The Dangers Of Continued Use Of Ativan
As tolerance grows and a person begins using these Ativan more than they should, there is an increased risk of health complications. Some side effects of use may occur before addiction and dependence form. This is more common when a person uses Ativan along with alcohol or opioids. Some of the most common side effects and complications from misuse of these drugs include:
- Memory loss
How Does Lorazepam Make You Feel
Benzos have a sedative effect designed to produce a sense of calm and tranquility for the user. Most people report that the drug makes them feel peaceful, relaxed, and sleepy. This is why benzodiazepines are so commonly prescribed for people who have anxiety orpanic attacks. They are fast-acting and generally wear off anywhere between two and four hours.
This is a very potent substance that can render a person unable to perform basic tasks or operate a motor vehicle. People who take higher doses of Ativan can appear intoxicated. They may slur their words, lose their balance, or having trouble remembering recent events and details.
Ativan Vs Xanax How Do They Compare
How do the two most popular benzodiazepine medications compare to each other? Because they are both benzodiazepines, Ativan and Xanax are very comparable medications, although Xanax is prescribed far more often, 49 million to 27.6 million. There are many similarities. Both Ativan and Xanax:
- Are prescribed to treat anxiety disorders
- Have a high potential for misuse and addiction
- Have similar half-lives Xanax half-life 10.7-15.8 hours, Ativan half-life 9-16 hours
- Have sedating effects dizziness and drowsiness
- Are not recommended for pregnant women
But there are also important differences, the biggest of which is the fact that while both medications are prescribed to treat anxiety, Xanax is also given for panic disorders.
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What Is Involved In Ativan Addiction Treatment
Recovery from Ativan addiction is possible with substance abuse treatment from a licensed drug rehabilitation facility. Clients who seek help with Ativan withdrawal symptoms from a drug rehabilitation center typically start with a medical detoxification.
During this process, they are monitored by medical professionals around-the-clock as they are safely weaned off the drug. This may include tapering off Ativan, which is when doses are gradually reduced over a set period to allow the body time to adjust to not having the drug in its system. Some clients may be given a longer-acting benzodiazepine in place of Ativan as they get through their withdrawal period. Detox can last anywhere from three to seven days or longer if needed.
After a medical detox is completed, clients are advised to enter a treatment program that helps them properly address their addiction, both physical and psychological. These treatment programs can be tailored to an individuals needs and preferences. Inpatient treatment, which can last anywhere from 28 days to 90 days in a facility, depending on the program, involves therapies that can help the person work through and overcome their drug dependence.
What If I Miss A Dose
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. However, if its just a few hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one on schedule.
Never try to catch up by taking two doses at a time. This can cause dangerous side effects.
The Food and Drug Administration approves drugs to treat certain conditions. Ativan is approved to treat several conditions. In addition, its sometimes used off-label for purposes that arent approved by the FDA.
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What Is The Withdrawal Timeline And The Withdrawal Symptoms For Ativan Abuse
Withdrawal symptoms for Ativan abuse can start within 24 hours of the last use of the pills. Acute withdrawal symptoms where the physical side effects are most pronounced can last anywhere from 10 to 14 days. Longterm, psychological effects can last for months, years, or in the case of cognitive decline, for the rest of the patients life. Symptoms of withdrawal can include the following:
- Short and long-term memory loss
Getting Help For An Ativan Addiction
There are currently no medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of addictions to Benzodiazepines like Ativan, but there are other therapies and treatments options. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to Ativan, contact a treatment provider to learn about treatment options today.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
- Drugs.com. . Ativan: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Warnings. Retrieved on 3rd September 2015 from
- National Alliance on Mental Illness. . Lorazepam . Retrieved on 3rd September 2015 from
- Rx List. . Ativan Side Effects, Interactions, Warnings, Precautions. Retrieved on 3rd September 2015 from
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Self Test2
The following self test is based on the Bendep-SRQ ,which is a clinically proven valid and reliable instrument to measure for thepresence and severity benzodiazepine dependence.3
Consider each statement and then beside it:
- If you feel you that it not true for you, make a check-mark in the Not True column.
- If you feel that it is partly true, true or absolutely true, make a check-mark in the True column.
The results of this test will reveal your addiction severityacross 3 measures:
High scores in any one subset indicate the presence of an addiction. High scores in all subsets indicate a severe addiction.
How Long Does It Take To Become Addicted To Ativan
While there is no set period in which one forms an addiction to Ativan, the likelihood of dependency increases when the drug is used for longer than the prescribed amount of time, or in higher doses than are recommended. Ativan is a highly addictive substance. The effects of Ativan become impaired over time as users develop a tolerance to the drug. Soon, it becomes necessary to increase dosage in order to achieve the usual calming effect. However, as the dosage increases, so does the risk that is posed to the user.
