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Ativan Overdose and Addiction 101

Ativan is a drug belonging to the medicine group benzodiazepines, and is classified as a tranquilizer drug. It is uysed to address anxiety disorders, tension, and insomnia, and can be administered orally, under the tongue, through a patch, muscular injection, or via IV. Additionally, Ativan can also be used to treat people with alcohol withdrawal symptoms--and this is where the drug becomes risky.

The Danger of Ativan Overdose

People who experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms find relief and immediate comfort after taking Ativan. This is where Ativan intake becomes risky--an alcoholic may become too dependent on the drug and eventually become addicted to it. Because it belongs to the class of benzodiazepines, Ativan can be very addictive and may cause serious dependence.

Symptoms of Ativan Addiction

If you or someone you know is taking Ativan and you suspect an addiction taking over, here are some of the common warning signs that an Ativan dependence is slowly developing:

  • 1. A higher tolerance to Ativan
  • 2. The gripping feeling that you need to take Ativan in order to perform your normal, daily activities
  • 3. You're finding yourself buried in debt or suffering any form of financial difficulty due to your desire to obtain Ativan on a constant basis
  • 4. Your relationships are slowly failing or becoming too problematic due to your Ativan use

Symptoms of Ativan Overdose

As in any form of addiction, there is always the possibility of an overdose. Drowsiness, sedation, confusion, low blood pressure, coma, speech problems, breathing difficulty, or even death.

Drowsiness and sedation - Someone who overdosed on Ativan may find it hard to stay awake even when someone shakes them to keep them awake.

Confusion - The person who overdosed on Ativan may appear to be inebriated and disoriented, and unable to figure out the current day, where he is, and even who he is.

Speech problems - Someone suffering from Ativan overdose won't be able to speak clearly. As such, it is important to take charge and be responsible over this person's medical attention since the victim may be unable to give details about himself or what happened to him.

Breathing difficulty - Ativan is a depressant that shuts down the central nervous system, and since this system controls the breathing mechanism of the body, expect shallow breathing from a person with Ativan overdose. The normal rate of respiration for adults is 12 to 20 breaths per minute, but the victim may have a rate of less than 12/min when an overdose occurs.

Low blood pressure - Since the central nervous system is experiencing depression due to the Ativan overdose, the person's blood pressure will most likely drop. As such, he may fall or faint upon trying to stand and experience kidney damage or failure.

Coma and death - If the person overdosing from Ativan is not given medical attention right away, the situation could worsen and lead to a coma or worse, death. That's why it is crucial to bring a person to the nearest emergency room once an overdose is suspected.

However, it is still possible to treat an overdose under the right circumstances. If you or someone you know is experiencing an Ativan overdose, seek medical help right away by calling an ambulance or going to the nearest hospital to get the drug pumped out of the stomach. If the overdose did not occur recently, the drug can still be removed from the system through dialysis.

Long-term Prevention of Ativan Overdose

An addiction that has gone too far will most likely see a lot of overdose episodes as long as the addict is not rehabilited. It is most advisable to seek professional help from a registered health professional as to the possible rehabilitation programs that can be considered. It is hard to overcome an addiction but it is even harder if the patient is alone, so a strong support system in a drug rehabilitation center is crucial if the person is indeed serious in kicking their habit of drug abuse. Being treated in a rehab will have long-term positive effects on the Ativan user's physical, psychological, and financial state. If you or a loved one is about to enter a rehab center for Ativan addiction, know that the treatment will be have permanent effects--a healthy lifestyle and happy relationships are what await the person who focuses on getting rid of their Ativan addiction.


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