How Long After Taking Klonopin Can I Drink?

Because Klonopin and alcohol are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants, they shouldn’t be used together. 

If you are going to consume alcohol, you will need to wait at least five days after your last dose of Klonopin to avoid any interactions. This time is determined by the half-life of Klonopin, or how long it stays in your body. 

It’s always best to consult your primary care provider if you’re looking to consume alcohol while on Klonopin to get accurate advice on your unique situation. 

 

Dangers of Mixing Benzodiazepines and Alcohol 

Why can’t you drink alcohol while taking benzodiazepines? 

Alcohol and benzodiazepines, like Klonopin, suppress the central nervous system (CNS), which can lead to severe respiratory distress. Both substances are highly addictive and lead to physical tolerance or dependence. 

Some other short-term effects that occur from mixing Klonopin and alcohol include:

  • nausea and vomiting 
  • loss of memory 
  • mood swings 
  • loss of coordination 

Memory loss is especially linked to long-term benzodiazepine abuse, and it’s made much worse by consuming alcohol. 

Anyone abusing alcohol and Klonopin may also notice enhanced effects for one or both substances. It’s vital to note that not all of these effects are desirable or safe. 

 

Effects of Klonopin 

Klonopin belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. It also includes other medications like alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan). 

Benzodiazepines have a high risk for abuse and addiction that may cause potentially serious side effects. 

Common Klonopin side effects can include: 

  • Drowsiness 
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches 
  • Dizziness 
  • Irritability 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Nausea 
  • Depression 
  • Changes in behavior 
  • Seizure 

These side effects may worsen when benzos are mixed with alcohol. Combining these two substances can lead to heightened feelings of intoxication and an increased risk of overdose. 

 

Effects of Alcohol 

Alcohol is one of the most abused substances in the US, partly due to easy access. People with an alcohol use disorder are more likely to abuse a second drug type like benzodiazepines. 

Some short-term effects of alcohol use may include: 

  • Drowsiness 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Upset stomach 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Headaches 
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Impaired judgment 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Blacking out or memory loss 

Again, these side effects can worsen when someone takes another drug, such as Klonopin, at the same time. 

Alcohol can be dangerous because regular alcohol misuse can lead to dependence and, in turn, alcohol withdrawal. 

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Shaking 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea 
  • Insomnia 
  • Confusion 
  • Excess sweating 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Fever 

Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and, at times, life-threatening. Contacting an addiction treatment specialist is always best to determine the best course of action. 

 

Risk of Overdose 

In addition to increasing side effects from one or both substances, the risk of overdose is also increased when mixing alcohol and Klonopin. 

Combining two CNS depressants puts a lot of stress on the body and can cause significant organ or brain damage. This is because both substances can suppress breathing and cause a lack of oxygen. 

Common signs of a CNS depressant overdose include: 

  • Changes in body temperature 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Rapid or slowed breathing 
  • Irregular pulse 
  • Changes in skin color 

If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, contact the emergency department at 911 immediately. 

 

Medical Detox for Klonopin and Alcohol 

If someone has developed an abusive pattern with alcohol and Klonopin, they will likely need help from formal addiction treatment to quit. 

Polysubstance abuse can be more challenging to treat because it can be difficult to tell which symptoms are caused by what substance. Luckily there are effective treatment options available. 

If an inpatient treatment program is possible, this kind of treatment experience will be more immersive and intensive. Inpatient or residential treatment requires someone to live at the drug rehab center while attending treatment. 

Outpatient programs are also a possibility. Outpatient treatment is designed to give support but isn’t intensive enough to support someone newly off substances. However, with polydrug abuse, it’s more likely that inpatient treatment will be more effective for your situation. 

No matter the type of treatment you choose, addiction treatment may include individual or group therapy, behavioral counseling, medication-assisted treatment (MAT, and access to the appropriate mental health services. 

 

Finding Substance Abuse Treatment 

If you or a loved one has alcohol or benzo abuse issues, don’t wait until experiencing an overdose to get help. The sooner you find treatment, the sooner you can take back your life. Call JourneyPure at (800) 311-1677 today to learn more about finding a dual-diagnosis treatment facility that works to address your unique needs. 

 

Sources

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Alcohol 

National Library of Medicine – Benzodiazepines and alcohol 

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