Ativan Addiction and Abuse

Ativan, the brand name of the generic drug Lorazepam, calms the central nervous system in order to soothe feelings of anxiety. It is a prescribed drug taken orally that is capable of causing addiction, especially in those with a history of other disorders. Ativan is classified as a Benzodiazepine, or Benzo. Similar to other Benzos such as Valium, Ativan loses its medical purposes if it is taken for longer periods of time or in too high doses.

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Proper Ativan Use

Ativan is most known for treating anxiety, but can also be used to treat the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol detox
  • Nausea from cancer treatments

Ativan has also been known to be taken before surgery to reduce the anxiousness surgery might bring. In extreme and emergency cases, Lorazepam is injected for those suffering from an epileptic seizure.

Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or giving away Ativan is against the law.

Children should not take the drug as it might cause the opposite of its intended purpose. In the case of older adults taking the drug, intense side effects may be experienced. Therefore, older adults and the elderly should be cautious when trying out Ativan or Lorazepam. You should not take Lorazepam or Ativan if you are allergic to Xanax, Clonzaepam, or Diazepam.

Misusing Ativan can cause uncomfortable physical symptoms but can also impact your mental health and finances. You may find yourself withdrawing from friends and family and also incurring expenses from visiting doctors to retrieve more doses of the drug. If you frequently find yourself in this type of situation, you may have an addiction.

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Effects of Ativan Addiction

Depending on the level of addiction, Ativan can have mild to more severe side effects.

Mild side effects can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Heartburn

While these side effects should not be disregarded, the more intense side effects should provide incentive for seeking help with addiction.

These include:

  • Yellowing eyes
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Trouble breathing
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Am I Addicted to Ativan?

The Chemical Structure Of Ativan Is Similar To That Of Other BenzodiazepinesIf your anxiety is gone and you continue to take Ativan, you may be abusing it for the desired feelings it brings rather than to cancel out your previous natural symptoms (such as anxiety).

If you’ve noticed any of the following, you might have an addiction:

  • Cravings for the drug
  • Upping dosage to feel stronger affects (unsupervised by a doctor)
  • Lying and hiding prescriptions from friends and family
  • Withdrawing from normal activities

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Popular Drug Combinations with Ativan

Ativan’s effects may wear off if its use is prolonged. Typically, those addicted to Ativan want to feel its effects from the first time they tried it and may mix other drugs in order to bring back the feelings Ativan promotes.

Some popular drugs mixed with Ativan include:

Alcohol

Mixing alcohol and Ativan can be very dangerous. It can cause impaired memory and coordination leading to irrational choices one may be unable to remember. The combination causes slow and difficult breathing, potentially leading to overdose and death.

Antihistamines

Mixing antihistamines and Ativan can bring about the depressant activity of Ativan and induce sleep much more rapidly.

Cough Syrups

Cough syrup mixed with Ativan can cause severe drowsiness.

Cocaine

Cocaine brings about an elevated mood and intense energy. Many mix cocaine with Ativan to sedate the effects of cocaine.

Seeking Treatment for an Ativan Addiction

If Ativan use has been prolonged and the drug’s effects are no longer as strong as the first use, but there is a dependency to continue the drug, an addiction has almost certainly developed. Many treatment centers specialize in Ativan and other Benzodiazepine addiction and can help you get back to the life you deserve. If you want to end your dependency on Ativan, take the first step to recovery, and contact a dedicated treatment specialist today.

Last Edited: April 13, 2018

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