Ativan is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety for a relatively short period of time and can be very addicting if misused.

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.

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 anxiety surgery might bring. In extreme and emergency cases, Lorazepam is injected for those suffering from an epileptic seizure.

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
  • Trouble breathing
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

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Reach out to a dedicated treatment provider and learn how you can create the life you want.

Am I Addicted to Ativan?

If your anxiety is gone and you continue to take Ativan, you may be abusing it for the euphoric 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:

  • Ativan is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended.
  • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to cut down or control use of the Ativan.
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain, use or recover from the effects of Ativan.
  • Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use the Ativan, occurs.
  • Use of Ativan results in a failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Ativan use continues despite having social or interpersonal problems.
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of Ativan use.
  • Ativan use occurs in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  • Ativan use continues despite knowledge of a physical or psychological problem that is  caused or exacerbated by Ativan.
  • A tolerance, or a need for increased amounts of Ativan to achieve intoxication or the desired effect, has developed

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

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:


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. Effects of mixing Ativan and alcohol include:

  • Reduced coordination
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss, or blacking out
  • Passing out
  • Slurred speech


Mixing Antihistamines and Ativan can bring about the depressant activity of Ativan and induce sleep much more rapidly. Combining Ativan with antihistamines results in increased dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination.

Cough Syrups

Cough syrup, specifically ones that contain the chemical dextromethorphan, mixed with Ativan can cause severe drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. The elderly are also at greater risk or impaired thinking, judgement and motor coordination


Cocaine brings about an elevated mood and intense energy. When taken with a depressant such as Ativan, extreme and unpredictable side-effects can result. The euphoric high resulting from cocaine use does not last very long and is generally followed by a “crash.” During this crash, the user will generally feel fatigued, depressed, hungry, and physically and mentally sluggish. These feelings may encourage users to either want to use more cocaine, often in a pattern of binging, or the subsequent crash may entice a person to take benzos, such as Ativan, to smooth-out the side-effects of the crash.

Help is out there

Reach out to a dedicated treatment provider and learn how you can create the life you want.

Seeking Treatment for an Ativan Addiction

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 provider today.

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There are many different forms of addiction. Get the information you need to help you overcome yours.

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Treatment providers are waiting for your call

(877) 648-4288