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Ativan Dependence – Signs of Ativan Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance

Ativan, which is the brand name for lorazepam, is used legally and illicitly. The medication is often prescribed for the treatment of anxiety symptoms or insomnia. Abuse includes taking it more often or longer than prescribed, taking higher doses than recommended, obtaining and using it without a prescription, and combining it with other mood-altering substances. Typically, Ativan is prescribed for no longer than four months; however, a doctor may continue to administer it as needed. People who have difficulties taking it as prescribed or stopping the use of it can complete a short form or call 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers? for help and support.

Is Ativan Addictive?

People can feel drawn toward the calming effects of this medication, and they may ask, “How addictive is Ativan?” Like other benzodiazepines, Ativan has a potential for abuse due to the euphoric effect it can cause. People can become both psychologically and physically dependent on Ativan, and this risk increases for those who have a history of dependency on alcohol or other drugs. Abruptly stopping the medication can also cause discomforting withdrawal symptoms, which can enhance a person’s perceived need to continue using it. Fortunately, help and treatment are available for Ativan addiction.

Understanding Ativan Dependency and Tolerance

ativan dependenceAtivan dependence can occur in people who are prescribed the medication and in those who use it recreationally. This schedule IV depressant tranquilizes the central nervous system and interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA to slow the brain’s activity.

With long-term use, people can develop a tolerance to its sedative effect. Physical dependence may be evident when a person experiences symptoms such as headaches, tension, and hypersensitivity upon stopping the medication. Larger doses may also be needed for the person to experience its effects.

With a psychological dependence to Ativan, people may become obsessive about obtaining the drug. They may feel that they cannot cope or relax in everyday situations without taking it. People who have developed a physical or psychological dependence to Ativan can get help with overcoming it by calling 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers?.

Effects/Side Effects

Ativan has a fast onset, meaning a person feels its effects soon after taking it, and they typically last six to eight hours. Ativan primarily brings feelings of relaxation, a sense of euphoria, and slight drowsiness. With an overdose of the medication, people may experience confusion, respiratory depression, and a hypnotic state, among other effects. The high is intensified when a person takes it with alcohol.

The effects of coming down from Ativan may depend on the dosage, the length of use, and whether the person takes it as prescribed or for recreation. A person may feel sleepy, anxious, restless, or irritable after the medication wears off.

Ativan can have additional side effects, some of which are more serious than others. Short-term side effects can include dizziness, blurred vision, slurred speech, weakness, excitement, and an upset stomach. People may also experience changes in sex drive, constipation or diarrhea, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite. Serious and adverse side effects include rashes, difficulty breathing, aggression, tremors, paranoia, hallucinations, a shuffling walk, and an irregular heartbeat. With long-term use, the person can develop dependency and have severe withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

Withdrawal from Ativan can cause physical and psychological symptoms. Physical withdrawal symptoms may include sweatiness, dizziness, numbness, vomiting, involuntary movements, heart palpitations, seizures, abdominal cramps, and hyperthermia. Psychological withdrawal symptoms can include depression, panic attacks, depersonalization, and short-term memory loss.

These symptoms can occur when a person abruptly stops taking the medication after using it regularly. To reduce the risk of serious withdrawal symptoms, doctors usually taper down the dose over a period of time.

Treatment for Ativan Addiction

Detox, Rehab, and Treatment Options

Rehab facilities offer support during withdrawal by offering one-on-one psychotherapy or group therapy with others who are seeking to quit their drug addictions. During a stay at a rehab facility a patient will maintain as much normalcy as possible.

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People who develop a dependency to Ativan can benefit from Ativan abuse treatment. Treatment for addiction to prescription medications can include a mixture of medical and psychological interventions. The severity of withdrawing may be reduced with the help of other medications and medical monitoring. To address the underlying reasons for the addiction and help a person develop strong coping mechanisms, professionals may also provide cognitive-behavioral therapy and recommend participation in a 12-step program such as Narcotics Anonymous. The best level and type of care depends on the individual.

Additional support is available through a variety of programs and networks. People who are interested in treatment for Ativan addiction should consider filling out the contact form, which requires very little time, or calling 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers? to speak with someone for help with finding the support to overcome it.