Ativan is a drug within the benzodiazepine, or benzo, class of drugs. It is used to treat anxiety and can be very effective if used in the short term, however, extended use of this drug can result in dependence and addiction. Coming off of the drug is extremely difficult and should be done in a monitored, professional setting. But, what is Ativan and why is it so addictive?
Ativan is also known by its popular brand name, Lorazepam. It has a variety of uses, including the treatment of anxiety, panic disorders, sleep disorders, and even seizures. It is recommended that doctors prescribe this drug for no longer than 4 weeks at a time. That’s because the likelihood of addiction increases with increased use. Users build a tolerance to the drug and have to take more and more in order to get the same results. Ativan addiction is both physical and mental. Once a user is dependent on the drug, getting off of it becomes painful, difficult and dangerous. This is the same story with all benzos.
Here in the US, approximately 5% of the adult population is on benzos like Valium, Xanax, and Ativan. Even though evidence proves these drugs are habit forming and dangerous to quit, people take them because they are effective at reducing anxiety. The problem is, over time, as tolerance to the drug increases, studies show Ativan abuse can actually lead to anxiety and depression. So, while the drug is effective at treating anxiety in the short term, it has negative effects when used over time. With long term use, Ativan users may experience seizures, respiratory depression, excessive sedation, memory loss, memory impairment, and overdose.
Many people abuse Ativan with or without a prescription. Even if someone is legally allowed to use Ativan as a medical treatment for anxiety, the user can still become tolerant and begin to engage in drug-seeking behaviors. Because Ativan is a benzodiazepine, addiction is similar to other drugs within the class. Some of the symptoms may also be similar to alcohol abuse.
An individual who has been using and/or abusing Ativan may show the following immediate signs and symptoms:
An individual who has been using and/or abusing Ativan may show the following long term signs and symptoms:
The side effects of Ativan are similar to side effects of other benzos, including Valium and Xanx. They include:
Ativan should never be used with opioid medication or alcohol because of its effects on the respiratory system. Lorazepam can actually slow breathing or stop it all together. If you or a person you love is abusing or addicted to Ativan, seeking professional medical help is crucial. If you have any of the following side effects, contact emergency medical services immediately.
At Virtual Treatment Center, we believe quality addiction recovery and mental health services should be easily accessible to those that want or need them, because ease of accessibility is what most often leads to success. That’s why we’re committed to providing top-tier virtual mental health teletherapy and addiction recovery services to all residents of California. Although we’re located in Orange County, our online teletherapy can be accessed throughout the state. In addition to providing addiction recovery services, we treat a variety of mental health issues and offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Our teletherapy sessions are done via two-way, live interactive video or by telephone. Therapeutic visits are conducted on Zoom most often, or on other virtual platforms that adhere to HIPAA compliance requirements.
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