Ativan Addiction Symptoms, Warning Signs, and Treatment

If you or someone you care about is dealing with Ativan, Valium, or other form of benzodiazepine addiction, seek help. Addressing Ativan abuse begins when comprehensive support and intervention are provided. Continue reading to learn more about Ativan addiction symptoms, withdrawal, detox, and effective treatment.


Is Ativan Addictive?

Even if taken as prescribed, Ativan (lorazepam) can lead to addiction. Be aware of the symptoms and signs to identify if someone you care about is struggling with Ativan addiction. Many have developed Ativan abuse and need detox to function normally again and avoid side effects that bring health risks. Ativan addiction should not be taken lightly because all forms of substance abuse can lead to severe impairment.

Ativan is the brand name available in the US for lorazepam. Loraz, another brand name for lorazepam, has been terminated in the US. Ativan is obtainable in generic form, but you need a prescription from your doctor to obtain the drug.

Ativan is a DEA-controlled drug. The active ingredient, lorazepam, is a DEA Schedule IV controlled substance. Substances in the DEA Schedule IV have a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III. The DEA also classifies Ativan as a depressant. The street names for benzodiazepines, including Ativan, are Benzos, Downers, Nerve Pills, and Tranks.

At We Level Up New Jersey, we understand the challenges of Ativan addiction and side effects and offer specialized drug detox programs to help manage and overcome them. Our center is staffed with qualified and trained professionals in drug addiction and mental health, providing comprehensive treatment in a safe and supportive environment. Call today for your free no-hassle evaluation.

What is Ativan Used For?

If you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, your doctor may review Ativan with you. Ativan is a prescription drug that’s utilized for the short-term treatment of different types of anxiety. Ativan oral tablets are also prescribed for the following:

  • Momentary relief of anxiety symptoms associated with depression.
  • Short-term treatment of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Short-term treatment of insomnia (trouble sleeping) linked to anxiety.

Anxiety can be a natural response to stressors in daily life. In this case, it doesn’t ordinarily need to be treated with medication. However, in severe cases, anxiety is treated with drugs such as Ativan.

Signs of Ativan Addiction

Ativan is a potent benzodiazepine with a high risk of addiction. Using it beyond the prescribed duration or dosage raises the chance of dependence. Even if someone is taking Ativan as prescribed, they can still become dependent, feeling uneasy when they try to stop. Dependence means their body has adjusted to the drug, and suddenly quitting leads to physical and emotional discomfort. Recognizing these signs of pain is crucial, even for those following a prescribed Ativan regimen.

Here are the most common signs of Ativan abuse to watch out for:

  • Changes in Sleep Patterns: Insomnia or disrupted sleep.
  • Confusion: Mental fog, impaired concentration, or memory lapses.
  • Slurred Speech: Difficulty articulating words clearly.
  • Poor Coordination: Difficulty with balance and motor skills.
  • Memory Issues: Forgetfulness or gaps in memory.
  • Mood Swings: Rapid changes in emotions.
  • Increased Tolerance: Needing higher doses to achieve the same effects.
  • Social Isolation: Withdrawing from friends and family.
  • Neglect of Responsibilities: Neglecting work, school, or personal obligations.
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: Using Ativan despite health, financial, or interpersonal problems.
  • Seeking Multiple Prescriptions: Trying to obtain Ativan from different doctors or sources.
  • Preoccupation with Ativan: Spending a significant amount of time thinking about or getting the drug.
  • Risk-Taking Behavior: Engaging in dangerous activities while under the influence.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Experiencing discomfort when attempting to reduce or stop Ativan use.
  • Secrecy: Hiding or lying about Ativan use.
  • Financial Issues: Experiencing financial strain due to drug use.
  • Weight Changes: Significant weight loss or gain.
  • Impaired Judgment: Poor decision-making abilities.
  • Physical Health Issues: Chronic health problems related to Ativan use.

Use Ativan only as prescribed by a doctor due to its high risk of addiction. It’s typically meant for short-term use to minimize side effects and the chance of developing physical and psychological dependence.

Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from Ativan, a potent benzodiazepine, can induce a range of symptoms when individuals attempt to reduce or cease its use. As a medication prescribed to alleviate anxiety and related conditions, Ativan can lead to physical and psychological dependence, making the cessation process challenging.

Ativan Withdrawal Timeline Chart

Time FrameAtivan Withdrawal Symptoms
1-4 DaysAnxiety, insomnia, irritability
5-14 DaysContinued anxiety, mood swings
2 Weeks and BeyondPersistence of symptoms, potential for seizures and severe withdrawal effects, gradual improvement over weeks to months under professional care.
The time it takes to withdraw from Ativan depends on individual differences, how long it was used, the dosage, and other conditions. Withdrawal can last from a few days to several weeks, and symptoms change over time. Getting professional guidance is essential for a personalized and practical approach to managing Ativan withdrawal.

The abrupt discontinuation or even gradual reduction of Ativan dosage may trigger withdrawal symptoms, highlighting the importance of careful and supervised management when navigating the path toward ending its use.

Ativan Addiction and Warning Signs Infographic

Using Ativan for a long time can lead to addiction, as the body relies on its calming effects. Continued use raises the risk of tolerance and withdrawal, making it hard to stop without professional help. Ativan addiction can seriously impact mental and physical health, highlighting the need for careful and monitored usage.
Using Ativan for a long time can lead to addiction, as the body relies on its calming effects. Continued use raises the risk of tolerance and withdrawal, making it hard to stop without professional help. Ativan addiction can seriously impact mental and physical health, highlighting the need for careful and monitored usage.

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Dangers of Ativan Addiction

The most severe side effects of Ativan usually happen with high doses or when mixed with other depressants like alcohol or opioids. Dangerous effects of Ativan abuse can include:

  • Respiratory Depression: Slowed or shallow breathing, a severe effect that can be life-threatening.
  • Excessive Sedation: Overwhelming drowsiness and lethargy, impacting daily functioning.
  • Seizures: Uncontrolled and sudden electrical disturbances in the brain.
  • Tremors: Involuntary shaking or trembling of the body.
  • Memory Impairment: Difficulty recalling or forming new memories.
  • Loss of Consciousness: Temporary or prolonged loss of awareness and responsiveness.

Using Ativan for a long time can affect how the brain works. Research indicates that prolonged use of benzodiazepines, like Ativan, may lead to problems with thinking. Although some people improved cognitive function after stopping benzo use, not everyone fully recovered their mental abilities.

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Contact We Level Up NJ now for professional assistance and a personalized recovery plan to overcome Ativan addiction and regain control of your life.
Contact We Level Up NJ now for professional assistance and a personalized recovery plan to overcome Ativan addiction and regain control of your life.

How To Help A Loved One With Ativan Addiction?

Ativan addiction can make people deny how severe their problem is, making it hard for them to see they need help. In such situations, organizing an intervention is essential to help them realize the need for treatment. Interventions are:

  • Thoughtful and caring talks led by professionals.
  • Allowing the person to understand how their addiction affects them and their loved ones.
  • Encouraging awareness for starting the journey to recovery.

Involving a professional interventionist can significantly help the intervention’s effectiveness by showing a united front of concern and support. The interventionist brings expertise in understanding the person’s mindset and managing potential challenges during the conversation. They guide the intervention’s timing, location, and structure, focusing on care and solutions rather than blame. Rehearsing what you’ll say and being ready for unexpected reactions is essential. Including other family members or friends creates a collective effort, highlighting the seriousness of the situation.

Ativan Addiction Medically Assisted Detox

During Ativan detoxification, the client will gradually wean off the drug to prevent or stop Ativan addiction safely. Sometimes, tapering off the use of the drug is the only intervention required. However, they may prescribe some medications to help clients with their withdrawal symptoms.

Flumazenil is usually prescribed as a benzodiazepine antagonist, which blocks benzodiazepine binding at the GABA receptor and negates the brain’s effects. Flumazenil can help stop a fatal overdose and accelerate the detox process as it sends an individual into almost immediate withdrawal. However, its use must be under supervision as it may increase the risk of seizures.

