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Klonopin Alternatives

This entry was posted in Benzodiazepine and tagged on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Klonopin alternatives provide vital tools in conjunction with the medical oversight needed for the transition to medication-free. This challenging patient population is our specialty and we provide residential support with both medical and holistic professionals to make this transition possible. The fact that Klonopin® is one of the most-prescribed sedatives in the world underscores the need for effective alternatives.

Benzodiazepines like Klonopin require a different treatment protocol than most other drugs and must be performed with great patience and exactness.

Do Your Symptoms Require Klonopin?
successful klonopin alternatives
Alternative to Meds has been the expert on benzodiazepine alternatives for over 17 years. You can review our published evidence highlighting our success. Some people can indeed manage to stop taking benzodiazepines quite easily. But some have become neurotoxic, forcing them into a ruinous overstimulated state. Thus, before their neurochemistry can regulate, they will need to clean up that toxic burden. Of course, each person is different and needs to be programmed on an individually designed regimen that will best address their unique needs.
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You likely have already witnessed the holy terrors of Klonopin. Benzodiazepines are typically grueling to withdraw from, and more challenging than heroin. But continuing to take this drug can be absolutely catastrophic.
Please watch the videos you see here or call us to get information that may lead to a better understanding of how to resolve this health conundrum.

Natural Alternatives to Klonopin

Natural Klonopin alternatives can help in the transition from drug dependency and tolerance (the drugs no longer work) back to natural mental health.

There are numerous tools and strategies that can aid in this transition such as counseling, improved diet and nutrition, deep cleansing of neurotoxins from the body, a well-supervised tapering program, learning relaxation techniques, and many others which are discussed in more detail below.

Natural Alternatives to Klonopin include:
  • natural alternatives to klonopinA well-balanced diet preferably organic, nutrient-dense unprocessed foods 14,18,47,48,65
  • Maintain a healthy gut microbiome 11,12
  • Choose household and personal care products without toxic chemicals 13
  • Avoid foods containing MSG and glutamates 15,16,43-45
  • Aspartame may be neurotoxic — avoid foods and beverages sweetened with it 17,46
  • Get tested for heavy metals or other neurotoxins that need to be safely removed 19
  • Massage therapy 20
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine — acupuncture, Qi Gong, and herbal medicines. 21,22,67
  • Passionflower extract for anxiety with less cognitive impairment than medication 25
  • Kava — safe and effective treatment for generalized anxiety 26
  • GABA, an oral supplement for enhanced sleep and relief of stress 27
  • Taurine, an amino acid with calming properties 28
  • Glycine — found useful in OCD and other conditions 29
  • Amide of niacin (niacinamide, nicotinic acid) — proven anti-anxiety properties 30
  • L-lysine and L-arginine, amino acids with anxiety-relieving properties 31
  • Magnesium 32
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) 33
  • Melatonin 34
  • Tryptophan 35
  • 5-HTP — can reduce the intensity of anxiety symptoms 36
  • Valerenic acid, extracted from the valerian plant — for anxiety relief 37
  • Inspect and remove mold found in the home and work environments 38
  • Reduce exposure to EMFs and Wi-Fi 39,40
  • Counseling, notably CBT for insomnia, anxiety, and depression 41

Why Choose Klonopin Alternatives?

Klonopin® belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are renowned for their highly addictive properties and intense side effects.6,64 Many individuals have led the search for effective benzodiazepine alternatives. Klonopin is mainly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders, panic attacks, and epilepsy. However, long-term Klonopin use is typically not well tolerated by most individuals because they encounter bothersome side effects, and/or the drug may prove ineffective. If you feel that your condition is not getting better or if you are encountering drug reactions that are hard to endure, you may want to consider Klonopin natural alternatives. We can help you safely come off of a prescription drug that has not proved effective for you, and transition to the use of an effective and safe alternative treatment plan. We endeavor to educate our clients on how to be medication-free and experience natural mental health for the rest of their lives.

Common Side Effects of Klonopin

Klonopin has an extremely long list of potential side effects; seeking Klonopin alternatives provides a much safer and more reliable solution.1

As medical literature shows, there are hundreds of known Klonopin side effects, for example, emergent thoughts about death and suicide, emerging or worsened anxiety, retrograde amnesia, insomnia, compulsive behavior, mania, psychosis, compulsive marching or pacing, and other motor movement disorders. In the elderly, the use of benzodiazepines is linked to greater cognitive decline.8 For pregnant women or women who are planning a pregnancy, learning about infant risks such as cleft lip, floppy infant syndrome, and neonatal withdrawals is vital.6,7

The Challenges of Klonopin

Special FDA Warning – the FDA has put a black box warning on many CNS depressant drugs including Klonopin regarding consuming opiates concurrently due to the heightened risk of fatality.1 Benzos and other CNS depressants such as alcohol should not be mixed due to their synergistic (compounding) sedative effect.

