Klonopin and Alcohol Interactions and Private Treatment Options

Klonopin is a benzodiazepine, also known by the generic name clonazepam, according to the National Institutes of Health. The drug is prescribed to control both seizures and extreme, sudden onset panic attacks.

Like most prescription medications, Klonopin should not be taken when alcohol is consumed. As this medication is often prescribed for consistent daily use, this means that individuals using it should abstain from all alcohol use.  Of course, not everyone follows this rule, and there are some negative interactions that can occur.

*Specific Interactions With Klonopin and Alcohol

The specific interactions can vary by individual, duration of Klonopin use and the type of alcohol consumed. However, it general, interaction symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory impairment
  • Trouble breathing
  • Problems with motor control

In addition to these less severe complications when Klonopin is taken with alcohol, there is an increased risk of drug overdose.

Dual Diagnosis for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Individuals who have been using Klonopin in conjunction with alcohol – and are using it in an abusive manner – require private inpatient treatment from a facility that specializes in dual diagnosis recovery. This is specifically important for those that have been prescribed Klonopin for a mental health condition like anxiety.

Effectively, alcohol enhances the effects of Klonopin when the two substances are combined, specifically the drug’s associated negative side effects. Use of alcohol can also decrease the effectiveness of the medication for its intended treatment purpose, and this can be hazardous.

A dual diagnosis treatment program is designed to help individuals ease off drug use when more than just physical health could be compromised. Since a drug like Klonopin is used for the treatment of severe anxiety, addicts are left vulnerable during the recovery process should they experience a panic attack; they must be provided with new coping mechanisms. Dual diagnosis focuses on more than simply helping addicts stop their drug use, which is the goal of most traditional treatment programs. Alternative methods for treating the mental health condition must be determined following an assessment. Therapy and the administration of non-addictive medications may be part of the treatment protocol, which is a priority for the long-term safety of a recovering addict.

*Alternative Medications for the Treatment of Anxiety

There are other medications that can be prescribed to those who have been misusing Klonopin with alcohol and experiencing negative interactions. According to WebMD these include:

  • Lexapro
  • Effexor
  • Xanax
  • Zoloft
  • Pristiq
  • Paxil
  • Valium

Of course, there are negative interactions that can occur when the above drugs are combined with alcohol. The underlying abuse issue must be addressed.