Ativan is a potent prescription Benzodiazepine and is commonly prescribed to treat sleep-related disorders like insomnia and anxiety-related disorders, like Generalized Anxiety Disorder and persistent panic attacks. Ativan is one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States and has a high potential for abuse. It works by interfering with the central nervous system and facilitating feelings of relaxation and calmness. Some common side effects of this medication when it is taken as prescribed include dizziness, drowsiness, slurred speech, compromised motor functions, an inability to balance or stand up straight, and problems with memory/cognitive function.
How Addictive is Ativan?
It is important to note that Ativan is a highly addictive substance and that even those who take the drug as prescribed are liable to develop a substance abuse disorder over time. Because the prescription medication is legal and prescribed by a medical professional, many mistakenly believe that it is safe to use. On the contrary, not only are substance abuse disorders likely to develop, but other health-related complications are likely to develop and persist. Some common symptoms of Ativan addiction include:
- Taking the drug more frequently than it was prescribed
- Taking the drug in higher doses than were prescribed
- Taking Ativan that was provided by someone else (not a prescribing physician)
- Doctor shopping – attempting to acquire more than one Ativan prescription at a time
- The eventual building of tolerance – a greater amount of Ativan will be required for the same result to be produced (the same “high” to be achieved)
- Physical and psychological cravings, marked by an otherwise inexplicable need to obtain and use Ativan
- Interpersonal problems – difficulties in relationships with family members and friends
- Issues at work or school, generally having to do with performance
- Financial problems, which will directly relate to the purchasing of Ativan when the initial prescription runs out and an inability to effectively manage finances
Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzodiazepines like Ativan have a half-life, meaning that the effects take hold rather quickly and as a result, the symptoms of withdrawal will begin to take hold shortly after the last use. In the vast majority of cases, mild withdrawal symptoms will begin within the first 24 hours, and acute (more severe) symptoms will begin within three to four days. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be extremely dangerous, and even life-threatening if not professionally treated in a medical detox facility. Acute symptoms of Ativan withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting, severe abdominal cramping, and diarrhea
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart palpitations and increased heart rate
- Severe headaches
- Profuse sweating
- Disrupted sleep and insomnia
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Intense feelings of anxiety, which might lead to panic attacks
- Confusion and difficulty concentrating
Symptoms like seizures and coma can be life-threatening if not treated at their onset. If you have been struggling with Ativan addiction and need help to quit, please feel free to reach out to us for instruction and guidance regarding the initial phase of addiction treatment.
Evoke Wellness at Miramar and Ativan Addiction Recovery
At Evoke Wellness at Miramar Miramar we have extensive experience treating the symptoms of Ativan withdrawal and withdrawal symptoms associated with all other chemical substances. While the withdrawal process can be extremely uncomfortable, having a team of experienced medical professionals on hand 24 hours a day will make the process much more comfortable – and safe. Attempting to withdraw from any chemical substance on your own – including Ativan – can lead to serious health-related complications. Seeking professional treatment will be necessary for those who have been abusing this prescription medication for any length of time. Without medical care, detox symptoms can lead to life-threatening complications. To learn more about Evoke Wellness in South Florida and our medical detox program, please feel free to reach out today. We look forward to speaking with you and answering any questions about Ativan withdrawal or addiction that you may have.