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Drinking alcohol may be risky. Mixing alcohol with medication may be even riskier. Doctors will dissuade you from consuming alcohol with medication – prescribed or otherwise.

Prescription drugs such as Klonopin are dangerous for people who are already dependent on alcohol or abusing alcohol.  Here are some facts you need to know about mixing alcohol and Klonopin.

What Is Klonopin?

First, we need to understand what Klonopin is and how people use the medication. Klonopin is a brand name for a prescription drug generically known as clonazepam. It is an anticonvulsant and used to prevent, treat, and control seizures in patients.

Klonopin is classified in the benzodiazepine class of drugs, a category of drugs used to treat anxiety.  Doctors commonly prescribe the drug to treat epileptic seizures, panic attacks, symptoms of chronic anxiety, and other anxiety disorders.

As an anticonvulsant, Klonopin exhibits properties similar to depressants, or substances that depress various functions in the body. Alcohol is a substance that is a depressant.  This means that like alcohol, Klonopin may calm the central nervous system (the brain and nerves).

Alcohol, Klonopin, and other benzodiazepine drugs have similar effects on the brain’s neurotransmitters.  They enhance the effects of the GABA neurotransmitter and suppress the activity of nerves.

What Happens When You Mix Klonopin with Alcohol?  

Since both Klonopin and alcohol exhibit depressant effects, combining these substances will intensify their effects. Both Klonopin and alcohol cause drowsiness on their own. Combining the substances produce even more intense drowsiness than when using either substance individually.

Mixing Klonopin and alcohol may produce potentially deadly effects. This is because together, the substances may compete to achieve their natural effects.  In a mixture, Klonopin acts by reducing the activity of the central nervous system. Alcohol reduces the activity of the brain and nerves even further.  This mixture may produce undesirable effects, such as:

  • Depressed breathing or shortness of breath

  • Reduced liver function

  • Impairment of physical coordination

  • Memory loss

  • Increased risk of symptoms associated with overdose

Klonopin and Alcohol Abuse  

Drugs such as Klonopin may be highly addictive. The risk of misuse and abuse is high. This may be a serious concern for treatment therapies that recommend using prescription medication.  Because of its highly addictive nature, Klonopin is included in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s schedule of controlled substances.

While intentional misuse or abuse of Klonopin is uncommon, people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse may be at risk for abusing Klonopin. Using Klonopin may enhance euphoric effects when used with other drugs. It may also intensify other effects of other substances.

Treatment and Recovery  

Mixing Klonopin with alcohol can be life-threatening. Withdrawing from Klonopin after using it for a long time and using it with other substances can also be dangerous.  Expert help from qualified treatment and recovery centers may help reduce the substantial risks of tolerance, dependence, and possible fatalities. Do you know of anyone abusing Klonopin with Alcohol?  Do you have more questions?  If so, reach out to Sunshine Behavioral Health to get your questions answered.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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