Sample of Ativan on a table.
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What To Do If Someone You Love Is Abusing Ativan
A person will become addicted to Ativan if they take the drug in high doses for an extended period of time. Taking your own medication at the wrong doses, taking someone elses medication, buying it illegally and using it, or crushing the drug to snort or inject are all forms of abuse. People addicted to Ativan may engage in doctor shopping, a phenomenon where patients visit many different clinics or doctors in order to obtain multiple prescriptions.
Over time, users become dependent on the effects of Ativan, meaning their body adapts to the regular presence of the drug in a way that will cause uncomfortable and at times dangerous withdrawal symptoms when the user attempts to quit or cut down and the bodys new, drug-dependent functioning is disrupted.
The individual will also experience tolerance, a condition that can occur even in those who are prescribed Ativan. If the individual decides to take higher doses of the drug in order to feel its effects more strongly, there becomes a possibility for addiction.
If someone you love is abusing Ativan, it is important to do welfare checks to ensure they have not overdosed. When someone overdoses on Ativan, their breathing becomes extremely slowed and they may even stop altogether. Because the drug makes them drowsy, they do not realize it and often fall asleep which is why it is so dangerous for an individual to abuse the drug when alone.
Sign #20 Your Life Has Become Unmanageable
At some point, even you will be unable to ignore the fact that your Ativan/lorazepam addiction is wrecking your life. You will look around and see the broken relationships, consequences at work, health issues, legal problems, and emotional pain and not like what you see. In other words, you will be sick and tired of being tired and sick. This is your rock bottomthe point at which you are ready for something better.
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Understanding Ativan Addiction Symptoms & Treatment Options
Ativan, medically known as lorazepam, is a type of Benzodiazepine, a class of psychoactive drugs designed to help with chemical imbalances in the brain. These drugs are commonly known as tranquilizers or sedatives because they ease and calm any emotional discomfort. Particular this medication treats those suffering from anxiety disorders by producing a soothing effect on the individual through enhancing a certain chemical chain in the brain known as the gamma aminobutyric acid . The medical community has recently discovered Ativan also has value as a treatment for many other conditions, including manic bipolar disorder, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, cancer-related nausea, irritability, and muscle spasms. Officially, the medical community classifies the drug as a Schedule IV depressant. Pharmacist generally only prescribed it for short term use of 4 months or less. Ativan is a white tablet and consumed with water or food.
Also, never mix Ativan with other drugs or consume with alcohol. If you have a history or family history of alcoholism or other medical conditions, consult your doctor before seeking a prescription.
The medical community never advises taking Ativan if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The drug can lead to severe birth defects and miscarriages. If youre a nursing mother, taking Ativan is usually not advised as the drug can seep into breast milk and harm the infant.
Ativan Treatment Seeking Help
Due to Ativans status as a prescription drug, many may believe that it is relatively harmless. The truth is that Ativan has as much addictive potential as any other drug. Fortunately, there are a variety of services catered to assist those who have been abusing this drug and would like to seek help.
Programs geared towards recovery from prescription drug addiction often involve a drug taper. To minimize withdrawal symptoms, a physician will gradually reduce the dose of Ativan over a period of time. This continues until the the patient is at a point where they can safely cease taking the drug. Additional services include individual therapy, behavioral therapy, and access to support groups all of these can assist the patient in addressing the root cause of their addiction.
To get immediate help in finding an addiction rehab feel free to call our 24 hour addiction hotline or fill out one of the many forms available throughout our website. You will be put in contact with a detox and rehab admissions specialist who will answer your questions and get you or your loved one into a treatment center as soon as possible
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How Can You Get Addicted To Ativan
There are different ways you can develop an Ativan addiction. Some addiction may start while taking Ativan as a legitimate form of treatment, while some may also stem from recreational use. Here are some situations wherein a person could possibly get addicted to Ativan:
- Abusing a legitimate Ativan prescription by using it longer than the period prescribed by a doctor.
- Using Ativan as a go-to calming medication to relieve yourself from stress.
- Using the drug to self-medicate even if it is not prescribed to you.
- Using Ativan as a recreational drug.
- Abusing Ativan thinking that it is a safer choice of drug as compared to other illegal narcotics.
- Using Ativan in combination with other substances like alcohol, cocaine, opioids, and other benzos.
Intervention For An Ativan Problem
If someone you know is addicted to Ativan, you can help them get on the path to recovery by staging an intervention. While some addicts are aware of their problem, many are in denial. This can make talking about their addiction very difficult and the assistance of a professional may be needed.
