Ativan, also called lorazepam in its generic form, is a strong benzodiazepine most commonly used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, and insomnia. Ativan is a widely prescribed drug across the county. Ativan most frequently comes in tablet form, but users can also dissolve it under the tongue and clinicians may inject it when used as a sedative for patients.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2011 alone there were more than 27.5 million prescriptions written for Ativan. In 2013, 22,767 people died of an overdose involving prescription drugs. 31% of those involved Benzodiazepines such as Ativan. Unfortunately, this means there is a greater chance for abuse, leading to a greater need for Ativan rehab. Of benzodiazepines, Ativan carries one of the highest potentials for physical dependence. Ativan slows the activity of the brain and depresses the central nervous system. Its purpose is not to kill pain as opiate narcotics do, rather Ativan produces an overall calming effect on the central nervous system – slowing breathing and lowering heart rate. This effect is made possible by the release of GABA, neurotransmitters that work to slow down the functions of the body. Due to how overwhelming anxiety disorders can be, this is an ideal medication to help mute the physical and psychological responses that come along with this mental illness.
Ativan is also commonly used to treat insomnia and epilepsy, as well as used as a relaxant in clinical settings for agitated patients. Hospitals frequently use Ativan as a pre-surgical relaxant, which can reduce the amount of anesthetic necessary for procedures.
Because of these effects, taking with alcohol can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly. For this reason, Ativan has been linked to criminal activity, including date rape.
Help is available 24/7 at our Ativan rehab. Call this number for a free personal consultation. Call to get help now.
ATIVAN ABUSE IN THE U.S.
In general, physicians tend to only prescribe benzodiazepines such as Ativan for short-term use because of the potential for someone to develop both a tolerance and dependency to it. The Food and Drug Administration advises qualified medical practitioners to use Ativan for only a maximum of four weeks when treating those with anxiety disorders. As the brain adjusts to steady doses of Ativan, it becomes tolerant, so taking more and more becomes necessary to achieve the user’s desired results. When a user is taking the drug without a prescription, using higher doses than prescribed or using the drug for the sole purpose of getting high, this is considered drug abuse, which leads to addiction.
While the opioid epidemic is front and center in this country, statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show just how prevalent and dangerous benzodiazepine abuse has become in the U.S.:
- Emergency room visits due to benzodiazepines increased 34% from 2004-2011.
- The number of people entering substance abuse treatment for both benzodiazepine and narcotic pain medication abuse increased 569.7% from 5,032 admissions in 2000 to 33,701 admissions in 2010.
- Nearly half of the benzodiazepine/narcotic pain reliever combination admissions reported a co-occurring psychiatric disorder. Only 27.8% of other admissions reported co-occurring mental health disorders.
- In 2009, there were 4.5 million drug-related ER admissions. Approximately 312,931 were related to benzodiazepines. Twenty-one percent were using benzos alone and 79% were using benzos in combination with another drug.
- Ninety-five percent of all benzodiazepine ER admissions reported abuse of another substance (alcohol being number one).
Even when prescribed Ativan, it is important to always be as careful as possible, because this medication is so potent that it can quickly cause you or a loved one to get hooked. When Ativan is taken exactly as directed, it can be highly beneficial in helping those who suffer from anxiety disorders like panic attacks to get their symptoms under control and quickly. However, it is imperative to note that the abuse of Ativan in any type of manner can easily get a person hooked, which is why taking it only when necessary and as prescribed is the only safe way to consume it.
SYMPTOMS OF ATIVAN ADDICTION
Addiction is a disease that does not just impact one part of a person’s life, rather it infiltrates all areas and brings a crippling amount of devastation along with it. Some people are lucky in that they get help for their addiction before it becomes so unmanageable that they suffer some of the most upsetting consequences. Unfortunately, however, there are millions of people who have experienced the lowest lows that the disease of addiction can produce. The most important thing to understand about addiction is that it is not a choice and it is not something that users love and appreciate more than their friends, family, and loved ones. Instead, it is a clinically diagnosable disease that, when treated, can be managed.
It can be extremely painful to watch someone experience Ativan addiction or to grapple with it firsthand, especially if it is hard to distinguish what is really happening and to what extent. Knowing the symptoms of Ativan addiction can help remove the blinders so that the problem can be seen for exactly what it is and treatment can be obtained.
