Ativan is the brand name for a powerful benzodiazepine that carries a high risk of physical dependence. Ativan, also known by its generic name of lorazepam, is used medically to induce sleep, prevent seizures, produce sedative effects, and reduce anxiety.
Ativan has such a high potential for dependence and addiction that some people experience dependency even after following dosages prescribed by their physician. The development of tolerance and dependency increases when a person uses higher doses of Ativan for a longer period, and is prevalent in those who have personality disorders or a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Those who do become dependent on Ativan require the drug to function normally. For people who do develop a tolerance and suddenly stop taking Ativan, they may experience uncomfortable physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms.
Signs, Symptoms, and Effects of Ativan Abuse
Like the abuse of other prescription medications, the signs of Ativan abuse may not always be obvious. As Ativan addictions can occur quickly, physical and psychological dependencies are also usually quick to develop. Loved ones can keep an eye out for these outward signs of Ativan abuse:
- Nausea or vomiting
- A loss of appetite
Withdrawal symptoms due to physical and psychological dependencies to Ativan include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Hallucinations or delirium
- Abdominal cramps
- Hypersensitivity to light, noise, or physical contact
- Increased anxiety
Once a tolerance to Ativan develops, an individual may have to take more of the drug to experience their “ideal” high. There are many other effects of prolonged Ativan abuse and addiction, which may include:
- Problems with professional and social relationships
- Disturbing dreams
Residential Inpatient Treatment for Ativan Abuse
Ativan and benzodiazepine abuse and withdrawal may require professional inpatient treatment for some people. Ideally, treatment for Ativan abuse will start with a medically supervised detoxification process. Detoxing at an inpatient residential facility allows for medical supervision, which means that any uncomfortable side effects of Ativan withdrawal, including physical and mental symptoms, as well as enhanced cravings, will be monitored.
At inpatient treatment centers, people have access to an environment free of temptations. Usually, treatment processes span a period of 30, 60, or 90 days. Services and therapies are provided by experienced medical professionals and may include group therapy, individual therapy, support groups, and educational lectures.
Outpatient Treatment for Ativan Abuse
After inpatient residential treatment, outpatient treatment can help people reintegrate back to a sober, healthy lifestyle. Outpatient treatment options may include mental health check-ins, counseling, and community-based treatment. Clients can ease back into their regular day-to-day lives. These outpatient programs aim to help improve coping skills, reduce anxiety, and create healthy relapse prevention strategies.
People consider outpatient treatment facilities for a variety of reasons. For some, outpatient programs allow them to spend time with their family or work their regular jobs. Others may see the benefits of group therapy sessions and educational content from day treatment programs.
Avoiding a Relapse
As Ativan is a highly addictive drug, rates of relapse are quite high. This is more prevalent in those who abused Ativan for a prolonged period or with heavy doses.
The best way to avoid a relapse is to avoid exposure to Ativan and unsupportive environments. Ativan cultivates a dependence that is both physical and psychological, meaning that a positive transition from an inpatient or outpatient program into the real world is vital when trying to avoid a relapse. Chances of avoiding a relapse are higher the longer an individual participates in an Ativan abuse recovery program. Aftercare services are provided at Futures of Palm Beach to help those recovering from an Ativan addiction and is beneficial as part of a comprehensive recovery plan.
If you or a loved one is struggling with Ativan abuse, call Futures of Palm Beach today to learn about our treatment programs.