Benzos and Alcohol

Benzos and alcohol are a deadly combination.

Benzos and Alcohol

The combining of benzos and alcohol is more common than you might imagine. Each of these substances can be dangerous on its own. However, they are even more hazardous when taking them together. People who have an alcohol and benzo addiction are at greater risk of dying from respiratory arrest than someone who uses only one or the other. The main reason for this is because both these substances depress the central nervous system and in combination they amplify each others effects. This makes accidental overdose far more likely because the results can be unpredictable.

Whether you are the person mixing these substances or it is someone you care about. Dependence on both alcohol and benzos is a behavior that must not be ignored.


Defining Benzodiazepines

Doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines to treat mental health conditions such as PTSD or anxiety. Sometimes, doctors prescribe them for physical conditions such as cerebral palsy or seizures, as well.

There are several different benzodiazepines that people abuse. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Xanax

If someone takes these medications exactly as their doctor prescribes them, they should be safe as long as they are never combined with alcohol. However, if someone abuses benzos, a dangerous addiction could develop quickly.

Adding alcohol to the mix can make things even worse. The damage to the body and mind can be severe, so it is crucial to get into a treatment program if you are abusing these substances.


Side Effects of Benzos and Alcohol

The combination of two powerful depressants like benzos and alcohol amplifies the effect. The impact can be unpredictable and sadly overdoses where the user simply stops breathing are more common than you think.

Most of the time, even if someone is only abusing one of these, they can still have severe consequences. Some side effects of mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines include:

  • Slower breathing
  • Depression of the immune system
  • Impaired cognition
  • Organ failure
  • Losing consciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

These are some of the more severe side effects. By the time these happen it may be too late. Get treatment before things get worse.


Other Dangers of Alcohol and Benzo Addiction

Some people have fatal consequences due to an alcohol and benzo addiction. The truth is that no one can control the side effects they get from medications. The effects from each of these substances on their own can be harmful enough. Mixing them amplifies the impact and can lead to the following:

  • Self-destructive behaviors
  • Bodily harm
  • Hurting others
  • Losing coordination
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Stroke
  • Permanent brain damage

Alcohol and benzos damage the immune system, central nervous system and many organs in the body. Depending on how much of these substances you use and how often you use them, organ failure can happen in a few years. If you take too many benzos with alcohol, you could have a fatal overdose. Even if you don’t consider the risk of death, the harm done to the body is very serious. Stopping benzos and alcohol abruptly without a medical detox can also lead to deadly seizures. You should never attempt to quit alcohol or benzos “cold turkey”. It can be incredibly dangerous.

In addition to these consequences, if you mix alcohol and benzodiazepines, your inhibitions will be lower. Lower inhibitions mean you will be more likely to engage in riskier behaviors. If you take part in risky behaviors, that could damage your relationships with friends and family members. It could also put you in a dangerous situation, such as driving while under the influence.

Getting Treatment for Alcohol and Benzo Abuse

It is dangerous to mix alcohol and benzos. The dangers don’t just extend to you. You could be putting others at risk due to your actions while under the influence. You are more likely to act without inhibition. This can lead to serious injuries or reckless sexual behavior that results in an STD, rape or unwanted pregnancy.

If you or someone that you know is abusing these substances, now is the time to stop. It takes courage and dedication to quit any addiction. However, we are here for you.

We want to note again, that it could be hazardous to detox on your own at home. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can be not just highly uncomfortable but fatal. In addition, many people who try to detox at home often relapse. They crave drugs or alcohol so badly that when they use again, they take a lot. The increased amount is one reason why so many people have a fatal overdose.

Willpower is vital for recovery from benzos and alcohol, but it isn’t enough by itself for most people. However, it is helpful to have people by your side helping you through the detox and recovery process. Rehab center professionals know all about substance use disorders and the treatment for them. They will look at your case and create an individualized treatment plan for you.

With the treatment program at Recovery by the Sea, you will get the compassionate, understanding and helpful recovery services you need to move through to the path of healing.


Contact Recovery by the Sea today to start the detox process from benzos and alcohol.


