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Klonopin is a type of benzodiazepine—a class of drugs that affect the central nervous system and are used to treat a wide range of conditions including epilepsy and anxiety. While Klonopin can be an incredibly beneficial drug to those who need it, it is also becoming more commonly abused. Emergency room visits related to Klonopin have increased rapidly year over year according to The Drug Enforcement Administration.The dangers that are associated with Klonopin exist for a number of reasons. The first reason is the simple fact that people use the drug without being prescribed it. This puts their bodies and breathing at extreme risk (since Klonopin suppresses the respiratory system and can cause people to stop breathing).

Another danger that can occur despite a prescription or not, is the risk of becoming physically dependent on the substance over time. People who physically depend on the drug experience extreme difficulty when it comes time to stop usage. Going through withdrawals can cause serious health problems, including death. This is increasingly true for users that attempt to quit cold turkey.Regardless of being prescribed Klonopin or not, the best way to end dependence with the drug is by tapering off slowly. By gradually reducing the amount of Klonopin you’re taking over time, you can help your body adjust naturally, making sure it can function healthily and safely without the drug. If you choose to taper from Klonopin, you can still expect to experience some withdrawal. One way to help make Klonopin withdrawal more tolerable is to understand the withdrawal process. Being aware of how your body may react can assist you in getting through the unpleasant symptoms. Understanding that they are short phases that will end can ensure you that your body is safely and effectively learning to adapt and function without the drug.Here’s what to know about Klonopin withdrawal when planning to stop taking the substance.

The Klonopin Withdrawal Process

The Klonopin withdrawal process can occur several ways which depend on how the user decides to quit. The first way is choosing to quit cold turkey. This means that you are taking a normal dosage of Klonopin one day and then none the next. The withdrawal process for this method of quitting Klonopin is often downright intolerable, if not life threatening. People usually choose to withdrawal this way when they run out of the medication completely or if they are ready to stop but do not want to / cannot go to a proper facility that can assist with the process. A much safer option is to taper down the usage of the medicine naturally. Even safer than that is to seek the supervision of a professional.If you decide you want to quit Klonopin and know you’re going to go through Klonopin withdrawal, the best option for quitting is a slower taper. Tapering gradually reduces the medication in your system which makes your Klonopin withdrawal symptoms much less severe and keeps you safe while you are allowing your body and brain to adjust to life without it.

The Initial Stages of Klonopin Withdrawal

The first stages of withdrawal include insomnia, anxiety, and moodiness. These conditions that Klonopin may have been treating in the first place may ultimately rush back more serious than before. The first stages usually do not start until about 24 hours after a person has had their last Klonopin dosage, but withdrawal can start as late as 72 hours after the last dose, depending on the person or metabolism. This initial stage of Klonopin withdrawal, which is unpleasant and uncomfortable, can last up to a week. Klonopin withdrawal symptoms tend to increase over time, and by the end of the first week withdrawal and insomnia usually become extremely severe.When you’re tapering off Klonopin gradually, the initial phase of Klonopin withdrawal is relatively easy to get through, and side effects are usually minimal. While anxiety may reappear after tapering, it is usually manageable and slowly decreases, usually disappearing by month two or three after the withdrawal process is complete.If you quit Klonopin cold turkey, the initial phase of withdrawal is not only uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous. People who stop benzodiazepines with no gradual reduction in usage can end up having seizures which can result in death. The timeline for a person quitting cold turkey is similar to someone who has tapered once they have consumed their last dosage of Klonopin: anxiety comes back more severe during weeks 2 or 3 post-last dose, and it will continue to affect an individual usually for 2 to 3 months into the withdrawal process. By month 3, symptoms of anxiety are usually manageable, while insomnia may be harder to manage and may require lifestyle changes or other remedies for treatment.

The Basics of the Taper: The Slow and Safe Method for Klonopin Withdrawal

Tapering is undoubtedly the best method for getting off of Klonopin. Medical professionals believe it is necessary for a safe and effective Klonopin withdrawal process. However, the tapering process may seem confusing and unclear, since the frequency and amount of Klonopin a person should reduce can be vague or confusing.

