Klonopin Symptoms And Warning Signs

Klonopin (clonazepam) is a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders, including panic attacks. It is also used to treat epilepsy, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome and is classified as a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substance Act.

Considered a strong medication, Klonopin produces calming, hypnotic, sedative-like effects on the brain. Over time, these effects can lead to increased tolerance and misuse, developing into an addiction.

Knowing the symptoms and warning signs of Klonopin misuse can help you or a loved one recognize when it’s time to get help.

Short-Term Effects Of Klonopin

Someone taking Klonopin as prescribed will experience muscle relaxation, a reduction in anxiety, and drowsiness. Effects of Klonopin use may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Slow breathing
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems

The more someone misuses a sedative, their drug-taking behaviors can escalate. You may start to see changes in how they interact personally, professionally, academically, and socially.

Signs My Loved One Is Abusing Klonopin

Whether they’re obtained illicitly or with a prescription, benzodiazepines like Klonopin are the third most abused drug class in the US. Researchers have found that many people with a benzodiazepine prescription consistently misuse the drug by taking more than they are prescribed, which can lead to running out of a prescription early. They also found that many people take the medicine in a way that is not prescribed, such as crushing and snorting it instead of taking it orally.

Below are some signs that suggest Klonopin misuse and abuse:

  • Taking another person’s prescription of Klonopin
  • Purchasing Klonopin from illicit sources
  • Trading drugs or alcohol for Klonopin
  • Visiting multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions
  • Consuming Klonopin and other drugs or alcohol simultaneously
  • Experiencing negative consequences of misuse, such as an overdose
  • Exhibiting criminal behaviors and possible legal consequences
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they go without the drug

Misusing Klonopin can also affect a person’s personality, leaving family and friends feeling helpless.

Multi-Substance Misuse

People who misuse other drugs, such as cocaine, methadone, and alcohol may also concurrently take Klonopin to produce an added effect. For example, if someone consumes cocaine to experience a stimulating high, they may take Klonopin to reduce it and balance the effects of both drugs. Klonopin mixed with methadone or alcohol may cause a euphoric effect in some.

When someone misuses more than one substance, they may have a polydrug use disorder. Some people may take the drugs simultaneously to get the effects of the mixture of drugs, while others may take one drug for a few days and switch to another drug and then to another. Both are polydrug use disorders with differing patterns of misuse.

Mixing Klonopin with other illicit, prescription, or even over-the-counter drugs can lead to severe, life-threatening consequences.

Recognizing Klonopin Risk Factors And Warning Signs

Some people are more susceptible to developing a substance use disorder (SUD) with Klonopin than others. They have risk factors that make their misuse more likely to turn into addiction. Knowing how the risk factors apply to you or a loved one is essential in preventing and assessing addiction.

Risk factors do not guarantee addiction, but the more you have, the more vulnerable you become. Below are several risk factors that may influence your susceptibility to Klonopin misuse:


If your family members struggle with addiction, you likely have the genes associated with it. Addiction applies to substances, behaviors, and more.


How the drugs make you feel when you first start taking them can influence your continued use. Some people hate feeling out of control, while others welcome a feeling of escape from their stressful lives.

Past Trauma

People who have experienced trauma and have not dealt with it through counseling are more likely to develop an addiction. Some misuse drugs to help them cope with the memories of the event.

Mental Health Disorders

Having an untreated mental health disorder like anxiety, bipolar, or post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to some misusing drugs to reduce their symptoms.

Home Environment

People who live in a chaotic, abusive home environment are more likely to misuse drugs to cope. They may also live with family and friends who misuse drugs like Klonopin.

Peer Pressure

Hanging around people who misuse substances makes it harder to say no to participating in unhealthy behaviors.

Experimenting With Drugs At A Young Age

Using any mind-altering substance before the brain stops developing changes the way the brain functions and develops, making it more likely to misuse substances as an adult.

Work, School, And Social Problems

Getting along with others is a significant factor in preventing addiction. Someone struggling to make connections at school, work, or socially is more likely to misuse drugs to help them cope. Some may misuse Klonopin to help them relax in social settings.

If you have any of these risk factors, consider them as warning signs of a possible SUD.

Behavioral Changes With Klonopin Misuse

When someone develops an addiction to Klonopin, their behaviors tend to change. Recognizing behavioral changes lets you know it is time to seek treatment.

Behavioral changes may include the following:

  • Having poor hygiene and not caring as much about their appearance
  • Fighting or having problems with family and friends more often than before
  • Missing important events with family and friends
  • Missing work or school
  • Experiencing legal trouble
  • Living a different schedule than before, like sleeping all day and staying up all night
  • Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Preferring to isolate rather than being social
  • Becoming easily irritated, annoyed, and aggressive
  • Acting defensive when questioned about their behaviors

Every person may show different warning signs of developing an addiction to Klonopin. Aside from those listed above, some may appear to have increasing anxiety, depression, or a mental health disorder. You may also notice them running out of their prescription earlier than expected or contacting doctors to try and get more.

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one misuses Klonopin in any way, it’s time to reach out for help. Whether you are taking more than prescribed, taking someone else’s prescriptions, or taking it in a way that is not prescribed, help is available.

Contact a treatment provider today for more information on treatment options available to you.