Usage and Klonopin Dosage for Alcohol Withdrawal

klonopin for alcohol withdrawal

In this article, I’m going to discuss how to use Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal. People who cross the line from heavy drinking to alcoholism are often shocked at how difficult it can be to quit drinking. Quitting cold turkey is painful and dangerous, and the process can be made much easier by taking a benzodiazepine like Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

I remember vividly how over the span of about a year, quitting drinking after a binge went from merely annoying to psychologically exhausting and painful. Because I hated going to the doctor, I had no idea that I could have used a drug like Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal. Usually I endured prolonged periods of nervous exhaustion on my couch. Of course, it was only a matter of time before I drank and the process started all over again.

It’s important to understand that alcohol withdrawal is not all in your head. Symptoms like rapid heart beat, panic attacks, or a profound sense of impending doom can get worse and lead to fatal seizures. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms become more severe with repeated episodes because of a phenomenon known as kindling.

When I finally quit drinking, I was prescribed a benzodiazepine called Ativan for alcohol withdrawal. I was first given a shot of Ativan in the arm and then doctors tapered my oral doses slowly over the course of about 10 days.

klonopin for alcohol withdrawal

Overview of Klonopin

Klonopin is in a family of anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines. Klonopin is a brand and its generic name is clonazepam. Other benzodiazepine brands include Librium, Valium, Ativan, and Xanax.

klonopin for alcohol withdrawal

All of these drugs can be effective for alcohol withdrawal symptoms because they reduce anxiety, prevent convulsions, and help with sleep. Because they vary in terms of strength and their length of effects, doctors choose between them depending on the patient’s symptoms.

Klonopin is effective at alleviating or preventing the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Restlessness
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • High blood pressure
  • Delirium Tremens

Benzodiazepines work by activating GABA receptors in the brain, which are also stimulated by alcohol. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter associated with feelings of calm. Alcohol intoxication causes a spike in GABA and withdrawal involves a plunge in GABA. Many alcohol withdrawal symptoms (including panic and even seizures) are caused by insufficient levels of GABA in the brain.

klonopin for alcohol withdrawal

Using Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal can provide temporary peace of mind and prevent severe symptoms from manifesting. Because of the effectiveness of Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal symptoms, hospitals often prescribe this drug to alcoholics and then gradually reduce the dose to taper them off of it.

Here are some things to consider before obtaining a prescription of Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

  • Because everyone is biochemically different, another benzodiazepine may work better for you than Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal.
  • Depending on the severity of your alcoholism, your doctor may recommend inpatient detox or prescribe you with Klonopin that you can taper off of while you quit drinking at home. If you quit drinking at home, make sure you have support and that you repair your body proactively!
  • All benzodiazepines including Klonopin can be addictive, which is why they should only be used for a short period of time and in the lowest effective dose. When I quit drinking years ago, I tapered off of Ativan in less than two weeks.
  • All benzodiazepines including Klonopin can cause overdose if too much is taken at once. Mixing these drugs with alcohol can be very dangerous and lead to blackouts.
  • Even if you take Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal, you will still need to repair nutrient deficiencies caused by excessive drinking. You may also have other symptoms such as low motivation and depression that benzodiazepines cannot resolve.

How To Take Klonopin

Here are some things to consider as you take Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

  • Only take Klonopin with a prescription and under the supervision of a doctor.
  • Klonopin tablets are typically 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1 mg or 2 mg.
  • Doses can be divided throughout the day, but Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine so only one dose may be needed.
  • There is no standard dosage of Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal; a doctor can determine this depending on your situation.
  • Most people do not need to take Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal for more than a few days or a week.
  • To avoid dependence, do not use Klonopin for longer than you need it.

Further Considerations

By preventing complications caused by low levels of GABA in the brain, using Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal can help you have a much safer and more pleasant detox. Even if your symptoms aren’t severe, envisioning life without alcohol is hard enough. Nervous exhaustion and insomnia can make the task of quitting drinking seem nearly impossible.

But while Klonopin can help with getting off of alcohol, it is not a cure-all for the physical damage caused by alcoholism. Many people who use benzodiazepines like Klonopin end up relapsing because they feel tortured by depression or alcohol cravings after their taper ends. These other symptoms are often caused by the following problems that are NOT resolved by benzodiazepines:

  • Low dopamine
  • Low serotonin
  • Magnesium deficiency (my life changed when I began taking magnesium!)
  • B-vitamin deficiencies
  • Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Poor liver health

Fortunately, there is a way to address all of these problems at once. Calm Support (read my review here) is an organic nutritional supplement designed specifically for rebalancing your mood. I wish it had been available when I quit drinking, because in my opinion it is by far the best supplement for repairing your body and brain after you quit drinking.

If I had to quit drinking all over again, I would take Calm Support as soon as I tapered off of Valium (or another benzodiazepine) for alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol addiction is a complex brain disorder and GABA is not the only neurotransmitter that needs to be addressed when you quit drinking.

The bottom line is that using Valium for alcohol withdrawal can be very effective, but it’s just the first part of a long process. Give your body what it needs during this time, and your mind will be sure to follow!

klonopin for alcohol withdrawal


I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the use of Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal. If you’re in the position that I was once in before I quit drinking, I feel your pain. Subscribe to my email list to stay posted on future articles that can help you down the road.

If you have any questions about how to use Klonopin for alcohol withdrawal, please leave them in the comment box below.

Hierarchy of Alcohol Recovery

Please review this post!



Chris Scott founded Fit Recovery in 2014 to help people from around the world dominate alcohol dependence and rebuild their lives from scratch. A former investment banker, he recovered from alcohol dependence using cutting-edge methods that integrate nutrition, physiology, and behavioral change. Today, Chris is an Alcohol Recovery Coach and the creator of an online course called Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0.


Dr. Rebeca Eriksen is the Nutritional Consultant for Fit Recovery. She has a PhD in Nutritional Genetics from Imperial College London, and over ten years of clinical experience designing custom nutritional repair regimens for patients recovering from alcohol addiction. In addition to her work at the exclusive Executive Health clinic in Marbella, Spain, she helps to keep Fit Recovery up to date with emerging research.


The information we provide while responding to comments is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The responses to comments on are designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition.

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3 years ago

How often should I take 1 mg?

Shane Michael
2 years ago

My use of Klonapin for alcohol withdrawal has been a blessing. It has stopped all the awful symptoms in its tracks. I felt a little groggy from the medicine but that was terable. I kmow how it works on gaba receptors. Librium (the oldest and original benzo) also works well and is long acting. I dind it works great too. In my opinion some benzzos aer better than others but since they are chemically related, the all work. That goes for Valium too. Just try to avoind short acting medications like Ativan and Serax. They work but you need more… Read more »

2 years ago

I have been going through what I believe to be mild withdrawal from alcohol based on my symptoms, mostly anxiety and sleeplessness. I started taking ativan (started one 1 mg, then 2 mg and again 2 mgs for bed. So I took it today but it ran out and my doctor is out of town, and all I have that is remotely close to it is klonopin, 1mg total. I last took the ativan around 9pm est. Can I take the 1mg of klonopin tomorrow morning or sometime during the day If I still have tremors and feel anxious?

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