Concurrent Alcohol and Lorazepam Abuse
Although lorazepam and alcohol can both be safe when consumed appropriately, concurrent abuse can quickly lead to the need for immediate medical treatment. Facts about drinking and using lorazepam clearly indicate that it is never safe to mix these two substances, as it might lead to a medical emergency.
Alcohol is not considered a dangerous substance when consumed on its own, in moderation. However, it can cause physical and cognitive problems when an individual consumes an unhealthy amount in a short period of time. Long-term alcohol abuse can cause serious physical damage, especially to one’s nervous system and liver function.
Lorazepam, also known by its brand name Ativan, is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks and insomnia. Lorazepam is a sedative and its tranquilizing effects are extremely addicting. Like other benzodiazepines, it can cause chemical dependency very quickly—after only several weeks of use—even if this use is closely monitored by a doctor.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol With Lorazepam
Lorazepam and alcohol abuse can present very similar signs and symptoms. This similarity can be dangerous, as it becomes more difficult to determine which substance is causing which symptoms, thereby delaying needed medical treatment or potentially causing an individual to receive incorrect treatment.
Alcohol abuse may cause an individual to experience impaired coordination, dizziness, weakness, confusion and a loss of consciousness. Even when an individual is not drinking, the long-term effects of alcohol abuse can manifest as symptoms like memory problems, physical weakness and liver damage.
The most common symptom of lorazepam abuse is drowsiness, since the medication acts as a sedative. This drowsiness can impair an individual’s ability to complete basic tasks. Individuals who have abused lorazepam report feeling a calm, euphoric “high,” and many people take increased, non-prescription doses in order to maintain that feeling.
As one Stanford University study found, an individual who is abusing lorazepam can develop chemical dependency within weeks. This can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms such as muscle cramps and nausea when a person stops taking lorazepam, even if use is properly controlled by a doctor. Long-term side effects of lorazepam abuse also include kidney problems, skin disorders and psychosis.
Combined Effects of Lorazepam and Alcohol Abuse
Since lorazepam and alcohol work as nervous system depressants, their combined use can intensify and exacerbate symptoms of intoxication, causing a person to experience side effects of both substances more quickly and severely. It may also keep an individual from recognizing that he or she needs medical treatment. Dangerous side effects such as a slower heart rate and shallow breathing can quickly intensify, creating a medical emergency for an individual who has consumed both substances.
Concurrent alcohol and lorazepam-induced symptoms can also lead to a greater likelihood of physical injury when an individual is intoxicated. Loss of coordination, lack of concentration and confusion can all result from mixing alcohol and lorazepam. For more information on how to help a lorazepam addict, give us a call at .
Treatment for Co-Occurring Alcohol and Lorazepam Addiction
Treatment for addiction to lorazepam and alcohol usually involves some sort of withdrawal program, followed by rehabilitation and some form of counseling or therapy. Rehab could take place in an inpatient, residential facility, where individuals live together and focus on maintaining sobriety. Alternatively, an individual can begin the recovery process through addiction counseling, therapy and group meetings with other individuals who have a history of substance abuse.
Treatment for abuse of any one substance should include treatment for any other substances an individual is abusing, as well. Rehab centers and rehab programs will generally be able to assist with multi-substance withdrawal and recovery.
Statistics for Alcohol and Lorazepam Misuse
The National Institutes of Health estimate that 88,000 individuals in the United States die each year due to excessive alcohol use, making it the third leading preventable cause of death.
The use of benzodiazepines like lorazepam without a prescription is a source of concern for many public health officials. Individuals who abuse benzodiazepines often report secondary substance abuse as well. One study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 95% of individuals admitted to a hospital for benzodiazepine overdose or addiction reported using another substance at the same time.
Alcohol addiction continues to be a public health concern, as well. The National Institutes of Health estimate that 88,000 individuals in the United States die each year due to excessive alcohol use, making it the third leading preventable cause of death.
The incidence of combined alcohol and benzodiazepine use is particularly troubling. One study from the Drug Abuse Warning Network found that, among individuals who visited the emergency room for drug abuse issues, alcohol was the substance most frequently reported as a secondary addiction.
Teen Drinking and Lorazepam Abuse
Underage drinking and drug use is a widespread issue in many countries around the world. Underage drinkers who are unfamiliar with moderating their alcohol intake may have more difficulty regulating their drinking. This can lead to serious consequences for a still-developing brain, since neurological development continues into the mid-20s and substance abuse can permanently alter this development.
Drug abuse also alters a teen’s neurological development and continues to be implicated in thousands of emergency room visits each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Of particular concern for public health officials is another SAMHSA study finding that non-medical, addictive use of benzodiazepines continues to increase in individuals between the ages of 18-25. This means that teenagers are abusing these medications and may become addicted very quickly, taking high doses of unprescribed narcotics.
Resources, Articles and More Information
If you want assistance with a lorazepam or alcohol addiction, please call for free at . Professional addiction treatment can start anyone battling a substance use problem on the path to a happier and healthier life. Resources are available to you, and trained professionals are willing to help you transition into sober living and recovery. For more articles, info. and statistics, please visit: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov.