Klonopin Detox, Dangers of Detoxing at Home, Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, Risks & Treatment

What Is Klonopin? Klonopin (Clonazepam) It is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic type of drug. It is used to prevent and control seizures and panic attacks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, warns that taking Clonazepam can be addictive. Also, users may become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Therefore, a person should not attempt to […]

What Is Klonopin?

Klonopin (Clonazepam) It is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic type of drug. It is used to prevent and control seizures and panic attacks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, warns that taking Clonazepam can be addictive. Also, users may become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Therefore, a person should not attempt to quit cold turkey on their own due to the dangerous side effects or withdrawal.

Klonopin detox can be potentially fatal and requires medical treatment and supervision. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), during the 7 years from 2005 to 2011, almost a million (an estimated 943,032) emergency department (ED) visits involved benzodiazepines alone or in combination with opioid pain relievers or alcohol and no other substances.

Klonopin Detox
Klonopin (Clonazepam) It is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic type of drug.

If a person is suffering from Klonopin addiction, they will experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and anxiety. These symptoms develop because the brain and other body systems have become chemically dependent on the drugs to function normally, is highly recommended to take the Klonopin detox process with medical help. Some people abuse the drug for its sedative effects, providing a false sense of relief. Moreover, it takes as little as 3 weeks to develop a dependence on Clonazepam. When this happens, the user needs to keep taking the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Even when taken as prescribed, Clonazepam and other benzodiazepines can produce withdrawal symptoms after only 2-3 weeks of use. Chronic abuse of these medications increases the likelihood that you could experience severe withdrawal syndrome. Because withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and challenging to manage alone, you should consider entering a Klonopin detox program. Klonopin detox is a treatment process for people who are suffering from acute intoxication and withdrawal.

What Is Klonopin Detox?

Even people who take benzodiazepine drugs such as Klonopin as prescribed may experience some amount of withdrawal when they try to stop using. Chronic abuse of these medications increases the likelihood of severe withdrawal syndrome. Because withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and difficult to manage alone, you should consider entering a Klonopin detox program. Detox is a process designed to assist people that are suffering from acute intoxication and withdrawal.

During detoxification, you receive medical and/or other supportive interventions that help you remain as comfortable and safe as possible while your body clears itself of the last traces of any recently used intoxicating substances. Klonopin detox consists of 3 main components:

  • Evaluation: You receive a comprehensive evaluation, which includes screening for any co-occurring medical or physical health issues, examining your overall health, and a screening for any drugs being used prior to admission. The evaluation helps to determine the most appropriate level of care for you.
  • Stabilization: The second phase of the detox process is the actual detox. You are assisted and supported, in most cases with medical supervision, as your body withdraws from the substance. You may receive medications to help minimize any withdrawal symptoms.
  • Fostering entry into treatment: Detox is not a form of treatment, so you will need to begin a formal treatment program once you have successfully detoxed to ensure your best chances of sobriety. Detox center staff will help you find the best treatment program and assist you in making a smooth transition into the next stage of your recovery.

Klonopin Detox And Withdrawal

Any time a person becomes physically dependent on a drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms occur when the body becomes reliant on a substance for normal operation and then the discontinuation or a reduction in dosage creates physical discomfort as the body readjusts to life without the substance. Klonopin, the brand name for clonazepam, can significantly affect the central nervous system. When people no longer take Klonopin as prescribed, and begin misusing the drug, the body often reacts negatively and will attempt to Klonopin detox itself which will lead to withdrawal symptoms occurring.

If someone is misusing Klonopin, or they stopped misusing the drug and are now experiencing withdrawal symptoms, know that withdrawal and detox are the first steps in the recovery process. Because these withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable they can create doubt about starting a rehabilitation program. Ultimately though, it’s best to seek professional help to deal with the detoxification process and the symptoms that come along with withdrawal.

Klonopin Detox
As the first step in the recovery process, Klonopin detox helps you quit using the drug as safely as possible.

Why Is Klonopin Detox Necessary for Recovery?

You can become physically and psychologically dependent on and/or addicted to drugs like Klonopin. Dependence means that your body has become accustomed to the presence of the drug and you need to keep using it to feel normal and to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Over time, you can also build up a tolerance, which means you need to use more of the substance to achieve the same effects.

As the first step in the recovery process, Klonopin detox helps you quit using the drug as safely as possible. As your body clears the substance, a supervised Klonopin detox program can help you to better manage the physical and psychological consequences of withdrawal.

Is Klonopin Detox Dangerous?

Certain risks and complications can occur during the Klonopin withdrawal period. Some of these symptoms can be serious and may include:

  • An acute withdrawal syndrome similar to that seen during severe alcohol withdrawal. Known as delirium tremens, symptoms may include profound confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, agitation, and seizures.
  • Seizures.
  • Increased anxiety.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Increased blood pressure.

Why Detoxing at Home Can Be Harmful?

Because of the risks associated with Klonopin withdrawal, detox at home is not usually advised and can even be harmful. If you develop withdrawal complications such as seizures, depression, anxiety, or other significant mental health symptoms, you won’t have immediate access to necessary medical care. Additionally, if you feel unable to tolerate withdrawal symptoms, you may relapse, which only perpetuates the cycle of addiction.

It is for these reasons that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) advises medical detox for people undergoing withdrawal from substances such as Klonopin.

What to Expect During Klonopin Detox?

