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Ativan Addiction

Ativan is a well know brand name for an anti anxiety agent, Lorazepam. It is a mild tranquilizer that is normally used as a CNS (Central Nervous System) depressant and sedative. Ativan is available in both pill and liquid forms. The tablets are insoluble in water and are a nearly white powder. Each Ativan tablet contains 0.5 milligram, 1 milligram, or 2 milligram of Lorazepam. The pills are only intended for oral usage. On the other hand, liquid Ativan is intended for intravenous or intramuscular use. Each milliliter of Ativan injection includes 2.0 milligram or 4.0 milligram of Lorazepam and 0.18 milligram of polyethylene glycol with 2 percent benzyl alcohol for preservation. The effects are usually felt one to six hours after taking it in the form of pill, 1 to 5 minutes after getting it intravenously, or fifteen to thirty minutes after receiving in the form of injection.

Ativan Addiction

Ativan is considered as one of the most addictive drugs and can most definitely cause physical and psychological dependence. An estimated number of 9 million people used prescription medicines for non medical reasons during the previous year, and more than a quarter of them reportedly used prescription drugs for the first time for non medical reasons.

Most of the time, the misuse of Ativan starts out with individuals using this drug for decreasing anxiety and become addicted to it. They do not start using it with the intention of addiction, but it occurs for most users anyway. The time frame or duration of regular intake affects this phenomenon of addiction a lot. The longer one takes this drug, the higher are the chances of addiction. Drugs like Ativan work perfectly well for short term usage or therapies. With continued usage comes benzodiazepine tolerance that in turn leads to withdrawal and the problems involved. Ativan has an incredible calming affects on the entire body. Dopamine, the gratification hormone of our body, is usually activated by this drug. This is the same hormone that other illegal substances/drugs activate in our body. Therefore, addiction to Ativan can prove to be very dangerous.

Signs of Ativan Addiction

There are a number of symptoms to indicate addiction to Ativan. These signs are not only physical, but also behavioral and physiological. Some of them include Agitation, Nausea, Headache, Dizziness, Sleepiness, Clumsiness, Depression, Tachycardia, Drowsiness, Unsteadiness, Loss of memory, Slurred vision, Visual problems, Disorientation, Sleeping problems, General body weakness and Abdominal discomfort. Furthermore, loss of coordination, impaired mental capacity and confusion can also indicate Ativan addiction. A behavioral sign, such as doctor shopping is prevalent because addicted individuals try to seek out Ativan from different medical practitioners in a desperate effort to obtain more. Mood swings, irritation and aggressiveness are also common among Ativan addicts. The symptoms are severe in case of an overdose and include coma, seizures, liver damage, kidney damage and low blood pressure.

Ativan Withdrawal

Gradual reduction in Ativan dosage is recommended. In this way the withdrawal can be minimized. Exposure to this prescription drug causes physical dependence, and when the dosage is reduced, a number of withdrawal symptoms (both physical and psychological) might appear and can stay for a long time. If the user has been taking higher dosage, the discontinuation time will also be longer and the withdrawal signs are likely to be severe. Sometimes, regular low dosage can also cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is not advisable to stop the Ativan usage abruptly. The signs reported following the discontinuation of this drug include:

  • 1. Headache
  • 2. Tension
  • 3. Anxiety
  • 4. Insomnia
  • 5. Depression
  • 6. Restlessness
  • 7. Irritability
  • 8. Confusion
  • 9. Rebound phenomena
  • 10. Sweating
  • 11. Depersonalization
  • 12. Dizziness
  • 13. Numbness
  • 14. Tingling of extremities
  • 15. Hypersensitivity to noise, light and physical contact
  • 16. Nausea
  • 17. Involuntary movements
  • 18. Diarrhea
  • 19. Vomiting
  • 20. Hallucinations
  • 21. Loss of appetite
  • 22. Tremor
  • 23. Convulsions
  • 24. Heart palpitations
  • 25. Abdominal cramps
  • 26. Panic attacks
  • 27. Agitation
  • 28. Short-term memory loss
  • 29. Vertigo
  • 30. Over heating

There is a high risk of seizure when the usage of Ativan is stopped abruptly. It is better to use a detox setting that is in-patient supervised to make the withdrawal easy and quick. There are countless treatments available and the patients are monitored regularly. The withdrawal of Ativan can be best done in a proper residential treatment center. It would be a 28 day program including a drug detox. The follow up treatments are also necessary for Ativan addicts.


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