Plugging Klonopin | Effects & Dangers Of Rectal Clonazepam Use

The benzodiazepine drug clonazepam (Klonopin) is prescribed to treat seizures, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders. It is also abused for various reasons, with some choosing to take it via  rectal administration (plugging) despite potential dangers and complications.

Clonazepam, sold under brand names Klonopin and Rivotril and as a generic medication, is a highly potent and long-acting benzodiazepine drug prescribed to treat seizures, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and the movement disorder akathisia.

Klonopin is frequently abused as a downer for its sedating, anti-anxiety effects and can be habit-forming if used for more than a few weeks.

While snorting, smoking, and injecting Klonopin are all very uncommon practices, as the drug is almost always abused orally, there have been cases where some have instead taken Klonopin rectally in a method known as plugging or boofing.

Effects Of Rectal Klonopin Administration

Klonopin tablets are intended for oral use and have a very high oral bioavailability of around 90%. Like other benzos drugs, Klonopin works by enhancing the effect of GABA-A receptors in the brain that dramatically reduces a person’s overall mental and physical tension.

However, because swallowing tablets and pills results in a relatively slow onset of effect, as the drug must work its way through the digestive tract, some will take medications like Klonopin in other ways to increase the speed or intensity of the drug’s desired effects.

This usually involves chewing Klonopin tablets, crushing and swallowing them, or crushing them and placing them under the tongue. On occasion, some have also administered Klonopin rectally, usually after crushing the tablet, mixing it with water, and loading it into a syringe.

Does Plugging Klonopin Even Work?

While many drugs can be rapidly absorbed through the mucus membranes of the rectum, often in very high doses with high bioavailability, it’s unclear how much of a difference plugging Klonopin provides when compared with typical oral ingestion. 

What is known, however, is that plugging drugs like Klonopin comes with significant risks and dangers.

Dangers Of Plugging Klonopin

While the effects of Klonopin are similar to those of other benzodiazepine medications like Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), and Ativan) (lorazepam), Klonopin is an even more potent and long-acting central nervous system depressant and psychoactive substance. 

Therefore, abusing Klonopin in any form is strongly cautioned against due to severe short- and long-term health risks.

Risks and dangers of Klonopin abuse can include:

  • sedation
  • euphoria
  • impaired coordination and motor control
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • short-term memory loss
  • irritability
  • sexual dysfunction
  • behavioral problems
  • hallucinations
  • disrupted sleep cycles
  • depression
  • drug dependence or addiction

Taking the drug rectally may also lead to additional health problems, including:

  • rectal tissue irritation, injury, or infection
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • increased susceptibility to STIs
  • circulation problems
  • increased risk of overdose

Klonopin Overdose

Because plugging can be used to introduce such a large dose of Klonopin into the body all at once, it may increase the risk that a person will overdose on the drug. This can trigger severe physical and psychological effects, including:

  • extreme drowsiness/sedation
  • mental confusion
  • slurred speech
  • slow reflexes and impaired coordination
  • loss of consciousness/coma
  • changes in pupil size
  • weak or rapid pulse
  • difficulty breathing

Mixing Klonopin with other drugs of abuse, especially other CNS depressants like opioid/opiate drugs and alcohol, also increases a person’s risk of life-threatening overdose reactions, including respiratory depression (shallow, slowed, or interrupted breathing).

If you suspect a drug overdose has occurred, immediately call 911 and provide first-aid until responders arrive on the scene.

Increased Side Effects

Plugging Klonopin may also increase the likelihood that a person will experience certain side-effects commonly associated with Klonopin use, including:

  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • hostility
  • irritability
  • nightmares
  • stomach upset
  • trouble sleeping
  • unsteadiness
  • weakness

Other potential side effects and adverse reactions are also possible and should be referred to a healthcare provider if you experience them.

Treatment Options For Klonopin Abuse

Klonopin is a strong medication and Schedule IV controlled substance that can have profoundly negative effects on those who misuse it. Its addictive potential should not be underestimated.

Fortunately, Klonopin addiction and dependence can be professionally treated using a variety of evidence-based programs and interventions.

Tapering & Medical Detox Programs

Withdrawing from Klonopin cold turkey can lead to severe and sometimes hazardous withdrawal symptoms similar to those of alcohol withdrawal. 

For this reason, healthcare professionals strongly recommend tapering/medical detox programs designed to lower your Klonopin dosage slowly and with close medical supervision.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of behavioral therapy intended to help participants understand and correct harmful beliefs and patterns of thought related to chronic substance abuse, leading to a healthier outlook and effective coping strategies.

If you or a loved one struggle with Klonopin addiction, or other forms of drug abuse or dependence, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today. We offer intensive residential care in a rustic and comfortable setting.

  1. The American Journal of Psychiatry
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  3. The Mental Health Clinician
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 17, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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