Ativan Addiction

Lorazepam is a pharmaceutical drug belonging to the benzodiazepine family and is most commonly known as Ativan.

Ativan is a type of tranquilizer and works in the brain by attaching to the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. It’s an effective sedative because it suppresses chemical messages received by nerve receptors, which result in a feeling of calmness.

In most cases, using Ativan as prescribed doesn’t affect the respiratory or heart systems; however, with addiction and abuse, both heart and respiratory failure are a possible side effect.

What is Lorazepam Prescribed For?

Physicians have also realized the merits of Ativan beyond anxiety treatment. It is increasingly prescribed for sleep issues and those afflicted with panic attacks. However, side effects can become dangerous and even deadly when Ativan is abused.

A common side effect is drowsiness, but that can escalate to a coma or even death when abused. Trouble breathing, poor coordination, and confusion (which can lead to injuries) can also occur when Ativan is abused.

Doctors may prescribe Ativan for a range of issues including manic bipolar disorder (as a means of treating some symptoms), restlessness, nausea, muscle spasms, psychosis from alcohol withdrawal, and vomiting when it’s caused by cancer treatments.

However, it’s important to remember that Ativan is a very addictive drug. It’s very difficult for users to let go of a drug that makes them feel euphoric and gives them good rest. Ideally, Ativan should only be prescribed for those suffering from the worst symptoms it treats or for short periods of time.

Signs of Ativan Abuse

Ativan can affect people in many ways—there’s no single set of Ativan abuse symptoms that will apply to every person. Some people like the calm feelings they get with Ativan while others experience hallucinations (which may or may not be pleasurable).

When a person is physically dependent on Ativan, they build up a tolerance and will need more of the drug to achieve the same effects. You might notice yourself or a loved one hoarding pills, hopping from clinic to clinic to get more, or purchasing Ativan illegally.

When addiction occurs, physical, psychological, and behavioral changes can be observed. Addicts will spend a lot of time, money, and energy feeding their habit. Their work, school, and relationships will probably suffer.

Withdrawal symptoms will also begin to appear when the addict goes too long without Ativan. There’s a slight difference between addiction and physical dependence—however, dependence is a part of addiction. A person who is physically dependent isn’t necessarily addicted (yet), but they are at a high risk of being addicted soon.

Addicts might sweat excessively, have insomnia, or panic attacks. In rare cases, hallucinations have been reported along with derealization and seizures.

Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms

Many people understand that overdoses are dangerous, but what they fail to realize is that withdrawal symptoms can be just as dangerous. The dangers increase when a user is a long-term addict or has built up a strong tolerance. This is why it’s critical to only trust a medically-supervised rehab and detox center to help addicts clean out their bodies. Withdrawal symptoms from any benzodiazepine drug can be intense and dangerous.

Bear in mind that not all addicts necessarily buy their drugs on the streets. They might have a real need and prescription for the drug. However, serious addictions can often begin with good (and legal) intentions.

Ativan withdrawal includes both physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Irritability
  • Cravings
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Hand tremors
  • Psychosis
  • Confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Rapid heart rate

Street Names for Ativan

There aren’t many street names strictly for Ativan. Instead, there are nicknames for a wide range of benzodiazepines.

A few include “Benzos” and “Candy,” but more typically Ativan might just be called sleeping pills, sedatives, downers, or tranquilizers.

Treatment for Ativan Addiction

Treatment for Ativan or any drug should only be undertaken in a safe, medically-assisted detox and rehab facility. This is too dangerous of a drug to try a DIY or family-assisted detox. An inpatient or outpatient facility will provide an addict with the best chance for a successful recovery.

Treatment for addiction often focuses on a variety of approaches. Experts will experiment and pinpoint the best strategy for each individual. Common approaches include:

  • Community reinforcement
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

Psychotherapy helps the patient not only detox from Ativan, but also equips them with tools and skills to use throughout life to help fight their addiction.

Addressing the root of addiction and helping patients figure out what triggers them to turn to drugs is an important part of detox and rehab.

Cognitive behavioral therapy in particular has proven to be very successful in helping people live a drug-free life for good. Some patients prefer to include 12-step approaches while others rely heavily on family therapy.

Having a positive support network of family and friends is fantastic when it’s available, but it should be part of the recovery, not the entirety of it.

If you know someone struggling with Ativan addiction, let Northeast Addictions Treatment Center help them get free and clear of Ativan. Getting the right help quickly is paramount for success.


What’s A Normal Dose Of Lorazepam?

