Everything You Need To Know About Taking Ativan
This article provides a detailed overview of Ativan, including uses, side effects, and treatment options. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Ativan?
Ativan is a prescription medication that belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Also known as Lorazepam, the substance is a potent sedative-hypnotic drug that works by slowing down the activity of the brain and central nervous system.
Ativan enhances the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits the activity of neurons in the brain. By binding to specific receptors in the brain, Ativan increases the activity of GABA, decreasing brain activity and resulting in a calming effect on the body. The chemical composition is similar to other benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Valium, which are also used for treating anxiety disorders.
Considerations When Taking Ativan
There are some tips and other information to keep in mind if you are prescribed Ativan. First, it is essential to take it exactly as directed by your doctor and not increase or decrease the dosage without their advice. Make sure to also seek advice from your doctor about the best way to ease off of the medicine, as you will feel intense withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly stop taking the required dosage.1
What Is It Used For?
Ativan is commonly used for its sedative, anxiolytic, and muscle relaxant effects. It is available in oral and injectable forms and is a prescription medication that should only be taken under the guidance of a medical professional.
The substance has various medical uses, including:
- Anxiety disorders: Ativan is commonly used to treat various anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, etc. It helps reduce the symptoms like excessive worry, fear, and restlessness.
- Insomnia: The drug is also used to treat insomnia, a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep. It helps induce sleep and improves sleep quality by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the total amount of sleep.
- Seizures: Lorazepam is sometimes used to treat seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It works by calming the brain and reducing the severity and frequency of seizures.
- Alcohol withdrawal: Ativan is sometimes used to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, agitation, and seizures. It helps reduce the severity of these symptoms and makes it easier for patients to quit alcohol.2
Recreational use refers to using a drug for nonmedical purposes to alter one’s mood, perception, or consciousness. Most people abuse Lorazepam by taking it without a prescription or taking larger doses than prescribed.3
Since Ativan works by decreasing brain activity and promotes a calming effect, people misuse it for:
Addiction And Dependence
Addiction and dependence are two terms often used interchangeably but have distinct meanings.
Addiction refers to a complex brain disorder characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the negative consequences it may have on an individual’s physical, mental, and social health.
Risk Factors of Developing Ativan Addiction or Dependence
Potential risk factors for Ativan addiction include a history of substance abuse, mental health disorders, chronic pain, and stress. Individuals who abuse Ativan are also at a higher risk of developing an addiction.
Withdrawal symptoms from this drug can be severe, including anxiety, insomnia, agitation, sweating, tremors, and seizures. These symptoms can be life-threatening and should be managed under medical supervision.
Signs of an Addiction
Ativan has a high potential for addiction and abuse. If a person becomes addicted, they may experience a range of physical, emotional, and behavioral signs and symptoms. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of Ativan addiction include the following:
Ativan is a medication that can cause a range of side effects, some of which can be serious. However, there are side effects that are completely normal.5
Common Side Effects
These side effects are usually mild and may disappear in a few days or weeks. However, if the symptoms persist, talk to your doctor right away.
Serious Side Effects
Stop using the medication and talk to your healthcare practitioner immediately if you experience any of the side effects listed below:
Short-Term And Long-Term Impacts
Ativan can have both short-term and long-term impacts on the body and brain. Remember that the medication is mainly used to help manage anxiety and any seizure activity, as well as working to slow down the nervous system, so use it accordingly. It is considered addictive and dangerous when it is misused or taken recreationally.
The short-term effects of Ativan use include sedation, relaxation, drowsiness, and reduced anxiety. It is often prescribed for short-term use to treat insomnia. The effects will eventually decrease when the user develops a tolerance.
The long-term effects can include the development of tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Prolonged use of Ativan can also lead to cognitive impairments, such as memory problems and difficulty with attention and concentration.
Treatment For Addiction
Treatment for Ativan addiction involves behavioral therapies (contingency management, motivational interviewing, and cognitive-behavioral therapy) and medications (antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds). Treatment may involve medically supervised detox, inpatient or outpatient therapy, and relapse prevention strategies.
We’re Here to Help
Essence Health & Wellness is committed to providing comprehensive and personalized care for everyone struggling with addiction. We offer a range of evidence-based treatment programs and therapies to help our clients overcome addiction and reclaim their lives.
We understand that addiction can be complex and challenging, and we are dedicated to providing compassionate and non-judgmental care to everyone. We aim to help our clients achieve long-lasting recovery and lead fulfilling lives beyond addiction.
Reach Out Today and Begin Healing
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction. We are here to answer any questions and help you take the first step toward recovery.
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