Recovery Center Blog

The Dangers of Mixing Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Alcohol

Written By Recovery Centers - March 15th, 2022
The Dangers of Mixing Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Alcohol

Addiction is a complex disease, causing an array of negative life consequences and dramatic changes in behavior. Most of the time, people assume that individuals suffering from addiction only abuse one drug. However, polydrug abuse (the abuse of more than one substance) is more common than people would think.

Alcohol is one of the most popular substances of abuse in America. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “14.5 million (nearly 15 million) people ages 12 and older (5.3 percent of this age group) had alcohol use disorder.”[1]

Individuals suffering from alcoholism commonly mix alcohol with other substances to increase its effects. Klonopin (clonazepam), a benzodiazepine similar to Xanax, is one of the most common drugs to be mixed with alcohol. Mixing Klonopin and alcohol is extremely dangerous and may increase the risk for addiction and other adverse side effects.

What are the Effects of Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. While alcohol use is extremely common, this substance can cause an array of adverse long-term health effects. In severe cases, the health effects of alcohol abuse can become life-threatening.

The effects of alcohol abuse may include:

Alcohol Abuse Symptoms

  • Slurred speech
  • Euphoria
  • Depression or aggression
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of memory
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unsteady breathing or erratic heart rate

Long-term alcohol abuse and alcoholism can lead to serious medical conditions like strokes, alcoholic hepatitis, cardiomyopathy, pancreatitis, and more. When another substance is mixed with alcohol, the long-term health dangers become increased in severity and more likely to occur.

What are the Effects of Klonopin (Clonazepam) Abuse?

Klonopin (clonazepam) is a prescription benzodiazepine medication intended to treat anxiety disorders and seizures. Klonopin is a popular drug of abuse and its effects are comparable to Xanax.

The effects of Klonopin abuse include:

klonopin abuse symptoms

  • Drowsiness or extreme fatigue
  • Blurred vision and slurred speech
  • Memory problems
  • A decline in critical thinking skills
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia

Individuals who abuse Klonopin long-term will suffer from health effects similar to that of alcohol. However, individuals may develop psychological effects like antisocial behavior, aggression, severe memory issues, and even conditions like Alzheimer’s.

When Klonopin is abused with another substance, the effects will be intensified. In the long term, the intensified effects of Klonopin will result in the development of even more concerning conditions.

Who is Most Likely to Mix Alcohol and Klonopin?

Anyone could begin mixing alcohol and Klonopin. Whether it’s due to receiving a new prescription for Klonopin and being unaware of the dangers of mixing it with alcohol or because of polydrug abuse – substance abuse and addiction do not discriminate.

However, certain people face a higher likelihood of polysubstance abuse. In fact, young people who abuse drugs are more likely to combine multiple drugs, like alcohol and Klonopin. According to the National Institutes of Health, 12.1% of undergraduate students reported mixing prescription drugs (like Klonopin) with alcohol.[2]

Other high-risk demographics for mixing Klonopin and alcohol include:

  • People under the age of 25
  • People without a high school diploma
  • Single people
  • People with a history of binge drinking
  • Individuals with co-occurring disorders, especially anxiety conditions

What are the Effects of Combining Alcohol and Klonopin?

Because both substances are CNS depressants, the effects of each drug can become life-threateningly pronounced. For example, individuals may experience depressed breathing, lowered heart rate, and considerable loss of coordination.

The effects of mixing alcohol and Klonopin may include:

  • Significant issues with critical thinking
  • Memory lapses and blackouts
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Increased drowsiness
  • Lowered physical coordination, sometimes leading to dangerous falls
  • Increased effects of each substance
  • Dependency, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms
  • Overdose

Mixing alcohol with Klonopin may cause an increased euphoric effect, however, this mixture can quickly become deadly. Individuals who abuse the two substances should always seek professional substance abuse help.

The Dangers of Mixing Klonopin and Alcohol

When an individual mixes two CNS depressants, they are at an increased risk of experiencing life-threatening consequences.

Mixing Klonopin and alcohol may lead to significantly depressed breathing, heart rate, and respiration. Additionally, this mixture leads to an individual’s motor skills becoming seriously affected. This often causes individuals to experience more accidents and frequent injuries.

Additionally, when individuals experience depressed breathing they will not receive enough oxygen. This would cause the individual’s lips and fingernails to turn blue. In other words, individuals are at extreme risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose when they mix alcohol and a benzodiazepine.

People who experience any of the mentioned dangers of mixing Klonopin and alcohol should always receive immediate medical attention. If the individual is suffering from an overdose, contacting medical emergency services immediately can save their life.

Find Help for Polydrug Abuse and Addiction Today

If you or a loved one suffer from polydrug abuse, professional addiction treatment is necessary. Mixing substances like alcohol and Klonopin only leave individuals more vulnerable to the consequences of substance abuse. Thankfully, addiction treatment centers across the nation will provide you or your loved one with the tool you need to succeed.

Contact Recovery Centers today to get connected with a reputable drug and alcohol rehab near you.

References:

  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1761923/