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However, many of these drugs are supposed to only be taken on a short term basis. Unfortunately, many people can end up taking them for years.
Ativan is one of these drugs. Although it can be used to effectively treat insomnia, seizures, anxiety and other conditions, it is not meant to be a permanent solution. With that said, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not uncommon for people to become dependent and reliant on this drug. These individuals may need to rely on help from Ativan addiction treatment centers to stop using. Ativan abuse can wreak havoc on the human body, and it can be a very difficult drug addiction to recover from.
Learn more about Ativan addiction and treatment in this article below. We’ll outline some of the more important aspects involved with this type of substance use disorder (SUD).
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Ativan is a benzodiazepine. This type of medication has a calming effect on the central nervous system (CNS), so it can effectively treat anxiety disorders, seizures, insomnia and more. This drug is also called a sedative-hypnotic or anxiolytic drug. The generic form is known as lorazepam.
This medication comes in two different forms. Ativan tablets are often prescribed by doctors for patients to take at home. These patients may suffer from anxiety disorders or seizures. There is also an Ativan solution for intravenous injection. This injection is often given before surgery to help patients sleep.
America’s war on drugs has been going on for quite some time now. Many addiction experts would argue that the problem isn’t necessarily the drugs, but America’s ignorance as a whole. Many people have no idea what they’re putting into their bodies. They have no idea how the drugs work or what could happen if they were to abuse or misuse the pills that they’re prescribed.
Understanding how Ativan works is crucial to understanding how a person can develop an addiction to this medication.
Ativan attaches to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the central nervous system. It then enhances the inhibitory effects of the acid. Basically, it helps ensure that this molecule will have a stronger negative effect on the body. This causes an increase in chloride channel opening, and chloride is needed to inhibit nerve signaling.
All in all, this then prevents the nerves from being excited or stimulated. This is what gives Ativan its anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety, antiemetic and sedative properties.
Benzodiazepines are among some of the most abused prescription medications in America. It’s also one of the most commonly prescribed medications in America. Many people see this drug as a crucial pill that they need to get through the day. Many people do not realize that benzodiazepines can be extremely addictive. They also do not realize that it doesn’t take a lot to become addicted to this medication.
A recent study that looked at approximately 60% of pharmacies in America found that:
With benzodiazepines being such a prevalent prescription medication in America, it’s no wonder that abuse rates can skyrocket. Those who do not take Ativan as prescribed are likely to become physically and chemically dependent on the drug.
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Because Ativan is so widely prescribed, it’s also widely abused. Many of the people who abuse Ativan struggle with anxiety or depression.
In many instances, people who take Ativan don’t mean to abuse it. Unfortunately, prolonged abuse will often lead to this happening. These individuals often find that they no longer experience the same results when they take Ativan for long periods of time. Let’s look at a common case study.
Ann has difficulties sleeping at night due to her anxiety. She is prescribed a single daily dose of 2 mg of Ativan to be taken at bedtime. When she first took the drug, it was amazing. Within the hour, she was sleeping like a baby with no care in the world. It was one of the first nights in a long time where she was able to get a good night’s rest.
Ann starts taking Ativan regularly to help her sleep. Unfortunately, her body begins to develop a dependence on the drug. She finds that it’s getting more and more difficult for her to fall asleep at night. While 2 mg of Ativan might have helped her fall asleep before, she now tosses and turns for some time before she can get any rest.
To deal with this, Ann increases her dosage without the approval of a doctor. She takes 3 mg instead of 4 mg. Once again, the medication works and she finds herself sleeping like a baby. This, however, also doesn’t last forever, and she soon finds herself unable to sleep well even after taking 3 mg of Ativan before bed.
Once again, she decides to up her dosage.
By doing this, Ann has increased her tolerance to Ativan. An increased tolerance is one of the main aspects of addiction. Her body becomes acclimated to the artificial influx of chemicals. Without Ativan, Ann now has a lot of difficulties sleeping. The body has become reliant on Ativan.
Another reason why it’s so easy to get addicted to Ativan is because those who take larger and larger doses of this drug will often experience a sense of euphoria. This sense of euphoria is comparable to the euphoric sensation that other drugs can have on the body.
Some people may come to look forward to the euphoric sensations. This may also encourage them to take larger and larger doses.
Ativan is also addictive because this is a drug that is often abused by those struggling with a co-occurring disorder. This is also known as a dual diagnosis.
A co-occurring disorder is when an individual struggles with both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. Those who take Ativan often begun taking it to deal with a mental health disorder, like anxiety or depression.
These mental health disorders already point to a chemical imbalance in the brain. These individuals are much more likely to become dependent and reliant on an artificial source of the chemicals that they need, as their body is not producing enough of it. They need the help of Ativan to feel normal again.
