Ativan Detox

Ativan (lorazepam) is a prescription tranquilizing drug.  You might also hear it as a sedative-hypnotic or anxiolytic medication.  Moreover, Ativan belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. Many have been addicted to this drug and require Ativan detox to function normally again and avoid side effects that bring health risks.

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; however, you need a prescript from your doctor.

Ativan Detox
We Level Up New Jersey is an accredited treatment center that offers comprehensive & comfortable drug detox.

Ativan is a DEA-controlled drug.  The active ingredient lorazepam is a DEA Schedule IV controlled substance.  Given that, substances in the DEA Schedule IV have a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III.  The DEA also classifies Ativan as Depressants. Moreover, the street names for Benzodiazepines, including Ativan, are Benzos, Downers, Nerve Pills, and Tranks.  [1] 

Ativan Detox for Addiction and Dependence

Physical dependency is commonly characterized by increasing tolerance to the drug in question, meaning that a higher amount is needed to accomplish the same effects.

Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug.  Unfortunately, it’s often accompanied by withdrawal, which is the set of symptoms the body experiences when long-term use of a drug is abruptly discontinued.

The unpleasant symptoms that arise during withdrawal impart a high risk of relapse for people undergoing detoxification, so making it through this process is crucial to recovery.

To clarify, the National Institute on Drug Abuse cautions that detoxification should be followed with a behavioral-based therapy and medication to establish natural treatment.  [2]

Detox and withdrawal can be stressful and sometimes dangerous.  So, it should be under the monitoring of medical professionals. Given that, detoxing in a drug treatment center facility will give you comprehensive detox, and can provide you inpatient treatment and therapies as well.

Ativan Detox Experience

When it comes to detoxifying from a benzodiazepine like Ativan, some physical withdrawal symptoms can be critical.  Some unusual but severe Ativan withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increases Heart Rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Life-Threatening Convulsions and Seizures

Generally, detoxification is even more frightening for some because of the risk of relapse.  In addition, since the withdrawal process follows detoxification, some clients may find withdrawal symptoms so distressing that they feel forced to return to the drug.

Benzodiazepines like Ativan, in particular, have a high risk of relapse because their withdrawal symptoms often include:

  • Rebound Anxiety
  • Insomnia

These psychological symptoms may become so severe that some clients return to the drug to escape them.

Given Ativan’s potential for intense withdrawal symptoms, the possibility of rebound anxiety or insomnia, and the risk of relapse, medical professionals should closely monitor detoxification. Self-detox is not advisable.

Risks of Ativan Detox at Home

One of the biggest causes of avoiding detoxing at home is the risk of relapse.  Withdrawal can be a complicated process to survive, mainly if rebound symptoms happen.

Detoxing under close medical supervision can guarantee that clients have quick access to psychological care if they encounter rebound anxiety during the withdrawal process.

This kind of treatment can help clients make it through detoxification without going back on the drug.

Because Ativan’s withdrawal process has sometimes been associated with dangerous symptoms such as seizures, it’s vital to be strictly under monitoring while undergoing detoxification if a medical emergency arises.

Medical professionals can also assist clients in detox over a safe period.  For instance, patients who detox at home may have the temptation to quit “cold turkey,” or abruptly stop taking the drug completely.

The abrupt stop of using the drug may cause worse withdrawal symptoms and is not advisable.  Instead, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests tapering off the use of the drug over some time to reduce withdrawal.

Medically Assisted Detox and Withdrawal

First, the client will gradually wean off the drug.  Seldom, tapering off the use of the drug is the only intervention necessary.  However, they may prescribe some medications to help clients with their withdrawal symptoms.

Flumazenil is usually a prescription 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.

Additionally, complementary psychological therapies have been shown to have positive results, including evidence-based approaches.

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, especially for outpatient treatments.

Withdrawal symptoms tend to set in within a few days. You may discern withdrawal symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Cramping
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Dizziness or Tremors

Medications that may Help with Symptoms

  • Pregabalin or Valproate (or other anti-convulsant):
    • Manages Severe Symptoms
    • Alleviates Neuropathic Pain
    • Prevents Seizures

Rebound Symptoms

In addition to withdrawal symptoms during a benzo detox, including Ativan, you will likely experience rebound symptoms too.  Rebound symptoms are the return of symptoms that may have been present at the start of taking the medication, and the symptoms may heighten for a few days.  This may include insomnia, anxiety, and stress. However, as the body regulates through the detox process, these symptoms will likely subside or diminish.

Withdrawal Timelines

Much like detoxing from other prescription drugs, Ativan withdrawal timelines can differ from case to case.  For someone using short-acting benzos, withdrawal symptoms may begin to present themselves in as little as 6 to 8 hours.  If a longer-acting benzodiazepine drug was used, it could be 24 to 48 hours before symptoms are observed. Withdrawal symptoms typically last about four days.  Rebound symptoms may last about 2-3 days from when they begin.

A Holistic Approach to Benzo Addiction Treatment

Benzo drugs, including Ativan addiction, can have social and psychological effects on those who struggle with it.  Some may find these effects to be the most significant difficulty they face.

However, for others, it is the physical effects that 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 benzo drugs addiction will learn skills and tools to help them stay off these drugs and lead a better life.

Possible levels of care include PHP, IOP, and outpatient treatment for benzodiazepine addiction. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to Ativan, Valium, or any other form of benzodiazepine, get them the help they need and deserve.  Contact our team at We Level Up New Jersey for treatment today!


[1] Lorazepam – National Center for Biotechnology Information
[2] Types of Treatment Programs – National Institute on Drug Abuse