Ativan, also known as lorazepam, is a prescription drug used to treat seizures, anxiety disorders and insomnia. One of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, Ativan is a benzodiazepine, a group of drugs that is prone to abuse. As central nervous depressants that produce a calming and sedating effect in users, abuse, and tolerance of benzos, as they are commonly referred to, is a phenomenon of increasing concern.
What is Ativan?
As one of the most widely prescribed benzodiazepines, Ativan is open to misuse and overdosage by patients who have a prescription. With millions of Americans suffering from anxiety disorders, Ativan is widely prescribed for its ability to calm down excessive and unusual electrical activity in the brain, thus alleviating the symptoms of anxiety. However, if the advised dosage is not followed, users can quickly start to develop a tolerance to Ativan and require more of it to achieve the desired effects of calm and relaxation. Over time, they are unable to function without it mentally and physically, developing a substance use disorder or addiction.
What are the Side Effects of Ativan Addiction?
Even patients who take Ativan per their doctor’s instructions run the risk of developing a state of dependency over time. That is why Ativan is only prescribed for limited periods of time. Below are some side effects that can arise from long-term abuse of Ativan:
- Memory loss
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mouth and abdominal sores
- Kidney problems
- … and more.
It is important to note that not every individual will experience the same side effects, which largely depends on the age, sex, weight, and health condition of the patient.
Understanding Ativan Overdose
Because of its potency and fast reaction time, Ativan is prone to polydrug abuse and overdosage. Below are some symptoms to watch out for in an Ativan overdose:
- Respiratory depression
- Hypotension, or low blood pressure
- … and more.
Unintentional overdoses can be caused by mixing Ativan with other drugs or substances such as alcohol, other benzodiazepines, opiates, certain cough, and flu medications. If you suspect that your loved one has overdosed on Ativan, get medical assistance immediately. Signs of respiratory distress such as slowed breathing and heart rate can be potentially life-threatening.
How to Treat Ativan Addiction
To date, no medications has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for benzodiazepine addictions, such as Ativan addiction. However, there is a wide range of other treatments and therapy options open to recovering addicts, such as medically assisted detox and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Many rehabilitation centers offer residential and outpatient treatment to facilitate a comprehensive program that will aid a patient’s recovery.
Why work with Spark To Recovery?
At Spark To Recovery, we have a team of certified addiction counselors, medical psychiatrists and nurses who is dedicated to each patient’s recovery. Our goal is not just to wean patients off chemical dependence, but to ensure they are equipped with the skills they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives after treatment.
Start your Ativan addiction therapy today. Call Spark To Recovery at 818-849-5467 today if you want to schedule an appointment with us.
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