Lorazepam Abuse and Addiction Signs and Effects

Lorazepam abuse and addiction is actually quite common in the United States. This drug also goes by the name Ativan, is frequently prescribed for those who need it. This drug belongs to a classification of medications called benzodiazepines.

According to Fox News, over the last 20 years, prescriptions for these drugs have more than quadrupled. In 1996, 4% of people had filled a benzodiazepine prescription. By 2013, that number had risen to 5.6%.

The problem is that most people don't know how dangerous this medicine is. It has many risks, including the risk for abuse. You may be taking this drug, and be completely unaware of how dangerous it can be. If that's the case, you need as much information as you can get.

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What is Lorazepam and What is it Used for?

Lorazepam is primarily prescribed for those who struggle with anxiety. It is often prescribed for patients to take on a regular basis. Some may even take it long-term. This raises its addictive potential.

Ideally, this drug should only be prescribed short-term and on an as-needed basis. This decreases the risk of abuse. If additional help is needed for anxiety, there are other options that are better suited for long-term use.

Lorazepam Abuse and Addiction Facts

About Lorazepam Abuse

It is possible for people to abuse this benzodiazepine drug without realizing it. Most people who take this medication have a legitimate medical reason and prescription. They assume that it is safe because it came from a doctor. Unfortunately, this means that they are also likely to abuse it without expecting any consequences.

It's possible to abuse this medication without any desire to get high. People may do this because they feel that the medication isn't as effective as it once was. Of course, it also needs to be said that abusing it for recreational purposes does occur.

Why is This Drug Addictive?

The potential for Lorazapam addiction is extremely high with continued abuse. However, people may also become addicts when they take it for too long. This drug is so addictive because the body gets used to it being present.

Taking this benzodiazepine will result in a sensation of euphoria. When it is taken in smaller amounts, the euphoria may be mild, but it will still be there.

This euphoria is a direct result of the increase in serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These are the "feel good" chemicals the brain normally produces on its own.

When someone stops taking Ativan, there is a drop in these chemicals. Or, they may not be present at all. This is a sure sign of a serious problem.

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How do People Abuse Lorazepam?

Abusing this benzodiazepine drug can be done in many different ways. People may:

  • Take this drug without having a prescription
  • Increase how much they take on their own, without talking to a doctor
  • Combine their medicine with alcohol or other substances to enhance its effects
  • Crush the pills and snort them, or chew them instead of swallowing them
  • Take too many doses in one 24 hour period

Many of these end up resulting in accidental Lorazepam abuse, and eventually, addiction. When this drug is abused for too long, becoming addicted to it is a likely consequence.

Abusing this drug is dangerous, even when it is only done for a short time. It is likely to result in various symptoms and side effects. These can include:

  • An increased ability to fall asleep
  • A slower reaction time than normal
  • A depressed respiratory rate
  • Impaired decision making skills
  • Irritated skin, or a rash
  • Problems with memory

You may wonder if someone you love is abusing this medication. If you see any of the above signs of abuse, the chances are very good.

If you are abusing this medicine, it's a good idea to consider getting help. You probably don't need to go to an inpatient drug rehab if you're abusing this medication. However, you do want to be sure that you're not addicted to it.

It might be helpful for you to talk with a counselor about your drug use. This will give you a better idea of why you started abusing this drug in the first place. Once you know that, you can begin to put that way of living behind you. You'll also avoid a situation which requires even more serious treatment.

What is Lorazepam Dependence?

There is a slight difference between being dependent and being an addict. When you are dependent upon this medication, you most likely have a physical need for it. You may not have formed a tolerance for it yet, but you might go through withdrawal without it.

You can become dependent upon this drug when you have taken it for a long time. With continued use, it can develop into an addiction.

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What is Ativan Addiction?

An addiction happens when you have been abusing this medicine for a period of time. That time of misuse is certain to result in an addiction if it's not stopped.

People often want to know, can you get addicted to .5 Ativan, or, is 1mg of Ativan a day addictive?. The answer is going to be different for everyone.

This drug can be addictive in small doses, but many people need a higher dose. However, if you take it long term at a smaller dose, you can become addicted.

When you are an addict, you need this medication regularly. Without it, you don't feel like yourself. You may begin to go through withdrawal without it. You also may feel like you repeatedly need to increase how much of the drug you're taking. This is true if you're taking it recreationally, or with a prescription.

Are you Addicted to Lorazepam?

Are You an Addict? Symptoms and Signs

Quite possibly, you never thought you could become addicted to a prescribed medication. Now that you know it's a possibility, you're concerned, and this is completely normal. There are some Ativan addiction symptoms that can help you identify if you have a problem.

Some signs of addiction include:

  • Problems with breathing
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Excessive sleepiness and sedation
  • The onset of seizures
  • The onset of tremors
  • Changes in your brain functioning

Have you noticed any of these signs of being an addict in your own life? If you have, you may have already become addicted. If you're not sure, try taking an addiction quiz to get some more information.

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How Addictive is Lorazepam?

Benzodiazepine medications are extremely addictive, and this one is no exception to that. This drug should only be taken with caution, because its addictive potential is so high.

In fact, taking this drug regularly for longer than a week can even result in addiction in some people. If you're considering taking this drug, but you haven't yet, this is something to keep in mind.

