Ativan, the brand name for lorazepam, is a benzodiazepine prescription medication that is used to treat anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. It can also be used as a short-term sedative for patients who are aggressive or hostile in a hospital setting. Ativan is a safe drug when prescribed by a doctor and used for a short period of time, generally two to four weeks.
Unfortunately, like many other prescription medications, Ativan is used recreationally. It is one of the three most commonly abused benzodiazepines in the US. The risk for addiction is high since tolerance builds so quickly. For this reason, Ativan is prescribed for short-term use only, as the risk for addiction heightens after four weeks.
Side Effects of Ativan
As Ativan is used beyond a month or two, the risk of side effects becomes greater. Some of the most common side effects include :
- Red eye
- Respiratory depression
- Cognitive impairment
An Ativan addiction should not be taken lightly. Addiction can form in as little as one to two months, and this includes both physical and psychological dependency. Additionally, the prescription drug is rarely used alone. Users often combine it with other substances such as opioids like heroin.
Signs that a person may be abusing lorazepam are similar to other symptoms of drug abuse, such as a change in personality, financial troubles, and reduced inhibitions. People on the drug are generally relaxed and drowsy, but as they come off the drug, they can become agitated, depressed or angry. Long-term effects include skin conditions, kidney problems, personality changes, and depression.
With the high risk for addiction and the high probability that a user is combining Ativan with other drugs, it’s critical that you seek help immediately for an Ativan addiction.
Treatment for an Ativan Addiction
Benzodiazepines should not be stopped abruptly; they instead require medical supervision. At The River Source, we offer safe, supervised detoxification so that clients can go through withdrawal as comfortably as possible. Withdrawal symptoms start as soon as the last dose of Ativan is taken, and symptoms include :
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
The longer the user has been taking the drug, the stronger the symptoms will be. Generally speaking, it takes 18-36 hours for the drug to work its way out of the body, and after this point, treatment for the addiction can begin. Keep in mind that if the addict is also abusing other drugs, they will go through withdrawal symptoms from these substances as well.
In order to help clients go through withdrawal in a safe and comfortable manner, River Source uses a combination of Nutritional IV Therapy and Dry Sauna Detox. What these alternative therapies do is replace the body with essential vitamins and nutrients while removing impurities and toxins. This makes the body stronger and better able to go through recovery. It also sets the stage for a healthier lifestyle going forward.
Furthermore, to keep clients at ease, we offer both conventional and alternative medicine to manage symptoms. We have staff on hand 24/7, so you can rest assured that your loved one will be well cared for. A treatment center like The River Source is the safest place to go through withdrawal, even though this is one of the most difficult parts of the recovery process.
Recovery from an Ativan Addiction
Once the client has successfully detoxed from Ativan, which includes tapering off the dosages to control serious withdrawal symptoms, they are ready to go through our recovery program.
We continue to place a high focus on alternative therapies, as we want to move clients away from the idea of self-medication. This is especially important for clients who are addicted to prescription medication because they will ultimately have to make choices in the future. If we can get these individuals to change their pattern of thinking, they will be better able to deal with stress, anxiety, and pain without the use of conventional medicine.
Some of the therapies that are available to River Source clients include neurofeedback, journaling, fitness and wellness, meditation, life coaching, counseling, and group and family therapy. When coupled with a 12-step program, addicts are able to make real progress in their recovery and have greater chances for continued sobriety.
Don’t hesitate to call The River Source to discuss a suspected Ativan addiction. We are here for you.