Ativan, also called lorazepam in its generic form, is a strong benzodiazepine usually used to treat anxiety. As a benzo, it also produces effects of sedation and muscle relaxation, and it has anti-convulsion properties. For these reasons, it is commonly used to treat insomnia and epilepsy, and it is used as a relaxant in clinical settings.
Although it is a legal and effective drug when taken under the attentive care of a qualified physician, the potential for abuse is enormous. It is highly addictive because it produces a strong high when abused, while also causing tolerance and physical dependency. Because the drug also produces amnesia, it is sometimes used during crimes.
In general, physicians only prescribe benzodiazepines such as Ativan for short-term use, and quitting without help is extremely difficult. Ativan most frequently comes in tablet form, but can also appear as a liquid and a skin patch. Users can also dissolve it under the tongue, and clinicians may inject it.
Information About Ativan
The Food and Drug Administration advises qualified medical practitioners to use Ativan for a maximum of four weeks because of the dangers the drug poses. It is effective when treating intense anxiety quickly is of paramount importance; it is also sometimes used for severe insomnia. Hospitals frequently use Ativan as a pre-surgical relaxant, which can reduce the amount of anesthetic necessary for procedures.
Ativan slows the activity of the brain and depresses the central nervous system. While it slows breathing and lowers the heart rate, it does not kill pain as opiate narcotics do, such as Vicodin and OxyContin. Cognitive impairment is common and negative effects on memory, reasoning skills and other executive functions can be severe and noticeable.
As the brain becomes used to getting a steady dose of Ativan, it becomes tolerant to its effects at the same time it develops a dependency on it. Taking more becomes necessary. Quitting suddenly produces challenging physical and emotional symptoms. Because those who abuse Ativan usually take more than what is safe or prescribed, they usually suffer a more difficult withdrawal. Taking Ativan with another central nervous system depressant such as alcohol can be fatal.
Ativan Side Effects and Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptom
If you or someone you care about is addicted to Ativan, quitting suddenly is never advisable due to the severity of withdrawal. By getting professional help, those with Ativan addiction are less likely to relapse, and overall recovery is more manageable. The uncomfortable symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome are also reduced, which can be extremely serious and last for a prolonged period of time.
The side effects and symptoms associated with Ativan abuse and withdrawal include:
- Profound memory problems
- Problems with executive functions such as problem-solving and decision-making
- Worsening of the initial problem, such as seizures
- Excitability in those with a history of anger management problems or alcoholism
- Problems with dizziness, weakness and balance
- Suicide ideation
Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome is a commonly occurring group of symptoms that occurs in people who suddenly quit using or who reduce the normal dose. These symptoms are serious and unpleasant. Severe problems with sleep, anxiety and panic, irritability and agitation, muscle pain, cognitive problems, gastrointestinal problems, hallucinations, flu-like symptoms, psychosis, seizures, weight loss and tremors are all common. The symptoms do not wane over time; instead, they vary in severity and can last for weeks.
Quit Using Ativan at 12 Keys Rehab
Quitting Ativan, especially if abuse has taken place over three months or longer, requires professional help because of the seriousness of the symptoms. At 12 Keys Rehab, we can help you safely withdraw from Ativan abuse and feel more comfortable during detox and recovery. 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. You’ll also create a new lifestyle for yourself using the design for living founded by the 12 Steps.
Don’t let an addiction to Ativan take over the rest of your life. You can quit, and you can start today 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.