The daily dosage for lorazepam (brand name Ativan) is 1 to 10 mg per day. A normal dose depends on why the medication is used. Those with anxiety or insomnia may be prescribed 2 to 4 mg per day while elderly patients may only be prescribed 1 to 2 mg per day.

Learn more about Lorazepam Dosage

What Drugs Should Be Avoid On Ativan?

There are a variety of drugs that should be avoided while on Ativan, including sedatives, muscle relaxants, opioids, and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants.

Learn more about Ativan Drug Interactions

Is Ativan A Controlled Substance?

Yes, the prescription drug lorazepam (brand name Ativan) has been classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States.

Learn more about Ativan As A Controlled Substance

Is Ativan A Benzo?

Yes, lorazepam (brand name Ativan) is a benzodiazepine prescription drug. It’s also a Schedule IV controlled substance, which means it has potential for abuse and addiction.

Learn more about Ativan As A Benzodiazepine

Is Lorazepam Always Addictive?

Lorazepam is a Schedule IV controlled substance with the potential for abuse. While taking lorazepam as prescribed may or may not lead to physical dependence or substance use disorder, abusing the drug significantly increases the risk of benzodiazepine addiction.

To learn more, read Is Lorazepam Addictive?

How Does Ativan Make You Feel?

Lorazepam (brand name Ativan) produces feelings of calm and sedation. When abused, it can create a more euphoric effect but can also lead to life-threatening sedation.

Learn more about What Ativan Feels Like

What Does Lorazepam Look Like?

Lorazepam comes as a white tablet but can be found in different shapes (round or five-sided) and with different letters and numbers imprinted on each pill.

Learn more about What Lorazepam Looks Like

Can You Take Ativan (Lorazepam) While Pregnant?

The FDA doesn’t recommend taking Ativan while pregnant as it’s associated with birth defects, low birth weight, and preterm birth. However, if the mother’s health is at risk by not taking Ativan, that may ultimately outweigh the risk Ativan may have on the baby.

Learn more about Ativan Use During Pregnancy

How Much Does Ativan Cost On The Street?

On the street, Ativan typically costs about $1 for a .5mg tablet, $2 for a 1 mg tablet, and $4 for a 2 mg tablet. In general, the drug costs less the closer you live to a big city. That’s because most big cities have high supplies of Ativan, which typically leads to lower prices.

Learn more about Ativan Street Prices

Can You Snort Ativan?

Lorazepam (brand name Ativan) is available as a tablet that can be crushed and snorted. This causes sedation to occur more quickly but can result in a number of dangerous health concerns.

Learn more about Snorting Ativan

What’s The Difference Between Ativan & Ambien?

Ambien is sedative-hypnotic while Ativan is benzodiazepine. They also differ in active ingredient, interactions/contraindications, and half life.

Learn more about Ativan Vs. Ambien

Can Ativan Treat Alcohol Withdrawal?

The long-acting benzodiazepine drug lorazepam (Ativan) is a preferred inpatient and outpatient treatment option for severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms resulting from an extended period of alcohol abuse.

Ativan can help balance neurotransmitter function in the brain during this process, reducing agitation and other withdrawal symptoms and helping discourage relapse as detoxification progresses.

Learn more about How Ativan Treats Alcohol Withdrawal

Can You Take Ativan After Drinking Alcohol?

No, taking Ativan after drinking alcohol is not recommended by healthcare providers. Any amount of alcohol in your system can cause a dangerous sedative effect alongside the effects of Ativan.

Learn more about Taking Ativan After Drinking Alcohol

Is It Safe To Buy Ativan Online?

Ativan can be safely purchased using a variety of legal and approved online pharmacy services.

However, many illegal and fraudulent online pharmacies also offer Ativan and other prescription drugs at low prices without a doctor’s signature. These rogue pharmacies are not safe to use and the medications they provide may be ineffective or dangerous to take.

Learn more about Buying Ativan Online

Does Ativan Need To Be Tapered?

Ativan should likely be tapered when you decide to stop use. Without tapering, severe withdrawal symptoms may occur. Tapering helps ease those symptoms or may even stop them from showing up entirely.

Learn more about Tapering Off Ativan

Can You Drive On Ativan?

Lorazepam (brand name Ativan) should not be taken while driving during the time period in which you are still getting accustomed to taking the drug.

Once you are aware of the effects of Ativan, a person should know the warnings and dangers of driving while taking too much of this Schedule IV controlled substance.

Learn more about Taking Ativan & Driving

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

©2024 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

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