Klonopin and Alcohol Withdrawal

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Drinking alcohol while you are taking Klonopin can be dangerous and result in serious side effects. If you have an addiction to either of these substances, you may want to consider seeking treatment with an alcohol addiction treatment center. Contact us today if you or a loved one is struggling with Klonopin and/or alcohol addiction. We can help.

Klonopin and Alcohol

Klonopin is a prescription medication often prescribed to treat seizure disorders and panic disorders. It has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat these two conditions. Its active ingredient is clonazepam and is part of a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Klonopin is taken as an oral tablet in 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg doses.

Klonopin is a controlled substance regulated by the government because it is known to be highly addictive. The active ingredient — clonazepam — is a Schedule IV drug due to its recognized medical uses and substantial risks. Short-term use can lead to dependence on the drug and withdrawal symptoms in just three to six weeks¹.

Alcohol is also an addictive substance that can lead to abuse if you consume too much. As with most medications, it’s not recommended to mix Klonopin with alcohol. If you have been prescribed this medication, you should stop drinking until you have finished the prescribed dosage.

Klonopin for Alcohol Withdrawal

Klonopin hasn’t been approved by the FDA for use in treating alcohol withdrawal. It may be used off-label as a treatment for alcohol withdrawal because it contains the active ingredient clonazepam, which is often used for this purpose. Off-label use means that it is being used for a purpose different from what it has been approved for. However, other medications in the benzodiazepine class are more commonly used for alcohol addiction treatment¹.

Does Klonopin Help with Alcohol Withdrawal?

Klonopin may be helpful with alcohol withdrawal because it helps calm the person. However, because it can lead to dependency, Klonopin can also cause withdrawal symptoms of its own. These symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in mood or personality
  • Low energy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures

Some of these symptoms are the same or similar to alcohol withdrawal symptoms. When combining the two substances, you can experience more severe side effects.

What Happens When Clonazepam is Given for Alcohol Withdrawal?

Clonazepam has been shown to reduce the preference for alcohol and helped lessen the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal2. The drug works by connecting to the GABA receptors and reducing the neurons that cause excitement, which leads to a calming effect. Other benzos are better suited than clonazepam for alcohol withdrawal³.

Dangers of Mixing Klonopin and Alcohol

Mixing Klonopin and alcohol is dangerous because the two combined increase your risk of serious side effects. You may become excessively sleepy with shallow and slow breathing. The combination can also lead to coma or even death.

Drinking alcohol while taking Klonopin can also increase your risk of dependency. Both substances are addictive, and taking them together can lead to misuse of the medication¹.

Since Klonopin is an addictive substance, it can lead to an overdose when combined with alcohol. Combining two substances that have similar properties is dangerous. Effects of abusing alcohol include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in mood
  • Impaired judgment
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dulled or delayed responses

Those who continue to abuse alcohol may experience many other issues, including loss of memory or trouble with paying attention. They may have difficulty learning and develop various medical issues. Side effects of taking Klonopin include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty walking and poor coordination
  • Difficulty with memory or thinking clearly
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in mood
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Risk of misuse¹

Treating Alcohol Addiction or Klonopin Misuse

If you or a loved one suffer from alcohol addiction, you don’t want to make things worse by using Klonopin to treat withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and even deadly — it’s important to seek help from an alcohol treatment facility. Legacy Healing Centers provide supervised detox in a safe environment where professionals can monitor you. Our treatment specialists can provide the proper medication to help with withdrawal symptoms if they are needed.

The goal at Legacy Healing Centers for detox is to keep you safe and to get you healthy again. The treatment specialist will conduct an evaluation and provide a customized treatment plan based on your needs. This plan often includes an inpatient or partial hospitalization program to help you begin your recovery process. We also provide outpatient treatment if you have a healthy and present support system at home, or obligations you can’t leave behind.

When you’re in treatment, you will go through individual counseling to learn new skills to help you deal with triggers that could lead to relapse. Group therapy reinforces what you learn in counseling and provides support from your peers. Other therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy treatment, assist with your progress. Aftercare programs and 12-step meetings provide ongoing support to prevent relapse in the future.

How to Find Help

If you suffer from alcohol addiction, Klonopin addiction, or a combination of the two, you can get help with Legacy Healing Centers. Our team will support you every step of the way as you work toward recovery. Treatment specialists will answer your call and provide information about our programs to help you make the best decision for your health. 

Contact us today at 888-534-2295 to begin your healing.


  1. Medical News Today (August 2021) Klonopin.
  2. National Library of Medicine. (Mar 2001) Influence of clonazepam and carbamazepine on alcohol withdrawal syndrome, preference and development of tolerance to ethanol in rats.
  3. National Alliance on Mental Illness. (September 2021) Clonazepam