Driving or operating heavy machinery while drug-impaired is illegal in most jurisdictions,23,24, and the legal and health risks are real for you and others around you. Klonopin alternatives can reduce risks including the risk of becoming addicted or dependent.2

Insomnia, Anxiety, and Benzodiazepine Use

insomnia benzosThough benzos are given to promote sleep and reduce anxiety, when used long-term, benzos present many problems that minimize their usefulness for many persons. The effects of benzodiazepines may point to potential neurological damage, according to Dr. Heather Ashton in her extensive medical research.9

Common sources of stress such as an over-demanding workspace, a foundering marriage, or other situations that life can throw at one often precede a prescription for anti-stress drugs. The result could erupt into a total overwhelm, and collapse of normalcy. Often the reasons that underlie anxiety can be treated better with Klonopin alternatives since users ultimately develop tolerance, at which point the drug provides no calming effect at all.

Klonopin Protracted Withdrawal
The phenomenon known as protracted withdrawal can occur after prolonged use of benzodiazepines and can include both neurological symptoms and sensory disturbances which are notoriously difficult to reverse.9

help for protracted withdrawalFor people who are suffering from anxiety or other conditions and do not want to put up with side effects, physical dependence, discontinuation symptoms, and other Klonopin-related problems, help with alternatives to Klonopin is available. We provide help to individuals who want to stop taking this medication and start using more effective, less harmful alternative methods to address symptoms and conditions. We also provide gentle methods of coming off harsh drugs like Klonopin and help with other medication-related problems.

WARNING: When Klonopin tapering is handled improperly, serious effects can occur including severe depression, anxiousness, physical pain, intense cravings, insomnia, nausea, resulting in overall intense discomfort. Klonopin withdrawal should be performed under the guidance of a qualified prescriber.64

Diet — An Effective Klonopin Alternative

diet as klonopin alternativeVarious ways to improve the diet may result in many surprising improvements in mental wellness. Below we discuss various dietary changes including organic food, support for a healthy microbiome, and clean, chemical-free food choices, that could provide effective help.

Changing the diet is a powerful tool that can quite literally change the quality of a person’s life.

Please read further to find out more about choosing foods wisely, and why certain foods can help or hinder your precious mental well-being. In this regard, knowledge is indeed power. Orthomolecular medicine is the science that researches and applies nutritional aspects necessary for an efficiently operating body, including the CNS and brain, necessary for natural mental health.

Organic food

Food is certified organic when it is produced within certain stringent guidelines published by the NOP or National Organic Program, a subsidiary of the FDA, and overseen by the US Dept of Agriculture.65 These are health-supportive guidelines, which include:

  • The soil used for crop production must not have chemicals applied for 3 years.
  • Animals raised for consumption must be fed 100% organic feed, and must be raised in an environment that accommodates their natural behaviors, such as pasture grazing, and must not have received antibiotics or hormones.
  • Organic foods must be processed without artificial colorants, flavorings, or preservatives.
  • GMO foods are expressly prohibited from the label of “organic.”
Microbiome Support

We encourage you to review the research of K. Johnson, published in the Human Microbiome Journal as well as that of Martin et al published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

They found that the microbes in the digestive system are important messengers that facilitate the amazing and complex workings of the central nervous system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the immune system, and more. If these important microbial messengers are missing or impaired in their ability to function, we get severe repercussions.

Psychiatric and physical symptoms often result when the gut-brain axis is out of balance.11,12 An extremely effective Klonopin alternative therapy, therefore, is the support of a healthy microbiome using fermented foods, probiotics, and other nonpharmacological measures for the important reasons mentioned above.

Hygiene products

A website called Skin Deep catalogs the 77,000 chemical toxicity profiles of personal hygiene products on the market. When purchasing personal care products, it is possible to transition to non-toxic brands if you know what products to avoid.

