Ridding yourself of Ativan addiction may be hard, but it can be done. Many patients have unintentionally become dependent on this medication and experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop taking it. A1 Behavioral Health Services can help you with a safe and successful Ativan detox, outpatient program. Call our 24 Hour Toll-Free Addiction Helpline (855) 904-7873 today.
Ativan can be considered a classic benzodiazepine along with Xanax and Klonopin, which are sometimes used interchangeably. These drugs are widely prescribed and abused for their sedative-hypnotic properties. According to IMS Health 27.6 million prescriptions for lorazepam, including the name brand Ativan were dispensed in 2011. Not surprisingly, 42,874 emergency department visits were reported in 2011 as a result of the nonmedical use of lorazepam. In addition, 15,539 visits occurred when lorazepam was taken in combination with alcohol. When Ativan is used as intended it is an effective and safe medication. However, like other benzos, along with Ativan’s benefits come adverse effects, as well as the risk of abuse and addiction.
What is Ativan (Lorazepam)?
Ativan is a brand name version of a drug called lorazepam. It belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which are central nervous system depressants. Sometimes referred to as tranquilizers or sedatives, this drug slows down the brain’s activity causing a sense of calmness and for some, feelings of euphoria.
As a fast acting benzodiazepine with intermediate duration, Ativan is widely prescribed to treat the sudden onset of anxiety that is encountered with many anxiety disorders. Sometimes this drug is used for other medical purposes such as treatment for epilepsy and insomnia, as well as controlling nausea and vomiting from cancer treatments.
Recreational users divert Ativan for its euphoric effects. Sometimes they will purchase lorazepam from pharmacies outside the U.S. that contain harmful ingredients such as Haldol, a powerful and dangerous antipsychotic drug. Abusers crush the tablets and snort the powder to get large doses into their bloodstream rapidly, creating an intense high. Abusing Ativan in this manner significantly increases the risks for adverse effects and addiction.
Misusing Ativan by taking more than prescribed or abusing it to get high can result in an overdose, causing clumsiness, extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, confusion, fainting, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness and coma.
When used by patients for medical purposes Ativan is primarily prescribed for the short-term use of one to four weeks. It is not recommended to be taken for longer than 4 months, as this medication can be habit forming and long term use increases the risk of tolerance and dependence. Ativan carries a relatively high potential for addiction as well. As a result, Ativan addiction treatment may be needed to abstain from using the medication.
Signs and Symptoms of Ativan Addiction and Abuse
When addicted to Ativan or lorazepam users may find that their life revolves around the drug. They constantly crave, seek and use it, while having no control over it. When doing so, addicts may neglect other responsibilities including family, school or work. They also may spend a lot of time hiding their addiction and act in defensive ways when confronted about their problem, as they may feel guilty. Misusers and abusers should not feel ashamed of their addiction, but should proudly seek Ativan detox and recovery treatment instead.
The risk and severity of Ativan withdrawal symptoms depend on the duration of use, the dosage taken, and how use of the drug is reduced and discontinued, among other factors. Suddenly stopping Ativan altogether is not recommended. Withdrawal can cause anxiety and insomnia conditions to worsen, as well as produce additional symptoms such as vomiting, sweating, tremors, high fever, muscle cramping and seizures.
If you are a patient who has used Ativan for a long period of time, or if you are abusing the drug for nonmedical purposes, your withdrawal symptoms may be server, requiring the assistance of an Ativan detox and recovery program.
Ativan Detox and Recovery
One of the safest and most effective ways to withdrawal from Ativan and recover from addiction is through a medically supervised Ativan detox facility. A1 Behavioral Health Services offers an Intensive Outpatient Program managed by caring and experienced medical staff. From Ativan detoxification to relapse prevention services, all of your recovery needs will be met in a positive environment. If you or someone you love needs help getting off Ativan addiction call our 24 Hour Toll-Free Addiction Helpline at (855) 904-7873.
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