Also, psychological therapies have been shown to have positive results, including evidence-based treatment approaches to Ativan addiction.

What To Expect During Ativan Detox?

Generally, the first step in detoxification is working out a taper schedule to wean off the drug. Some doctors suggest switching to an equivalent dose of a different intermediate or long-acting benzodiazepine instead of the original drug and then beginning the tapering process.

You may experience Ativan withdrawal symptoms, including the following:

  • Insomnia.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Mood swings.
  • Tremors.
  • Sweating.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irritability.
  • Depression.
  • Confusion.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Seizures.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Depersonalization.
  • Hypersensitivity to stimuli.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Ativan is highly addictive, and withdrawal symptoms can appear quickly, even for those following the recommended dosage. Some may experience withdrawal after just one week of prescribed use.

Prolonged Ativan abuse leads to more severe withdrawal symptoms, both physical and psychological. Seeking a treatment program or medically assisted detox can help manage withdrawal effects and provide the necessary skills for successful recovery.

Taking benzodiazepines like Ativan for anxiety or insomnia can lead to addiction if not used as recommended. People prescribed Ativan should be aware of this risk and follow guidance from a healthcare professional to avoid Ativan addiction.
Taking benzodiazepines like Ativan for anxiety or insomnia can lead to addiction if not used as recommended. People prescribed Ativan should be aware of this risk and follow guidance from a healthcare professional to avoid Ativan addiction.

Ativan Addiction Therapies

Ativan addiction treatment, whether in a clinical or non-clinical environment, often includes a mix of medications to aid withdrawal and behavioral therapy. Studies show that benzodiazepine addiction responds well to specific behavioral therapies encompassing various approaches. Here are the top psychotherapies that are proven effective in treating Ativan addiction and mental health issues:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used approach that targets distorted thought patterns and behaviors contributing to Ativan addiction. It helps individuals recognize and modify negative patterns, fostering healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET): MET focuses on enhancing an individual’s motivation to change and commit to recovery. Exploring a person’s ambivalence to addiction recovery and building intrinsic motivation encourages a proactive approach to overcoming Ativan addiction.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT provides skills to manage emotions, navigate interpersonal challenges, and develop a balanced approach to life. It’s beneficial for those struggling with Ativan addiction by promoting emotional regulation and effective communication.
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): IPT focuses on improving interpersonal relationships and communication skills. It addresses the impact of Ativan addiction on relationships, fostering healthier connections and social support.
  • Mindfulness-Based Therapies: These therapies, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices. They help individuals develop self-awareness, reduce stress, and cultivate a mindful approach to managing triggers associated with Ativan addiction.

Do you have questions about Ativan withdrawals or Ativan addiction treatment in general? Call our helpline 24/7.

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Ativan Overdose

Can you overdose on Ativan? Yes, but while it’s possible to overdose on Ativan and similar benzodiazepines alone, fatal cases are rare. Most overdose deaths linked to benzodiazepines involve using them alongside opioids, alcohol, or other depressants.

According to the CDC, a significant number of benzodiazepine-related deaths in 2020 also involved opioids, with a high percentage involving illicitly manufactured fentanyls. Purchasing benzodiazepines illegally on the street may unknowingly expose individuals to opioids, especially when counterfeit pills contain harmful additives like fentanyl, leading to a potentially fatal combination due to the sedative and respiratory effects of both substances.

Ativan Overdose Symptoms

An overdose of benzodiazepines, including Ativan, alone can lead to pronounced oversedation, accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • Extreme drowsiness.
  • Extreme lethargy.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Slurred speech.

Mixing Ativan with opioids, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants can pose life-threatening risks, leading to overdose symptoms including the following:

  • Extreme sedation.
  • Extreme sleepiness.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Impaired muscle control.
  • Slowed, shallow, or stopped breathing.
  • Coma.
  • In severe cases, death.

