~ Fleetwood Mac singer and songwriter Stevie Nicks, on Klonopin
Nicks isn’t the only celebrity - or the only person - to fall prey to Klonopin addiction. Klonopin is a powerful and highly addictive drug. Overuse can be incredibly harmful. Klonopin is a drug that can alter your health, your mood, and even your personality. It is a drug that can be fatal if taken incorrectly.
Perhaps you know firsthand how dangerous Klonopin can be. Perhaps, too, you’re looking to get clean from Klonopin and reclaim your life and health from the jaws of drug abuse or addiction. Maybe you’re already asking yourself, “how long does it take to withdrawal from Klonopin?” because you’re ready to do just that.
Well if you’re ready for recovery, we’re ready to help. And the first step in beating the addiction is learning more about it. Here, we jump into the most important Klonopin facts, such as:
We hope that the answers to these questions will equip and empower you on the road to recovery. The process may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
As you read through this information, keep in mind that drugs affect each person differently. The information here may be generalized or expected, but it isn’t uncommon for individuals to react differently to drugs or the withdrawal process.
To know how to avoid problems with Klonopin, it’s important to know what it is and how it works.
Klonopin is the specific brand name of the generic drug clonazepam. It is a prescription drug primarily used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Doctors may also prescribe it to treat conditions like restless leg syndrome, seizures, and insomnia. It may also be prescribed on a much shorter-term basis to soothe anxiety before medical procedures or in similar situations.
While clonazepam is helpful for many patients, it’s also a powerful and very addictive drug. It belongs to a class of substances called “benzodiazepines” that help to treat neurological disorders but also carry a high risk of addiction.
Benzodiazepines like Klonopin work by affecting the GABA receptors in the brain. They make it easier for GABA neurotransmitters to bind to the receptors and be released into the body. As a result, the brain sedates the body, slowing the processes that would generally keep someone alert, anxious, or fidgeting. This is what makes Klonopin a sedative.
For a visual representation of how Klonopin affects the brain, check out this video.
Klonopin is a tablet meant to be taken orally up to three times a day. It dissolves in the mouth, and doesn’t need to be swallowed like a pill. Additionally, one does not need to eat before taking this medication.
For many people, Klonopin is one of many substances they use to regularly. However, this co-occurring use of benzodiazepines with other drugs, whether legal or illegal, can be dangerous. Klonopin can have unintended side effects on its own, and these become even more dangerous and unexpected when you throw other substances into the mix.
There are countless drugs and dangerous interactions in the world, but here we’ll cover some of the most common drug interactions with Klonopin.
Benzodiazepines like Klonopin are often prescribed in conjunction with opioids such as Vicodin or Oxycontin. When these two types of drug are taken together, it can often enhance the high or pleasant feelings associated with the use of either one. This is dangerous because the user may feel as though they need to take more or less of one of the drugs in order to optimize the pleasant feelings. With quickly-changing dosage, the user can overdose easily and quickly.
Klonopin and other benzodiazepines are also often used in conjunction with alcohol. Alcohol is completely legal in the U.S. as long as the user is above 21 years of age, but drinking while taking benzodiazepines could be dangerous.
Alcohol and benzos are both depressants, or downers. Taking the two together could depress the central nervous system so much that the user could experience:
Benzos like Klonopin can also be dangerous when taken with several different cold medications. One of the primary ingredients in many medicines used to treat the symptoms of the common cold is dextromethorphan. Benzodiazepines and dextromethorphan together can result in a lack of coordination, dizziness, or other uncomfortable and disorienting symptoms.
Additionally, taking benzos when you have a cold can be dangerous. The use of benzodiazepines can decrease the effect of the immune system. Because of this, your cold could get much worse.
These drug interactions with benzos range from unpleasant to deadly. That’s why it’s important to consult a doctor before taking other substances with Klonopin, even if you’re taking it under a doctor’s orders.
For a look at some of the dangers of mixing benzodiazepines with other substances, as well as a testimonial on how easy it is to become addicted to benzos, watch this video.
Truly, any highly addictive substance can be dangerous because it can convince an addict to do stupid or dangerous things, all in the name of getting more. Additionally, Klonopin can have unintended side effects.