Glutamate-Containing Foods

How concerned should we be about the over-consumption of glutamate-containing foods? Glutamate is the most prevalent free amino acid in the human brain and is intricately involved with and interacts with the entire human CNS. In a healthy brain, a system of glutamate receptors efficiently sweeps excess glutamate from the extracellular fluids in the brain. This is a protective action since an overabundance of glutamate can excite cells to their death, which is termed neurotoxicity. Glutamate is like the master in command of regulating transmitters in the nervous system. Too much or too little glutamate can be detrimental to the fine-tuned workings of the human body and brain.66

Glutamate is also a component of MSG, used as a flavor enhancer in processed foods. While no decisive conclusions have been reported, research on mice showed that an overabundance of glutamate in the extracellular fluids in the brain led to spontaneous seizures, as reported by Zhou et al in the Journal of Neural Transmission.67 In humans, glutamic dysregulation is thought to link to  symptoms of depression, mental retardation, schizophrenia, addiction, and other conditions.43,44,45

NOTE: To avoid over-consumption of MSG, a common processed food additive, it is recommended that one learn the various names used on product labels.16


The artificial sweetener aspartame has been suggested to link to behavioral and cognitive issues. Some of the possible physiological problems from excess consumption include migraines and other headache types, learning deficits, and even seizures. Possible psychiatric symptoms can include anxiety, depression, insomnia, and unstable mood presentations. These phenomena are thought likely due to aspartame’s effects on increasing phenylalanine and aspartic acid levels in the brain.17

Research by Rycerz and Jaworska-Adamu published in Folia Neuropathologica describes how the artificial sweetener suppresses the production and distribution of dopamine and serotonin. They also note that aspartame’s metabolite, called dioxopiperazine, is cancer-causing, contributing to tumor growth in the CNS. Despite the lack of adequate clear-cut evidence for a formal ban on this food additive, the research still makes a compelling argument for caution, and we recommend steering clear.46

Well-balanced Diet

The use of a well-balanced diet has been found extremely helpful for weight loss, but also in reducing psychiatric symptoms such as those found in schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar. According to research by Morris et al, modifying the diet may ameliorate abnormal molecular pathways, inflammation, and oxidative stress commonly associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. 14,18,47,48

Influence of Toxins and Heavy Metals on Anxiety Symptoms

anxiety increased by toxins heavy metalsWe have routinely found on lab testing that accumulated neurotoxins are present where anxiety or other psychiatric symptoms led to a prescription of benzodiazepines.

These toxins can have significant impacts on endocrine gland functioning which may result in hormonal imbalances, adrenal burnout, and cortisol elevation. Many psychiatric symptoms have been linked to toxic exposures, including ionizing radiation, pesticides, nerve gases, heavy metals, solvents, and chemicals in food and cleaning products.4

Toxins may safely be removed using gentle chelation and other cleansing methods.

We find that in most instances of over-stimulation, the individual has acquired an accumulation of neurotoxins that remain stored in the body. These can be from contact with heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals in air/water/cleaning products, etc. There are literally thousands of other chemicals that are added to processed food and hygiene products. Toxins accumulate in fatty tissues, where they can remain for a long time. Our biotransformational sauna program uses a combination of supplements to change these fat-soluble toxins into a water-soluble form, which can then be safely transported out of the body through sweat and other normal excretion channels.

Neurotoxins can overstimulate the nervous system, causing unwanted symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. Often, such symptoms led to a prescription of Klonopin. Using Klonopin alternative treatments such as sauna cleansing offer more effective solutions.

Lead and Mental Health

toxic metals increase klonopin side effectsThe WHO (World Health Organization) has published a fact sheet outlining the psychiatric and other symptoms of lead exposure, including increased antisocial behavior, learning disabilities, lowered IQ, mental retardation, and many others.

Lead absorption is facilitated by a poor diet, such as a lack of calcium and other missing nutrients. Lead can become mobilized and leach from the bones of a pregnant woman into the unborn fetus. Lead is extremely toxic and no safe level threshold has been determined, according to the WHO. This toxic heavy metal can leach out from many unsuspected places, such as in dinnerware with lead glazes, older homes that have lead-painted walls or stained-glass windows, and leaded gasoline that is still sold around the world.53

Toxins are largely bound as accumulations in fatty tissues.51 The brain is approximately 60% fat52 making it a magnet for toxins. With targeted supplementation protocols these undesirable molecules can be dislodged, neutralized, and escorted from the body via the normal elimination channels using chelation, nutritional strategies, and other cleansing methods. Neurotoxin removal is an excellent Klonopin alternative as it removes the source of toxin-induced psychiatric symptoms rather than a desperate attempt to mask them with numbing drugs.

