Using Klonopin with or without a prescription can potentially lead to dependence and addiction. Fortunately, treatment for Klonopin addiction is available.

Article at a Glance:

  • Klonopin is a benzodiazepine drug typically prescribed for seizure and panic disorders.
  • The drug works by enhancing GABA, a calming neurotransmitter in the brain.
  • As a Schedule IV controlled substance, Klonopin can be addictive; around 17% of people prescribed benzos like Klonopin misuse them.

Is Klonopin (Clonazepam) Addictive?

Klonopin, a brand-name version of clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine drug used to treat seizure and panic disorders. It is a Schedule IV controlled substance, meaning it carries the risk of abuse, dependence and addiction.

As a person becomes accustomed to Klonopin’s presence in their body and how it interacts with their brain, they can become reliant on the drug for certain feelings, such as relaxation. If the person struggles with anxiety, the drug’s absence could result in more severe anxiety-related symptoms.

What Is Klonopin Addiction?

When someone takes a consistent or high dosage of Klonopin, they can develop a physical and psychological addiction.

Physical addiction, also known as dependence, is when the body relies on a drug to provide certain chemicals that help it function normally. For example, people who are addicted to a drug like Klonopin but stop taking it might suffer from headaches or nausea. This occurs because the body becomes dependent on the drug and revolts when the drug is no longer present.

Psychological addiction often comes from the euphoric feeling people get from a drug. People may associate Klonopin with good feelings, so when anxiety or panic attacks occur during withdrawal, their psychological addiction kicks in and makes them believe they need the drug to achieve happiness. This is part of why people crave harmful substances and misuse prescription drugs like Klonopin.

What Causes Addiction to Klonopin?

Klonopin addiction can form with or without a prescription. People who struggle with Klonopin often begin taking the drug through a doctor’s prescription. When addiction forms through a prescription, it’s usually because the drug was misused. People sometimes believe that because the drug is legal and can be prescribed to them by a doctor, it is safe to take in any dosage or more often than prescribed. This belief is incorrect and can cause addiction to form.

Some people follow a doctor’s orders and still develop a dependence on the drug. However, this is not common. Addiction also forms without a prescription. For example, people who know someone with a prescription may acquire the drug illegally and begin using it.

Klonopin Addiction Signs, Symptoms and Effects

Identifying the side effects of addiction can help you determine when treatment may be needed. When people with addiction stop taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms often appear. These effects are one of the best ways to tell if someone is addicted. Common withdrawal symptoms from benzos like Klonopin include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Muscle aches and tension

Related topic: Klonopin (Clonazepam) Side Effects, Symptoms & Signs of Abuse

Treating Klonopin Addiction

There are many treatment options for Klonopin addiction. No matter where a person lives, a rehab facility is likely conveniently located in their region. The Recovery Village has centers in five states, each staffed by caring representatives who help potential clients identify treatment plans that can address their unique needs.

Klonopin addiction treatment begins with detoxification and the process of overcoming withdrawal symptoms. This stage can be challenging due to the side effects that occur when ending Klonopin or reducing dosage as part of the “tapering off” approach. Detoxification often creates a strong foundation for future steps of the rehab process, so finding a safe and effective detox program is vital to long-term recovery.

Related Topic: Klonopin (Clonazepam) Addiction Treatment & Rehab

Klonopin Addiction Statistics

Klonopin addiction statistics and facts can help people understand how potent the drug can be. Many people aren’t aware of how widespread or challenging substance use disorders are. Additionally, people who are prescribed a drug often believe it’s completely safe since taking it is approved by a doctor. If dosage is not controlled, however, benzos often lead to dependence and make it difficult to end a prescription.

These statistics show how prevalent benzodiazepine and Klonopin addiction is in the United States:

  • Clonazepam is the 46th most prescribed drug overall in the United States as of 2019.
  • Clonazepam is the second most prescribed benzodiazepine as of 2019, after alprazolam (Xanax).
  • Overall, about 2.1% of American adults misuse benzos. However, 17.1% of people prescribed benzos misuse them.
  • Around 0.2% of American adults have benzo use disorders, and less than 2% of people with a benzo prescription have benzo use disorders.

If you or someone you love is struggling with Klonopin addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder like anxiety, help is available at The Recovery Village. Our experienced addiction specialists can help you detox from the drug and learn valuable strategies that put you on the path of lifelong recovery. Contact us today to learn more about treatment programs that can work well for your needs.

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Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more


What is a high dose of Klonopin?

The answer depends on what Klonopin is being used to treat. For example, a high Klonopin dose for seizures is 20 mg. In contrast, a high dose for panic disorder is anything more than 1 mg.

How does Klonopin work?

Klonopin works by enhancing the action of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a calming neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin, also called clonazepam, is part of the benzodiazepine class of drugs.

What is Klonopin used for?

Klonopin is prescribed to treat panic and seizure disorders in adults. Even though the drug is prescribed for mental health purposes, many people have become addicted to the drug through their prescriptions.

How addictive is clonazepam?

Clonazepam is a Schedule IV controlled substance, meaning that it has a low risk of abuse and dependence.

Is Klonopin addictive at small doses?

As a controlled substance, Klonopin can be addictive at any dose. To help reduce this risk, it is important to take the medication exactly as your doctor instructs.


National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Research suggests benzodiazepine use is […]sorder rates are low.” October 18, 2018. Accessed October 31, 2021.

Drug Enforcement Administration. “Drug Scheduling.” Accessed October 31, 2021. “Clonazepam.” November 9, 2020. Accessed October 31, 2021.

World Health Organization. “Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Manag[…]e in Closed Settings.” 2009. Accessed October 31, 2021.

ClinCalc. “Clonazepam Drug Usage Statistics, United[…]tates, 2013 – 2019.” September 12, 2021. Accessed October 31, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.