The Effects of Ativan Use
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- Short Term Effects of Ativan Use
- Side Effects
- Ativan Long Term Effects
- Ativan Dependency
- Ativan Withdrawal Treatment
Ativan is a classified as a 3-hypoxy benzodiazepine prescription medication used primarily for short-term treatment of anxiety, seizures, insomnia and as a sedative for hospitalized or aggressive patients. Used as directed by a physician, Ativan is safe to take for up to two to four weeks.
Ativan Effects Quiz question 1
USA Today reports that more than 20 percent of adults in America were prescribed a medication to treat anxiety and depression in 2010. Physicians commonly prescribe benzodiazepines like Ativan for such conditions. IMS Health, an analytics and services company covering global health, reports that there were over 26.4 million Ativan prescriptions in the U.S. alone in 2009. When used recreationally or in any way other than as directed, Ativan can be bad for you. As a benzodiazepine Ativan can be addictive, requiring the use of rehab centers to aid in breaking the dependency developed on the drug. For help in locating a rehab center for Ativan near you, call us today at 1-800-943-0566. The lines are staffed 24 hours a day with knowledgeable staff.
Ativan Effects Quiz question 2
Short Term Effects of Ativan Use
The most common short-term effect of taking Ativan is in the reduction of anxiety in the medication user. Another common short-term effect is an end to any sleeplessness the user may have been experiencing. These positive effects are reduced as the user develops a tolerance to the drug. After about four to six months, the drug is no longer effective due to the user's highly developed tolerance level.
Ativan Effects Quiz question 3
An Ativan user should be aware of several possible side effects from the use of the drug. These effects occur only rarely, but are generally dose dependent. This means that the effects will occur with increasing regularity as the dosage amount of Ativan is increased. Side effects may include:
- Anterograde amnesia
- Increased severity of existing seizures
The side effects of Ativan use are more common in children or with elderly patients taking the drug. Taking Ativan may also cause difficulty in maintaining body balance, resulting in a patient falling. For elderly patients, this can cause fractures.
Ativan Effects Quiz question 4
Ativan Long Term Effects
Taking Ativan for an extended period may result in certain long-term effects from the drug. Long term effects from taking Ativan may include the development of red eye, where a portion of the whites of a patient's eyes turn red due to an increase in the blood flow to the affected region. Long-term use of Ativan may also cause a small amount of cognitive impairment in the patient. The red eye is reversed with the cessation of use of the drug. Some level of cognitive impairment may remain after treatment however, with elderly patients suffering a worsening in the cognitive deterioration caused by aging or with existing dementia.
The most common long-term effect of Ativan use is the development of a tolerance to the drug. Tolerance to Ativan is the body's response to the long-term ingestion of the drug. As the drug becomes a common addition to the user's body chemistry, the individual's system adjusts to its presence. This adjustment lowers the effects of the drug, causing the person to need higher doses of the drug to achieve the same high on Ativan as before. Eventually, the user becomes dependent on the drug, even developing an addiction. Once this level is reached, benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome will occur when stopping the intake of the drug. Withdrawal can be reduced or eliminated with treatment. Get help in finding a treatment center that fits your needs by calling 1-800-943-0566. One call can get you on the track to recovery immediately.
Ativan Effects Quiz question 5
Ativan is a highly addictive form of benzodiazepine. Extended use of the drug or use in high dosages can lead to both psychological and physical dependence. Dependence can develop in as little as one to two months, with withdrawal occurring if drug use is stopped or severely curtailed after the dependency begins. Psychological dependency on the drug can lead to the a loss of self-confidence and drug seeking behaviors such as the illicit purchase of the drug or doctor shopping behaviors commonly associated with drug addiction. Because the drug reduces anxiety, users may be reluctant to discontinue its use due to fears of the anxiety's return.
Recreational use of Ativan is rarely limited to Ativan alone. Most abuse involving benzodiazepines are those of a polydrug nature, typically mixing the benzodiazepine with an opioid. For instance, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 15 percent of heroin users were users of a benzodiazepine on a daily basis, with 73 percent using weekly. Ativan itself is normally abused by prescription users increasing their dosage for an experience in what the Ativan high is like. For more information on how to help someone addicted to Ativan, give us a call.
Withdrawal from stopping the use of Ativan occurs soon after the last dose is taken. Withdrawal symptom can include:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Sensory hypersensitivity
The above symptoms are short-term. Longer-term withdrawal symptoms may occur on occasion, lasting up to several months. These signs and symptoms may include:
Credit: Dr. Heather Ashton for the Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group
Withdrawal symptoms vary in severity, with stronger symptoms occurring in users who have taken the drug for longer periods or who have taken high drug doses. It takes between 18 to 36 hours for the drug to work its way out of the user's system.
Ativan Effects Quiz question 6
Ativan Withdrawal Treatment
Treatment of Ativan addiction typically occurs in a rehab center with a program specifically created for the addiction. The treatment is done on an inpatient basis and consists of a controlled detoxification by tapering in a detox center followed by therapy in an addiction treatment center. The tapering process involves the slow reduction of the drug dosage amounts without bringing on withdrawal symptoms. When the dosage is low enough to quit the drug use without withdrawal occurring, then the drug use is discontinued.
Withdrawal treatment facilities are available throughout the country. Find one that can help you with your Ativan dependency today by calling 1-800-943-0566 to discuss the treatment options that you have available.