Mercury and Mental Health

Mercury is another neurotoxic heavy metal that can be purged from the body in our Klonopin alternatives program. According to the WHO Fact sheet on mercury poisoning, the greatest accumulations of this neurotoxin occur from eating fish, especially large predatory fish with increased toxic contamination from eating smaller fish, and from vapors inhaled in industrial settings or after industrial accidents such as mercury released into bodies of water close to populated centers.54

Mercury poisoning can be treated with chelating agents such as DPMS. Exposure to mercury can cause psychiatric and health conditions such as cognitive decline, kidney failure, tremors, personality changes, delusion, depression, and many other symptoms.55

Physical Treatments for Anxiety and Insomnia


According to research by Sharpe et al, therapeutic massage showed significant improvements in categories such as anxiety, depression, overall health and vitality, and positive well-being among community-dwelling older adults.20

Chris Moyer et al’s meta-analysis of the extant literature on massage therapy, published in the Psychology Bulletin concluded that it produced results similar to those of psychotherapy.55 Therapeutic massage is one of the highly popular adjunctive therapies used in our Klonopin alternatives program at Alternative to Meds Center.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

acupuncture effective therapyAcupuncture and other forms of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) have been topics of research in both mental and physical health fields.

A compilation of case studies from Aung et al demonstrates the efficacy of proper diagnosis and various treatment methods using TCM that garnered improvements in sleep, mood, relaxation, lowered anxiety and stress levels, and other positive results.21

Acupuncture is a TCM therapy that has demonstrated its usefulness in relieving unwanted symptoms including lessened anxiety and neuroses as well as physical pain, making it an ideal choice for an alternative to Klonopin or other benzodiazepines.22

Supplements Used as Klonopin Alternatives

Our Klonopin alternatives programs are largely based on the premise that the least harmful treatment for anxiety and related symptoms resides in proper nutrition, and correct supplementation, and elimination of harmful, invasive prescription medications. Daneshzad et al’s 2020 study published in the Journal of Science and Agriculture showed a clear relationship between diet and the prevalence or absence of mental disorders. Diet correction including targeted supplementation is a powerful, proven tool for natural mental health.55

We would encourage anyone with an interest in learning more about specific supplements to explore the table given in Danashzad et al’s 2020 research, cited above.

Toxic Mold Syndrome

toxic mold syndrome benzo withdrawalBill Rea et al’s 100-person clinical trial published in the 2003 Archive of Environmental Health showed that mold exposure was linked to neurological impairments.57 Depression, memory loss, anxiety, and other psychiatric symptoms have been attributed to toxic mold exposure.58

If you suspect you have been exposed to toxic mold in your home or workplace, testing can reveal the presence of these toxic inhabitants. Instead of relying on a prescription drug, Klonopin alternative treatment might include the removal of mold, to remedy the situation at its source. Recommended reading can be found in “Mold Warriors: Fighting America’s Hidden Health Threat by Ritchie C. Shoemaker.

Good Sleep Hygiene

Practice healthy sleep habits: 59

  • Adhere to a fixed bedtime as much as possible.
  • Shoot for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Nap if necessary.
  • Tossing and turning are not sleeping. If you can’t sleep after 20 minutes, get up and remedy the situation as best you can with warm milk & honey, relaxation exercises, reading, or other restful activity.
  • Don’t take your laptop or other electronic devices to bed.
  • Keep the room temperature comfortably cool with adequate ventilation.
  • Bright lights are not conducive to sleep. Use dimmed lights if needed.
  • A half-hour before bedtime, turn off screens, blue lights, etc.
  • No heavy meals close to bedtime. Try yogurt or another light, healthy snack instead.
  • Daily exercise is recommended at your comfort level.
  • A healthy diet is fundamental to quality sleep.
  • No caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages before retiring.
  • Limit intake of fluids before bedtime.

