Ativan Addiction

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What Is Ativan?

Ativan (the brand name for Lorazepam) is a powerful sedative prescription drug.

Doctors prescribe Ativan as a short-term treatment for anxiety disorders, insomnia, and seizures. In higher doses, it induces a state of euphoria and relaxation in the user.

Ativan is one of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, or benzos. Benzos are sedatives that work by depressing the central nervous system, making you feel calm and relaxed.

However, benzodiazepines are highly addictive, and physical dependence can build very quickly. Doctors should only prescribe Ativan for periods of less than four months.

Misuse of benzodiazepines like Ativan is a growing problem in the United States. People misuse Ativan because of its pleasurable effects. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, around 2% of adults have misused benzos at least once. Misuse of Ativan increases the chance of dependence and addiction.

Withdrawing from Ativan can be very dangerous and even fatal and must take place under medical supervision.

If you are struggling with an Ativan addiction, the path to recovery may seem scary or impossible. However, with the proper support, anyone can recover from addiction.

At Cirque Lodge, we offer an individualized detox and treatment program led by medical experts. We combine different addiction treatment approaches to provide the most effective treatment for you. You will find our treatment facilities in the heart of the Rocky Mountains are the perfect place to rediscover your love of life without addiction.

Ativan Addiction Overview

What Is Ativan Prescribed For?

Doctors usually prescribe Ativan to treat anxiety disorders, and it can also be used to treat sleep disorders, muscle spasms, and seizures.

Sometimes doctors use Ativan to help manage alcohol withdrawal, reduce anxiety before surgery, or to sedate people receiving mechanical ventilation.

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How Does Ativan Affect Your Brain?

Ativan increases the activity of the GABA chemical in your brain.

The brain naturally produces GABA to slow itself down, helping you to relax and fall asleep.

When you take Ativan, the increased GABA activity makes you feel calm and sedated. It depresses your central nervous system and relaxes your muscles, making Ativan an effective treatment for anxiety and sleep disorders.

Physical Dependence

If you use Ativan repeatedly over a period of time, your brain adapts to the presence of the drug in your body. You develop a tolerance to the substance and take higher and higher doses to achieve the same effect. Eventually, you become dependent and need to take the drug just to feel normal.

The physical dependence on benzodiazepines can develop very quickly, and you are likely to develop dependence after using the drug for 3-4 weeks. While physical dependence is different from addiction, one often leads to the other.

Withdrawal Symptoms

When you develop a physical dependence on a drug, your body cannot function normally without it. If you stop taking the substance, you experience a range of withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and even dangerous.

Withdrawal symptoms from Ativan dependence can be particularly dangerous, and you should only attempt detox with professional medical supervision and support.

What are the Differences Between Ativan and Xanax?

Ativan and Xanax are the brand names for Lorazepam and Alprazolam. They are both kinds of benzodiazepines.

Ativan and Xanax have very similar effects and side effects, and doctors usually prescribe them to treat the same conditions.

There are, however, a few differences between the two substances:

  • Ativan is a slower-acting drug than Xanax. This means that it takes longer for you to feel the effects of Ativan, but they last for longer. You may need to take Ativan less often than Xanax.
  • Ativan is less likely to cause drowsiness than Xanax. Ativan may cause drowsiness in 9% of people taking the drug for anxiety, compared to 41% with Xanax.
  • Ativan can reduce your learning and coordination skills and cause amnesia for a longer time period than Xanax.

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What Are the Short-term Effects of Ativan?

In smaller doses, Ativan reduces anxiety and produces feelings of calm and relaxation.

In more significant amounts, however, it can lead to unpleasant side effects. These may include:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty speaking clearly
  • Breathing problems
  • Suicide in people with a history of depression

What Are the Long-term Effects of Ativan?

If you have a substance use disorder or are abusing Ativan, you may experience certain long-term effects.

These can be hazardous to your health and damaging to your work and home life. These effects can be physical, psychological, behavioral, and social.

Physical and psychological effects:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Behavioral and social effects:

  • Inability to stop using Ativan without support
  • Powerful cravings
  • Neglecting home, family, or work responsibilities
  • Difficult relationships with friends or family members caused your use of Ativan
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Use of Ativan even when you know it is damaging to your health
  • Needing to take more and more to get the desired effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop using it

If you recognize any one of these long-term effects on you or your loved one, you may have an Ativan addiction.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Ativan?

Withdrawal from Ativan can be fatal. You should not withdraw from Ativan without medical support, no matter how urgently you want to stop taking it.

Benzodiazepines result in some of the most uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms and must be managed correctly. They may include:

  • Uncontrolled nervousness and anxiety
  • Distorted perceptions of reality
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Heavy sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Delirium and hallucinations

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Ativan Detoxification

At Cirque Lodge, detox takes place under 24-hour supervision by medical professionals.

We begin with an in-depth assessment of your needs so we can design the safest and most comfortable withdrawal plan for you.

Withdrawal takes place in a specialized detox facility, and you will have a professional medical team by your side to support you through the process. You may be prescribed medication to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and help make the withdrawal process as comfortable as possible.

Ativan Treatment

Detoxification is only the first stage of the recovery process.

Recovery from addiction also requires changing the behaviors that cause your addiction so you do not return to using the drug.

At Cirque Lodge, our treatment combines Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, experiential therapy, and support groups. We identify any co-occurring disorders or underlying issues that need to be addressed and ensure each client receives a complete, holistic, personalized treatment program adapted to suit their individual requirements. Our luxury rehab center is in the midst of the spectacular Rocky Mountains and is a constant source of inspiration for your journey ahead.

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Cirque Lodge offers a combination of experiential, behavioral, and group therapies to provide a holistic and enriching treatment experience.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, please contact us today. We can help.

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