Mixing Klonopin with opioids, alcohol or any other type of depressant can lead to fatal outcomes. Fortunately, it’s possible to treat multiple addictions at once.
Article at a Glance:
- Klonopin is a benzodiazepine drug that works by slowing down the central nervous system.
- Mixing Klonopin with other depressants is extremely dangerous and dramatically increases the risk of overdose.
- A person who abuses multiple substances often requires specialized treatment to ensure a safe detox.
Klonopin, a brand-name version of clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine drug. Benzos can have serious side effects when misused, especially when mixed with alcohol, opioids or other drugs of abuse.
From 2019 to 2020, almost 7,000 Americans in 23 states died from a benzodiazepine overdose. This accounted for 17% of all prescription drug overdose deaths that year.
A 2020 study also found that from 2016 to 2017, around 86% of emergency department visits involving benzos were for non-therapeutic reasons, such as drug misuse or self-harm. The group with the highest rate of benzo misuse was patients aged 15 to 34. Among them, 54% of emergency visits involved the abuse of multiple substances.
Mixing Klonopin with other psychoactive substances increases the potential symptoms and health risks for each particular substance. It also heightens the risk of:
- Interfering with mental health treatment
- Worsening mental illness symptoms
- Increasing the risk for substance dependence and addiction
Klonopin and Alcohol
Klonopin can be used for alcohol dependency treatment. In particular, it may be provided to help reduce withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detox. However, abusing alcohol alongside benzos can have serious negative consequences.
Benzodiazepines and alcohol are both central nervous system depressants that lower heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure and respiration. When the substances are mixed together, these life-sustaining functions may stop working correctly.
Studies have shown that approximately one in five people who abuse alcohol also abuse benzos like Klonopin. Alcohol is also involved in approximately 25% of ED visits involving benzos and 20% of benzodiazepine-related deaths.
Related Topic: What Happens When You Mix Klonopin and Alcohol?
Heroin is an opioid, which means it is a depressant. Because Klonopin is also a depressant, mixing the two drugs greatly increases the risk of overdose and death.
Norco is also an opioid. Mixing it with Klonopin can slow breathing and increase the risk of death and overdose.
Hydrocodone is the active ingredient in Norco. Mixing hydrocodone with Klonopin is extremely dangerous and can lead to an overdose.
Vicodin is another brand-name drug that contains the same active ingredients as Norco: hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Mixing Vicodin with Klonopin increases the overdose risk.
Opioids and Benzodiazepines
Opioids are a drug class that includes illegal drugs like heroin as well as prescription narcotics like OxyContin, hydrocodone, Percocet and Vicodin. Opioid drugs may intensify or lengthen the “high” produced by Klonopin or other benzos, which is why these drugs are commonly mixed. However, this combination can be deadly.
Opioids are central nervous system depressants like alcohol or benzodiazepines. They have similar effects when abused, including slowed breathing and heart rate. In 2019, an average of 38 Americans died from opioid overdoses each day. Prescription opioids accounted for 28% of all opioid drug overdose deaths that year.
Treatment for Polysubstance Abuse
Abusing more than one drug at a time is known as polysubstance abuse. Abusing opioids, alcohol or benzodiazepines on their own can lead to addiction, but mixing them together may increase its chances of developing. Additionally, polysubstance abuse usually requires a more comprehensive medical detox program. A full assessment and drug panel should be completed when someone enters addiction treatment or detox. This helps ensure that all drugs in the system are accounted for and the proper care is given.
If you or someone you love is struggling with the use of Klonopin or other substances, The Recovery Village is here to help. We provide a full continuum of care that takes an individualized, evidence-based approach to treatment. Contact us today to learn more about benzodiazepine addiction treatment programs that can work well for your needs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Prescription Opioid Overdose Death Maps.” March 2021. Accessed November 2, 2021.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “A Day to Remember.” August 20, 2021. Accessed November 2, 2021.
Moro, Ruth. “Emergency Department Visits Attributed to Adverse Events Involving Benzodiazepines, 2016-2017.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2020. Accessed November 2, 2021.
Schmitz, Allison. “Benzodiazepine Use, Misuse, and Abuse: a Review.” Mental Health Clinician, 2016. Accessed November 2, 2021.
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.