Many people believe that benzos like Klonopin are completely safe because they’re prescribed by a doctor. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Klonopin should be safe if taken exactly as a doctor prescribes it. It’s when users take matters into their own hands that the drug becomes dangerous.
It’s unusual, but not unheard of, for a benzodiazepine overdose to end in death. However, the symptoms caused by such an overdose can be dangerous. It’s imperative that you find help quickly for someone abusing or addicted to Klonopin or other benzodiazepines. If you or someone around you is overdosing, call 911 immediately.
Benzodiazepines often show up in headlines for the worst reason. Benzos like Klonopin are often at least partially to blame for the death of well-known and well-loved celebrities who began taking the drug for anxiety or other reasons related to the pressures of fame.
Benzos have contributed to the deaths of the very people who relied on it to feel okay. These celebrities include:
It is because of the drug’s danger to the lives of so many that some people consider the rising rates of benzodiazepine use an epidemic, like the opioid epidemic that was a hot topic during the 2016 presidential campaign.
But it isn’t just celebrities falling prey to drugs like Klonopin. Normal people all over the U.S. have become addicted to the drug. In many of these cases, the addicts blame their psychiatrists. They claim that they were never told just how dangerous and addictive the drug could be.
We hear about celebrity benzodiazepine deaths because the victims are famous, but normal Americans die from the same conditions all the time.
For a history of benzo use in the U.S. by Vice, check out this piece from May of 2018.
Because every body is different, the amount of time that Klonopin stays in the body will also differ. However, there are many factors to take into account when trying to determine how long Klonopin will be present in your system.
When trying to understand how long any drug stays present in your body, it’s important to know the half-life of the drug.
“Half-life” is the measurement we use to track how long it takes the human body to process certain chemicals. The term describes the length of time it takes for your body to process 50% of the total amount consumed. Thus, it describes how long it takes for the total amount to decrease by half.
The half-life of clonazepam is between 30 and 40 hours. This means that every 30-40 hours, the amount of clonazepam in your body should decrease by one half. If you take 1 mg of Klonopin on a given day, you should have about .5 mg in your body by about 35 hours later. 30 to 40 hours later, you’ll have just .25 mg.
This is an unusually long half-life in relation to other drugs. Some drugs are flushed out of your system in less than two hours. What it means, though, is that detoxing from Klonopin can take much longer than detoxing from other drugs. If you’re a habitual user, it can take as long as 2 weeks for you to get all of the Klonopin out of your system once you stop using.
There are a few factors that can affect how long Klonopin stays in your system. Seemingly unimportant differences between individuals can vary their recovery times. These affecting factors include:
As we’ll describe in more detail below, ridding the body of klonopin is more complicated than simply waiting for it to leave. More often than not, benzodiazepines must be slowly tapered off. If not, the patient is at risk for many harmful and uncomfortable health problems.
So, if Klonopin is present in the body for up to two weeks after use, where does it show up? There are many parts of the body commonly tested for the presence of drugs. You may be interested in knowing if benzodiazepines show up on drug tests.
After a few days. Your hair is like a time capsule of drug use. Most drugs will show up in your hair for as long as 4 months after you’ve used them. Benzos can take several days to actually register in your hair but after that, your hair may test positive.
Yes. Urine will test positive for clonazepam beginning a few hours after ingestion. It will continue to be present for anywhere between 1 and 28 days after the last use.
The exact length of time that your urine will test positive for the drug depends on a few factors. The health of your liver is important. If your digestive system can’t flush the drug out, traces can show up in your urine for quite a while.
There are also a number of different urine tests that can be administered to check for benzos. Each of these has different sensitivity levels. A lower-end drug test won’t be able to detect benzos that were used a month ago, but a high-end test probably will.
Yes. If you’re drug tested in a hospital, they will probably administer a blood test. Your blood can test positive for clonazepam in as little as one hour after ingestion. Some blood tests are so sensitive that they can detect the drug within minutes.
Your body works very hard to remove any foreign substances from the bloodstream. Therefore, it tends to eliminate traces of drugs from your blood pretty quickly. A blood test, therefore, will only show signs of Klonopin in your system for a day or two.
Yes. Saliva tests can be used to check for drugs like clonazepam. A saliva test will usually take several hours to show positive results. Once traces of the drug are present in your spit, however, the test will remain positive for up to 6 days.
