Medications go by several names. There’s usually the generic name, a family name, and a brand name. If a drug is misused, it may also have one or more street names. Clonazepam is a drug in the benzodiazepine family. It’s sold under brand or trade names like Klonopin and Rivotril. Because it produces a sense of calm and relaxation, it’s also often misused or used without a prescription to get high.

What Does Clonazepam Do?

Clonazepam is used to treat any of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorders
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Alcohol withdrawal

Like other benzodiazepines, it works by decreasing activity in the brain and depressing the central nervous system. Clonazepam comes in tablet form, but the pills can be crushed or snorted to achieve a more immediate and powerful high.

Even when used as prescribed, its effects can lead to dependence and addiction. When individuals start turning to friends, family members and dealers to get more of the drug, they may begin referring to it by street names.


Why Do Street Names for Clonazepam Exist?

Street names help keep drug use and drug deals secret or inconspicuous. Knowing these slang terms can help friends and family members determine the substances a loved one is using. The most recognizable street name for clonazepam is KPin. Other terms used to refer to the drug include the following:

  • Benzos – short for benzodiazepine, the class of drugs clonazepam (Klonopin) belongs to
  • Tranks – short for tranquilizers
  • Downers – a common name for central nervous system (CNS) depressants
  • Super Valium – while Klonopin and Valium are not the same, Klonopin is referred to by this name to demonstrate the similar effects of the two drugs
  • Pin – derived from Klonopin

These are just a few of the many names used to refer to clonazepam. Old names fall out of use and new ones arise regularly. As Time explains, “As adults or authorities become wise to what one term means, that’s a signal that it’s time for a new one.”1 Street names change regularly to keep ahead of the law, in line with pop culture and more. However, no matter the term used, if you think a loved one is referring to drug use, it’s time to look for more signs and learn what to do next.

What Are the Signs of Clonazepam Abuse?

Many people who abuse drugs are determined to hide the signs of their drugs abuse so that they will not be forced to quit. In fact, this is so common that the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency explains that secrecy itself is one of the primary signs of addiction.2 The very fact that a loved one is keeping secrets, acting suspiciously or attempting to hide what or how much of a substance he or she uses should make you start to take notice.

Additionally you can look for other behavioral changes such as the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Weak academic or professional performance
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Irresponsibility with finances
  • Use of slang terms such as those mentioned above
If your loved one has to go without clonazepam for a few days, you may also notice the following withdrawal symptoms:
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Panic attacks
  • Memory loss
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hallucinations

When you notice any signs of addiction or suspect a substance use disorder, it’s time to start looking at intervention and treatment options.

Treatment for Clonazepam Abuse and Addiction

Ending clonazepam abuse begins with getting your loved one into treatment. Talk to him or her about the street names you hear, the signs of addiction you see, the worries you have. Ask him or her to talk to a medical or mental health professional. If these early interventions fail, you may want to hire a professional interventionist who can help you reach out more effectively.

Once your loved one agrees to treatment, he or she begins recovery with a detox program. Weeks or months of rehab may follow. All phases of recovery should involve compassionate, professional support and integrated care for co-occurring substance use, physical and mental health disorders.

If you or someone you know may be misusing clonazepam, reach out to Black Bear Lodge. Call our toll-free helpline, 706-914-2327, and learn more about signs and symptoms of addiction and what you can do to start making a real change today.


1 Steinmetz, Katy. “420 Day: Why There Are So Many Names For Weed.” Time. 20 Apr. 2017.

2 “Signs and Symptoms.” National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. 19 Dec. 2016.