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. Unfortunately, this means a greater chance for abuse and a greater need for Ativan rehab. Of the 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 is why it Ativan is commonly used to treat insomnia and epilepsy, or 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, 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 only prescribe benzodiazepines such as Ativan for short-term use because of the potential for dependency. The Food and Drug Administration advises qualified medical practitioners to use Ativan for a maximum of four weeks. 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 SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) show just how prevalent and dangerous benzodiazepine abuse has become in the U.S.:
- Emergency room visits due to benzodiazepines increased 41 percent from 1995 to 2002
- The number of people entering substance abuse treatment for both benzodiazepine and narcotic pain medication abuse increased 569.7 percent 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 percent of other admissions reported co-occurring mental health disorders.
- In 2009 there were 4.5 million drug-related ER admissions – 312,931 were related to benzodiazepines. Twenty-one percent were using benzos alone and 79 percent were using benzos in combination with another drug
- 95 of all benzodiazepine ER admissions reported abuse of another substance, alcohol being number one.
Short-Term Effects of Ativan
- Reduced anxiety, worry, and tension
- Feelings of euphoria
- Overall sense of well-being
Long-Term Effects of Ativan Abuse:
- Profound memory problems
- Cognitive impairment – problems with executive functions such as problem-solving and decision-making
- Excitability in those with a history of anger management problems or alcoholism
- Dizziness, weakness
- Suicide ideation
When a person has abused Ativan for a long period of time and stop using the drug, withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly painful. These symptoms can be serious and should be monitored by a medical professional to the ensure safety of the user. The symptoms do not wane over time; instead, they vary in severity and can last for weeks.
Many of the withdrawal symptoms mimic the flu but can also include:
- Severe problems with sleep
- Anxiety and panic
- Irritability and agitation
- Muscle pain
- Cognitive problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Weight loss and tremors are all common. The symptoms do not wane over time; instead, they vary in severity and can last for weeks.
Many people abusing Ativan enjoy the short-term effects which produce an overall calming effect. But mixing the drug with alcohol can lead to seizures, coma or death. Other serious effects of Ativan abuse can include kidney or respiratory failure.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to get help. Call our Ativan rehab today for a personal consultation. 866-480-4328
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 Benzos, just behind alcohol, as the drug found most 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). Xanax, a sister drug to Ativan, 813 Floridians compared to oxycodone (723). 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 Benzos followed just behind, killing nearly twice as many people than oxycodone.
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 symptoms and the dangers of quitting cold turkey. At 12 Keys, our Ativan rehab program is customized to each patient’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.
Our caring and compassionate staff will help you safely through withdrawals from Ativan. We will make you feel as comfortable as possible during detox. 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.
Call to get help now
There is no reason to be afraid of Ativan rehab. You may have hesitations because you have dated, preconceived notions as to what rehab looks like. 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 and maintain this new lifestyle outside of treatment. You can get your life back by calling us now. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to confidentially answer your questions. 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 12 Keys Rehab now and find your path to freedom, starting today.