Saliva tests aren’t used very often because they aren’t as reliable as urine or blood tests. They’re only used when no other options are available. Generally, the results need to be confirmed with a different type of tests.
Clonazepam abuse isn’t just dangerous, it’s also illegal. This is another reason that it’s so important to take Klonopin exactly according to a doctor’s instructions.
If you’re caught driving under the influence of Klonopin (even with a prescription), you can face some serious penalties. The information sheet for the drug states that individuals should not drive or operate heavy machinery while under its influence. Therefore, users who are caught doing so can be penalized according to state and federal laws.
If you aren’t prescribed to the drug and you’re caught driving with it in your possession, you can face even larger charges. Clonazepam is currently classified as a Schedule IV substance under federal guidelines. This means that the drug has an accepted medical use but also carries a risk of abuse. A first-time offense can carry a 1-year prison sentence and a fine as large as $100,000.
That said, it’s both physically and legally risky to drive under the influence of Klonopin. It’s best to play it safe and follow the instructions. If no one has given you instructions for use, you probably shouldn’t be taking the drug at all.
While we’ve mentioned Klonopin addiction quite a bit, it’s important to keep in mind that not all use of the drug qualifies as addiction. Most addiction doesn’t happen immediately, and starts out as normal use or abuse.
For Klonopin specifically, there are many ways to abuse the drug, but not all use is abuse. Because it is sometimes prescribed by a doctor, anyone using under a doctor’s exact direction is not abusing Klonopin.
Unfortunately, with a drug as highly addictive as Klonopin, even normal use can lead to addiction.
It doesn’t take long for a seemingly harmless benzo habit to turn into something worse. Many times, the people who abuse benzos started out by taking them as a part of a prescription. In other cases, people start using them recreationally because they like the mellow, euphoric high it gives them.
Abusing benzos is very dangerous. If you’re worried that you might be abusing them or know someone else who may be, there are a few symptoms to look out for. These signs likely indicate that the individual needs help:
If you know someone who wants to get Klonopin out of their system but just can’t seem to do it, it’s important to find treatment for them. Getting them into detox and rehab could end up saving their life.
If you’re abusing your prescription or taking the drug without a doctor’s consent, you could face negative health consequences. Common side effects of Klonopin abuse can include:
If you experience any of these side effects, it’s important to get help. Reach out to an addiction specialist or medical professional as soon as possible.
To know if you’ve been taking Klonopin for too long, you may be wondering how long a normal prescription for Klonopin lasts. As with most prescribed drugs, the length of the prescription depends on the circumstances.
People who take benzos for anxiety, for example, may be prescribed indefinitely. These users should never take more than the doctor instructs and should report and unwanted side effects if they appear.
Other users receive a small dosage of Klonopin, 0.5mg or so, for specific situations that make them feel unusually nervous. A doctor might prescribe clonazepam to a patient who is terrified of flying but is required to do so for work. The doctor will only prescribe enough for the patient to take when they’re flying.
If your doctor has prescribed you the drug for short-term use, make sure to use it only as you’ve been instructed.
It may also be wise to check in with your doctor regularly about your prescription. If you feel you’ve been taking Klonopin for too long, consider asking for alternatives.
These days, it’s much more common for individuals to ask for non-benzodiazepine solutions. Just decades ago, this was less common.
Stevie Nicks never questioned her Klonopin prescription for many years. She had begun using the drug under a doctor’s orders while detoxing from cocaine. It was many years later that she realized that she’s changed in many ways and thought it may be from the Klonopin.
Nicks decided to give her personal assistant her dose of the medication to see if it affected him negatively. This is both illegal and incredibly dangerous, so don’t ever do this yourself. However, watching her personal assistant begin to show side effects from use almost immediately led to Nicks deciding to detox from the drug and stop using it altogether.
Klonopin addiction is a step more serious than Klonopin abuse. Addiction happens when a user begins to need Klonopin to function normally. There are both physical and psychological aspects to addiction.
A Klonopin addict wants to keep using and needs to keep using. If they don’t have enough Klonopin, they begin to experience the symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal. Once a Klonopin user has become an addict, their best chance of recovery is within a treatment program led by trained medical professionals.
For an explanation behind the science of addiction, check out this video.
As we’ve mentioned, the strongest indication that someone is addicted to Klonopin is that they begin to go through withdrawals when they haven’t taken the drug. These withdrawals are the body’s physical reaction to the lack of the drug.
Some symptoms of withdrawal are relatively harmless. Others are dangerous and extremely uncomfortable. There are many symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal, including:
The symptoms of withdrawal are often what deter users from getting clean. It’s important to keep in mind that while they’re certainly no fun, they are temporary. They’re a sign that your body is becoming accustomed to life without Klonopin.
Withdrawal from Klonopin is different for everybody. Depending on how much you used, how long you’ve been using, and how healthy your liver is, the whole process can take up to about two weeks. Generally, people are able to detox from clonazepam in 5-9 days.
Depending on how much you’ve used, it can take up to 48 hours before you feel any effect from the withdrawal. As the drug’s half-life starts to dwindle down, though, you’ll begin to experience intense cravings. You may get increasingly anxious. This is particularly true for individuals who took the drug to treat anxiety. Even if you are in a professional treatment program and you’re taking a reduced dose to ease withdrawal symptoms, you will probably feel a bit on edge.
After 48 hours of not using, you’ll continue to experience intense cravings. Anxiety may worsen. Physical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sweating will begin to occur. These physical symptoms are a sign that your body is taking the Klonopin in your system and working to flush it out. Klonopin primarily exits your body through your digestive system and your sweat. While the process of vomiting or sweating isn’t fun, it’s good to know that the klonopin is exiting your system.
Toward the end of the first week, your withdrawal symptoms will “peak”. This is the worst that they’re going to get. At this point, you will probably feel extremely anxious and possibly unable to sleep. You may also begin to hallucinate sounds and visions. Nausea and vomiting will continue. Keep in mind that these are the peak symptoms, and it’s all downhill from here.
If you’re detoxing from a mild addiction, it is likely that the process will take 8 or 9 days. You may still experience some residual anxiety. It’s important to remember that overcoming a drug addiction can be a lifelong process. Even though you’ve gotten all of the clonazepam out of your body, you still need to learn how to live, function, and cope without it.
Remember, addiction is a two-part condition. Physical dependency is half the battle, and the other half is psychological. While the timeline above describes the expected times for the stages of withdrawal from Klonopin, withdrawal can look very different when done in a drug treatment facility. Professionals can help the recovery process be more comfortable, safer, and longer-lasting.
As Friends star Matthew Perry said in a 2011 interview, “It's an obsession of the mind and an allergy of the body.” Perry makes it very clear that addiction is not one sided and is not a choice.
Recovery from addiction has three main stages: detox, rehab, and aftercare.
“I decided I didn’t want to take Klonopin anymore. One afternoon I went home and did something that turned out to be incredibly stupid: I flushed my remaining pills down the toilet and quit “cold turkey.”
The next morning, I felt like I was dying. I had chills, my head hurt, and my body was shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t even get out of bed. Naïvely, I thought I had come down with a bad case of the flu. But I eventually wondered about the possible connection between my symptoms and my having stopped taking Klonopin.”
If you’re addicted to clonazepam or another similar drug, it’s important for you to detox under the supervision of a medical professional. Benzo withdrawals can be extremely painful and potentially dangerous. Quitting cold turkey, or all at once, can lead to:
When you stop using Klonopin and try to get it out of your system, your brain essentially goes haywire. It’s become accustomed to having the drug present and won’t be able to calibrate itself immediately. The safest way to manage benzo withdrawal symptoms is to detox under the supervision of a professional.
Often, users won’t even know that their symptoms are related to withdrawal. As the quote above demonstrates, it’s easy to write off the symptoms as a “bad case of the flu” and treat them as such. But to get the help you need, you need to know what it is you’re experiencing.
At a professional detox facility, doctors will wean you off of Klonopin slowly, little by little. This will enable your brain to acclimate to the absence of clonazepam. By the time you quit completely, your body will be much more prepared to handle withdrawals, and the symptoms should be less severe.
The benefits of professional detox include:
There are usually 3 types of medications used in medically-assisted detox programs of any sort. They are:
In some instances, Klonopin acts as a medication used for addiction treatment. Stevie Nicks, for example, was given Klonopin to ease the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal. Others are given benzodiazepines as they detox from alcoholism.
