Last updated on July 10th, 2019 at 09:51 am
Are you concerned you or someone you love is addicted to Ativan (also known as lorazepam)?
Nearly half of Americans say they have a friend or family member who has suffered from an addiction. And you may be reading this article because you’re concerned for someone you love.
What Is Ativan?
Ativan is typically prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication, belonging to the Benzodiazepine drug group. While this is its most common use, doctors may also use it to calm down individuals who are unusually violent, to stop seizures, to sedate people on ventilation machines, and to help people in a state of catatonia.
“Lorazepam” is the generic name of this medication. According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of lorazepam is as follows:
“A drug of the benzodiazepine group, used especially to treat anxiety.”
Since Ativan is classified as a benzodiazepine (or benzo), it can be a highly addictive medication if misused.
How Is It Taken?
The drug may be administered intravenously or in pill form. If taken in the hospital, it is often put through an IV. If taken at home, or by someone who has become addicted to it, it is typically taken in pill form.
Who Takes It?
Anyone can take Ativan if the doctor has approved it for use. However, most people who use Ativan are adults, though it may be used for children under the age of 18 for seizures.
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A Brief History of Ativan
Ativan has been commercially available since 1977. It is known as a “classic” benzo.
Consequences of Ativan Misuse
If you or a loved one take Ativan, it is important to understand how it effects the mind and body. Long-term effects of benzos can include severe reactions such a depressed CNS (central nervous system). It may also include individuals becoming psychologically or physically dependent on the medication, meaning they cannot stop without undergoing a very uncomfortable withdrawal period upon discontinuation. Read on to learn more.
Effects on the Mind and Body
Most people who take Ativan experience a feeling of tiredness or calmness. Other common feelings with Ativan include weakness, dizziness, and unsteadiness. It is not recommended for long-term treatment, and therefore long-term use is not necessarily known or studied.
Short-Term and Long-Term Health Effects
Other symptoms people may experience in the short-term include:
- suicidal ideation
- sleep apnea
- change in appetite
- slurred speech
- memory issues
- aggression and confrontational behavior
Taking too much Ativan can also result in a depressed CNS, which can, in turn, result in an overdose. This medication can be overdosed on very easily, so individuals who take it need to be aware of the dose their doctors have given them and stick to it.
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Using Ativan With Other Drugs
Ativan is not frequently taken with other drugs in a medical setting. In some cases, people who take the drug for mental disorders may also take drugs to mitigate them. This is typically done under the supervision of a physician and should not be done on your own.
Which Drugs Are Commonly Used With Ativan?
Most people who use or abuse Ativan don’t supplement it with other substances. However, there are some exceptions.
Some drugs, such as antihistamines, may interact with Ativan in a way that causes users to feel tired or fatigued. If you take both an antihistamine and Ativan at the same time, your doctor may advise you on how to take both medications together to avoid any unnecessary side effects.
Using Ativan with another drug that causes CNS depression, however, can have serious or even fatal consequences.
Since Ativan already depresses the CNS, mixing it with other CNS depressants can be fatal. This includes other benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, painkillers, appetite suppressants, anesthesia, hypnotics, barbiturates, and even alcohol.
Treating Ativan Addiction
Anyone can become addicted to Ativan, but most commonly, it is individuals who have been prescribed the medication.
As stated previously in this article, the medication should only be taken in the short-term. Taking it for a longer time may produce a psychological or physical dependence on the medication.
Moreover, anyone taking Ativan should be prescribed the medication and only take it under direct doctor supervision. If you notice that you or a loved one are taking Ativan for longer than it has been prescribed, this may indicate a dependence or an addiction.
Addiction to Ativan can be overcome. There are many rehab facilities that will help individuals, like yourself or your loved one, with Ativan addiction. Contact us today to help you get yourself or your loved one on the path to recovery.