Substance use disorders are a troubling problem in society today. While the idea of substance use is most often associated with illegal drugs, there are actually a number of legal medications that are being abused too. While opioids are currently in the news as some of the most widely-abused prescription drugs, there are others out there wreaking havoc on substance users and their loved ones.
Ativan is one of these medications.
This article discusses what Ativan is, what the symptoms of Ativan abuse are, and what happens during Ativan withdrawal. How can a Washington State drug rehab help?
Washington State Drug Rehab and Ativan Abuse
Ativan (lorazepam) is in the drug class known as benzodiazepines. The street name for these types of drugs is “benzos.” Benzodiazepines such as Ativan are generally prescribed for short-term use. However, these prescription medications often are sold illegally on the black market.
These medications work within the central nervous system by tamping down the receptors in the brain that receive and respond to stimulation. Medications such as Ativan can be used to treat insomnia, panic disorder, and anxiety, or calm seizures. The overall effect of these medications is to produce a feeling of calm in the user.
While Ativan is an extremely valuable medication to treat a variety of illnesses, WebMD points out: “Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction.” Like many potentially addictive substances, Ativan can produce withdrawal symptoms. The drug also has side effects, including:
- Memory loss
- Problems with concentration
- Increased need to sleep
When prescribed and used properly, Ativan is taken in small doses of two to three mg per day. This dosage can last between 10 to 20 hours. Physicians generally do not prescribe the medication for longer than four months because of the possibility of addiction.
People that regularly use this prescription medication can struggle with disorientation and confusion. Because Ativan is so powerful, it is far too easy to slip from short-term use, which is recommended, to addiction. In fact, many times, people do not even realize they are sliding into addiction before becoming psychologically and psychically addicted.
Signs of Ativan Abuse
People that become addicted to Ativan begin feeling an intense craving for the drug. As they become acclimated to the medication, higher doses are needed to achieve the same effect. Substance users that become addicted to Ativan engage in some of the same behaviors as any person hooked on prescription medication. The signs of Ativan addiction include:
- “Shopping” different doctors to get prescriptions filled
- Violent or agitated behavior
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Lack of coordination or slurred speech
- Poor judgment that can lead to financial troubles or job loss
- Stealing, lying or generally becoming unreliable
Washington State drug rehab can help the victims of Ativan abuse with inpatient and outpatient drug rehab programs designed to address addiction at its root.