Effects & Dangers Of Snorting Ativan (Lorazepam)

Snorting lorazepam is a form of drug abuse that takes advantage of the blood vessels in the nose to produce a more intense high with a fast onset.

Lorazepam (brand name Ativan) is a benzodiazepine prescription drug available in 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg tablet forms that can be crushed into a powder and snorted.

Those who snort Ativan are participating in a form of drug abuse and will likely experience a faster and greater increase of side effects such as sedation, drowsiness, and feelings of euphoria.

Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” can be prescribed for a number of anxiety disorders. Ativan may be used to help treat symptoms of panic disorder, including panic attacks or night terrors. It is also used to treat certain seizure disorders and those suffering from alcohol withdrawal.

Ativan is a schedule IV controlled substance according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which means it has potential for abuse.

Although snorting Ativan allows the drug to enter your bloodstream faster, thus allowing you to experience a greater high, it can cause life-threatening health concerns.

Effects Of Snorting Ativan

Ativan works by targeting the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This slows down brain activity and affects the central nervous system (CNS) and certain receptors.

Ativan is a CNS depressant similar to other benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and clonazepam (Klonopin). When Ativan abuse takes place in the form of insufflation, a number of serious side effects can occur.

Short-Term Side Effects

When snorted, this type of Ativan use can lead to various short-term side effects which may consist of:

  • heavy sedation
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • change in appetite

Long-Term Side Effects

There are several long-term side effects that can take place over a period of time for those who abuse Ativan.

Some of the long-term side effects of this type of substance abuse may lead to:

  • physical dependence
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • irritability
  • potential cravings for the drug
  • substance use disorder

Dangers Of Snorting Ativan

In addition to the severe side effects a person who snorts Ativan may experience, there are also a number of dangers. Those who snort Ativan are at a high-risk of developing serious health conditions such as nasal damage and overdose.

Nasal Passage Damage

Snorting Ativan over a long period of time can cause a number of health issues for your nasal airways.

Intranasal use of Ativan can also lead to:

  • bacterial infections inside the nose
  • persistent nosebleeds
  • chronic runny nose
  • deviated septum
  • consistent sinus infections

Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who take higher doses of Ativan than prescribed may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Since Ativan enters your system quickly when snorted, it also dissipates rather fast as well. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop use.

In addition to this, those who take Ativan regularly and abruptly stop may experience severe withdrawal as well.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some Ativan withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • hypersensitivity to light
  • abdominal cramps
  • palpitations
  • short-term memory loss
  • tremors
  • panic attacks
  • hyperthermia
  • hallucinations
  • seizures

Ativan Overdose

Snorting Ativan may lead to a potentially dangerous overdose. Since the sedative feelings enter and leave your body more rapidly than when the medication is taken as prescribed, a person may take more of the drug to experience the desired high.

When this happens, it may be more likely that an overdose can occur.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that symptoms of an Ativan overdose include:

  • impaired coordination
  • shallow breathing
  • slow reflexes
  • coma
  • confusion

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), combining opioids with benzodiazepines can result in more frequent overdoses, hospitalization, or respiratory depression.

Ativan Addiction Treatment

Benzodiazepine addiction treatment programs provide a number of treatment options such as:

For information on our outpatient programs, please contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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