Ativan, medically known as lorazepam, is a type of Benzodiazepine, a class of “psychoactive” drugs designed to help with chemical imbalances in the brain. These drugs are commonly known as tranquilizers or sedatives because they ease and calm any emotional discomfort. Particular this medication treats those suffering from anxiety disorders by producing a soothing effect on the individual through enhancing a certain chemical chain in the brain known as the gamma aminobutyric acid (GAMA). The medical community has recently discovered Ativan also has value as a treatment for many other conditions, including manic bipolar disorder, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, cancer-related nausea, irritability, and muscle spasms. Officially, the medical community classifies the drug as a Schedule IV depressant. Pharmacist generally only prescribed it for short term use of 4 months or less. Ativan is a white tablet and consumed with water or food.
It’s imperative that patients only use Ativan as directed by your doctor! People can become highly addicted to it before long as it creates a euphoric calming sensation can become a comforting dependent psychologically for those suffering from depression and related disorders. You should never take Ativan if you have a history of substance abuse. It may be tempting to borrow a tablet or two from a friend, but this can be very dangerous and unauthorized distribution of any prescribed drugs is, in fact, illegal by the Food and Drug Administration. Unless a doctor medically diagnoses you as having an anxiety disorder or a related issue, do not take Ativan. People can find themselves consumed with work and school and might seek the calming release of the drug and may wish to self-medicate themselves, without realizing the detrimental effects the psychological attachment can create.
Also, never mix Ativan with other drugs or consume with alcohol. If you have a history or family history of alcoholism or other medical conditions, consult your doctor before seeking a prescription.
The medical community never advises taking Ativan if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The drug can lead to severe birth defects and miscarriages. If you’re a nursing mother, taking Ativan is usually not advised as the drug can seep into breast milk and harm the infant.
Effects of Ativan Abuse
As people continue to use Ativan, their bodies will develop a tolerance to the effects and will need stronger doses to achieve the same calm sensation. Eventually, users will become desperate to get stronger and stronger doses to ease their condition. This behavior becomes dangerous as the drug’s side effects become more debilitating with more powerful and frequent doses. Particularly, Ativan can decrease respiratory activity, which may result in fatigue, low blood pressure, heartburn, and related heart conditions. Other, more common symptoms, may include:
- Frequent nausea
- Slurred and confused speech
- Sleep problems
- Muscle weakness
As addicts increase their dosage, these symptoms can become extremely and could result in an overdose, which may include inducing a coma. In some cases, Ativan overdose can lead to death. Seek help immediately if you are experiencing any unusual discomfort while taking Ativan.
Withdrawal Symptoms and Recovery
After becoming addicted to Ativan calming effect, people have serious withdrawal symptoms that can dramatically worsen the psychological condition the drug intended to treat. The original anxiety from before the medication returning as a result of withdrawing known as the “rebound effect”. Even regular prescribed users of Ativan are likely to experience some mild form of withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Short term memory loss
- Mood changes
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of anxiety
- Frequent mood changes
The severity of these conditions may vary from person to person and serious life threatening effect may result from long term users. Reported serious symptoms may include:
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts and action
Ativan Addiction Treatment
In some cases, you may wish to seek a detoxication at a treatment center. It is likely that a specialized inpatient facility will be necessary for long term users. Other drugs may be taken to treat the more mild symptoms, but it is also effective to engage in non-pharmacological therapy, such as yoga, massages, and self-help groups. Always seek ways to overcome your anxiety aside from medication mentally. Avoid negative thoughts, find a support group, and/or take up a hobby to occupy yourself. Take up everyday tasks and maintain a healthy diet and sleep. It’s important not to isolate from loved ones during this time. Remember that Ativan is typically not prescribed for longer than 4 months! Be mindful of this and discuss with your doctor ways to ensure small, short termed usage before taking the drug. Recovery and complete freedom from your anxiety is possible with the right mindset and community of support!