Utilizing Evidence-Based Substance Abuse Treatment in Southern California
Ativan and other sedatives are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety. However, these drugs can lead to dependence and addiction when taken for an extended time or when used for non-medical reasons. Ativan dependence is characterized by withdrawal symptoms when this drug is suddenly stopped, and can often lead to life-threatening complications without professional treatment at drug rehab. Knowing more about Ativan and how this drug works can help you and your loved ones stay safe and reduce the risk for addiction, overdose, and death.
What is Ativan?
Ativan, which is the brand name for lorazepam, is a benzodiazepine medication used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that slow down brain activity to help users feel more relaxed. Ativan produces effects including extreme relaxation, drowsiness or sedation, and euphoria — all of which last for between 12 and 18 hours. Sedatives like Ativan are usually only prescribed for between 2 and 4 weeks, since continued therapy can increase the risk for dependence and withdrawal.
Ativan Abuse and Misuse Statistics
Ativan is typically only available by prescription from doctors, but people who become addicted to these drugs may obtain them by forging prescriptions, visiting multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions (an act known as doctor shopping), or buying illicit versions of these pills on the streets. Ativan can be misused by taking someone else’s medicine, using the drug to get high, or using the drug in ways other than prescribed, such as through crushing or snorting.
Some notable statistics for Ativan abuse and misuse are as follows:
- Ativan and other benzodiazepines were involved in 10,684 overdose deaths in 2016.
- The number of deaths caused by Ativan and other benzos increased 8-fold from 2002 to 2016.
- Non-medical use of Ativan led to 42,874 visits to U.S. emergency rooms in 2011.
- Ativan use in combination with alcohol caused 15,539 visits to emergency rooms in 2011.
- The number of prescriptions for benzos including Ativan increased 2.5% every year between 1996 and 2013.
- Drug rehab admissions for dependence on benzos like Ativan increased by 109% from 2003 to 2013.
- Over 30% of opioid overdoses also involve sedatives like Ativan.
Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms
Ativan is a short-acting drug that can lead to dependence when used daily for a period of at least one week. Those who become dependent on Ativan usually suffer a set of withdrawal symptoms when stopping this drug abruptly. Ativan withdrawal symptoms normally set in after 24 hours of the last dose, and can be life-threatening when withdrawal takes place outside of a drug and alcohol detox center.
Common Ativan withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle tension.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Aches and pains.
- Blurred vision.
- Fast heart rate.
Many of these symptoms, such as seizures, fast heart rate, diarrhea, and vomiting, can lead to serious health complications and death. If you or a loved one has become dependent on Ativan or other prescription drugs, a drug detox center can guide you or your loved one safely through withdrawal with a lowered risk for these complications.
How is Ativan Addiction Treated at Drug Rehab?
Ativan addiction can be safely treated at drug and alcohol rehab using medical detox and behavior therapy. Medical drug detox helps you overcome Ativan dependence, and involves putting you on a tapering schedule so you can gradually withdraw from Ativan and benefit from reduced withdrawal symptoms. After drug detox, behavior therapy helps you identify the reasons you began abusing Ativan in the first place so you can improve any negative thinking patterns and behaviors contributing to your addiction.
Dana Point Rehab Campus offer medical detox and therapy in an inpatient and outpatient setting to help you safely recover from Ativan addiction. Contact us today at 949.569.7517 to learn more about our many drug rehab programs that can be customized to help you experience a safe, successful recovery from drug and alcohol dependence.