I. Benzodiazepines—Side Effects, Abuse Risk and Alternatives.” American Family Physician. 1 Apr. 2000. Web. Accessed 5 Jun. 2017.