As they are already struggling with an imbalance, these individuals will often need to rely on medications for longer periods of time. If they get addicted to Ativan, their addiction may further exacerbate their mental health disorder.
This reason is also why those struggling with an addiction to Ativan will need help from a professional rehab facility. They need to be treated for both disorders and will need dual diagnosis treatment.
Dual diagnosis treatment will take into consideration the patient’s mental and physical health. It involves the use of different medications and a different approach when it comes to counseling and behavioral therapies.
After Chris Cornell committed suicide in his hotel room, his wife came out and openly spoke against how rescription drugs had ruined his life and changed him. One of the drugs that were found in Chris’ system was Ativan. Watch the video above to get a brief summary of the effects of Ativan.
An addiction to Ativan can appear very shortly after a person begins to use this drug, but it’s apter to appear if the use of it has continued for more than two to four weeks.
Many people take Ativan for its short-term effects. It can do a lot to help someone struggling with anxiety, insomnia and more. The short-term effects of this medication include:
Unfortunately, while the short-term effects may be appealing, those who take lorazepam may also experience some side effects. They include hallucinations, light-headedness, dizziness, weakness, disorientation and depressed mood.
Ativan addiction behaviors are very apparent once abuse has moved into addiction. If it’s been a while since the last use of the drug, withdrawal symptoms can set in, and you may experience fevers or flu-like symptoms, anxiety, confusion, insomnia or memory loss.
Because of the way addiction works, and how tolerance to drugs like Ativan increases after a period of time, people tend to increase their doses as time goes on. However, the higher the dose, the more severe the side effects become. Long term effects of Ativan use include difficulties breathing, an upset stomach, increased urination, blurred vision and heart complications.
Some people may even experience exaggerated effects. They may find themselves sleeping most of the day or they may even feel that they have no motivation to work. Some other individuals have also reported experiencing confusion.
Once many patients realize that they’ve become addicted to Ativan, they may want to stop. They may think that they’re ready to quit turkey, and may even consider stopping abruptly. Doing so can be dangerous, and it can result in significant Ativan withdrawal symptoms, such as:
There are several Ativan withdrawal symptoms that are considered even more dangerous. These include:
The less severe withdrawal symptoms are just as difficult to contend with, and they usually lead to relapse. Many people will use again just to get some relief. The more dangerous symptoms require immediate medical attention. Either way, it’s best to get Ativan addiction treatment in order to be sure that you’re able to stop using Ativan safely.
How long does it take for an average Ativan abuser to get over the withdrawal symptoms? That is one of the most frequently asked questions that Northpoint Recovery gets. Many people want to know how long it will take for them to start to feel better. After all, withdrawal symptoms can feel very intimidating.
The answer to this question will be different for everyone. There are many factors that come into play. Some of the factors that can determine how long Ativan withdrawal symptoms may last include:
While there isn’t a definite answer, most people can expect the physical withdrawal symptoms to last about 14 days. The psychological ones, however, tend to last much longer. Some people report experiencing psychological withdrawal symptoms months after quitting.
The physical withdrawal symptoms tend to peak within a week and will slowly subside afterwards. Most addiction treatment facilities will place patients under medical detox from day 1 to 10. This way, the professionals have more control over the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms. It also makes it safer for users to recover, as they are less likely to experience any dangerous side effects.
After Ativan is consumed, how long does it stay in the body? It’s important to also consider this question before deciding whether or not to take this drug.
In comparison to many other benzodiazepines, Ativan is a fairly fast-acting drug. It usually takes about 2 hours for the drug to reach peak levels within the plasma and body. After that, the levels slowly start to decline. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Ativan is quickly processed from the body. In fact, this medication has a half-life of about 12 hours. This means that it will take anywhere from 2.75 to 3 days for Ativan to be completely processed from the body.
While Ativan takes quite a long time to be removed from the body, its metabolites take an even longer time. One of the major metabolites of Ativan is lorazepam glucuronide. This molecule has a half-life of approximately 18 hours.
In short, it takes quite some time for Ativan to be completely removed from the body. In general, expect it to take 5 days for one’s system to remove 95% of the lorazepam that was ingested.
Many factors come into play when it comes to how long it would take for the body to completely clear any Ativan it has ingested. Some of these factors include:
At the end of the day, the amount of time that it takes for a person’s body to break down Ativan will vary. It all depends on the individual. Some people are great at metabolizing this prescription drug. Other people may find that their bodies will hold onto the medication and store it for longer periods of time. There are so many factors that come into play that it would be impossible to calculate the clearance rate for each person.
The reason why so many people are concerned with the length of time that it takes for the body to process Ativan is because they may have to take a drug test. Understanding how drug tests work can really help some people better understand how Ativan works.
Drug tests are also crucial tools for family and friends to determine whether a loved one may be addicted to Ativan. Some rehab facilities will also conduct a full-panel drug test on each patient to determine whether he or she is taking any additional substances. Drug interactions can have a huge effect on the type of treatment plan that each patient should receive.
