Ativan is a drug that doctors usually prescribe to patients with mental health disorders. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs are central nervous system depressants. Their relaxing effect helps people who suffer from anxiety, depression, seizures, and insomnia.
Patients who take Ativan for a long time can develop an addiction. In fact, Ativan addiction is highly common. Left untreated, it can worsen the symptoms of the initial condition, hurt a person’s emotional and physical health, affect social relationships, and more.
When a person decides to stop taking Ativan, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. This often prevents patients from quitting the drug and encourages further use. In Irvine, Ativan detox can be arranged in a comfortable rehab facility to decrease the chances of relapse.
What Conditions Does Ativan Treat?
Ativan is a benzodiazepine. It can help treat such conditions as:
- Sleep disorders
- Muscle tension
This drug can also be effective for managing seizures and relaxing a person right before administering anesthesia. In some cases, doctors use benzodiazepines to ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Medical professionals don’t recommend taking Ativan for more than two to four weeks. If a person continues using this drug for a longer period of time, they risk developing an addiction. For people who already have a history of substance abuse disorders, dependence may develop in under a week.
It’s important to take Ativan according to the doctor’s recommendations. Even a few days of extra use could lead to dependence. When a person with Ativan addiction decides to stop using the drug, they can start experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. That’s why Ativan detox requires professional medical assistance.
Why Is Ativan Addictive?
According to studies, more than 5 million Americans report misusing benzodiazepines. Ativan addiction is among the top ten most common addictions in the United States. The main reasons why this addiction is so widespread include:
- Accessibility – around 10 million Ativan (generic name – Lorazepam) prescriptions are written annually.
- Quick dependence – patients develop a dependence on this drug within just a few weeks.
- Effect – patients who take Ativan can feel the effect within minutes. The relaxing sensation can be enjoyable.
People who take Ativan develop tolerance quickly. When the regular dose of the drug doesn’t provide the desired effect, patients often increase the dose. The higher the dose, the easier it is to become dependent on the drug.
What Are the Symptoms of Ativan Abuse?
If a person decides to quit Ativan “cold turkey,” they are likely to experience such withdrawal symptoms as:
- Sleeping problems
- Muscle tension
- Anxiety and depression
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Elevated heart rates
- Panic attacks
These symptoms can start occurring six to eight hours after the last dose. It takes around five days for Ativan to leave the system completely.
People who decide to quit Ativan may require medical detox. Otherwise, the unpleasant symptoms could cause them to relapse. The best way to stop using this drug is to ask for professional assistance and arrange withdrawal in a rehabilitation facility under medical supervision.
What Are the Risks of Long-Term Ativan Use?
When a person uses Ativan, they can experience such common side effects as:
The intensity of these side effects can depend on many factors, including the person’s current physical and emotional health, the amount of the drug taken, frequency of use, dependency, and combination with other substances.
Mixing Ativan with alcohol, opioids, or other sedative drugs could lead to an overdose. Such an overdose could lead to slowed and shallow breathing, which is often a medical emergency.
Long-term Ativan abuse could cause a variety of consequences, including:
- Respiratory depression
- Excessive sedation
- Memory problems
- Loss of consciousness
One of the common side effects of long-term Ativan use is cognitive impairment. When a person stops using the drug, there is a chance for recovery. However, some patients can’t regain full cognitive function.
Understanding Ativan: Pros and Cons of the Drug
Ativan, also known as lorazepam, is a medication that belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs. It is commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and insomnia. Ativan is effective in treating these conditions because it works by slowing down the nervous system, helping to reduce feelings of anxiety, and inducing a sense of calmness. However, like any other medication, Ativan has its pros and cons. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of using Ativan for treatment.
Pros of Ativan
Effective in treating anxiety and panic attacks
- Ativan is very effective in treating anxiety disorders and panic attacks. It is fast-acting and can provide immediate relief from symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and shaking. Ativan works by slowing down the nervous system, which helps to reduce anxiety and induce a sense of calmness.
Can help treat insomnia
- Ativan is also effective in treating insomnia, particularly if it is caused by anxiety or panic attacks. By reducing anxiety and inducing a sense of calmness, Ativan can help people fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods.
Can be used as a short-term solution
- Ativan is often prescribed as a short-term solution for anxiety and panic attacks. It is typically used for a few weeks or less to help manage acute symptoms. Ativan can be useful for people who need immediate relief from their symptoms, but it is not recommended for long-term use due to the risk of dependence and addiction.
Cons of Ativan
Risk of dependence and addiction
- One of the biggest drawbacks of Ativan is the risk of dependence and addiction. Like all benzodiazepines, Ativan can be habit-forming and can lead to physical and psychological dependence. This risk is increased when the drug is used for long periods or at higher doses than prescribed.
Can cause drowsiness and impair cognitive function
- Ativan can cause drowsiness, sedation, and impair cognitive function. This can make it difficult to perform tasks that require concentration, such as driving, operating heavy machinery, or performing other complex tasks. This side effect can also interfere with daily activities and reduce productivity.
Can cause side effects
- Like all medications, Ativan can cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects of Ativan include dizziness, headaches, nausea, and blurred vision. More serious side effects can include confusion, memory problems, and difficulty breathing. It is important to speak to a doctor if you experience any of these side effects.
Ativan Abuse Treatment
Treatment for Ativan abuse begins with medical detoxification. Instead of quitting the drug “cold turkey” at home, patients can benefit from a controlled detox in a certified rehabilitation facility. A medical professional can arrange gradual withdrawal.
Slowly reducing the Ativan dose over time can help a person’s body adapt to the changes in the brain chemistry and decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Only a medical professional can calculate the right dosage for gradual withdrawal to minimize unpleasant side effects.
Once Ativan is out of the person’s body, they can continue with rehabilitation therapy:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a talk therapy that helps patients deal with destructive thought patterns that often accompany mental health disorders and substance abuse. Research shows that CBT increases the Ativan abuse treatment success by 70%-80%.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy – this special type of CBT focuses on treating traumatic memories. It can be helpful for patients with Ativan abuse disorder and co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Dialectic behavior therapy – another type of CBT that helps patients address painful and disturbing thoughts and learn how to deal with them in the future.
- Group therapy – group therapy involves several patients with similar problems sharing their thoughts and emotions with each other. An experienced therapist controls these sessions and guides the conversation in the healing direction.
If doctors initially prescribed Ativan to help treat anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, it’s imperative to arrange therapy for co-occurring disorders. Treating addictions and underlying conditions simultaneously is key to successful recovery.
Road to Recovery with Ativan Detox in Irvine
Ativan addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of Americans. Since detox can cause severe symptoms, it requires professional medical supervision.
Turning Tide Treatment Center arranges professional medical Ativan detox in Irvine. After that, an experienced clinical team designs an individual treatment and rehabilitation plan. A comfortable rehab facility coupled with a team of experienced therapists helps patients step on the road to recovery and minimize the chances of relapsing.