Ativan is a drug doctors prescribe for their patients who are suffering from anxiety. When taken according to the physician’s instructions, it relieves people of their symptoms very well. If these patients begin to take the medication in a way other than was intended, they are susceptible to developing a dependence on it.
An increasing number of people are complaining of anxiety, stress and insomnia, and Ativan is the medication that is being prescribed more and more to relieve these conditions. As more people begin to take Ativan, more people also become addicted to it, and they are finding it very difficult to stop taking the substance. These people need the professional help that they will find in a rehab treatment center.
The drug in question is actually Lorazepam, and it is known by its brand name Ativan. This drug is effective in decreasing the feelings of anxiety because it reduces the brain’s ability to produce the chemicals that cause anxiety. Some people begin to feel as if they have been sedated when they take Ativan, and this is a relief to them. Because of this feeling, the drug creates an emotional addiction in the patient.
Those who are addicted to Ativan need to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you or someone you know is suffering from this issue, call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) now to find safe, effective rehab programs that will cater to your needs.
The Pattern of Addiction
Addictions have a tendency to develop after the patient has been taking Ativan for a long period of time. Those who use the drug recreationally also may become addicted. Ativan addictions follow a pattern, and it begins after people realize they are dependent on the drug. After that, they begin to take the drug at times when they do not need to relieve anxiety, or they take Ativan along with other drugs.
Ativan’s Side Effects
Those who are not following the pattern described above must not think that they cannot be suffering from an addiction. Even those who have only taken the drug as their doctors prescribed can develop a dependency, and they may be experiencing the following side effects as a result:
- Increased heart beat
- Difficulty remaining awake
- Blurred vision
- Feeling uninhibited
- Feeling dizzy
- Pain in the abdomen
These side effects may remain at a tolerable level, but they do have the potential to become unbearable. If this occurs along with a dependence on Ativan, people may find it to be very difficult to stop taking this drug on their own. They will need the help of a rehab treatment center to regain control of their actions.
How a Friend Can Recognize an Ativan Addiction
Even after reading the description of addiction above, people will not always recognize themselves. If a friend or a family member notices the following symptoms in a loved one, a problem with Ativan that requires rehabilitation may be the cause:
- The patient needs to take an increasing amount of Ativan to reduce anxiety
- If patients refrain from taking Ativan, they begin to experience the withdrawal symptoms of feeling irritable, insomnia, nausea, depression and pain in the muscles
- They feel the need to increase their doses or take the drug before they are scheduled to do so
- The desire to take more and more of the drug causes their schoolwork or their performance in their jobs to suffer
- They begin to have financial difficulties because of the expense of continuing their habit
Those who misuse this medication often do so to experience an intense high that is caused by most benzodiazepines when abused, but this can be extremely dangerous. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the continuous, constant misuse of a drug like Ativan eventually changes the way the brain works, and the only way to remedy and treat these changes is to attend professional rehab.
Signs and Symptoms of Ativan Abuse
As stated by the National Library of Medicine, Ativan can cause a number of minor side effects when taken as prescribed, but these usually subside or can be treated with another medication. However, when someone abuses the drug, they are likely to experience severe, acute symptoms, such as
- Dry mouth
- Problems with urination
- Slurred speech
- Movement problems
- Memory problems
- Slowed breathing
The last of these side effects can become extremely severe if someone has been abusing Ativan in large doses. Benzodiazepines slow an individual’s breathing, and large amounts of this drug type can cause coma, brain damage, and death. If an individual on Ativan seems to have stopped breathing, this is likely the result of an overdose, and the person will require treatment immediately.
Withdrawal from Ativan is often a sign of addiction as well, even though those who are being treated long-term with the medication will also become dependent on it. However, these individuals are usually treated for withdrawal, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, with a gradual tapering of their dosage. The withdrawal symptoms associated with Ativan and other benzodiazepines can be extremely dangerous, especially when the drug is abused, and may include
- Severe confusion
Treatments for Ativan Abuse and Addiction
Ativan addiction must be treated in a professional rehab center. Often, these programs use many of the same techniques used to treat other types of substance use disorders, including those involved in illicit substance addiction treatment. These options can include:
Medically assisted detox
While this is not technically considered a treatment for addiction, it can help patients slowly recover from their dependence on a drug without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Usually, medications are used (in this case, other benzodiazepines or CNS depressants) to slowly wean the individual off their dependence on the drug.
- This treatment itself isn’t a remedy for addiction, but it is a necessary part of Ativan addiction treatment. This is because the withdrawal effects associated with Ativan can be so severe that treating withdrawal from the drug without medications is often dangerous and, therefore, unapproved medically.
