Ativan Addiction Withdrawal
Ativan abuse is a serious problem. While the drug can be taken safely under a doctor’s prescription, many people misuse it because of the high it can cause. Both misuse and following a prescription regimen can lead to Ativan addiction withdrawal.
What is Ativan?
Ativan is a brand name medication also known as lorazepam. The drug is prescribed by doctors to treat anxious thoughts and feelings in individuals with anxiety disorders.
As stated by the National Library of Medicine, Ativan is a benzodiazepine that works by slowing the brain’s activity and allowing the individual who is taking it to relax. Ativan can be taken with or without food and is usually taken a few times a day or when necessary. It can be found in both a tablet form and a liquid.
Though the drug is safe to take under a doctor’s care, patients are advised not to suddenly stop taking it, as this could result in Ativan withdrawal.
Many people misuse this drug because it causes intense side effects like euphoria when taken in large doses. Those who take Ativan in large amounts are likely to experience dependence, tolerance, and addiction very quickly. Some may even overdose on the drug, which can be deadly. Even taking the drug in small doses, though, can be dangerous.
Is Ativan Addictive in Small Doses?
Many people forget to ask their doctors, “Is Ativan addictive?” or to discuss the potential for addiction and dependence associated with this particular drug. Fortunately, it can be taken safely to treat anxiety, but for those who take it over a long period of time, dependence is always a possibility.
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Ativan can become addictive if people take the drug in a way other than the way they were prescribed to take it by a doctor. Even those who take the drug in small amounts, but who take it consistently, can still become addicted to the drug if they are not taking it as prescribed (or without a prescription entirely).
On the other hand, dependence is a serious issue that Ativan users often do not consider. Even if they take the drug the exact way they are meant to, they could become dependent, which means they will rely on the drug to get them out of bed every day, help them deal with minor inconveniences, etc.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction and dependence are two very different issues, but the latter can lead to the former. People who become dependent sometimes start to abuse the drug in order to get their fix. In this sense, yes, Ativan can become addictive even if those who take it in small doses take it often and long enough.
You may be wondering, “How long does it take to get addicted to Ativan?” but this is different for every individual. Some start out taking the drug as prescribed and become dependent. Others may begin by abusing the medication and never have a prescription at all. Though dependence and addiction are not the same, they are both problems and dependence can easily lead to addiction, especially in the case of Ativan use.
Ativan Addiction Withdrawal
One of the main side effects of Ativan addiction and dependence is withdrawal. Those who suddenly stop using the drug will experience extreme symptoms, some of which can even be deadly if not properly treated.
As stated previously, Ativan is a benzodiazepine. According to a study published in 1994 in the medical journal Addiction, benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause:
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
- Muscular pain
- Perceptual changes
- Seizures (in rare cases)
A person can also hallucinate, experience depersonalization, and become extremely anxious, tense, and irritable to the point where they may have a panic attack if they suddenly stop taking these drugs.
The psychological symptoms can be worse than the physical symptoms in many cases. This is partially because the drug is often taken to minimize co-occurring psychological syndromes like anxiety. Suddenly, when the individual stops receiving the drug, anxiety returns tenfold in many cases.
Unlike some other withdrawal syndromes, Ativan withdrawal is potentially life-threatening. People who tell their Ativan addiction stories often talk about withdrawal as being the worst part of their recovery experience. People who go through this syndrome often require 24-hour care, which is what most detox centers will recommend for individuals with Ativan addictions.
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Can I Get Help for My Ativan Addiction Withdrawal?
Yes. There are safe treatment centers across the country that offer round the clock care for people going through Ativan withdrawal. Just call 877-959-7271 today to speak to someone in our treatment placement department. We can even help you find same-day placement, so you can start your recovery quickly and safely.