What is Ativan Used For?
Ativan is used to treat anxiety.
Anxiety is one of the prevailing illnesses in North America, affecting 40 million adults in the US alone. Dealing with this sometimes debilitating mental illness has been a slog. While it is treatable, only 36% of those suffering from it actually seek help.
The rest go through life in an occasional state of panic from undiagnosed general or social anxiety, OCD, phobias, and depression. Drugs like Ativan and Klonopin have been used for the purpose of immediate relief from anxiety attacks. There are drawbacks to using these, however.
Ativan is known to cause drowsiness, cognitive dissonance, irritability, and worst of all, dependency. In this article we’re going to discuss Ativan dependency; it’s side-effects, symptoms, and how to seek treatment.
Sometimes living with a prescription drug dependency can be worse for you than the thing that it was prescribed to treat in the first place. Let’s get started.
Ativan: What Is It?
Ativan, also known as lorazepam is a drug commonly used to treat anxiety. It’s from a class of drugs called benzodiazepines that work on your brain and central nervous system to give a calming effect by enhancing the gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain.
The drug is ingested in pill form with or without food. The dosage depends on the severity of your anxiety, your age, any medical conditions you might have, and how your body reacts to small doses.
It’s fairly potent, so Ativan is almost never prescribed for longer than 4 months. It should be taken regularly during the period that it’s prescribed in order to achieve its full effects. It provides a relaxing and euphoric feeling in the patient, so it’s become abused by addicts.
As we’ve stated, Ativan can become addictive when over-prescribed or taken for longer than directed by your doctor. Having been used in treatment for alcohol addiction, anxiety, and insomnia, it provides the user with a sense of calm; an addictive quality in a substance.
Because of the effects of Ativan (drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, etc.), it is recommended that you stay away from driving, operating machinery, or doing anything that requires advanced motor function.
A user can develop a tolerance for the drug, which is another of the causes of Ativan addiction. Users increase their dosage to achieve the initial effects of the drug.
Symptoms and Side-Effects
Ativan can have adverse effects, especially when used for a long period of time. Use between 1 and 4 weeks is considered long enough to develop Ativan dependency, especially for those who already have dependency issues.
When one abruptly stops taking Ativan, a variety of things can happen. The numerous side-effects caused by the body getting used to Ativan are the main causes of widespread Ativan addiction. A doctor will normally gradually reduce the dosage rather than abruptly take the patient off, to curtail these symptoms.
Common symptoms of Ativan withdrawal will be:
- trouble sleeping
- mood swings
- loss of appetite
- stomach pains
- a tingling sensation in extremities
- a quick heartbeat
- memory loss
- high fever
- light/sound/touch sensitivity
Overdosing on Ativan
Consequently, it is possible to overdose on Ativan. You will know you’ve taken too much if the following symptoms occur: mental confusion, slurred speech, lack of energy, loss of body control, a weak feeling, low blood pressure, slow breathing, and passing out, which could result in a coma.
Severe addicts will often combine Ativan with other substances to achieve an even more powerful feeling of euphoria. Ativan is commonly abused with alcohol, cocaine, and methadone.
Using Ativan with Other Drugs
When combined with alcohol, Ativan gives a quick and potent high. It increases central nervous system depression and can ultimately lead to death.
Mixing Ativan with painkillers to enhance their potency can induce respiratory failure and lead to death, as well.
Cocaine has long been used in conjunction with downers to counteract the stimulating effects of the drug. Mixing cocaine and Ativan is a popular cocktail that achieves similar effects as a speedball.
The TEDS states that 95% of patients that end up in the emergency room for Ativan abuse have combined it with another substance, which is why it’s so dangerous. If put in the hands of an addict, it can be as deadly as any other drug.
If you suspect yourself or a loved one of being dependent on Ativan, read further to find out how to seek treatment.
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Treatment and Recovery
It can be difficult to spot an Ativan addict at first. It’s a prescription drug, so the addiction can develop slowly and legally. As we’ve stated, dependency can show itself in many ways.
If you notice yourself becoming tolerant to the effects of the drug, don’t increase the dosage, talk to your doctor. If you notice yourself craving Ativan, then your body may be developing a dependency on the drug. Don’t try to commandeer Ativan illegally. Again, talk to your doctor about what to do next.
In severe cases where a patient has developed a full-blown Ativan dependency, further care might be required. There are professional care centers all over the country that help people overcome addiction with specific detox and treatment programs.
At Revive, we are well-educated in the difficulties of overcoming benzodiazepine addiction. The detox process is the first step. Our 4:1 staff to patient ratio ensures that you will always have the care that you need to get through the first stages of recovery. We provide a customized treatment, specific to your Ativan addiction.
Contact Revive Detox today to put yourself or a loved one on the road to recovery. Ativan addiction can be as difficult to overcome like any other drug. With our program, you’ll get helpful, friendly, and professional service and the care that you deserve.
Don’t wait, treat this addiction now and get on to a better, fuller life.
For more informational articles on the dangers of drugs and how to overcome them, visit our blog.