How Addictive Is Ativan (Lorazepam)?

Ativan is a benzodiazepine that has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Getting help for Ativan addiction can prevent further physical dependence and negative consequences.

Ativan, generic name lorazepam, is a prescription benzodiazepine used in the treatment of anxiety. It is typically only used short-term. Other off-label uses of Ativan include irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and epilepsy.

Ativan is a Schedule IV drug, meaning it is highly regulated by the FDA. It has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Lorazepam should not be used longer than four weeks.

Common effects of Ativan include:

  • reduced anxiety
  • relaxation
  • decreased behavioral inhibitions
  • reduced seizures

Ativan works by binding to the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that affects a number of systems in the body, including the central nervous system (CNS). When GABA is released into the brain, it creates an overall reduction of CNS activity.

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Is Ativan Addictive?

Like other benzodiazepines, Ativan has a high potential for abuse and addiction. This is due to how it affects the brain.

When someone takes Ativan, he or she may experience sensations of euphoria and extreme relaxation. Taking higher doses of this drug can result in an Ativan high, which can be addictive.

Additionally, Ativan is stronger than many other benzodiazepines. This makes its abuse and addiction potential much higher.

Because of Ativan’s potency, people can quickly build up a tolerance. This means that they will need more of the drug to experience the same effects. Taking more of Ativan only increases the risk of physical dependence and addiction.

What’s more, when someone develops a physical dependence to this drug, he or she will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued. Ativan withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable and include flu-like symptoms, nausea, and heightened anxiety. Many people will continue to take Ativan to avoid withdrawal, which only increases the dependence and addiction to the drug.

Getting Help For Ativan Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Ativan, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There are many treatment options available for benzodiazepine addiction.

Formal treatment options have proven successful for treatment Ativan addiction. This may include a medically monitored detox program and inpatient treatment. Many people with an addiction to Ativan will also need long-term aftercare to reduce the chances of relapse.

To learn more about the addictive nature of Ativan and the treatment options available for Ativan addiction, contact us today.

Everyday Health - What Is Lorazepam (Ativan)?

National Alliance on Mental Illness - Lorazepam (Ativan)

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