Not every Ativan user is going to have the same experience with this benzodiazepine as the next user. This rings true for people addicted to all types of substances because there are several factors that influence what signs, symptoms, and effects a user develops. For example, someone who is a long-term Ativan user is more likely to suffer from more severe consequences of that use while someone who has been abusing Ativan for a few months might not have had enough time to experience as many mistakes. Someone’s biological makeup can make them predisposed to specific symptoms while a person’s environment can play a role in what symptoms they develop. While there is a great deal of uniqueness in each Ativan user, there are also some base-level symptoms of an Ativan addiction that most users experience at some point or another. Some of these symptoms include the following:
- Using Ativan for longer than originally planned
- Continually increasing the amount of Ativan being consumed in order to achieve the sensation of being high
- Being unable to lessen the amount of Ativan being abused or stopping altogether without suffering painful withdrawal symptoms
- Feeling unable to function without the use of Ativan
- Continuing to abuse Ativan despite physical, mental, or personal consequences caused by the use
- Using Ativan in risky situations, such as when driving, traveling, or caring for children or animals
- Engaging in sneaky, deceptive behavior in an effort to hide the extent of one’s use
- Struggling financially but continuing to spend all funds on the purchase of Ativan or other related substances
- Losing a job, being expelled from school, being served divorce papers, or losing child custody as a result of Ativan abuse
- Isolating oneself from others
- No longer participating in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyed
- Neglecting basic hygiene needs, resulting in an unkempt appearance
- Failing to uphold responsibilities at work, home, and/or school
Additional symptoms of an Ativan addiction include making empty promises, stealing, putting use above everything else, and suffering from physical and psychological effects triggered by the abuse.
EFFECTS OF ATIVAN ABUSE AND ADDICTION
When someone is regularly abusing Ativan, he or she is going to experience effects of that abuse no matter how hard he or she tries to avoid it. Ativan is such a potent medication that attempting to hide the impacts of it can be worthless. Depending on factors such as the environment one lives in, one’s biological makeup, and the presence of a mental illness, the effects that an Ativan user experiences will be reflective of his or her own unique situation. Some Ativan users might struggle more with the mental effects of this type of addiction while others develop problematic physical issues that jeopardize their wellbeing. Others might experience both. Either way, the continual abuse of Ativan is extremely dangerous and can produce countless side effects that can cost users their lives.
- Excessive drowsiness
- Lack of muscle control
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Gastrointestinal problems (e.g. blood or urine in stool)
- Bad motor skills
- Poor balance
When under the influence of Ativan, a user often appears sedated. He or she might have slurred speech and struggle to maintain balance, which can result in physical injury caused by a fall, slip, etc. Continued abuse of Ativan can cause problems in the gastrointestinal tract and cause a person to lose excessive amounts of weight. As with most other drugs, abusing Ativan can also cause vital organ damage. Likely the most threatening of these effects are seizures, which can happen both when a person is abusing Ativan and when he or she begins to end his or her use.
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Poor decision-making skills
- Poor problem-solving skills
- Suicidal ideations
The psychological effects of Ativan addiction are just as pressing (if not more) than the physical effects. It is not uncommon for people to believe that mental health complications are nowhere near as dangerous as physical health complications, however, when it comes to Ativan addiction, this could not be further from the truth. Certain effects of Ativan addiction, such as hallucinations and suicidal ideations, can be deadly. Someone who experiences an intense hallucination and begins fearing for his or her life can make decisions that jeopardize his or her wellbeing. Those who suffer from suicidal ideations might decide to follow through with their plan to commit suicide. Just as physical effects require professional help, so do mental health effects.
When a person has abused Ativan for a long period of time and stops using the drug, withdrawal symptoms can start to kick in within mere hours after the last pill has been taken. These symptoms can range in severity from slightly uncomfortable to deadly. It is never recommended to detox from Ativan or any other benzodiazepine on one’s own, as doing so can trigger the onset of heart palpitations, high blood pressure, fever, and seizures – all of which can lead to death. Each person should be monitored by a medical professional to ensure his or her safety when he or she comes off of Ativan. These symptoms are not like others that slowly fade away over a week’s time. Instead, they do not wane over time but can last for months to years. This is another reason why it is so imperative to receive professional monitoring so that the right services can be provided at the right time.
Those who stop using benzodiazepines like Ativan can suffer a handful of different withdrawal symptoms. Again, being in the care of professionals can eliminate the risk of death caused by stopping too soon. Consider the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Severe problems with sleep
- Anxiety and panic
- Irritability and agitation
- Muscle pain
- Cognitive problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Weight loss
Ativan is similar to opioids like heroin and oxycodone in that it is a central nervous system triggering medication and can cause respiratory depression and failure when abused. Consuming too much Ativan can stop a person from breathing. Unfortunately, there is an increased risk in this effect when Ativan is abused with other depressants like alcohol or fentanyl. It is very easy to overdose on Ativan, as the mind constantly craves it so that the relaxing feeling the user craves can be produced. However, the continued back-to-back use of a substance like this can cause a build up in Ativan in the body which can then lead to a user’s death.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms when you adjust the amount of Ativan you consume, it’s time to get help. In fact, you have no time to waste at all. Call our Ativan rehab today for a personal consultation at 800-338-5770
ATIVAN ABUSE IN FLORIDA
The 2016 annual report for the Florida Medical Examiner revealed some shocking news. In the midst of the opioid crisis, where it may be assumed opioids were the main cause of overdose deaths, it was actually benzodiazepines (like Ativan), just behind alcohol as the drug found most often in deceased bodies. The five most frequently occurring drugs found in deceased Floridians were ethyl alcohol (5,318), benzodiazepines (5,167, including 1,851 alprazolam occurrences), cocaine (2,882), cannabinoids (2,292), and morphine (2,040). Prescription drugs, in general, were found more often in overdose cases than illicit drugs. As far as the actual cause of death, cocaine was number one, but benzodiazepines followed just behind, killing nearly twice as many people than oxycodone.
