Ativan (also known by its chemical name, lorazepam) is a powerful medication prescribed to treat anxiety or seizure disorders. While it is a legal drug on prescription, some people develop an Ativan addiction which can be very destructive. If you or a loved one are struggling with Ativan addiction, it is important to know that there is help available.
On this page, we will explain the different ways people become addicted to Ativan, the negative effects it can have on your life and the signs of abuse and Ativan addiction to look out for in yourself and others. We will also explain how Ativan addiction can be overcome and where to seek help.
What is Ativan?
Ativan (lorazepam) is a member of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and central nervous system to produce a calming effect. They are typically used to treat anxiety, seizure disorders and insomnia.
Ativan is usually taken orally in tablet form, but it can also be injected. When used according to a doctor’s instructions, Ativan is a safe and effective medication. However, some people misuse Ativan by taking it in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed, while others may crush the tablets and snort them or mix them with water and inject them. When Ativan is abused in this way, it can lead to feelings of euphoria, relaxation and sedation.
How addictive is Ativan?
Ativan can be incredibly addictive and we have seen first-hand the impact Ativan addiction has had on clients. Some people may start out taking the medication as prescribed but then begin to misuse it because they enjoy the feeling of euphoria it produces. Some may misuse Ativan to self-medicate anxiety, depression or other mental health problems, while others may start taking Ativan to cope with the negative effects of another substance abuse problem.
When you take a lot of Ativan over an extended period of time, you can begin to develop a tolerance to the drug. This is when the brain becomes more adept at handling Ativan, which results in a lessening of the intensity of the drug’s effects. This means that in order to produce the same effects, you have to take more of the drug. This is the start of Ativan addiction.
When you become dependent on Ativan, both your mind and body need it on a daily basis. You cannot function without it and so Ativan has become the controlling factor in your life. Everything you do is centred around you having a steady supply of the drug. Whatever the reason for abuse, continued misuse of Ativan can lead to tolerance, dependence and addiction.
Effects of Ativan addiction
Ativan can be highly addictive, and users can develop dependency after a relatively short time. Alongside frequent manifestations of drowsiness, light-headedness, and the euphoria associated with its ‘high’, consumption of Ativan produces a pronounced loss of motor skills, weakness and lethargy in the user, which can be dangerous when operating machinery or driving. Over the longer term, Ativan abuse can have serious detrimental effects on a person’s physical and mental health. These include:
- Significant cognitive impairment
- Long-term depression
- Periods of hyperactivity
- Decreased seizure threshold
- Acceleration of dementia-related illnesses
- Confusion, disorientation, and hallucinations
- Potentially lethal respiratory problems
Along with the health implications, an addiction to Ativan can have disastrous consequences in other aspects of your life. It can be extremely costly financially, particularly when purchasing the drug from suppliers over the web. Ativan addiction can also cause huge problems in relationships with partners, family members and friends and can lead to problems at work and school.
If you are concerned that you or someone you know is addicted to Ativan, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. At Primrose Lodge, we can provide you with the support and treatment you need to overcome your addiction and start living a healthy, happy life. Get in contact with us to find out more about how we can help.
Signs of Ativan addiction
Addiction is a cunning force, and it is a master at deceiving both yourself and your loved ones into thinking that everything is fine. It is often only when the addiction has progressed to a serious point that people around you begin to take notice and voice their concerns.
Some of the common Ativan addiction signs and symptoms to look out for include:
- Taking more than prescribed or taking someone else’s medication
- Visiting multiple doctors to attempt to obtain multiple prescriptions
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Taking Ativan in greater doses or more often than intended
- Failed attempts to cut down or control Ativan use
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using and recovering from the effects of Ativan
- Continued use of Ativan despite it causing problems in your life
- Giving up important activities in order to use Ativan
- Using Ativan when it is unsafe, such as before driving
If you are displaying any of these signs, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Myths about Ativan addiction
There are many myths surrounding addiction and its treatment, but it is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to addressing your addiction.
Ativan is not dangerous because it is available legally on prescription…
False! Just because a drug is legal does not mean it is safe. Ativan is a powerful psychoactive drug that can be very dangerous if misused.
Ativan addiction is a choice, so a person can stop at any time if they choose to…
False! Addiction is a complex condition that requires professional help to treat. Trying to go it alone is often unsuccessful and can even be dangerous.
You need to hit rock bottom before you can get better…
False! In fact, the earlier you seek help for your addiction, the better. Addiction treatment is most effective when it is started early on.
Enabling Ativan addiction
One of the most important things for loved ones is to make sure they never enable a person addicted to Ativan by providing money or access to the drug. This can be difficult because Ativan addiction and abuse can cause a person to become manipulative and deceptive in their behaviour which can put huge pressure on their friends and family.
Enabling a person addicted to Ativan will only serve to further their addiction and cause more problems in the long term. This includes covering up their behaviour or making excuses for them, giving them money, paying their rent/bills and allowing them to overstep boundaries. We appreciate it’s difficult, but instead, try to support them in getting the help they need.
Is there a cure for Ativan addiction?
The term “cure” is one that should never be used for any type of addiction. Addiction is often a lifelong battle that requires ongoing treatment and support. That being said, there are many people who have successfully overcome their addiction to Ativan and gone on to live healthy, happy lives.
Ativan addiction requires a holistic treatment programme incorporating detox, rehabilitation and aftercare. At Primrose Lodge, our experienced team will help you through each of these stages and continue to support you on your journey to long-term recovery from Ativan addiction.
What to do next
When it comes to Ativan addiction treatment, there is no better time than right now. The earlier we are able to assess and treat your addiction, the greater the chance of a full and successful recovery. Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed about their addiction which is exactly what the condition wants because this enables it to isolate you and keep you trapped in a cycle of abuse. The important thing to know is that you are not alone and that there is nothing to be ashamed of.
To break free from your Ativan addiction, call us today. Our team of experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you take the first steps on your road to recovery.
Five important things to know about Ativan
- Ativan is also known by various street names, including Benzos, BZDs, Tranx, Qual, Moggies and Candy.
- The dangers of Ativan are enhanced when the drug is combined with alcohol. Ativan and alcohol together can inhibit your breathing, interrupt your normal heartbeat, and induce vivid hallucinations that could cause you to behave in dangerous ways.
- Long-term Ativan abuse puts you at greater risk of accidental falls, household accidents, workplace accidents involving machinery and traffic accidents.
- Ativan overdose can cause a range of serious health issues, including respiratory distress and acute dehydration, both of which can be fatal.
- Ativan abuse can actually exacerbate the original condition that the drug was prescribed for, such as anxiety or insomnia.