Factors that Affect a Klonopin Tapering Plan

Ultimately, professionals believe that the tapering process to minimize the suffering experienced from Klonopin withdrawal should be structured around how a person used Klonopin. This means that many factors come into play when planning the tapering process, including:

        • How long a person took Klonopin for
        • How much their regular dosage was
        • If they were prescribed Klonopin or taking it illegally
        • How they’ve experienced withdrawal from other medications before
        • What the Klonopin was being used to treat
        • and more.

If you are planning to stop using Klonopin and want to go through a tapering process that works, one of the most important steps is to be honest with your treatment team. If you are honest about your Klonopin usage—even if you were abusing the substance or using far more than you should have been—you will get a tapering treatment plan that will allow you to get off Klonopin successfully, with minimally suffering, and in a way that will minimize the chances of relapse.

What Happens During a Klonopin Taper

During a Klonopin taper, a plan will be made to ensure your body can handle the reduction in medication you’re about to experience. Usually, professionals follow a typical formula for this process which includes decreasing your dose by 25% each quarter of the withdrawal period—or sometimes per week. This means that it is reduced by smaller increments as the taper period proceeds (since 25% of each dose becomes incrementally smaller). Because a taper is structured this way, a person who has been using Klonopin for longer and at a higher dose will have a much longer and more drawn out taper process with a variety of doses before they’re off the medication completely. Someone who took a lower dose of Klonopin will complete the withdrawal and taper process much more quickly.

The Most Common Risks of Klonopin Withdrawal During a Taper

Even though a Klonopin taper is much safer than quitting cold turkey, patients still face risks when it comes to what the reduction of the medication can do to their body. Here are some of the health risks that a person faces when they are going through the Klonopin process. These conditions or symptoms demonstrate why it is crucial to have the process supervised by professionals:

        • Panic attacks
        • Severe gastrointestinal upset
        • Severe anxiety
        • Significant insomnia
        • Paranoid thoughts or feelings
        • Difficulties with memory
        • Suicidal ideation
        • Seizures
        • Catatonia
        • and more.

Other Complications and Risks During a Klonopin Taper

The above risks are all possible while someone is going through a Klonopin taper. However, there are more difficulties that may arise during weeks 1-4 of a Klonopin taper and beyond. Here are some of the most common:

Recurrence or Appearance of Other Mental Health Issues

Sometimes, Klonopin can mask other mental health issues in people who take or abuse it. Therefore, when people taper off Klonopin, the symptoms that are being masked can emerge (or re-emerge). Many people who taper off Klonopin and go through withdrawal find themselves having to deal with mental illness. They should seek adequate medical support to ensure that they get the right medication or treatment for the condition and to ensure that they don’t turn back to Klonopin hoping it will continue to mask their condition.

Hyper-Alertness and Wakefulness

Many people use Klonopin to help them sleep. When they decide to quit the drug and go through Klonopin withdrawal, they suddenly have trouble sleeping. This can be quite unpleasant for patients because withdrawal is uncomfortable, and most people would like to be able to sleep through their most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. However, many people going through a Klonopin taper won’t only have insomnia, they’ll also be hyper-alert, which can make each symptom of the withdrawal process seem more acute and like it is lasting longer.


While Klonopin is not typically used to treat depression, it can alleviate anxiety that is a result of someone’s depression. When the Klonopin is removed from the person’s system, their depression may get worse (including their anxiety symptoms, also in addition to feelings of sadness, numbness, lack of care, loss of interest, and more). Working with a mental healthcare provider can ensure you’re treating your depression with a treatment plan that works to improve your depression (and not just anxious feelings you have as a result of it).

Get Help through Your Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline at Windward Way Recovery

Do you feel ready to stop abusing Klonopin? Do you want compassionate, knowledgeable professionals to help you through the whole timeline of Klonopin withdrawal? Get in touch with the experts at Windward Way Recovery. We can help guide you through the process of tapering off and stopping Klonopin, so you can get back to living your healthiest and best life—or get the help you need for any other conditions your substance use may have been masking.Please reach out to us if you have any questions about treatment for Klonopin addiction—whether for you or a loved one. We can talk you through the timeline of withdrawal, as well as how our treatment providers can help ensure that the Klonopin withdrawal process is as safe, comfortable, and also hopeful as possible.