Clonidine High: Can Catapres Get One Euphoria?

Last Updated: March 16, 2020

Authored by Isaak Stotts, LP

Clonidine is not commonly thought of as a drug of abuse. Despite this, some users will take it trying to achieve a clonidine high. Users should understand clonidine euphoria and the dangers of chasing it.

Can Clonidine Get One High?

Clonidine high is merely impossible. Blood pressure medications like Catapres are rarely used to get high. So it may seem odd that people would think about abusing the medication. However, people should consider that it is also used to treat ADHD, and medications for this condition are commonly abused. Although it does not act in the same way as these medicines, it does explain why people might be interested in trying to chase a clonidine high.

Clonidine abuse may mean taking the medication on its own or combining it with other substances. People on the Internet sharing their experience with the drug report that on its own, the medicine produces slight Catapres euphoria. This is described as being similar to low doses of THC—the chemical found in marijuana. Users report sensations like extreme physical relaxation, decreased anxiety, and an overall sensation of wellbeing.

high on clonidine

However, it is more common for clonidine’s effects to be exploited by combining the drug with opiates. This is for two reasons. First, it has been found to boost and extend the high opiates create. Second, it is used as a treatment for opiate withdrawal, making the combination seem logical to those already addicted to narcotics. No matter how someone goes about Catapres recreational use, it is always dangerous and against the law.

Reasons For Clonidine Recreational Use

There is no one single reason people end up using Catapres to get high. The motivations are unique to the users, and there is no one factor that can guarantee someone will engage in drug abuse. Some things that can motivate people to snort clonidine or otherwise chase its euphoria include:

  • Untreated physical conditions, specifically those that cause pain.
  • Living in a difficult environment that they might wish to mentally escape from.
  • A desire to amplify the effects of other substances.
  • Wanting to fit in with people who abuse drugs.
  • Seeking an aid to help them relax.
  • Being curious about drugs and getting high in general.
  • Trying to perform better at school or work by harnessing its ADHD treatment effects.

Who Is Most Likely To Try Getting High On Clonidine?

While it is possible for anyone to use Catapres to get high or abuse any substance, there are risk factors that make certain people more likely to engage in recreational use than others. It is important to note that someone fitting into a high-risk category does not guarantee they will abuse the drug.  Statistically, it means that they have a greater likelihood of doing so.

Risk groups for snorting Catapres or otherwise abusing the drug include:

  • people abusing any other substance, as they might wish to combine them (ex: clonidine and weed)
  • those abusing opiates, in particular
  • anyone living in a situation where drugs are readily accessible
  • people living in an impoverished community
  • people with underlying behavioral disorders, especially depression and anxiety
  • individuals with chronic conditions that cause pain
  • people with a family history of drug abuse
  • anyone who hangs out with people who get high, at least, occasionally
  • those currently going through a lot of stress in their lives

clonidine high is dangerous

Why Getting High On Clonidine Is Dangerous

Getting high on any substance is dangerous, but there are significant risks when it comes to abusing Catapres. How much clonidine is needed to get high is actually pretty small, but the same is true for how much is needed to overdose. Clonidine warnings are clear that the medication should not be misused or combined with certain other substances.

When the drug is abused, it is usually taken in large amounts, which increases the possibility of overdose and adverse reactions in general. Combining it with other substances amplifies the risk of toxicity from both Catapres and the concurrently taken drug. Additionally, alternative routes of ingestion make it likely the user will become injured. For example, snorting the medication can weaken the nasal passages.

Potential effects of abuse range from the profound expression of typical side effects to even clonidine overdose death

Getting Help With Clonidine Abuse

Chasing a Catapres high is never worth it, with the risks greatly outweighing any potential rewards. Users who are abusing clonidine should seek help from the drug rehabilitation centers. The addiction treatment services in such facilities are designed to ease recovery and ensure long-standing results.

Page Sources

  1. Seale JP, Dittmer T, Sigman EJ, Clemons H, Johnson JA. Combined abuse of clonidine and amitriptyline in a patient on buprenorphine maintenance treatment. Journal of Addiction Medicine. 2014; 8(6): 476–478. doi:10.1097/ADM.0000000000000081.
  2. Understanding Drug Use and Addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2018.
  3. Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide. National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2014.
  4. Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents (In Brief). National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2003.

Published on: March 16th, 2020

Updated on: March 16th, 2020

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.


Leave a comment