Ativan (lorazepam) Addiction and Abuse
Ativan (lorazepam) is in a class of substances known as benzodiazepines. It is an anxiety medication often prescribed to help individuals feel more relaxed and calm.
Ativan is a brand name for Lorazepam the main effect it has is on the central nervous system, including the nerves and brain. We see many instances of when this medication is taken for a long time period, there are many potentials for abuse and addiction.
Ativan is strong and fast-acting for those who suffer from extreme anxiety and panic attack disorders. Misuse over a long period of time can result in building tolerance and addiction to Ativan. Ativan dependence is a very serious disorder, because when a tolerance is built, there is an increase in medication being taken by an individual and this is a risk for overdose, especially if the individual is taking other medications or under the influence of alcohol while on Ativan.
There are good uses for the drug for those who need it, but it is created to be a short term anxiety medication, so it is not meant to be used for a long period of time because of the habit forming potential. Even under the medical care of a doctor, people are still abusing the drug and becoming addicted to Ativan. It is important to be open with your physician if you are misusing the drug or noticing any dependence issues. The best way to break free from any benzo addiction is with a proper treatment program customized to the individuals specific needs.
What is Ativan?
A part of the benzodiazepine family, Ativan is an extremely strong anti-anxiety medication. Not only is Ativan the psychoactive drug used in anxiety treatment, but also for insomnia, seizures, panic disorders, and trouble sleeping. It has also been used for an anesthesia and used for withdrawal processes from alcohol and drugs. Other benzodiazepines (commonly referred to as benzos) include Valium, Xanax and Ambien.
These substances have sedative, anti-anxiety, and hypnotic characteristics. They work to directly impact the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, controlling the neurons that contribute to stress and anxiety.
Is Ativan Addictive?
Yes, in short Ativan is very addictive, mainly because of how habit-forming it can be. Other factors include the potency of the drug, and how fast acting it is. Typically, it is not prescribed to individuals over a four month period. Most doctors do not want to see any misuse of this drug, so the prescriptions are usually a max of a few months.
Causes of Ativan Addiction
There are many withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings that happen when prolonged use and misuse of Ativan is taking place. It is an extremely potent benzo, even when compared to other drugs in the benzodiazepine family. It is more likely to become addicted to a potent drug, because tolerance is built quickly. The cravings like the drugs are more potent than those of most other benzos. It isn’t necessarily based on the dosage either, everyone has a different chemical makeup of their brain. So there is the possibility of Ativan addiction developing even while prescribed a smaller dose than what you would think.
Ativan (Lorazepam) Addiction Symptoms, Signs and Effects
There are many situations where it is hard to see the signs of Ativan abuse. With any drugs, it is going to be challenging to recognize whether or not someone is on Ativan. When use is daily, the body becomes accustomed to the drug and this allows the individual using the drug to function normally. The tell signs of addiction is when the user stops taking the drug, the lack of prescription medication would actually be what causes a variety of the visible side effects.
Signs of Ativan Misuse Include:
Loss of appetite
Ativan addiction behavior often becomes similar to the addiction behaviors seen with the misuse of other drugs. The behavioral aspects that come with an addiction to Ativan are very similar to most other drug addiction behaviors. The examples include constantly seeking more medication, seeking higher doses, always looking for their next “high”.
Life changes and priorities change for someone addicted to drugs, interest is lost in the activities they were doing before the drug use started. Many times with addiction the home life, social life, career and school life are all affected. Obligations are not being met and everyone can usually see this except the person using. With any benzo addiction, the withdrawal is brutal, so it is important to the user to continue the drug use in order to avoid these negative side effects.
People who misuse Ativan may start to withdraw from their life, and they might also start lying or stealing to support their addiction. When the addiction is this extreme, there is only one way to recover and that is with a proper alcohol or drug treatment program. At The Beaches Treatment Center we offer recovery for those who are addicted to Ativan (Lorazepam).
Treatment for Ativan (Lorazepam) Addiction at The Beaches
Withdrawal symptoms from any benzodiazepine addiction are among the most severe for any drug withdrawal process. In order to be successful in recovery, a proper Ativan (lorazepam) addiction treatment program is needed. Treatment should start with a medically supervised detoxification process and a suggested continuation for 30 day to six month long treatment program should follow.
Recovery is a lifelong commitment and at The Beaches Treatment Center we provide each and every client with the tools needed in order to be successful in their recovery journey. Each customized treatment program has tailored therapy for each client. After the physical dependence is broken, there are still many other issues clients must work through in order to get to the core of their addiction. We take pride in providing our clients with the tools they need in order to properly integrate back into society successfully and to continue in the lifelong journey that recovery is.
At The Beaches Treatment Center, we believe in treating the entirety of the individual- mind, body, and spirit. We focus on restoring hope in the lives of our clients. We have a comfortable, safe, and serene setting so clients only have to worry about their recovery from addiction. We want our clients to relax during their stay and have comfort knowing they are making the best decision for their life by choosing to stop abusing drugs and alcohol.