Ativan Addiction Treatment for Abuse: One of the Country’s Most Highly Prescribed Nightmare Drugs

Ativan is one of the most widely prescribed anti-anxiety medications on the market today. But with its soaring popularity among those looking for relief from an overactive mind also comes a higher risk of abuse. Learn more about our Ativan addiction treatment program today.

In fact, Ativan has even gained national attention as one drug that’s contributing to a surge in benzodiazepine overdose deaths in recent years. And when combined with a variety of other central nervous system depressants (as it often is), this drug can be especially deadly.

Knowing the ins and outs of Ativan addiction and abuse, then, is essential to preventing eventual dependency and getting the necessary help when it’s called for.

The Proper Use of Ativan

Ativan addiction treatment program benefits in generalAtivan, the brand name for the chemical compound lorazepam, is used to treat a variety of conditions.

It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

These substances interact with a certain neurotransmitter in the brain known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA for short. This chemical is responsible for slowing down your brain’s natural processes, thereby relieving you from the effects of over-excited neurons like anxiety or panic attacks.

When used properly, Ativan and other benzodiazepines can be a literal lifesaver for some people. However, this class of drugs can be especially addictive, even when taken under medical supervision.

As such, many physicians recommend using medications like lorazepam for short periods of time rather than on a continual basis.

 

Ativan Routes of Administration

The administration info included below is from Drugs.com and is for educational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed physician before determining your lorazepam dosage.

There are three main forms in which you can properly use lorazepam in the medical field: oralliquid, and injection.

Oral tablets come primarily in three different strengths: 0.5mg1mg, and 2mgs. In general, Ativan dosages start out at 2-3mg per day and divide evenly throughout the day as well.

With the liquid administration, those taking lorazepam for insomnia will likely have a prescription of 2-4mg right before bedtime. If taken for anxiety, the dosage will likely be around 2-3mg per day administered 2-3 times per day.

And finally, if used as an injection, the doses will likely be 0.05mg/kg for light anesthesia and 0.1mg/kg for status epilepticus (a single epileptic seizure lasting more than 5 minutes).

When it comes to illicit use of Ativan, most abusers find taking the drug orally to be the most effective method. It’s not common for smoking or snorting.

According to Healthline, it’s primarily used as an anti-anxiety medication. However, some physicians have used it to also treat:

  • Insomnia
  • Epilepsy
  • Agitation from alcohol withdrawals
  • Nausea from certain cancer treatments
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Addiction to .5mg Ativan?

There is a common misconception that if you are only taking the lowest dosage, then it’s impossible to become addicted to lorazepam.

What’s more, many people also believe that you can’t develop an Ativan addiction as long as you stick to the prescription.

The frightening reality, however, is that both of these are not necessarily true. In the first place, when you’re abusing Ativan, even at its lowest dosage, you’re actually abusing a drug that’s much more potent than you may know.

For example, just 1mg of Ativan is equivalent to 10mg of Valium in terms of potency. If you’re prescribed 3mg per day of lorazepam for anxiety then, that’s equivalent to around 3 times as high as the highest recommended Valium dosage for the same condition.

What’s more, not every addiction starts with purposefully abusing a substance. Even if you do follow your doctor’s prescription exactly, you may still be at risk for developing a physical dependency. Addiction can, in fact, be accidental.

Ativan Addiction and 7 Signs to Look For

Knowing how to spot the signs of addiction to Ativan can be incredibly important in the battle for sobriety.

In fact, one of the most difficult steps on the road to recovery is the first one: admitting you have a problem.

Below, we take a quick look at 7 of the most noticeable signs of a lorazepam use disorder. For a more detailed look, be sure to check out the article, Seven Signs Addiction is a BIG Problem in Your Life.

  • You experience regular, powerful, and sometimes debilitating cravings to take more Ativan.
  • You’ve noticed that you have to take more lorazepam than you needed to before (tolerance) and you experience uncomfortable symptoms when you don’t use (withdrawals).
  • You use Ativan (outside of your doctor’s orders) to escape from unpleasant emotions or feelings like depression, stress, or anxiety.
  • You take a lot of unnecessary risks when it comes to using Ativan (e.g. operating heavy machinery, lying, stealing, mixing with other substances).
  • You’ve begun neglecting your other obligations like work, school, and family.
  • Your Ativan abuse is putting a strain on your close relationships or leading you to develop unhealthy ones.
  • You’ve noticed your physical or psychological health has suffered due to abusing lorazepam, but you continue to use it anyway.

If these examples hit a bit too close to home, you may be dealing with a serious Ativan substance use disorder.

The Unbearable Lorazepam Withdrawals

For many, detoxing from an Ativan addiction can be absolutely excruciating

Lorazepam abusers have described the process as “hellish” and a “daily nightmare.” Part of this is due to the fact that symptoms of Ativan withdrawal can last for weeksmonths, and even years on end.

The other contributing factor, of course, is the painfulness of the symptoms themselves which many people claim are even more unbearable than those associated with withdrawals from heroin addiction.

The list of withdrawal symptoms for lorazepam is a long one. Here are some of the most common symptoms you’re likely to experience if you’ve developed an Ativan dependency:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depersonalization
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Vomiting
  • Psychosis
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleep problems
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating

While not everyone will experience these symptoms during their withdrawals, the severity and longevity of their addiction has a strong influence on which symptoms are felt as well as how intense they are along the way.

How to Stop Taking Ativan Safely

Overcoming your lorazepam prescription medication addiction may sound tough, but with the right treatment plan in place and the proper knowledge to guide you, it is most assuredly possible.

One technique that addiction specialists will employ is to taper you off lorazepam slowly. This gives your body the time it needs to adjust to a significantly weaker GABA potency.

However, in order for this process to be effective, it needs to address your body’s individual needs and tendencies. As such, it’s absolutely essential that you take the steps necessary to find the right kind of help for your addiction to lorazepam.

Not doing so might just end up costing you your life.

Ativan: One Downer You Don’t Want to Mess With

Although lorazepam is one of the most popular prescription drugs in the entire country, it belongs to a class of highly addictive and highly dangerous substances. Not only can benzodiazepines like Ativan cause quick and intense addiction, they also carry with them an excruciating withdrawal process that is longpainful, and potentially fatal.

In order to avoid the dangers of abusing this powerful and hazardous substance, it’s crucial that you get the help you need to overcome your addiction to Ativan. Contact us today to get started.