Abuse of any drug is a terrible situation for anyone to go through, whether you are the person using the drugs or the one trying to support them. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan, also known as Lorazepam, are especially addictive and this is what makes Ativan abuse so common. They are one of the most commonly prescribed sedatives, and this makes them widely available to many different people. Doctors prescribe Ativan for sleep disorders and anxiety or panic problems. It works by stimulating a neurotransmitter in the brain which slows down certain body processes.

What is Ativan Abuse?

If someone is doing any of the following, they are abusing Ativan:

  • Obtaining and using Ativan without it being prescribed to them.
  • Taking Ativan more frequently that they have been advised by their doctor.
  • Using Ativan for the calming and euphoric feelings it creates rather than to treat a medical disorder.
  • Taking higher doses of Ativan than they have been told.
  • Taking Ativan alongside the consumption of alcohol or other depressive drugs.
  • Finding alternative methods to take Ativan rather than orally, such as injecting it or crushing up the tablets are snorting them.

What Effects does Ativan Prescription Drug Abuse have?

While someone abusing Ativan may use the drug to get high and enjoy its relaxing and euphoric effects, this comes at a high cost. There are many damaging effects of this type of drug abuse. The slowing of body processes leads to poor concentration, lack of coordination and a slower response time. It also slows your breathing down to dangerous levels.

Over time as the abuse continues these symptoms become more severe and lead to even more serious consequences. Memory loss and trouble recalling words and events is common. Someone struggling with Ativan prescription drug abuse is also likely to lose motivation and interest in many aspects of their life. Even things they previously thrived on and enjoyed, whether it is family time, hobbies or work, can become unimportant in their mind. Obtaining the drug will gradually become the most and sometimes only important thing to them.

This can lead to some nasty psychological impacts too. An Ativan abuser may become unnaturally aggressive, anxious or paranoid, particularly when someone tries to intervene or confront them about their drug habit. This makes is difficult and distressing for friends and family members who are trying to help. When Ativan is taken at extremely high doses, it can be fatal, leading to coma, kidney failure, difficulty breathing or seizures. If you notice any of these signs, seek medical attention right away.

How can Ativan Prescription Drug Abuse be Treated?

There are plenty of treatment programs available for people who are abusing benzodiazepines like Ativan. It is important to choose a treatment center that does not take a ‘one size fits all’ approach but appreciates that each patient is different and adapts the treatment program accordingly. With a carefully monitored detoxification program and follow up therapy, full recovery from Ativan abuse or addiction is possible for anyone.