Ativan Addiction And Abuse

Ativan, also known as lorazepam, is a medication that belongs to a group of tranquilizers called benzodiazepines. This medication is often used to treat anxiety disorders and symptoms associated with anxiety such as sleep disturbance as well as helping with seizure disorders and muscle pain.

Ativan is considered to be one of the most potent benzodiazepines available. Its strength makes it a substantial addiction risk. Whether it’s used for recreational purposes or it has been prescribed, the use of Ativan can lead to substance misuse.

Substance use disorders can lead to substance misuse, addiction, and dependence. All of which have the potential to negatively affect the person dealing with the substance disorder as well as those around them.

Ativan, like other benzodiazepine medications designed to treat mental illness and behavioral health issues such as anxiety, is a central nervous system depressant that reduces abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Ativan relieves anxiety symptoms like restlessness, tension, illogical concerns, and irritation by calming this excessive activity. However, the neurological system responds to the effects of Ativan in a couple of weeks, and tolerance to the drug develops. To acquire the same feelings of relaxation and serenity, the user must take bigger quantities of the medicine. With sustained use, lorazepam dependence can develop, with the user requiring the substance to function physically or psychologically.

Difference Between Abuse, Addiction, And Dependence

Drug abuse, addiction, and dependence are terms that are often used interchangeably when it comes to describing substance misuse disorder, however, they mean different things.

Substance abuse is characterized as a person who uses a substance in amounts or ways that are harmful to either themselves or others. Addiction is classified as a chronic disease. It is characterized as a compulsion to use a specific substance.

Becoming dependent on a substance is characterized by the body adapting to the presence of the substance and needing more in order to achieve the desired effect that was experienced when the substance was first introduced.

Ativan Abuse

Ativan is a highly effective prescription drug, however, it is commonly abused for its sedative effects. Ativan abuse may lead to addiction or even physical dependence. Recognizing signs and symptoms of Ativan abuse is important as it could be the wake-up call needed before it develops further.

Signs And Symptoms

Common signs of Ativan abuse can include:

  • A loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinating
  • Feeling confused
  • Feeling nauseous and vomiting
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Withdrawing from their social circles and isolating themselves
  • Experiencing financial difficulties
  • Lying and exhibiting dishonest behavior

Ativan Addiction

Recognizing an Ativan addiction is not clear cut as is the case of recognizing addiction in those on prescription drugs. The misuse of Benzodiazepines often occurs behind closed doors.

For many, signs and symptoms of their substance misuse can go unnoticed for quite some time. To establish if you or a loved one are addicted to Ativan, it’s important to look out for specific signs and symptoms of physical and psychological dependence.

Ativan Dependence

Becoming dependent on a substance can have after only being exposed to it for a short period of time. Becoming dependent on Ativan can happen quickly, even to those who take the recommended dosage of their prescription.

Lorazepam is considered one of the most potent Benzodiazepines and so it carries with it a higher risk of dependence especially following a prescription. From using Ativan, a person may become physically dependent on the substance.

Signs And Symptoms

This involves their body becoming tolerant to the presence of the substance and it may even begin to rely on the substance to function normally.

The way dependence works is that the substance no longer has the same effect as it once did and so a person with substance dependence may begin to take more of the substance to get the desired effect.

Another sign of Ativan dependence is a person experiencing psychological dependence in the form of craving. Craving may occur either whilst they’re taking the substance after they stop using the substance.

A person dependent on Ativan may begin to exhibit unusual behaviors that include having problems with relationships and responsibilities.

A person dependent on Ativan may also exhibit behaviors that are similar to that of a person who is intoxicated with alcohol. Common signs of Ativan dependence can include a person having slurred speech, poor balance, and poor physical coordination.

Ativan Withdrawal

Those who stop taking Ativan may experience symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms can present themselves quickly, with some experiencing physical withdrawal after only a week of taking the prescribed dosage.

Some also experience psychological withdrawal once they have stopped using the substance after prolonged substance misuse.

Withdrawal Symptoms from Ativan may include:

  • Feeling nauseous and vomiting
  • A loss of appetite
  • Flu symptoms
  • Insomnia, trouble sleeping, and irritability
  • Increased feelings of anxiety and depression

Many of the withdrawal symptoms experienced are similar to that of symptoms experienced by someone with an anxiety disorder.

As Ativan is commonly used for treating anxiety disorder, individuals may misinterpret their symptoms and believe that their anxiety has returned. This may result in a relapse. If you recognize any of the symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to reach out for support to get you or your loved one to get through it.

If you or a loved one would like to speak with an addiction expert about inpatient rehab, please call us right away: 866-275-3142.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ativan Addictive?

Benzodiazepines have a greater risk for people developing physical dependence, abuse, and addiction. Though Ativan is effective for therapeutic uses, it is also classified as a high-risk drug due to its risk of both physical dependence and addiction.

Ativan is a potent drug and is considered to be highly addictive even after taking it in small doses or taking the recommended dosage.

Taking Ativan may result in feelings of mild euphoria or pleasantness which increases the risk of substance misuse. The drug’s potency can also result in individuals becoming tolerant to the substance a lot quicker than other lower-potency benzodiazepines.

Its high potency may also become a catalyst for more intense cravings after the discontinuation of the substance. Such cravings may result in an individual misusing the substance by taking more than prescribed or for a longer period of time to achieve the desired effect.

Is Ativan Addictive In Small Doses?

Ativan taken in small doses can still be addictive. However, it is recommended that Ativan be taken intermittently in short-term, low doses to reduce the risk of abuse, dependence, and addiction.

Finding the Right Treatment Programs

Though a highly effective prescription drug, Ativan’s potency increases the risk of abuse, addiction, and dependency. All of which can potentially develop as a result of taking Ativan for a short period of time. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of each stage as doing so may make all the difference in helping yourself or someone you care for.

For more information, call 866-275-3142 now, and get the help you deserve.

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