Is Ativan Addictive?

Categories: Drug Facts, Opioid Addiction

Are you suffering from anxiety?  Maybe you are having chronic sleep problems? How about muscle spasms?

These are just some conditions in which you could be prescribed Ativan. Ativan or also known by its generic name lorazepam, is a prescription medication that belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs along with Valium and Xanax. It is considered as an effective medication to treat anxiety symptoms.

While mainly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, Ativan may also be prescribed for other medical conditions such as manic bipolar disorder, restlessness, vomiting due to chemotherapy and cancer drugs, nausea, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, psychosis, and other mental health issues.

Ativan is listed as a Schedule IV drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, which means that it supposedly has a low potential for abuse or physical addiction as compared to other narcotics such as cocaine or heroin. However, just because the potential is low does not mean that is not being abused by many people in America.

Can you get addicted to Ativan?

It is believed that if you religiously and carefully follow the doctor’s advice, then you will not be at risk of being addicted to Ativan. However, even if you have a legitimate prescription, there is a possibility that you could develop sedative use disorder or addiction.

How is this possible?

The thing with Ativan is that you can rapidly develop tolerance for the drug. This means that if you regularly use it, it will only take a short time before you need to increase the dosage to experience the same effect. Increasing the dosage can lead to drug dependency and addiction.

The short answer is: YES, Ativan is addictive.

This is one of the reasons why Ativan is designed only for short-term or immediate use. When used continuously, there is a potential for addiction.

How can you get addicted to Ativan?

There are different ways you can develop an Ativan addiction. Some addiction may start while taking Ativan as a legitimate form of treatment, while some may also stem from recreational use.  Here are some situations wherein a person could possibly get addicted to Ativan:

  • Abusing a legitimate Ativan prescription by using it longer than the period prescribed by a doctor.
  • Using Ativan as a go-to calming medication to relieve yourself from stress.
  • Using the drug to self-medicate even if it is not prescribed to you.
  • Using Ativan as a recreational drug.
  • Abusing Ativan thinking that it is a safer choice of drug as compared to other illegal narcotics.
  • Using Ativan in combination with other substances like alcohol, cocaine, opioids, and other benzos.

Are you addicted to Ativan?

Many people who start using medications like Ativan legitimately are often in denial that they are suffering from addiction. How do you know if you’re still using Ativan to treat a medical symptom or if you already have a sedative use disorder?

While every person and situation is different, here are some tell-tale signs that can clue you in that you already have a disorder or an addiction.

If you are suffering from two or more of these symptoms, you may have Ativan sedative use disorder or addiction. It is important to seek the help of a professional treatment provider.

  • You take more pills than prescribed by a doctor.
  • You take Ativan longer than the period of time directed by a doctor.
  • You spend a disproportionate amount of time using, acquiring and recovering from using Ativan.
  • You experience cravings to use Ativan even if you’re not feeling anxiety or medically-related symptoms.
  • You are unable to perform your daily tasks at work or at home because of using Ativan.
  • You are unable to socialize, go to family gatherings, and other community functions because of your Ativan use.
  • You would rather use Ativan than do other productive activities.
  • You continue to use Ativan even if it’s causing you physical, emotional, psychological, and financial troubles.
  • You have tried to stop taking the drug but you are unable to stop on your own.
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping Ativan use.

What are the dangers associated with Ativan abuse?

Ativan AddictionThere is a misconception that because the DEA tags Ativan with a low abuse potential then it couldn’t be dangerous. The reality, however, is that Ativan is highly addictive in nature when used illicitly. Even if you are suffering from anxiety disorders, you should still seek medical supervision before using Ativan.

Using Ativan for an extended period of time has been shown to cause physical and psychological dependence. It has also been shown to alter brain functioning if used for an extended period of time. This can potentially cause permanent cognitive impairment that may not be fully regained even after quitting use.

If high doses of Ativan is used or when it is mixed with other substances like alcohol or opioids, it can result in serious health conditions including excessive sedation, seizures, tremors, loss of consciousness, memory impairment, and respiratory depression.

If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, help is available.

Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.

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