In the Klonopin detox process, most drugs given are used simply to manage the symptoms. Others who are weary of adding in more medications use more natural means to treat symptoms. These techniques include noise machines to sleep, warm baths to relax muscles, and other ways of controlling the intensity of the symptoms themselves. When the body is more comfortable, the recovering addict is less likely to relapse.
After detoxing from Klonopin, it’s time to deal with the psychological or emotional part of addiction. This usually means that it’s time for rehab.
Rehab can be broken down into two main styles of addiction treatment, and then those main styles can often be broken down further. The two main types of addiction treatment are inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab.
For inpatient treatment, recovering addicts live within the treatment facility while they recover. They are surrounded by and supervised by trained professionals at all times. They usually have roommates and attend individual and group therapy. They also partake in social activities. In many cases, they learn to live healthier lifestyles overall.
Inpatient addiction treatment has the highest success rate of all treatment options. This means that of every addict who completes an addiction treatment program, those who completed an inpatient program are least likely to relapse.
That said, though, inpatient treatment isn’t for everyone. Many recovering addicts also find success in outpatient programs. Consider the pros and cons to inpatient addiction treatment before deciding what’s right for you.
Pros of inpatient treatment include:
Cons of inpatient treatment can include:
Outpatient treatment differs from inpatient in that the recovering addict is only in the facility for specific therapy sessions and activities. In traditional outpatient care, this could be a few times a week. In intensive outpatient programs, or IOPs, this can be for up to several hours a day.
For those considering outpatient treatment to recover from Klonopin addiction, it could be a good idea to look at the pros and cons.
Pros of outpatient treatment can include:
Recovery doesn’t end with rehab. Addiction is a lifelong disease to manage. For those serious about recovery, they’ll need to take some steps once they’ve completed an inpatient or outpatient program.
For those who are particularly worried, there are halfway houses. These are transitional living spaces for those who have finished a rehab program. These houses are usually democratically-run households of several recovering addicts. They attend group therapy together. They also all abide by a set of rules, such as a curfew and an agreement that no drugs or alcohol can be on the property. They can draw support from each other, knowing they’re all having similar experiences.
There are also less intense system of accountability, such as support groups. Groups like Narcotics Anonymous bring recovering addicts together on a regular basis. They work together through the 12 steps to recovery. They counsel each other and share experiences. Many people continue to attend such groups for the rest of their lives.
These options, as well as others available in specific communities, can help a recovering addict avoid a relapse and find people to talk to who understand.
If you came here wondering how long Klonopin lasts or how to get it out of your system, there’s a chance that you’re struggling with a bad habit. Maybe you abuse your prescription. Maybe you have a full-fledged addiction.
You could also be here because you’re worried about someone you love. Maybe the information above confirmed your suspicions, and now you’re certain that your loved one needs help.
Either way, Klonopin detox and rehab could be the solution you’re looking for.
Northpoint Evergreen Bellevue can provide the medical expertise and psychological support you need to overcome your struggle with drugs. If you want to discuss your habit or talk about potential treatment options with a member of our staff, please give us a call.
But most importantly, we never lose sight of our true goal - helping people get their lives back. We pride ourselves on treating every patient like an individual, and developing a custom, evidence-based treatment schedule that is unique to your situation. We believe that no two people are the same, and neither are any two addiction circumstances. So naturally, no two treatment plans should be exactly the same, either.
We believe that we provide great care. But don’t just take our word for it. See what some of our former patients had to say on our Facebook page:
“The staff has always been courteous, respectful, and supportive. My recovery has been filled with joy since starting with the NP family in August 2018. I actually look forward to my meetings!” - Cara Scott Houweling
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We hope that asking “How long will it take to detox from Klonopin?” has started you on a journey to a full and lasting recovery. We want to walk alongside you on this journey, and we want to see you beat addiction.
“And the saddest thing, I did an interview in England, and somebody had sent the article to my mother and she read it to me over the phone. And it said, ‘you could see Stevie Nicks in there, but she was very sad and very quiet and she was just a shadow of her former self.’ And that article broke my heart.” - Stevie Nicks
We want to help you reclaim your life, your health, and yourself. We want to help you overcome addiction so that you are no longer a shell or a shadow, but yourself. We believe you are worth fighting for. We believe you can do it.
It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
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