There are several different tests that can screen for Ativan. They include:
It’s important to note that these numbers are not etched in stone. For example, it is possible to test positive for Ativan use even after 8 hours of ingesting the drug.
It can be difficult to draw a line between abuse and addiction. Someone who is using Ativan in a way that it is not prescribed is abusing it; however, that does not necessarily mean that they are addicted. An addiction involves a lot more things.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has outlined 11 criteria that make up an addiction. Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following 11 questions to get a better idea of the severity of the substance use disorder (SUD).
Tally up the amount of yes and no answers. Those who have answered yes to two to three questions may have a mild SUD. Those who have answered yes to four to five questions may have a moderate SUD and those who have answered yes to six or more questions may have a severe SUD.
Many people may realize that they have a problem, but are still hesitant to get help. Should an individual only get help if they are at rock bottom? The answer to that is no. Drug addiction treatment is for anyone who is struggling with an addiction.
Those who are struggling with a less intense SUD may need less supervision or care. These individuals may be able to get away with choosing an outpatient treatment program that only requires a commitment of several hours each week. On the other hand, those who are struggling with a more intense SUD may want to opt for residential treatment. They may need an intense level of supervision in order to successfully recover.
Often times, the people who contact us are actually concerned family and friends of the drug user. These people are often the first to notice when an addict is downward spiralling. There are many ways that family and friends can help. However, before they can offer any assistance, they must be able to first recognize the symptoms of addiction.
Recognizing an addiction to Ativan is not easy. Many individuals may be high-functioning. These individuals are similar to high-functioning alcoholics. They are able to work and even socialize with others while under the influence. Here are some signs that a loved one may be addicted to Ativan:
Those who are concerned for a loved one can contact us too. We can help these individuals find out how to best approach the drug user about recovery.
Approaching a loved one about recovery can be difficult and scary. Emotions run high during interventions, and many people may find themselves getting pushed away by the drug abuser. After all, no one really wants to be the subject of an intervention - even if they need it.
There are many different ways to stage an intervention. Those who are having difficulties coming up with an idea or preparing for an intervention can always give us a call. Our addiction specialists can offer some insight on what it’s like to live with an addiction to Ativan, and what the various treatment options are.
When staging an intervention, it’s important to get several crucial points across to the intended target. These points include:
An intervention should be honest and genuine. It’s important to avoid blaming or judging the intended target.
Those who are taking Ativan should be wary of other substances that they are putting in their body. Some other prescription drugs may actually interact negatively with Ativan. Taking these drugs together may actually harm the body.
While many prescription drugs may have a moderate interaction with Ativan, the following 27 drugs should never be taken at the same time as Ativan:
The drug interactions between Ativan and the above medications will vary. Many of the drugs above are opioids. It’s important to avoid taking a drug like Ativan with an opioid, as it can lead to central nervous system depression. In worst case scenarios, the drug interactions can include respiratory distress, coma and even death.
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You have a lot of different options available to you that can help you overcome your Ativan addiction. Almost all addiction treatment programs will start off with some type of detox. Ativan detox can assist you with the beginning stages of withdrawal, and it will allow you to get through the physical part of your addiction.
You can then choose between several different levels of care. The treatment plan that is the best fit for each individual will all depend on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and the addiction. The most common options include:
Many patients will choose to start with an inpatient rehab program and transition down the levels of care until they reach a standard outpatient program. Those who require additional help may even opt to live at a sober living arrangement.
What can patients expect from an Ativan rehab center? Many facilities provide a wide range of addiction treatment services. Addiction experts will usually sit down with patients to assess their condition. They will then use the information collected to create a tailored treatment plan for the patient.
Patients can usually review their treatment plan to see whether they are comfortable with the evidence-based treatment services that they’ll receive. Some of these treatments include:
Each rehab facility will specialize in different evidence-based treatment services. It’s a good idea to take all recommendations into consideration. Read up on the various treatment services to see what you may be interested in.
Here, at Northpoint Recovery, we are one of the top Ativan rehab treatment centers in the Pacific Northwest. We understand your struggles, and we can help you find the type of treatment that’s right for you.
Our 28-day drug rehab and detox plan is particularly popular amongst those struggling to recover from a drug addiction. Our comprehensive substance abuse treatment plans include many different evidence-based treatment approaches, from medical detox to behavioral therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). We can customize each addiction treatment plan to the needs and expectations of each patient.
Getting admitted to our facility is easy and simple. We will even verify your insurance information for you, and deal with the finances of how to get sober. Our admissions team knows just what to do to get you the help that you need and deserve.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help. Don’t let an Ativan addiction run your life anymore. With the right resources and tools, you can regain control over your life and begin living your life to the fullest.
Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.Verify Insurance