There are a variety of withdrawal symptoms someone addicted to Klonopin can have when they stop taking the drug. The intensity of these symptoms depends on several factors, including:

  • The length of time a person has been using Klonopin
  • The amount of Klonopin a person took
  • How frequently they took the drug
  • Whether they mixed Klonpin with alcohol or other drugs
  • The person’s mental health and medical frequency

Like other benzodiazepines, Klonopin slows down brain activity to relax the user. When an addicted person stops taking Klonopin, the brain becomes hyperactive, causing withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the severity of the individual’s use, Klonopin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Increased body temperature
  • Irritability
  • Trouble with coordination
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Hand tremors
  • Panic attacks
  • Coma
  • Death

Rebound Anxiety And Insomnia

The rebound effect is the sudden return of symptoms that the drug is designed to control. This can occur while using the substance or even during the acute withdrawal phase. Individuals often report experiencing rebound anxiety immediately as they begin the withdrawal process. This anxiety can be low-level nervousness or can be severe and include panic attacks.

While in the short term benzodiazepines like Klonopin provide rapid and pleasing relief, in the long term they ultimately lead to more insomnia and anxiety. They create a whole other nightmare. If these rebound effects appear, they typically last between two or three days before fading away.

Duration Of Withdrawal During Klonopin Detox

Klonopin builds up in the user’s body over time, and it takes as long as 18-50 hours for the drug to leave the body. Once the drug has completely left the body, people addicted to Klonopin start feeling the symptoms of withdrawal. Klonopin’s withdrawal symptoms can last up to 90 days, but the exact duration of withdrawal is different for everyone.

Klonopin withdrawal has two phases, acute and post-acute. Acute withdrawal usually lasts between 2-4 weeks with Klonopin. Post-acute withdrawal can last up to 18-24 months. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood-swings
  • Depression
  • Restlessness

The duration of withdrawal depends on how long the user took Klonopin, how much they took, how frequently they used it, whether they abused other drugs, and their mental health and medical history.

Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline

  • Days 1-3: The first signs of withdrawal appear one to three days after the last dose. Mild anxiety and other mood changes start becoming noticeable. It may also be harder to fall asleep or get a full night’s rest.
  • Days 7-14: Withdrawal symptoms from Klonopin start to peak in one to two weeks from the last dose. Anxiety and irritability are typical during this time. Those who quit cold turkey may experience intense body tremors, hallucinations or seizures.
  • Weeks 3-4: Withdrawal symptoms start to fade in three to four weeks. It is still common to have symptoms like anxiety during this time. Some days may be harder than others, but the worst of Withdrawal is usually over at this point.
  • Months 2+: Mild withdrawal symptoms are still possible up to three months after quitting Klonopin. Those with severe addictions are most likely to continue having noticeable symptoms. Tapering down a user’s Klonopin dose can prevent prolonged symptoms.

Klonopin Detox: Tapering Off Of Klonopin

The first step of ending an addiction to Klonopin involves slowly tapering down doses to minimize withdrawal symptoms and prevent other complications. Safely tapering down Klonopin doses usually takes between 2 and 3 weeks.

Former Klonopin addict, Kelley McMillan struggled with alcohol abuse and was subsequently prescribed Klonopin for anxiety. She took 1.5 milligrams of Klonopin a day, always following her prescription, but eventually became addicted to it. In an article she wrote for Vogue Magazine, McMillan explained how detoxing from Klonopin can be difficult without tapering down doses.

For the most part, giving up alcohol was easy and the results were almost immediate. But whenever I lower my Klonopin dose too rapidly, my world starts to teeter out of control.

Kelley McMillan, Vogue.com, 2014

A 2010 study of 73 long-term Klonopin users found tapering doses to be an effective strategy. These people had all become addicted after taking Klonopin to manage panic attacks for over three years. Researchers reduced each person’s daily dose by 0.5 milligrams every two weeks. Once the participants were taking 1 milligram per day, doctors decreased the dose by 0.25 milligrams every week until doses were stopped altogether.

Even after a user has tapered off Klonopin, withdrawal symptoms may appear. Because Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can potentially be fatal, users must attend medically-supervised detox. During detox, patients are monitored and prescribed medications such as Clonidine, Keppra, and Propranolol to reduce symptoms and maximize comfort. Detox is the best way to ensure the patient stays safe during withdrawal, and also greatly increases the likelihood of successful treatment.

Treatment For Klonopin Addiction

Inpatient rehab can help you overcome a Klonopin addiction. Additionally, rehab has physicians and counselors on staff who specialize in treating addictions. Combining therapy with a medically supervised Klonopin detox increases your chances of success.

It’s especially important to get medical help with Klonopin detox if you have a polydrug addiction. This is because withdrawals from different drugs are treated differently. For example, professionals can differentiate between Klonopin and alcohol withdrawal and treat each appropriately.

In Klonopin treatment, a physician may prescribe antidepressants or other mood-stabilizing drugs to help with withdrawal. They also outline a detox schedule to help you safely reduce Klonopin doses.

Klonopin Detox
Combining therapy with a medically supervised Klonopin detox increases your chances of success.

Reclaim Your Life With We Level Up Washington

Klonopin addiction is a condition that can cause significant health, social and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Washington can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from addiction with professional and safe Klonopin detox. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.

We Level Up Washington Mental Health Center: Primary Mental Health Treatment with Secondary Co-Occurring Treatments

The We Level Up Washington primary mental health center stands ready to help. Offering secondary treatment programs for underlying conditions like Klonopin addiction that frequently fuels harmful behaviors. Taking that first step to get the professional support you need can be life-transforming.

We know how mental health disorders and secondary co-occurring substance abuse diagnoses directly affect one another. The We Level Up Washington treatment center provides recovery programs through science-based mental health treatments that can help you feel better. Call us now for a free mental health evaluation! 

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at affiliated facilities at other We Level Up Treatment Centers locations beyond the Washington treatment facility.


[1] U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2010). Clonazepam.

[2] McMillan, Kelley. Vogue. (2014). The Truth About Prescription Pills: One Writer’s Story of Anxiety and Addiction.