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What is Ativan?

Is Ativan a benzodiazepine?

Yes, it is a potent benzodiazepine with a high potential for abuse and addiction. On the street, benzodiazepines are often called benzos or goofballs.

It is a benzodiazepine used clinically to treat anxiety or insomnia. It works by raising the amount of an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain. This is where its calming or sedative-like effect comes from.

Understanding Ativan Drug

Generalized anxiety disorders and depression are very common mental health disorders in America. Panic disorders and PTSD are also common, followed by ADHD and bipolar disorder.

The answer, for many, has been benzodiazepines. In the five short years between 2009 and 2014, prescriptions for benzodiazepines rose by 226%. Lax attitudes toward prescriptions and a lack of information regarding alternatives can contribute to long-term abuse and addiction cycles.

Side Effects of Ativan Abuse

Ativan is one of the most common benzodiazepines. Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Rohypnol are others. Ativan is a brand name for lorazepam. When individuals ask, “is lorazepam addictive,” they are also asking, “is Ativan addictive?” Since they are the same, the answer to both questions is yes. And you do not have to take Ativan for a long time to become addicted.

Physical and psychological dependence on the drug can happen in just about any time period. Your risk of addiction will vary depending on individual factors, like the frequency of use, your genetics, and other details of your personal history.

Tolerance to Ativan

If you have built a tolerance to Ativan, you may notice you have to increase your doses to achieve effectiveness. You may want to quit now that you have seen what can happen, but you still have not been able to. Withdrawal symptoms appear early for many drugs, and they often lead to relapse.

Constant cravings and environmental factors can also lead to relapses. But you do not have to stay stuck in this cycle. Help is available at Resurgence Behavioral Health. Once you are through your withdrawal symptoms, sobriety will likely feel more attainable.

Side Effects of Ativan Abuse

Until then, the side effects of Ativan abuse are not going anywhere. The list of potential side effects is long and troubling. Ativan side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Appetite changes
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble urinating or frequent urinating
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in sex drive or ability

These are some of the milder side effects that are possible. Other potential side effects may be more serious and require medical attention. These include:

  • Shuffling walk
  • Consistent, fine tremor or an inability to sit still
  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Severe skin rashes
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Irregular heartbeats

Ativan and Other Substances

Ativan is addictive and dangerous on its own, but even more so when combined with other substances. When benzodiazepines are mixed with other drugs, the risk of mental or physical damage is increased. Ativan, along with other benzodiazepines, is often combined with opioids.

In 2018, researchers found that benzodiazepines were involved in more than 30% of opioid-related overdoses. Benzodiazepines are often also mixed with alcohol, another troubling combination. In the same year, alcohol was present in 27.2% of emergency room visits related to benzodiazepines.

Mental Illness and Ativan

Ativan is often given to treat a common mental illness category, anxiety disorders. This includes generalized anxiety and panic disorders, among others. Benzodiazepines, like this one, decrease your nerve impulse activity and slow down your brain functions. These are ideal effects for people prone to panic attacks and bouts of anxiety.

However, one of the things that make benzos so dangerous is that they can further impair your mental health. When prescribed, Ativan use should last a total of four weeks at the very most. Anything beyond this timeframe increases the chances of mental and physical health impairments.

Ativan Stays in Your Body for 10 to 20 Hours

But keep in mind that this does not mean that you are completely safe for the first four weeks. Ativan can impair your physical and mental health in a shorter timeframe than this. It all depends on your use, drug history, genetics, and other individual factors. Ativan is neither a short-acting nor long-acting benzodiazepine.

It falls somewhere in the middle. This intermediate benzodiazepine stays in your body for 10 to 20 hours.

OTC Pain Reliever Lasts About Four Hours

For comparison, an over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen lasts about four hours. The length of time that it stays in the body makes it easier to abuse. You might take larger amounts than prescribed once you have built a dependence or take more than prescribed because you thought you needed another dose. The side effects and mental health impairments of Ativan abuse are often more damaging than the initial illness.

Addiction Treatment Methods

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we employ a variety of therapeutic and holistic remedies. Your treatment program is likely to include some combination of the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (helps you identify and replace damaging thoughts and behaviors with more positive ones)
  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Family therapy sessions
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Support groups
  • Stress and addiction management training
  • Exercise classes
  • Healthy meals
  • Recreational activities
  • Supervised outings

Effective and comprehensive care requires a well-rounded approach. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we do not cut corners. For care that truly works, cookie-cutter treatment programs simply are not an option. We will work together to put you in the program that best suits your unique addiction and needs. You deserve nothing less.

Ativan Treatment Setting Options

Addiction care is generally broken into two categories: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient care involves an around-the-clock stay in one of our facilities for the length of your treatment program. The average inpatient stay lasts 28 days. But some patients will stay for 30, 60, 90 days, or more. Inpatient care is the only treatment setting that offers constant support.

This program will include additional holistic remedies like supervised outings, recreational activities, healthy meals, and exercise classes. In inpatient care, you have constant access to medical care, emotional and physical support, and everything needed to achieve sobriety.

Inpatient Care for Ativan Addiction

While inpatient care is likely the most effective, we recognize that it will not fit every patient’s needs. If you have family members that you care for, work, or classes, a residential stay may be difficult. That is why we offer a variety of alternative treatment program options.

These may include:

  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)
  • Traditional outpatient care
  • Alumni and aftercare services (after you have completed a more intensive program)
  • 12-step programs
  • Support groups

These programs have different time requirements and occur at different times. If you need care outside of traditional business hours, an evening IOP may be the right program for you. If your addiction is mild, and you have strong support at home, a traditional outpatient program may be right instead.

We will work with you to build a customized plan that considers the details of your addiction and needs. Call our addiction health experts today to get started.

Resurgence Behavioral Health

Overcoming your addiction to Ativan may seem like a daunting task on your own, but it is easier with help. We can offer medical detox to avoid the uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms that come with this benzodiazepine. It provides a structured, safe, and supportive environment to begin recovering and prepare for the next phases of your program.

It is never too late to ask for help. Our comprehensive addiction program, therapeutic treatments, and holistic remedies will give you what you need to overcome your addiction safely.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.