How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System? – Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) is a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine that has a relatively long-lasting effect. The effects of most benzodiazepines (benzos), such as Xanax or Valium, last between 3-4 hours, while the effects of Klonopin can last much longer, anywhere from 6-12 hours.

Clonazepam is usually prescribed to address anxiety, panic, or seizures. Benzos are a class of central nervous system (CNS) depressants that also include medications such as Ativan, Xanax, and Valium.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies clonazepam as a Schedule IV controlled substance. This classification indicates that although it does have a legitimate medical purpose, there is still some potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction, albeit relatively low.

Clonazepam also has a long half-life, which refers to the length of time needed for half of one dose of the drug to be cleared from the body. For clonazepam, this time period ranges between 30-40 hours, meaning that it takes roughly 2-3 days for 50% of clonazepam to be eliminated from a person’s body. Due to its half-life, a small amount of the medication is likely to remain in the system for up to 9 days after the last dose.

Individual factors may also influence how long the effects of clonazepam persist and the amount of time it takes for it to be cleared from a person’s system include the following:

  • Age
  • Height and weight
  • Body fat and mass
  • Genetics
  • Food consumption
  • Liver function
  • Metabolic rate
  • Urinary pH
  • Average dosage amount
  • Frequency of use
  • Duration of use
  • Use of other drugs or alcohol

How Does Clonazepam Work?

Klonopin reduces overactivity in the CNS that is associated with anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, insomnia, and a variety of other disorders. As an intermediate-acting benzo, it can decrease the risk of seizure activity for several hours after the drug has been used. Klonopin may also be prescribed to people who experience persistent restlessness, fidgeting, or other involuntary movements.

Sometimes health providers will prescribe Klonopin for the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks. However, it isn’t prescribed as commonly for the short-term treatment of anxiety or insomnia as other medications, such as Ativan and Xanax. These other benzos are often more effective at addressing such conditions because their effects onset rapidly within minutes but are not as long-lasting as Klonopin.

Clonazepam Misuse and Addiction

Like other benzos, clonazepam can induce feelings of relaxation and well-being, which give it the potential for abuse and addiction. Even those who use clonazepam as prescribed by a doctor may find themselves progressing into problematic use. It is these coveted feelings that often drive a person to use clonazepam more often or in higher doses than directed. 

Clonazepam use can lead to tolerance and dependence if use persists for a prolonged period. Tolerance is a condition that develops when the body adapts to the presence of a drug and gradually diminishes its effects. When this occurs, the individual may be compelled to use more of the drug to feel the desired effects.

Dependence also develops after extended exposure to a substance, as the body becomes accustomed to its presence and is no longer able to function normally without it. Once dependence occurs, a person will begin to experience unpleasant or painful withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the substance. Tolerance and dependence are hallmark signs of addiction, a condition that is also characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of adverse consequences.

Clonazepam Overdose

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Anyone who takes a dose of clonazepam in excessive amounts or too often is at risk for overdose. Although it is not easy to fatally overdose on clonazepam when used by itself, if it is used with other nervous system depressants, such as alcohol or opioids, the depressant effects of all ingested substances are compounded and can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of a clonazepam overdose include the following:

  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Amnesia
  • Impaired vision
  • Stupor or unresponsiveness
  • Labored, slowed, or stopped breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired coordination
  • Low blood pressure

If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms after using clonazepam, especially with other drugs or alcohol, please call 911 immediately.

Getting Treatment for Klonopin Addiction

Once an individual has developed a dependence on clonazepam, it can be very challenging to stop use. Those who take clonazepam regularly for a prolonged period will likely experience unpleasant withdrawal effects when they attempt to discontinue use. The discomfort of these symptoms is frequently the prime reason why a person will continue to use clonazepam even if he or she is highly motivated to stop.

Fortunately, recovery from clonazepam addiction is certainly attainable, and the first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem and begin seeking help. 

Recovery By The Sea uses a comprehensive, research-based approach to addiction recovery that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, treatment for co-existing mental health conditions, peer group support, aftercare planning, and much more.

If you or someone you love is dependent on clonazepam or other substances, help is available. Please know that you don’t have to suffer alone—contact us today and find out how we can help!

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