Behavioral therapies are often used to treat individuals suffering from all types of addictions and to get to the root of the problem at the same time. Different methods may also be utilized together depending on the needs of the individual and their personal situation.
- Group therapy: Group therapy is a program that allows patients to relate to one another’s experiences and to build a social support network within treatment.
- Mutual-help groups like Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery are a type of group therapy, and although they are not professional treatment options, they are sometimes utilized within addiction treatment programs to treat recovering addicts.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This program helps patients relearn positive attitudes and beliefs that will allow them to avoid relapse as well as beneficial life skills that coincide with a drug-free existence. According to the NIDA, CBT stresses the ways in which the learning process plays a pivotal role in the development of dangerous behavior patterns (like substance abuse) and works to change them through the same processes.
- Contingency management: Contingency management provides the patient with a reward every time they pass a drug test. These rewards can either be a voucher for a drug-free activity or product or an extra chance at a drawing for cash or other prizes.
- Family behavioral therapy: Often, the issues among a family can enable a person’s substance abuse, and in family therapy, these issues can be addressed. Counselors can also help mend relationships between family members and ensure that the loved ones of the addict no longer participate in enabling behavior.
- Holistic methods: According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment has been found, over the years, to be exceptionally beneficial to certain populations, including adolescents. However, these treatments can often benefit anyone depending on the individual’s specific situation. Holistic methods for substance abuse treatment can include:
- Tai Chi
- Art therapy
- Dance/music therapy
- Pet therapy
- Massage therapy
- “Spiritual growth and development”
- “Leisure and recreational skills”
How Rehab Can Help
People should not fear rehab because it is there only to help them. Once they enter the facility, they will find medical staff that knows what to expect and is there to help them face everything as comfortably as possible. They are in a safe environment where they will not be able to use the drug again and will be prevented from doing so after they have completed the detoxification process.
After the physical addiction has been addressed in detox, patients move on with their therapists to treat the psychological addiction. Being in a rehab center allows them the chance to work through their issues without having to confront the people or situations that helped create their addictions. They will also learn how to handle the stresses in their lives without resorting to taking Ativan or any other medication.
Most insurance plans will pay a portion of the costs for rehab, and some will even pay the entire bill. If this is not an option, some rehab centers partake in a scholarship program for those who qualify.
What Are the Types of Ativan Rehab Programs?
Ativan rehab almost always starts with detox treatment, and in many cases, intensive detox in a 24-hour facility is necessary. This does not apply to every individual, but because of the intensity of the withdrawal effects associated with the drug, it is important that the individual is weaned off their dependence on Ativan in professional detox before any other part of addiction treatment can take place (Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior).
Once you are treated for your withdrawal syndrome, there are two types of rehab programs that you will want to consider for your recovery from Ativan: inpatient and outpatient centers. In some cases, your detox can also take place in the same facility as your addiction treatment.
How Do I Choose the Right Ativan Rehab Program?
Choosing the right rehab program for your treatment can help ensure that you have a safe and effective recovery from Ativan addiction. Those who require inpatient care should attend it first and then may choose to attend outpatient care as an aftercare program. Individuals who need inpatient care for Ativan rehab often include
- Those with severe psychological or physical issues in addition to their addiction, including intense withdrawal symptoms, a comorbid disorder, etc.
- Those who need to be in a 24-hour, controlled environment to avoid relapse, especially early on in recovery
- Those who are living in a place that is not conducive to their recovery and, therefore, need to stay somewhere that will be
- Those who do not have a strong support system of friends, family members, and other loved ones who will watch out for them when they are not in treatment
- Those who feel unsafe at home or that they will be threatened by someone who does not want them to recover from their substance use disorder
Those who are more stable and do not need the round-the-clock care and surveillance provided by inpatient centers, however, can often fare better in outpatient care. Still, it is important to consider all of your needs when choosing a rehab center for your recovery from a drug as dangerous as Ativan, and if you believe it would be most effective for you to begin your recovery in an inpatient center, this could be a helpful choice.
How Can I Find Ativan Rehab Centers?
Two important things to remember when you are looking for Ativan rehab are that you are doing the right thing and that you are not alone. The safest way to recover from addiction, especially to a drug like Ativan, is to seek professional help. And, thankfully, it is not necessary for you to do this on your own.
Call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) now to find safe, reliable rehab programs that match to your needs. We will look for the best possible option for your recovery and give you step-by-step instructions on how to get admitted there. Call today to put your substance abuse in the past and to focus on your happier, healthier, drug-free future.