An addiction is possible with the prescribed medication Ativan. When addicted to Ativan, taking higher doses of the drug over an extended period of time can lead to physical and psychological dependence.
Individuals with a drug and/or alcohol abuse history or those with personality disorders are at a greater risk of developing an addiction to the prescription drug Ativan. When addicted to Ativan, an individual may experience cravings for the drug and will continue to use the drug despite problems that arise in their life. Such problems can include:
- Relationship problems with family or friends
- Failing to follow through with obligations at work, home, and school
- Participating in dangerous activities
- Losing interest in things that once held importance
- Becoming socially isolated
- Financial issues
“I was basically locked in my room and the only time I would go out was to hook up with my connection. I spent at least… $400 a day on pills.” – Heidi D., in recovery from addiction to Ativan and other drugs
Individuals who habitually use Ativan will develop a tolerance to the drug. Larger doses will be needed to achieve the same effects that a lower dose would achieve. Those addicted to Ativan may recognize that they have a problem and have a desire to quit. However, they are unable to. The withdrawal symptoms from Ativan make it hard for the individual both physically and psychologically.
Those wishing to quit using Ativan will require rehabilitation, therapy, and/or medically assisted detox to safely and successfully overcome their addiction.
Understanding Ativan (Lorazepam)
Ativan, or Lorazepam, is an anti-anxiety medication that is also prescribed to treat such ailments as insomnia and epilepsy. Ativan is designed to be used as an intermediate-duration drug. It is rarely prescribed for more than four months. Ativan can also be prescribed when an individual is going through alcohol detoxification to help manage the withdrawal symptoms.
Ativan’s long-term effectiveness has not been confirmed when prescribed to treat panic attacks, short-term anxiety, and depression.
Ativan belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or “benzos.” Benzodiazepines block the select neurotransmitters in the brain which slows hyperactive mental processes. Benzos are often sold as a quick-dissolve tablet or a concentrated, colorless liquid. Ativan can also be taken orally or through an IV drip administered by a healthcare professional. The effects from taking Ativan last about two hours and remains in the individual’s system for 10 to 20 hours.
|How Long Do Benzodiazepines Stay in the Body?|
|Length of Action||Short-acting||Intermediate||Long-acting|
|Time||2-4 hours||10-20 hours||20-70 hours|
Ativan’s street names are goofballs, heavenly blues, stupefy, and benzos.
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Ativan Effects and Abuse
Since Ativan is a prescribed drug, many people do not realize when they’re abusing the drug. Examples of how Ativan is abused include taking larger amounts than prescribed, taking the drug more often than prescribe, taking the drug for longer periods of time than prescribe, and taking Ativan without a prescription.
The purpose of Ativan is to help balance the chemicals in the brain that cause anxiety. When taken in large doses, Ativan binds with receptors in the brain eliciting a fleeting, intense high followed by a long-terms state of calm. When Ativan is used with other substances such as alcohol, the relaxing effects of the drug are more intense. Ativan is seemingly harmless because it is a prescription drug. However, individuals who abuse Ativan are prime candidates for accidental and intentional drug abuse and possible drug overdose.
Effects of Ativan include:
- a euphoric high
- a sense of calm
- relaxed muscles
- Mental confusion
- Slurred speech
- Lack of energy
- Loss of control of body movements
- Muscle weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Slow breathing
Common Ativan Drug Combinations
Ativan is often combined with other drugs to enhance the effects. It is commonly used with the following drugs.
- Cocaine– When Ativan is combined with cocaine, the medication counteracts the stimulating effects causing the user to come down from the high.
- Amphetamines– Amphetmines produce the same effects as cocaine so the use of Ativan has the same effect on the user as it does with cocaine.
- Methadone– Ativan is taken with methadone to boost the effects of the painkiller.
- Alcohol– Ativan is combined with alcohol to produce a quick high. The central nervous system is depressed when this happens causing the user to over sedate.
Combining Ativan with other drugs is extremely dangerous. It puts the user at risk for overdose, which in some cases leads to unconsciousness, coma, or death.
Ativan Abuse Statistics
50K people ended up in the emergency room in 2011 due to Lorazepam (Ativan) complications.
95% patients admitted to the hospital for Benzodiazepine abuse were also abusing another substance.
More than 27 million prescriptions for Ativan were written in 2011.
Seeking out a support group and individual counseling will be necessary in order to be able to overcome an Ativan (Benzodiazepine) addiction. Counseling will provide the tools needed to be able to remain clean and sober. If you or someone you know is struggling with an Ativan addiction, get in touch with us now to get help finding treatment.