A potential overdose, especially involving substances like Ativan, is a medical emergency, and swift action is crucial. If there’s any suspicion of an overdose, it’s critical to call 911 immediately for immediate medical assistance, as timely intervention can be life-saving.

To detox from Ativan addiction, doctors slowly reduce the drug under supervision, managing withdrawal symptoms. This helps the body eliminate the substance, ensuring a safer and more comfortable path to recovery. Contact We Level Up NJ now for benzo detox programs and treatment options.
To detox from Ativan addiction, doctors slowly reduce the drug under supervision, managing withdrawal symptoms. This helps the body eliminate the substance, ensuring a safer and more comfortable path to recovery. Contact We Level Up NJ now for benzo detox programs and treatment options.

Severe Ativan Side Effects

Severe side effects from Ativan oral tablets are uncommon, but if you experience them, call your doctor promptly. For urgent medical issues, contact your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Ativan oral tablets that have been recorded include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing, including slowed or shallow breathing and, in rare cases, respiratory failure (stopped breathing).
  • Mental health problems, such as depressed mood, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Boxed Warnings:
    • Risk of dependence, misuse, and addiction.
    • Risk of dangerous side effects if used with opioid drugs.
  • Allergic reaction.

Ativan Addiction Warnings

Benzodiazepines, a class of psychoactive drugs that includes Ativan, carry a notable risk of addiction due to their impact on the central nervous system. These medications, commonly prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, and certain medical conditions, enhance the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). While they effectively produce a calming effect, the brain can adapt to their presence, leading to tolerance—requiring higher doses for the same impact—and potential dependence. Ativan addiction warnings are:

  • Risk of Dependence: Using Ativan can cause physical dependence. With dependence, your body becomes used to the drug and needs it for you to feel normal. This risk is more eminent with the long-term use of Ativan.
  • Withdrawal:  Abruptly discontinuing Ativan after continued use over a long period can cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and withdrawal may increase the risk of seizures.
  • Misuse and Addiction: Ativan has a risk of misuse and addiction. With abuse, a drug is taken in a way other than how it was prescribed. Ativan addiction increases your risk for overdose and, in rare cases, even death.
  • Use With Opioid Drugs: Taking Ativan with opioids can cause dangerous side effects. These involve slowed or shallow breathing, sleepiness, coma, and even death. Some examples of opioids include hydrocodone, heroin, fentanyl, and buprenorphine.

Prolonged use or misuse of Ativan can lead to physical and psychological dependence, making it challenging for individuals to function without the drug. The potential for addiction emphasizes the importance of using benzodiazepines under careful medical supervision, following prescribed dosages and being vigilant about any signs of developing dependence to mitigate the associated risks.

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Understanding Ativan Addiction

Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. As a result, they may falsely think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and could stop their drug use just by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs alter the brain in ways that make discontinuing hard, just like Ativan addiction does, even for those who want to quit sincerely. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments to help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive or difficult to control despite its harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is intentional for most people. Still, repeated drug use can lead to brain alterations that challenge addicted people’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at magnified risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

It’s typical for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesn’t work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and improved based on how individuals respond. Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit the person’s changing needs.

We Level Up New Jersey Ativan Addiction Treatment

Benzo drugs, including Ativan addiction, can have social and psychological effects on those who struggle with it. Unfortunately, some may find these effects the most challenging battle they face. However, for others, the physical effects are the scariest. When one stops taking benzodiazepines without tapering off, severe symptoms such as tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. For this reason, professional treatment at a medical detox facility is crucial.

Once the Ativan detox process has been successful, then an individualized treatment plan will follow. During treatment, individuals who have struggled with Ativan addiction will learn skills and tools to help them stay off these drugs and lead better lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with an Ativan addiction or any other form of benzodiazepine abuse, get them the help they need and deserve. Contact our team at We Level Up New Jersey for treatment today!

If you or someone you know is dealing with substance use disorders, We Level Up NJ detox center provides personalized care with a team of experienced professionals. Begin your journey towards better health by taking the first step towards healing. Get help. Call We Level Up NJ now. Each call is free and confidential.

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