Ativan is a brand-name version of lorazepam–a benzodiazepine used to treat serious anxiety. You can only safely use this medication for short periods of time. This is due, in large part, to its known ability to trigger cases of addiction. How can you tell if you’re addicted to Ativan? Official diagnosis of this condition requires a doctor’s assessment. However, you may notice certain signs that you are at-risk or already affected by addiction. If you fall into this second category, Ativan addiction treatment is required for a safe, effective recovery.
The Risks for Ativan Addiction
All benzodiazepines, or benzos, can trigger addiction. However, the risks for triggering addiction are not the same for all medications of this type. Benzos fall into two main groups: high-potency and low-potency. Ativan is a high-potency benzo. Other medications in this group include:
Ativan is not just high-potency. It also has a short half-life. This means that it doesn’t stay in your system for long. Instead, it produces its drug effects over a shorter span of time than a benzo with a long half-life.
Together, high potency and a short-half life place Ativan in an elevated category of risk for addiction. Why? The medication has a strong impact that quickly fades away when it hits your system. If you abuse it, you can easily find yourself falling into a cycle of frequent, repeated consumption. This recurring cycle speeds up the process of addiction inside your brain and body.
What qualifies as Ativan abuse? This term, also known as Ativan misuse, applies to a range of possible actions. If you have a legitimate prescription for the medication, those actions include:
- Taking it more times a day than your doctor intended
- Using larger amounts at a time than your doctor intended
- Consuming the medication for recreational purposes
- Doing anything to make Ativan hit your system more rapidly than intended
If you don’t have an Ativan prescription, any and all use qualifies as misuse or abuse.
Are You Addicted to Ativan?
Are you concerned that you may be addicted to Ativan? A number of things may indicate the presence of a problem. One classic sign is rising tolerance to the effects of the medication. This means that you need to take more and more of it before you feel anything happening.
Another classic sign is the onset of withdrawal if you stop taking Ativan or cut back your intake. The most common symptom of withdrawal is anxiety. You may also experience things such as a rapid heartbeat, muscle tremors, insomnia, or unusual light or sound sensitivity. Severe Ativan withdrawal can lead to seizures or a dangerous condition called delirium tremens.
People addicted to Ativan commonly lose control over their use of the medication. They may also try and fail multiple times to quit. In addition, they may keep using Ativan even when they experience obvious mental or physical harm.
Doctors officially diagnose Ativan addiction as a form of an illness called sedative, hypnotic or anxiolytic use disorder. The same disorder also includes severe, non-addicted Ativan abuse.
In addition, it includes addiction/abuse related to any other benzo or similar medication.
Addicted to Ativan? Seek Help at Women’s Recovery
If you think you may be addicted to Ativan, contact the specialists at Women’s Recovery. We’ll help you determine if you qualify for a diagnosis of addiction or non-addicted abuse. Women’s Recovery is also your source for high-quality Ativan treatment. We feature programs specifically targeted to women’s unique needs. Our customized plans support women from all walks of life. To learn more, call us today at 833.754.0554 or fill out our online form.