Ativan Abuse

  1. Table of ContentsPrint
  2. What Is Ativan?
  3. Signs and Symptoms
  4. Effects of Ativan Abuse
  5. Ativan Abuse Treatment
  6. Ativan Statistics
  7. Teen Ativan Abuse
  8. Resources, Articles and More Information


Many people in the U.S. struggle with compulsive prescription medication use. Benzodiazepines - including Ativan - are some of the more frequently abused prescription drugs out there. While recovery from benzodiazepines can be tough, it is possible. The right treatment program can ensure that you don't have to fight your battle alone.

Drug rehab centers give people the support they need to treat their Ativan addiction and help regain control of their lives. If you have an addiction to Ativan and need more information or help finding a recovery program that's right for you, call 1-888-744-0069.

Ativan Abuse Quiz question 1

What Is Ativan?

Ativan (generic name: lorazepam) is prescribed to people that need assistance managing symptoms of anxiety and panic. While it may not be a primary indication for the drug, and potentially primes the patient for habitual use, the substance is sometimes prescribed to those who need help falling asleep.

Ativan works as a depressant medication by enhancing inhibitory neurotransmission and effectively slowing down various processes throughout the body.

What Is Ativan Abuse?

Ativan abuse is characterized by:

  • Taking the drug without a prescription.
  • Use of Ativan in higher doses or higher frequencies than prescribed.
  • Using Ativan via ill-advised, non-prescribed methods such as crushing up the pills to snort, or dissolving in liquid for intravenous use.
  • Use for nonmedical reasons like "getting high."
  • Mixing Ativan with other substances that slow the body like alcohol or opioids.

Ativan Abuse Quiz question 2

Signs and Symptoms

Someone using benzodiazepines like Ativan may experience the following common side effects of use:

  • Physical and mental relaxation.
  • Feelings of calm.
  • Euphoria.
  • Slowed response time.
  • Poor coordination and motor skills.
  • Slowed breathing rates.
  • Lowered ability to concentrate.

Taken at high doses and over a long time, Ativan can cause the following symptoms:

  • Dangerously slowed breathing.
  • Memory issues and forgetfulness.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Decreased interest in pleasurable activities.
  • Aggression.
  • Paranoia.

Mixing depressants like alcohol with Ativan can lead to:

  • Seizures.
  • Coma.
  • Death.

Other serious effects of Ativan abuse can include kidney failure, extreme depression and respiratory failure.

Ativan Abuse Quiz question 3

Worried you're addicted to Ativan?
Find out the questions to ask if you're concerned.

Effects of Ativan Abuse

Addiction to benzodiazepines doesn't happen overnight. It occurs when people use a medication like Ativan consistently over an extended period of time. Even people who use Ativan exactly as their doctor prescribed can develop tolerance to the substance, leading them to take ever-increasing amounts to feel the desired effects. As tolerance develops and the user takes higher and higher doses, their risk of addiction to the drug increases.

Symptoms of Ativan addiction vary slightly from person to person. Signs can include:

  • Neglecting work and family responsibilities.
  • Isolating oneself from friends and family.
  • Experiencing legal or financial issues due to use.

Signs of Ativan abuse become more apparent as your addiction becomes more severe. You might notice that your life seems to revolve around your drug use and you have no control over it. If this has happened, it can be extremely difficult to stop using on your own. There is no shame in asking for help--doing so could save your life. To learn about treatment, call 1-888-744-0069 today.

Ativan Abuse Quiz question 4

Ativan Abuse Treatment

People who are looking for Ativan abuse treatment should seek professional treatment. When ending use abruptly, withdrawal symptoms can be relatively sudden and severe.


Withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few hours after last use and include:

  • Insomnia.
  • Tachycardia or increased heart rate.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Anxiety and worried thoughts.
  • Agitation.
  • Convulsions.
  • Seizures.

To ensure safety and success, a period of supervised detox may be needed to allow medical professionals to monitor vital signs as the body clears the substance from the system. Medical management with longer acting sedatives may be required to preclude the onset of seizure activity, as well.

After detox, the treatment provider can refer the person to inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. It's important to look at all of your options and decide which program fits your personal needs and goals.

Outpatient treatment facilities offer many different programs to give you enough flexibility to work and spend time with your family. For example, daily check-in programs require you to attend a short session with a drug abuse counselor every day. This helps you stay focused on your recovery without much interruption to your day-to-day life. Day treatment programs require you to remain at the facility for eight hours each day. While you're at the facility, you'll attend group therapy sessions and educational lectures on drug abuse and treatment.

Inpatient treatment centers give you a temptation-free place to recover. You live at the center for the duration of your treatment-typically 30, 60 or 90 days. During this time, you will participate in a variety of therapeutic modalities, including:

  • Group therapy sessions.
  • Individual therapy session
  • Educational lectures.

If you need help deciding what type of treatment program is best for you, call 1-888-744-0069.

Ativan Statistics

Ativan addiction is a problem for many adults. Since the addiction develops over time, it can sneak up on you. It may take some time before you realize that you might have a problem.

According to the 2011 Treatment Episode Data Set Report, 60,200 people undergoing drug abuse treatment were addicted to benzodiazepines. This showed a drastic increase from the 22,400 people who sought treatment for benzo addictions in 1998.

Ativan Abuse Quiz question 5

Teen Ativan Abuse

Ativan abuse isn't only a problem among adults. With prescriptions abound, teenagers may have unfettered access to these drugs, and may develop prescription medication addictions of their own.


According to the 2014 Monitoring the Future survey, 4.7% of high school seniors reported using tranquilizers - on this survey, the group of substances that includes Ativan - in their lifetime.

Parents can take measures to prevent use through:

  • Education.
  • Tracking Ativan use in the home.
  • Building an open relationship with their teen.
  • Monitoring changes in their teen's habits and friends.

Ativan Abuse Quiz question 6

Resources, Articles and More Information

To learn more about how Ativan abuse can affect you and how to find treatment for addiction, read the following articles:

You can also join the discussion about Ativan and offer and find support at our community forum.


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