Talk Therapy and Benzo Recovery

talk therapy benzo recoveryCBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is considered the “gold standard” for talk therapy for the treatment of anxiety.41

In fact, studies such as Mayo-Wilson et al published in The Lancet have shown CBT has a superior therapeutic value to drugs, and the positive results last much longer.61,62

The trend toward talk therapy is growing around the globe. For instance, the Mental Health Foundation of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland recommend talk therapy for the treatment of numerous psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, and others. It is evidence-based therapy and as an alternative to Klonopin, it poses no risk of addiction or impaired neurochemistry.60

Learned Relaxation Techniques

Learning relaxation techniques arms a person with portable tools that can be practiced just about anywhere, at any time. More and more, relaxation practices such as meditation are becoming well-known and widely accepted in the scientific/medical community due to the benefits they provide as an alternative to Klonopin or other meds.55

Other Medications vs Klonopin Alternatives

There are many medications that may be used as alternatives for epilepsy and anxiety treatment. However, the traditional medications offered as benzodiazepine substitutes have many of the same Klonopin side effects and other problems associated with benzos. Traditional doctors may recommend antidepressants or other benzodiazepines as an “alternative” prescription drug but we are not talking about substituting one drug for another. In short, it is crucial for individuals to know that there are many effective forms of Klonopin alternatives in treatment that don’t involve the risk of side effects or dependence. Traditional treatment with prescription drugs is certainly not the only choice.

Natural alternatives to Klonopin can be highly effective in addressing symptoms of anxiety. Though physicians seem largely unaware of the fact, anxiety symptoms may be successfully treated without the use of drugs.3 In fact, antidepressants and benzodiazepines do not cure or fix anxiety, but they may cover symptoms up while the drug is active in the body system. However, when you decide to stop taking these drugs, all the problems you previously had will become present again. Many therapeutic aids exist to soften Klonopin withdrawal such as talk therapy, lifestyle adjustments, vitamin and supplement therapy, healing activities like acupuncture; massage, art therapy, Qi Gong, Equine-assisted therapy, and many others.

Klonopin Addiction and Abuse

A question we get frequently asked is regarding the “Klonopin high.” What does a Klonopin high feel like? The “Klonopin high” refers to a sensation of euphoria, similar to cocaine or other drugs, that can easily lead to addiction. Street use of benzodiazepines is not uncommon due to this intoxicating “side effect.” Healthcare workers report that the “Klonopin high,” like any other drug-induced euphoria can be a heavy-hitting factor in addiction. Benzodiazepines are commonly used as street-drug substitutes to get high when other drugs are not available.

A ten-year study done on postmortem adolescents showed that benzodiazepines were found present nearly twice as often as all other drugs combined, excluding THC, in accidental drug overdose deaths.68

Klonopin alternative therapies can only put you ahead, not behind as these treatments don’t carry side effect risks, addiction issues, or withdrawal symptoms. Our purpose is to identify, address, and resolve the underlying causes of anxiety, instead of temporarily masking them with medication.

Effective Klonopin Alternatives at Alternative to Meds Center

As a person progresses through the many steps of getting off Klonopin, the medical and care staff at ATMC ensures that the person is always making progress. Gradually, symptoms lessen and may entirely disappear.

getting off klonopin Please review a summary of therapeutic options at the center on our services overview page.

You will discover that we offer cognitive behavioral therapy, which is particularly effective for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other conditions.

We firmly believe that food is a terrific way of feeding your brain to achieve neurotransmitter rehabilitation.

Trainer-led exercise and equine therapy are both highly popular with our clients.

Other popular Klonopin alternatives for reducing symptoms such as anxiety include acupuncture, yoga, meditation, massage, chiropractic therapy, relaxation techniques, and more.

Benzodiazepine alternatives come in all forms and shapes and are blended into each client’s unique program. A wide range of holistic, safe, proven methods stabilize brain function and relieve symptoms. And they do this without the liabilities of drug-based treatment. 

Benzodiazepines are among the most common type of drugs that we are asked to help a person deal with. A significant number of persons have reported that unguided Klonopin withdrawal is, if not virtually impossible, devastatingly difficult. Our diverse set of methods for addressing this particular type of medication includes careful techniques for tapering, removal of built-up neurotoxins, natural substances that create neurochemical support, peer support, correction of diet and nutrient deficiencies, and many other beneficial protocols. We know how to help people discontinue benzos with minimal discomfort, which makes life without benzodiazepines and, importantly, without the return of anxiety, highly possible.

Contact the Alternative to Meds Center

Our goal is to provide the pathway to long-term relief and sustainable success for clients. Our scientific, evidence-based methods have helped thousands discontinue medications and become naturally mentally healthy.

Please call to find out more about how Alternative to Meds Center can provide you or your loved one with the best help available in our residential Klonopin alternatives treatment program.

Read Our eBook on the Alternatives to Benzodiazepines

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Originally Published Oct 30, 2018 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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