Is Klonopin (Clonazepam) A Controlled Substance?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on September 2, 2022

Klonopin is a type of prescription drug that is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Klonopin is a controlled substance, but it still possesses some important medical benefits, so its use should be monitored closely.

Is Klonopin A Controlled Substance?

Klonopin is an antianxiety agent that is available by prescription to treat a variety of health conditions and anxiety disorders.

These may include panic attacks, agoraphobia, epilepsy, and seizures. It is a brand name for the generic clonazepam.

Klonopin, like other benzodiazepines (benzos), is considered a controlled substance. Other benzos in this category are diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and lorazepam (Ativan).

Why Is Klonopin A Controlled Substance?

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Klonopin is considered a Schedule IV drug.

This means that it generally possesses a low potential for abuse and dependence while still having a lot of medical use.

Klonopin causes drowsiness and has a sedative effect, which can be dangerous when the drug is taken in high doses.

This drug also becomes much more dangerous when taken with other drugs, especially other central nervous system depressants.

Some Medical Benefits

As an antianxiety agent and anticonvulsant, Klonopin has some definite medical benefits, most notably when treating various seizure disorders.

Despite its benefits, Klonopin was never intended to be prescribed for long-term use or daily use. It was meant to be used in the short term and for immediate relief at the onset of a panic attack or seizure.

Risks For Misuse

While Klonopin is considered less addictive than drugs in lower schedules, it still poses a lot of risks when it is misused.

These risks include:

Dangers Associated With Klonopin Abuse

In addition to the potential for tolerance, dependence, and addiction, Klonopin abuse also comes with the potential for serious side effects in the long term.

When not taken as directed, Klonopin can worsen the conditions that it was supposed to treat. Klonopin should also not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Some of the dangers associated with Knopoin abuse and misuse include:

  • suicidal thoughts
  • insomnia
  • memory problems
  • worsening symptoms of anxiety
  • physical dependence
  • psychological dependence
  • increased risk of death if taken with opioids

Is Klonopin In The Narcotic Drug Class?

While Klonopin is considered a controlled substance, it is not considered a narcotic.

The term narcotic is commonly misunderstood to include all drugs that have the potential for abuse, however, the term actually only applies to opioid medications.

Klonopin should never be taken with opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. This is a dangerous combination that can increase a person’s risk for overdose death.

How Klonopin Works In The Brain And Body

Klonopin works by enhancing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.

GABA neurotransmitters are the most common type of neurotransmitter in the brain and have an overall calming effect when their levels increase.

This calming effect can work wonders for a person’s anxiety, but can also cause sleepiness and drowsiness as common side effects.

This is why it can be particularly dangerous to combine Klonopin with alcohol or other benzodiazepines.

Klonopin Use And Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

A prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) is an electronic database in each state that monitors and tracks the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

These programs can provide local healthcare authorities with vital information.

With these kinds of programs in place, many states have seen reductions in the amount of prescription drug abuse and the amount of people entering treatment facilities for substance abuse.

Treatment Services For Klonopin Addiction

Treatment for substance abuse always begins with a period of medical detox under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Once detox is complete, a person will have a choice between a variety of programs and services to address their substance use disorder.

Treatment services for a benzodiazepine addiction include:

  • inpatient treatment
  • outpatient treatment
  • day treatment
  • 12-step programs
  • group support
  • individual therapy
  • behavioral therapy
  • aftercare support

Find An Addiction Recovery Program Today

Are you or a loved one living with an addiction to Klonopin or other prescription drugs? You are not alone, and recovery is possible.

With a call to our helpline, we can assist you in finding the treatment program that is right for your individual needs. Let us know as soon as you are ready to get your life back on track.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on September 2, 2022
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