An interventionist can educate and guide you through the intervention process.
Its important to time and plan an intervention carefully. Youll want to rehearse what youre going to say beforehand and be prepared for anything. Getting other loved ones to participate may
Break free from addiction.
Can You Get Addicted To Ativan
It is believed that if you religiously and carefully follow the doctors advice, then you will not be at risk of being addicted to Ativan. However, even if you have a legitimate prescription, there is a possibility that you could develop sedative use disorder or addiction.
How is this possible?
The thing with Ativan is that you can rapidly develop tolerance for the drug. This means that if you regularly use it, it will only take a short time before you need to increase the dosage to experience the same effect. Increasing the dosage can lead to drug dependency and addiction.
The short answer is: YES, Ativan is addictive.
This is one of the reasons why Ativan is designed only for short-term or immediate use. When used continuously, there is a potential for addiction.
Ativans Effects On The Brain
Misusing sedatives like Ativan can be particularly dangerous. For example, research suggests that driving a vehicle while using benzodiazepines poses the same risk as driving with a blood-alcohol level between 0.05% and 0.079%.6
Addictive drugs increase dopamine levels in the mesolimbic dopamine system, also known as the reward system.3 Repeated use of drugs like Ativan can interrupt normal dopamine signaling mechanisms, effectively overriding your reward system. This disruption in your brains reward system is what leads to Ativan addiction.
Benzodiazepines are contraindicated in patients who misuse alcohol or other drugs, as well as patients who are in substance recovery.2 If you plan to stop taking Ativan, consult with your physician first for guidance. When you stop taking benzodiazepines abruptly, you may experience intense withdrawal symptoms.5
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Ativan Addiction And Abuse Statistics
The misuse of prescription substances, including benzodiazepines, has been on the rise in the United States in recent years. Hospital visits and overdose deaths related to these drugs have also been increasing. Recent statistics about benzodiazepines include:
- Benzodiazepine overdoses from 2017 to 2019 but increased from 2019 to 2020 along with the supply of illicit benzodiazepines.
- As of 2020, almost 93% of benzodiazepine-related overdose deaths also involved an opioid.
- About 1.8% of U.S. adolescents and adults abused benzodiazepines in 2019.
- In 2020, about 7% of U.S. high school seniors had abused tranquilizers like Ativan.
Who Is Most Likely To Abuse Ativan
Drug addiction and abuse infect all levels of society, and no demographic group is immune to a substance use disorder. But certain risk factors can increase a persons chances of abusing a prescription drug and becoming addicted:
- Genetic predispositions
- Environmental influences
- Psychological factors
- Being addicted to other substances at a young age
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Ativan Tolerance Vs Ativan Addiction
Drug tolerance, dependence, and addiction are related, but not identical, concepts:
- Tolerance is characterized by a reduced response to a regularly administered drug over time. In order to achieve the same effect that was initially achieved, higher doses are required.
- Dependence is characterized by physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms that become present if a drug dose is reduced or eliminated.
- Addiction is an extension of dependence and is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior in spite of likely negative health or social consequences.
Regular, low-dose Ativan use, even as prescribed, is associated with tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Furthermore, teen addiction, even in the context of prescribed drugs, is particularly dangerous and can have lifelong ramifications including increased risk of future substance use and mental health disorders. Unlike the adult brain, the teenage brain is undergoing substantial development changes that are profoundly influenced by external chemicals.
If you are concerned that your teen is misusing or abusing Ativan, or any other drug, now is the time to take action. Next Generation Village provides evidence-based rehab programs for benzodiazepine use disorders, including Ativan. We are dedicated to providing exceptional care for teens ages 13 through 17. Our experts understand teen substance use disorders and have demonstrated excellence in helping them. Contact us today to learn more.
What Is The Treatment Protocol For Ativan Addiction
Its not safe to quit taking drugs like benzodiazepines cold-turkey. For people with a prescription Ativan addiction, its critical that they undergo a safe, medical detox to avoid the painful, debilitating symptoms of withdrawal. Anxiety and depression are common during the detox and withdrawal phase. Depression can cause other problems with a persons day-to-day functioning and can increase the risk of self-harm or suicide. Medical detox can mitigate these risks.
After a person has detoxed from Ativan, they can benefit from a combination of therapy, inpatient or outpatient rehab, and ongoing support and care from counselors and loved ones. In many cases, drug abuse and addiction are maladaptive coping mechanisms for stress and trauma. In therapy, patients are given the tools to cope with stress without misusing prescription drugs. If you or a loved one are struggling with prescription Ativan addiction, please reach out to a qualified drug abuse counselor to explore your addiction treatment options.
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