Ativan (Lorazepam) Addiction

This Page was last reviewed and changed on June 6th, 2022

The misuse of any medication is often accompanied by side effects that could be dangerous to regular human body function. This is no exception in the way of Ativan. While Ativan has positive uses, abusing this drug can lead to seizures and prolonged mental health issues. As with all Benzodiazepine addictions, it’s important to be mindful of the psychological and physical damage that addiction to Ativan can inflict.

Read on to explore how to spot Ativan addiction, the safety precautions you should follow and how addiction can be controlled.

  • Jump to
  • How does Ativan work?
  • Signs and symptoms of Ativan addiction and abuse
  • Impact of Ativan Addiction on health
  • Is Ativan available in the UK?
  • Can Ativan addiction be cured?
  • What can you do to help?
  • Frequently asked questions

 

How does Ativan work?

A member of the Benzodiazepine family, Ativan is the brand name for Lorazepam. Ativan’s function takes place by strengthening the GABA chemical production while decreasing the proficiency of its receptor. This combination results in overall body relaxation and sedation. The effects last for an average of ten to twelve hours.

Ativan has been used to treat insomnia, emergent seizures, and anxiety. Furthermore, while some have used it to mediate the effects of alcohol withdrawal, it’s been reconsidered as an ill-fitting drug for the job.

Ativan addiction does not develop right away, but rather takes an average of two to four weeks of continuous use at a low dosage for the addiction to emerge. This can be quicker if you or your loved one are already prone to addiction or have been previously addicted to a substance.

What makes a person prone to addiction has been widely debated for a long time by scientists. One opinion is that some people are more genetically inclined to revisit mind-altering substances than others. In the case of Ativan addiction, it could be that some people have different levels of the GABA chemical being naturally produced, which makes the use of Ativan an eye-opening experience.

It could also be that some people have different reactions to the introduction of higher levels of the GABA chemical. The theory goes that some people’s reaction to the GABA chemical has more euphoric, which could boost the affinity to the drug and be a leading factor in the development of Ativan addiction.

Another opinion is that instability and increased anxiety in people’s lives can lead to seeking relief by avoidance. Mind-altering substances such as Lorazepam are the mind-altering substances that people turn to in these cases. Furthermore, prologued use of these substances causes addiction.

Signs and symptoms of Ativan addiction and abuse

Being able to identify Ativan addiction and its abuse and misuse can save a life. However, keep in mind that reading through these signs and symptoms is not enough. Addictions are often hidden very well and can manifest in different ways. Different people with different personalities often react in varying ways. The symptoms will give you a frame of reference for what to look out for, but you must keep an eye out for general differences in behaviour and dangerous symptoms.

Signs of Ativan misuse and abuse

  • Taking Ativan in ways other than how it has been prescribed
  • Combining Ativan with alcohol or other substances
  • Exhibiting relative calm and relaxation for extended periods of time
  • Slow response times to normal stimuli
  • Loss of coordination and motor skills
  • Reduced concentration
  • An unusual and sustained sense of wellbeing

Short-term Ativan misuse and abuse symptoms

  • Taking Ativan just to get high
  • Trying to enhance the effects of Ativan with other substances
  • Using Ativan to escape the pressures of life
  • Regular mood swings
  • Unexplained nausea, vomiting, or constipation

Long-term Ativan misuse and abuse symptoms

  • Memory loss and learning difficulties
  • Chronic insomnia despite Ativan’s sedating nature
  • Family problems (divorce, violence, etc.)
  • Financial problems as a result of having to finance an addiction
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms between doses
  • Doctor-shopping to procure new prescriptions
  • Loss of employment or dropping out of school

Impact of Ativan Addiction on health

Ativan misuse and addiction can prove to be extremely dangerous. Observing a loved one display these symptoms while taking Ativan is enough to warrant a call to your local emergency service.

An immediate consequence to be weary of is when mixing the drug with alcohol. Since both substances reduce the response rate of the nervous system, they can often combine to slow the nervous system to the point of inducing a coma, or even death in worst cases.

Furthermore, aside the side effects of Ativan addiction is not just confined to physical conditions. As is often with addictions, they can often play a role in damaging financial health, relationship health, and mental health.

Financial health is often impacted negatively by feeling the need to finance an addiction. While this is impractical, it is one of the ways that show addictions cause people to become inconsistent and unreliable. The inconsistencies are also more likely to occur due to changes to their mental health. With the Ativan addiction, their mind will come to need Ativan more and more until eventually the need for the drug overpowers normal sensibilities and appropriate social conduct.

Thus, they may begin to create deceptions and manipulations in order to keep the status quo and avoid arguments. This can cause instability in relationships and cause the person to lose their loved ones. The result of the combination of these factors often cause their mental health to deteriorate further.

Is Ativan available in the UK?

Ativan is very carefully supplied by the NHS. It is classified as a Class-C controlled substance, and is prescribed for anxiety as well as given as a Lorazepam injection in the hospital in response to seizures. Yet, given the dangerous side effects posed by this drug and its misuse, it can still be found around the UK and on the internet for around just £0.80 per dose. Unfortunately, this makes Ativan accessible to a very wide range of people of different income levels and age groups. For his reason, we advise that you remain vigilant over your finances as well as any potential Ativan purchases from online pharmacies.

Can Ativan addiction be cured?

Thankfully, all addictions can be cured. Whatever mistakes were made in the past have passed. Taking charge of the present is what will help get you and your loved one back to normalcy.

In the case of Ativan addiction, the best course of action would be to contact a qualified professional to oversee this process. Ativan dosage needs to be reduced gradually in order to prevent Ativan addiction and withdrawal symptoms from getting worse.

It only takes a few days for the drug to leave your system, which is a process that can be handled with a medically-assisted Ativan detox. Once that has happened, usually during an Ativan rehab programme, you are well on your way to recovery. After the drug is out of your system, it is only a matter of staying away from the drug and addressing the root cause of the Ativan abuse. However, at this point, you are past the impediment of having a drug dull your senses, and are ready to start making rational decisions about your wellbeing and future. Luckily, it only takes a few days.

What can you do to help?

Withdrawal symptoms are always taxing, and difficult to go through. This is not only true for your loved one, but also for yourself as part of the support group. Understanding the process will help you prepare yourself for the journey to come.

Seeking support in times like these is an intuitive way to maintain your and your loved one’s mental and physical health. This can take the form of support groups or inpatient rehab.

Taking the step towards recovery is difficult to undergo and observe. Supporting your loved one through this process is definitely a demanding task. It’s not easy to see someone you love in pain and discontent. Though admirable, we understand that both of you will need much support through this.

Ativan Addiction is not an indication that you have failed. We all often find ourselves in tough positions, because making mistakes is a part of life and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. What matters is how we rise from the downfall, and we are here to help you get back on your feet. Let us know how we can be of assistance on your journey. Visit the Contact Us page to get your journey started.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ativan addiction fatal?
Unfortunately, addiction can cause judgement impediment, where the drug can be taken irresponsibly enough to cause a negative reaction with another substance. It can also cause an overdose, which could be fatal.
How should I approach an Ativan addict?
You should always be empathetic and understanding when talking to an addict about their addiction. However, it’s important to also set clear boundaries on what you will and will not tolerate, to keep you safe and encourage your loved one to recognise damaging behaviour.
Is Ativan addiction worse than other addictions?
Addictions are not worse or better than one another. As a collective, addictions are unhealthy coping mechanisms that should be remedied by eliminating the substance and working through the underlying issue. This is no different in the case of Ativan addiction.
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