Ativan is the brand name of lorazepam. Lorazepam is a kind of drug known as benzodiazepines. These drugs have a sedative effect and are generally prescribed by doctors to treat panic disorders and anxiety.
Ativan Addiction Statistics
In 2008, approximately 5.2% of US adults aged 18 to 80 years were using benzodiazepines, like Ativan. Women are much more likely to use benzodiazepines with twice as many women using these kinds of drugs as men.
Benzodiazepines are some of the most addictive drugs in the world. Around a quarter of users use these kinds of drugs long-term.
General Stats on Addiction to Ativan
Not only are benzodiazepines highly addictive, but they’re also very dangerous. They are second only to opioids when it comes to overdoses.
Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, are usually prescribed for anxiety. This disorder accounts for around 56% of benzodiazepine prescriptions in the USA.
If a patient goes to the doctor complaining of anxiety, they may be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder or GAD. If this condition is diagnosed, then there’s a 50% chance they’ll be prescribed a benzodiazepine. One-third of those who are prescribed benzodiazepines will go on to take the drugs for as long as 12 years.
Stereotypically, drugs such as Ativan have been associated with housewives. There is some truth to the stereotype, as women use these drugs at a much higher rate than men do.
Drugs like Ativan are used by older people more than younger people. A study suggested that around 5.7% of people aged 65-80 years old had used drugs like Ativan. In comparison, 2.6% of people aged 18-35 years old had used them.
Signs of Ativan Abuse
There are many signs that might indicate someone is abusing Ativan. For example, they might be involved in uncharacteristic encounters with law enforcement. Getting pulled over for a DUI is quite common among people who abuse drugs like Ativan.
In some cases, Ativan abusers will combine it with alcohol. This can cause you to lose consciousness. Or it may cause you to behave very erratically. People who would never usually drink alcohol and drive might do it without a second thought when they’ve consumed alcohol and Ativan.
While Ativan abuse can cause you to lose your inhibitions and act unlike yourself, it’s also very possible to take the drug and function well. High functioning Ativan users can use the drug while remaining undetected.
In fact, what may give them away is when they don’t have access to the drug. Ativan withdrawal is quite serious and can result in restlessness, mood swings, seizures, or hallucinations. An addict will find it impossible to hide the symptoms of Ativan use if they start going into withdrawal.
Am I Addicted?
If you’re taking Ativan on a regular basis, there’s a good chance that you’ve become addicted. Ativan is one of the most addictive drugs out there.
Ativan withdrawal can be very serious. In fact, it is not recommended that you withdraw from the drug without getting medical attention.
If you suspect you might be addicted to Ativan, you should make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Always be honest about your drug use with your doctor. This will ensure they can give you the right kind of treatment.
Don’t underestimate how much you use Ativan. A good doctor will not judge you for your drug use. If you feel like your doctor is judging you or being condescending, don’t be afraid to look for a new doctor.
Ativan is obviously a dangerous drug. You can become addicted to it within a week of using it. If you’ve been using Ativan for longer than a couple of weeks, you almost certainly have some degree of physical addiction.
You may feel tempted to attempt to quit “cold turkey”, but this is not recommended. The withdrawal symptoms for Ativan can be very severe.
Attempting to withdraw from Ativan alone could have serious consequences. When attempting to deal with a benzodiazepine addiction, you should always get some help.
Dangers of Ativan Abuse
Abusing Ativan could cause you a lot of problems in your life.
When Ativan is abused, it can cause you to experience “black outs”. During these black outs, you can behave very uncharacteristically and unpredictably. The behavior of people during these black outs can range from harmless to extremely dangerous.
For example, you might black out from Ativan and order hundreds of dollars worth of clothes. You will have no idea you’ve done it until the clothes are delivered to your home. Other times, you might try and drive, which is incredibly dangerous when you’re on Ativan.
You could also cause some problems at work or with your personal relationships. Ativan can lower your inhibitions, so during a black out, you might tell someone what your true thoughts are of them.
Another danger of Ativan is the threshold for overdose is fairly low compared to other drugs. If you take too much Ativan, you could die.
Often, Ativan abusers will go into a black out. During that time, they’ll consume more of the drug due to their lowered inhibitions. This could easily result in an overdose.
Recognize Ativan Addiction and Abuse Signs
If you suffer from Ativan addiction and abuse, there’s help available. If you want to treat Ativan addiction, it’s highly recommended that you attend an inpatient rehab program. This kind of rehab program is by far the best way to get treated for a benzodiazepine addiction.
You should never try to withdraw from Ativan without any help. Ativan withdrawal is extremely unpleasant at best and it can also be deadly at worst.
Make sure you get some medical advice. Don’t try to quit cold turkey.