Signs of Ativan Abuse

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By | 2017-03-21T11:23:25+00:00 March 21st, 2017|

Know the signs of Ativan abuse and how detox and rehab can help at White Sands Treatment Center

Are you abusing your prescription Ativan medication? Do you notice that you have to take more of the drug to get the same desired effects as before? Or do you have to take the drug more often than what is recommended to get the desired effects? If you have these signs of Ativan abuse, you may have built up a tolerance to the drug. Ativan is a highly addictive sedative, and if your tolerance for the drug has increased, it can lead to abuse and addiction.

Ativan is a potent benzodiazepine drug that is used to treat acute seizures, anxiety disorders, and insomnia. It is also used for sedation purposes. Ativan should only be used as prescribed by your doctor, and for the short-term of two to four weeks. The long-term use of Ativan is dangerous because it may create a tolerance in the body that can lead to Ativan addiction abuse.

Signs of Ativan abuse present themselves in patients who are are not taking the medication as directed by their physician. An Ativan addict may begin to experience feelings of euphoria. The drug has a calming effect and patients usually feel relaxed when taking the drug. Ativan addiction abuse can cause many adverse physical and psychological effects such as:

  • Anxiety, depression, hostility, psychosis, mood swings, delusions, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Memory problems, anterograde amnesia
  • Fever, sore throat,
  • Respiratory depression, syncope, drowsiness
  • Muscle weakness, trouble walking, lack of coordination, slurred speech
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation
  • Kidney failure

Ativan can also impair the creation of new memories, and the addict may have difficulty in partially or completely recalling the recent past.

In addition, Ativan can cause permanent impairment of cognitive abilities. The drug is also known to produce benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome that can cause:

  • Obsessive behavior
  • Hyperactivity
  • Social ineptness
  • Hysteria and panic

Addicts who take Ativan with alcohol may experience respiratory depression leading to a cessation of breathing, because both are depressants. Ativan should not be taken with other drugs because the combination can create severe health complications, coma, and death. As one of the most abused benzodiazepines in the U.S., Ativan has been linked to suicide ideation and acts. Ativan addiction abuse is dangerous, and patients should be closely monitored by their doctors when they are on this medication.

Patients who are taking Ativan should never stop the drug abruptly because it can cause severe health complications. Those with an Ativan addiction abuse problem should be treated at a drug treatment center to recover from addiction. Patients should receive a supervised medical detoxification process that will slowly and safely wean the patient off of the drug. Each patient experiences withdrawal differently depending on the severity of the addiction and other medical factors of the patient. Medications can be administered to the patient to alleviate drug cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days or a few months, and in some severe addiction cases it can extend to over one year. During the withdrawal process the patient may experience Ativan withdrawal symptoms such as:

  1. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting
  2. Insomnia,
  3. Mood swings, anxiety, intense rage
  4. Shortness of breath
  5. Drug cravings
  6. Tremors, muscle pain, depression, agitation
  7. Convulsions, seizures

Depending on the severity of the Ativan addiction abuse, rehabilitation can last from one month to one year. The recovery treatment program should include individual and group counseling, behavioral therapy, relapse prevention strategies, improving coping skills, and treating co-occurring mental and physical health problems. Other treatment options can include family counseling and support group meetings. The patient should be given adequate time to heal physically and psychologically, and also be equipped with the necessary tools to sustain sobriety. Be on the look out for signs of Ativan abuse.

If you are struggling with an Ativan addiction abuse problem, call a certified drug rehab center and begin treatment. You can get off of Ativan and you will with the proper help.

Resources:

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts
  2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/can-person-become-addicted-to-medications
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Tampa at (877) 640-7820. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.
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