Ativan Abuse Among Elderly Citizens

More elderly individuals are using and abusing benzodiazepines like Ativan than ever before. Elderly people are at an increased risk of the negative effects of Ativan addiction. Seeking treatment for Ativan abuse and addiction can help prevent dangerous health complications.

Drug abuse among elderly citizens has significantly increased in previous years. This is especially true for benzodiazepines like Ativan (lorazepam).

Benzodiazepines such as lorazepam are commonly prescribed to the elderly for depression, anxiety, and insomnia. According to one study, around nine percent of elderly men and 11 percent of elderly women regularly take benzodiazepines like Ativan.

Ativan is a benzodiazepine used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. It is also used off-label to treat epilepsy and insomnia. As a Schedule IV drug, Ativan has a high potential for abuse and dependence. This is true even when the drug is used as prescribed.

Causes Of Ativan Abuse Among Elderly Citizens

There are a number of factors that can lead elderly individuals to abuse drugs like Ativan. Health-related problems are one factor that contributes to Ativan abuse.

Other causes that may contribute to Ativan abuse among elderly citizens include:

  • death of loved ones
  • declining health
  • mental health conditions like depression and anxiety
  • loss of income
  • retirement
  • placement in a nursing facility

All of these situations can take an emotional toll on an elderly person. He or she may turn to drugs like Ativan to cope with these situations.

The more Ativan a person uses, the more likely he or she is to become dependent on the substance. People who are dependent on Ativan may abuse the drug to get the same effect. Abusing Ativan can lead to addiction, which can have serious health consequences for elderly individuals.

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The Dangers Of Ativan Abuse Among The Elderly

Abusing drugs like Ativan is especially dangerous among the elderly population. This is due to the fact that elderly individuals are much more likely to experience the negative effects of these drugs.

Older people have a slower metabolism, which can cause the drug to build up in the system. They also have an increased sensitivity to the drug as it relates to the brain. Benzodiazepines like Ativan are among the most dangerous substances for elderly individuals to abuse.

Symptoms of Ativan addiction among elderly citizens include:

  • trouble sleeping
  • memory impairment
  • bruising easily
  • depression
  • irritability
  • chronic pain
  • withdrawing from loved ones
  • decreased interest in pleasurable activities
  • changes in eating habits
  • reduced consciousness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • heightened anxiety

Additionally, Ativan abuse can worsen existing health conditions. This can put elderly people at risk for dangerous and even deadly side effects.

Treatment For Ativan Abuse Among The Elderly

If you or an elderly loved one is struggling with an addiction to Ativan, seeking treatment is the best decision that can be made. Many people have found success with formal treatment programs such as inpatient treatment.

Inpatient treatment programs offer personalized plans of recovery to help elderly individuals overcome addiction to Ativan. There are many inpatient programs that specialize in helping elderly people address their addiction and recover from Ativan abuse.

To learn more about Ativan abuse among the elderly and to explore treatment options, contact our treatment specialists today.

The New York Times - A Quiet Drug Problem Among the Elderly

National Institutes of Health - Despite risks, benzodiazepine use highest in older people

Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience - Inappropriate benzodiazepine use in elderly patients and its reduction

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