4 doctors weighed in:

Would any doctor prescribe clanazepam to a recovering alcoholic? A family member of mine is a recovering alcoholic. He was prescribed clonazepam and takes it daily. I fear this will cause him many issues with addiction and will hinder his ability to bec

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Hello.

Hello. I agree with dr. Kahn's response.
Does the prescriber know that your family member is alcoholic? I try to avoid using benzodiazapines (like clonazepam) when possible for patients who have substance abuse problems. Medications in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class can be helpful for anxiety (if your family member suffers from an anxiety disorder) as well as non-medication forms of therapy: cognitive behavioral therapy, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, yoga and acupuncture. Your relative could consider aksing his doctor if there are an options that would be a safe alternative to use of clonazepam. This was an excellent question.

In brief: Hello.

Hello. I agree with dr. Kahn's response.
Does the prescriber know that your family member is alcoholic? I try to avoid using benzodiazapines (like clonazepam) when possible for patients who have substance abuse problems. Medications in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class can be helpful for anxiety (if your family member suffers from an anxiety disorder) as well as non-medication forms of therapy: cognitive behavioral therapy, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, yoga and acupuncture. Your relative could consider aksing his doctor if there are an options that would be a safe alternative to use of clonazepam. This was an excellent question.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Thank
Dr. Jeffrey Kahn
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Clonazepam

Clonazepam is a highly effective medication for panic anxiety.
In most cases of panic anxiety, it should be taken every 12 hours, without extra doses, and should not be taken as needed. Some alcoholics have panic anxiety as an underlying cause. If panic is specifically diagnosed by psychiatric interview, then Clonazepam is one option that can be considered. In someone with a history of alcoholism, there is reason for extra caution about the potential for abuse, about the ability to stay rigidly on an exact dose schedule, about possibly existing medical consequences of alcoholism, and other factors. Although some clinicians do fear that Clonazepam may hinder sobriety, it is very possible that proper use may make sobriety more likely and more comfortable.

In brief: Clonazepam

Clonazepam is a highly effective medication for panic anxiety.
In most cases of panic anxiety, it should be taken every 12 hours, without extra doses, and should not be taken as needed. Some alcoholics have panic anxiety as an underlying cause. If panic is specifically diagnosed by psychiatric interview, then Clonazepam is one option that can be considered. In someone with a history of alcoholism, there is reason for extra caution about the potential for abuse, about the ability to stay rigidly on an exact dose schedule, about possibly existing medical consequences of alcoholism, and other factors. Although some clinicians do fear that Clonazepam may hinder sobriety, it is very possible that proper use may make sobriety more likely and more comfortable.
Dr. Jeffrey Kahn
Dr. Jeffrey Kahn
Thank
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