Florida is not the only place in the United States that is experiencing expansive issues related to prescription drug abuse. While Florida often makes headlines for drug-related news, other states in the country (such as West Virginia and Ohio) are facing even more instances of substance use disorders that are claiming the lives of people left and right. Today, Florida has quickly become a hotspot for treatment centers, drawing in large crowds to the Sunshine State to get the most beneficial care available. Despite the increase in treatment centers in the area, people in the state still struggle with addictions to prescription medications like Ativan and appear to be on track to continue to do so.
The best thing about the disease of addiction is that it is treatable. No one with the disease of addiction will ever be cured of it, however, at an Ativan rehab, they can get the help they need in order to learn how to manage it without it ever getting out of hand again.
ATIVAN REHAB IN FLORIDA
Quitting Ativan, especially if abuse has taken place over three months or longer, requires professional help because of the seriousness of the withdrawal symptoms and the dangers of quitting cold turkey. At our Ativan rehab, our programming is uniquely customized to meet each client’s specific needs. We offer fully integrated treatment, which means we’re addressing substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously as opposed to treating each disorder separately. This is extremely important, as nearly 50% of all individuals with a substance use disorder are also experiencing a co-occurring mental health illness like depression or anxiety. Through integrated intervention, our clients can have all areas of their wellbeing cared for at the same time so that true progress can begin.
Our caring and compassionate staff at our Ativan rehab will help clients get through Ativan withdrawals so that you are not only safe from the effects that can develop, but you are also comfortable at this time. We will make you feel as comfortable as possible during detox, which might include administering a medical taper. What that means is that we will prescribe you a much lesser strength benzodiazepine to take so that your body can slowly but surely wean off of it. It is our goal to make you feel confident about the possibility of recovery and long-term sobriety. Not only will we help you uncover the real reasons why drugs became a problem, we will teach you how to avoid the triggers of abuse and help you adjust to life outside of treatment. You’ll also create a new lifestyle for yourself using the design for living founded by the 12 Steps.
In between detoxing and participating in 12-Step meetings, all clients will participate in different therapy sessions deemed most appropriate for their treatment needs. The evidence-based treatments that we provide at our Ativan rehab include individual therapy, group counseling, family therapy, experiential therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, to name a few. Each type of therapy can help clients identify, address, and grow from issues that have contributed to their Ativan addiction in one way or another. During this period of time in our Ativan rehab, clients can make the greatest leaps and bounds, preparing them for transitioning out of the safety of our four walls and back into their everyday lives.
There is no reason to be afraid of Ativan rehab. You may have hesitations because you are not sure what rehab is going to be like for you. At our Ativan rehab, our mission is to get you healthy and keep you healthy. We want you to learn how to achieve total wellness through good nutrition and plenty of sleep and exercise so that you can maintain this new lifestyle outside of treatment. We completely understand your concerns and uncertainties about reaching out for help. In fact, we understand more than you may know, as several of our very own staff members are in recovery themselves. At our Ativan rehab, we know that no one can go it alone and expect success when up against a disease as powerful as this. Therefore, we make it a point to put forth all of our encouragement and support so that you and all the rest of our other clients can develop a life that is free from Ativan abuse.
GET PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT AT ATIVAN REHAB TODAY
No good will come from continuing to abuse a drug like Ativan. While you may feel like it helps you maintain your sense of calm and relaxation or it helps to emotionally blunt other powerful and upsetting feelings you may have, that will not last long. As time passes, you can either get closer to receiving the treatment that will save your life or closer to the day that you accidentally overdose on benzodiazepines. We know that you have the power to put your Ativan addiction in the past once and for all and will support you as you learn how to do just that.
You can get your life back by calling us now. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to confidentially answer any and all questions that you or your loved ones might have. The call is free, and there is no obligation to enroll. All you have to do is ask for help, and we will be by your side the rest of the way. Call our Ativan rehab right now and find your path to freedom, starting today.