Ativan Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment
Ativan is a brand name for lorazepam, a benzodiazepine drug introduced in the 1970s to replace the more potent and dangerous barbiturates in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Similarly to barbiturates, benzodiazepine drugs like Ativan are central nervous system depressants and act as both a sedative and anticonvulsant drug. In addition to being used to treat anxiety, Ativan is also prescribed to treat insomnia and seizures and as a tranquilizer or sedative.
Ativan is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines on the market. In addition to its use as an anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety medication, it has been used with success to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome in people recovering from alcohol addiction.
Off-market, Ativan is often used to offset the effects of stimulant drugs like cocaine or to increase the potency of euphoria experienced by those abusing depressant drugs like methadone.
Ativan is available as an oral solution or tablet.
How Ativan Works
Ativan works on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which behave as the primary inhibitory neurotransmitters along the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines bind to GABA-benzodiazepine receptors sites unlike barbiturates, which act on the entire GABA receptor complex. This results in less contraindications associated with depression of cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors function as the body’s fear and anxiety control panel, regulating the excitement of nerve cells. Essentially, GABA is connected to inhibiting fear and anxiety responses and is one of the neurotransmitters associated with residual muscle tension (muscle tone). In reducing both fear responses and muscle tension, Ativan is an effective tool in treating anxiety disorders.
As one of the most widely prescribed benzodiazepines in the United States, Ativan is also one of the most commonly abused. Typically those who become addicted to Ativan have a co-existing disorder like anxiety or depressive disorders as well as a history of other drug abuse, and physical or sexual abuse.
While many people assume that a prescription drug is safe, safety is measured by prescribed dosages. When someone takes a drug like Ativan in higher than prescribed doses, severity of side effects is increased.
Ativan can be addictive both physically and psychologically. When Ativan is abused in higher than prescribed dosages, a user might experience euphoria associated with dopamine release as the drug begins to take effect. Self medicating and chasing this euphoria can result in a physical dependence on the drug as the body develops a tolerance and more is required for the same effect. Tolerance can develop quickly when a person is taking higher than prescribed doses of the drug.
Street names for benzodiazepines include “Benzos,” “Downers,” “Nerve Pills,” and “Tranks.”
Signs Of Ativan Abuse
There are warning signs to Ativan addiction. If you or someone you care about appears anxious about when they will receive their next dose, or if they begin ingesting the drug in ways other than intended (like crushing and snorting tablets), or complain they have lost prescriptions so they can request additional prescriptions, addiction is likely.
Withdrawal symptoms can also perpetuate use of drugs like Ativan as they can become increasingly more severe the longer someone abuses the drug. Withdrawal symptoms from Ativan include fever and flu-like symptoms, insomnia and anxiety, confusion or memory loss, numbness and tingling in extremities, mood changes, and convulsions.
Adverse Health Effects From Ativan Abuse
Negative health effects from Ativan abuse relate to dose. The larger the dose, the more severe the side effects. While at prescribed doses, the drug should have little effect on respiratory function, it can depress breathing at higher than recommended dosages.
Negative side effects from use of Ativan vary, but more commonly include changes in mood and appetite, gastrointestinal upset, increased urination, fatigue, blurred vision, restlessness. More serious side effects include fever, tremors, stumbling or poor balance, difficulty breathing, cardiovascular complications.
Symptoms Of Ativan Overdose:
- Slurred speech
- Low blood pressure
- Profuse sweating
When abusing a drug like Ativan, sometimes the symptoms the drug was designed to fix can emerge and include anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. Half of all drug-related suicide attempts relate to benzodiazepine use or abuse.
Long-term abuse of Ativan correlates with mental disturbances including psychosis. While Ativan abuse alone seldom results in death by overdose, suicide risk is higher and chance of death increases substantially from overdose when the drug is used with other illicit drugs, especially other central nervous system depressants.
Treatment For Ativan Dependency
Treatment for Ativan addiction typically includes a detoxification program to help people through the withdrawal process. This process will be medically monitored and medication may be used to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Underlying issues relating to the addiction will be identified. In-patient and Outpatient treatment options are available to treat Ativan dependency.
Recovery From Ativan Abuse
You or someone you love may have been prescribed Ativan without the intent of abusing the drug. If you’ve come to realize you need help, RehabCenter.net can connect you with the resources you need to better understand the steps toward recovery from Ativan addiction, while also connecting you with treatment options in your area. Contact us today and speak with someone about options that meet your individual needs. It’s time to take back control of your life and it starts with one simple phone call.