Ativan Abuse Effects You Should Know

As you abuse this medication, you're likely to experience some of its adverse effects.

These can be troubling at the very least. Some can be dangerous. They include:

  • Losing your appetite
  • Frequent headaches
  • Bouts of hallucinations or delusions
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bouts of dizziness

Lorazepam Side Effects With Long-Term Use

There are long-term side effects to be aware of. Again, this benzodiazepine isn't meant for long-term usage. When it is taken for too long, there are serious issues that can arise.

Some of this benzodiazepine's long-term side effects include:

  • Feeling the need to sleep most of the day
  • A general lack of energy and motivation
  • Profound confusion
  • Bouts of delirium
  • Mental decline, specifically in the elderly population

There are other medications that can help with anxiety besides this one. It's best to choose one with less addictive potential; particularly for long-term usage.

It's quite common for senior citizens to battle anxiety. In fact, according to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, as many as 20% of seniors have anxiety. This means that older adults are much more likely to be placed on benzodiazepine medications.

Unfortunately, Lorazepam can be even more dangerous for seniors, particularly if they have a history of being addicts. Seniors are also more likely to become addicted to their medications because they don't realize it's possible.

When senior citizens take these types of medications, their side effects may be worse than those of a younger person. Older patients are much more likely to experience:

  • Breathing issues
  • Chest pain
  • The onset of seizures
  • Facial swelling
  • Hallucinations or delusions

Elderly individuals need to be extremely cautious when taking Lorazepam. It seems that the risks of taking it might outweigh the benefits for this population.


The Side Effects of Withdrawal

When you stop taking this medicine you experience Ativan addiction withdrawal symptoms. Ativan addiction and withdrawal go hand in hand, and the symptoms can be hard to deal with.

Sometimes people choose to stop using this medication because they didn't realize they were addicted. Other times, people have a strong desire to recover, and they just stop. Either way, withdrawal is going to result.

Some common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors in the hands
  • Problems with concentration
  • Painful headaches
  • Feelings of confusion
  • An increase in blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal cramps and nausea

In some cases, people may even develop seizures. These symptoms are very difficult to manage on your own. This is why drug detox is so highly recommended. Detoxifying the body is necessary to rid it of the toxins associated with Lorazepam use. These toxins are what cause withdrawal symptoms. Detox can make the recovery much easier.

When you withdraw from Lorazepam, you generally feel the worst in the first three days. However, symptoms will continue to persist for about a week, for most people. There are some who may go through even worse withdrawal. These are generally the people who have taken higher doses of their medication. They may experience symptoms for as long as two weeks, or even longer, in some cases.

Yes, you do need to detox from this medication when you want to recover. This will probably begin with a period of tapering off the drug. This allows your body to get used to having smaller doses over time. It can minimize your withdrawal symptoms and make you much more comfortable.

You may go through either medical detox or holistic detox. Both are beneficial, but both may not be right for you. At a professional detox center, they can guide you on the right method of detox.

Rehabilitation for Ativan Addiction

It's so important to get help when you are addicted to Ativan. This is a powerful medication, and it's not one you should just quit cold turkey. You should consider finding a solid prescription drug rehab that can help you. At this point, inpatient drug treatment is probably going to be your best option. However, some people may benefit from outpatient drug rehab as well.

Detoxing from Lorazepam is going to help you through your withdrawal symptoms. In rehab, you're going to be focusing more on the psychological part of the addiction. You probably don't realize it, but your mind is convinced that you need this medication. Without it, you may not be sure you can deal with your life. During your Ativan rehab, you'll learn that you can, and you'll learn how as well.

You may have a lot of questions about Ativan rehab, and we'd like to answer a few of them for you here.

A. If you choose an inpatient treatment program, you should expect to stay around 30 days. However, some may last longer or be shorter than this.

A. When you call to ask about your rehab options, the right method will be recommended for you. This isn't something you'll need to figure out on your own. There's no need to worry.
A. Most Lorazepam rehab centers do allow patients to have visitors. You may need to provide a list for your therapist or another staff member to approve. Usually, visiting occurs on specific days at certain times.
A. You can expect the staff to work really hard to give you the help you need. You will learn so much about your addiction, and you'll gain new coping skills. This is going to be a very rewarding experience for you.

How Much does Ativan Addiction Treatment Cost?

You should expect to pay several thousand dollars if you need to go to an inpatient treatment center. However, if you have insurance, most of that should be covered. Before you begin your treatment, your insurance will be verified. This will give you a better idea of what you will need to pay out of pocket.

If you don't have health insurance, you may be able to apply for a policy through HealthCare.gov. However, if you can't afford to do that at this time, don't give up hope. There still may be a way to get you the help you need.

Some programs offer financing options for patients who need them. This is an option that might work well for you. It's also possible that you have a close friend or a relative who would be willing to pay for your treatment. We can help you figure out what you should do to finance your Ativan rehab stay. Above all, don't give up hope. If you have a will to recover, there is a way to make it happen financially.

Ativan Addiction Recovery is Available for You

If you're addicted to this medication, it's understandable for you to be concerned. However, at Northpoint Recovery, we know the best methods to help you recover. It is possible to recover successfully if you are an addict. So many people have done it before you. With the right treatment, you can join them.

Do you have additional questions about Lorazepam addiction and abuse? We can answer them for you. Contact us right away.

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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.

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