Ativan Dependence vs. Addiction – Signs & Danger
Ativan is a commonly prescribed drug for anxiety. The medication acts on the central nervous system to provide a calming effect on the mind and body. One side effect of Ativan is that it can lead to both dependence and addiction.
How Can Ativan Addiction Happen?
The reason Ativan is not often prescribed for long-term use is that the medication has the potential for being misused and can lead to both dependence and addiction. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says there are more than 20 million Americans currently struggling with substance misuse. People experiencing Ativan addiction may exhibit these symptoms:
- They must take higher doses to achieve the same effect
- They may feel as if they cannot function without the drug
- They turn to someone outside their regular doctor to get more of the drug
- They pursue the drug to the detriment of other parts of their lives
Ativan addiction is a serious illness. But Ativan addiction is different from dependence.
What Is the Difference Between Addiction and Dependence?
Many times people use the words “dependence” and “addiction” interchangeably. However, they are different concepts. Dependence is a clinical term to describe the psychological and physical loss of control that stems from using drugs or alcohol. While this is not an addiction, it can run parallel to addiction.
Physical dependence on drugs like Ativan or alcohol includes uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if consumption of the substance is halted. Dependence is also characterized by tolerance, which means it takes more of the substance to have the same effect.
Addiction is related to using drugs or alcohol to the point that life’s responsibilities take a backseat. It is characterized by a compulsion to repeatedly ingest the substance of choice despite any detrimental physical, mental or emotional consequences.
Ativan addiction encompasses both physical and psychological compulsions, but in the case of a substance use disorder, the person’s brain physically changes from the repeated use of a substance. Dependence is the psychological reliance on the addictive behavior itself. Together, addiction and dependence mean that the person seeks their drug of choice to the detriment of everything else.
Seeking help for Ativan addiction is just a phone call away.
Getting Help for Ativan Addiction
Ativan addiction is addressed in addiction treatment programs that seek to repair the damage the substance misuse causes. While Ativan can help people struggling with mood disorders or other ailments, it is also a dangerously addictive drug that can have devastating consequences.
If you feel that you have developed an addiction to Ativan or any other substance, please contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield today to speak confidentially about your circumstances and learn more about treatment options.