Ativan Addiction and Abuse
Consider rehab to break the cycle of Ativan addiction and abuse
Ativan is a potent sedative that has a high risk for abuse and addiction. This drug is often used to treat anxiety disorders, acute seizures, insomnia and for sedation purposes. Ativan is a benzodiazepine drug that binds to the cells in the GABA receptors of the central nervous system. It is highly addictive and should only be acquired through a prescription and used for a two to four week amount of time. Long-term use of the drug will build up a tolerance in the body that could easily lead to Ativan abuse and addiction.
Ativan can cause permanent cognitive impairment and may also produce benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome that could create obsessive, hyperactive, socially inept, raging or hysterical behavior. When the drug is used along with alcohol it can cause respiratory depression leading to a cessation of breathing. And, if Ativan is taken with other drugs it can lead to severe complications, coma and death.
The drug is one of the most abused benzodiazepines in the U.S. and it has been linked to suicide attempts. It is also one of the highest risk drugs for physical and psychological addiction. The ease of availability of this pharmaceutical drug is one of the main reasons why there are a large number of abuse and addiction cases.
People who abuse Ativan often do so because they like the euphoric high and relaxing and claming effect of the drug. People with an Ativan addiction may experience such adverse effects such as anxiety, withdrawal, severe mood swings, depression, hostility, delusions, psychosis, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts and memory problems. Physical symptoms may include fever, sore throat, respiratory depression, muscle weakness, slurred speech, vomiting, syncope, drowsiness, and trouble walking. Ativan can cause anterograde amnesia in its users, which is an inability to create new memories, and the addict may not be able to partially or completely recall the recent past.
Some people with an Ativan addiction also have co-occurring mental disorders that include:
- Panic disorders
- Other substance abuse
- Depression disorder
- Panic disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seizure disorder
- Anxiety disorder
Causes of Ativan addiction vary but can include people who grew up in a home where family members struggled with addiction. Children may have been taught that using drugs to handle everyday life situations was acceptable. People who find it difficult to manage their problems, or are under a lot of stress, may use Ativan to relax and unwind. For those people who struggle with mental disorders, taking Ativan may seem like a good way to self-medicate and try to control their disorder. For others, who were originally prescribed the medication by their doctor to treat a medical problem, they may have become dependant on the drug or abused it. Drug abuse looks different for each person and there are many paths that can lead to an Ativan addiction.
If you suspect that a loved one may be addicted to Ativan, you can look for some of these tell-tale signs of addiction:
- Missing school or work
- Neglecting responsibilities and duties
- Slurring speech
- A lack of coordination
- Doctor shopping to get more prescriptions for the drug
- Borrowing or stealing the drug from someone else
- Not paying bills, having financial difficulties
- Impaired judgment
- Lying about your addiction
- Increased irritability
- Unable to concentrate
- Emotional outbursts
- Suicidal acts
- Panic attacks
Ativan addiction can lead to severe problems such as: respiratory failure, chronic depression, kidney failure, and cognitive impairment. Treatment for Ativan addiction should be received at a rehab facility under the supervision of experienced medical professionals. The drug should never be stopped abruptly, as the patient must be weaned off. At a rehab center, the patient can receive a medical detox while being monitored. Medications may be given to ease the effects of withdrawal symptoms and the patient will be kept stable and as comfortable as possible. Some Ativan withdrawal symptoms that the patient may experience include muscle cramps, insomnia, mood swings, shortness of breath, anxiety, vomiting, tremors, convulsions and intense rage. Ativan addiction withdrawal symptoms may last for a few days but can extend to a few months depending on the severity of the addiction. Some people may experience withdrawal symptoms years after taking them.
Ativan is a part of the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine addiction is called the silent epidemic and affects 11% of the American population. The drug is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). If you or a loved one is struggling with an Ativan addiction, you should contact a State certified rehabilitation center to receive recovery treatment. Once you are free from the grip of addiction you will be able to continue leading a healthy, fulfilling life. There is freedom from drug addiction.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.