Lorazepam is part of a drug class known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines, also commonly referred to as “benzos,” are a type of medication with a sedative or tranquilizing effect on the user. In addition to Lorazepam, other familiar drugs that fall under this category are valium and Xanax. Benzodiazepines are prescribed for various reasons, and today they are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. When used as directed, they can be beneficial to the user by mitigating and reducing the severity of specific symptoms.
Unfortunately, due to the frequency with which these drugs are prescribed, it is not uncommon for someone without a prescription to obtain them or for those with a prescription to develop a dependence on their effects. Either of these circumstances can lead to abuse or addiction, which can be difficult to overcome without the support of an addiction treatment program.
What Is Lorazepam?
Lorazepam, perhaps more commonly known as Ativan, is a benzodiazepine medication used to treat anxiety disorders, sleeping disorders, active seizures, and some side effects of chemotherapy treatment, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. In some instances, Lorazepam may also be used during a surgical procedure to sedate those undergoing mechanical ventilation or to inhibit memory formation for procedures where the patient is “awake” during their procedure. Depending on its use, Lorazepam can be given as an injection or in pill form. When someone takes Lorazepam, they will often feel its effects within one to thirty minutes, and effects last for up to twenty-four hours.
Is Lorazepam Addictive?
Lorazepam (Ativan) has a high potential for abuse and addiction, especially when misused. Taking Lorazepam for any period of time, even briefly, can lead to physical and psychological dependence. The development of a dependence on Lorazepam depends on various factors unique to the individual. These include genetics, personal history of drug or alcohol abuse, unrelated or co-occurring mental health disorders, and underlying physical health conditions.
Like other drugs with a high potential for addiction, those who take Lorazepam will eventually need more and more of the drug to produce the same effects. It is not uncommon for someone who has developed a tolerance to Lorazepam not to realize they have a problem until they try to reduce or quit taking the drug. When they experience withdrawal symptoms, they often turn back to Lorazepam to lessen the severity of the symptoms, furthering their addiction. Rehab, comprehensive therapy, and medically assisted detox are essential to helping someone struggling with a dependence or addiction to Lorazepam find sobriety.
The Dangers of Taking Too Much Lorazepam
Lorazepam binds to specific receptors in the brain, producing a brief but intense high followed by a sense of calm that lasts for several hours. Other effects of Lorazepam include muscle relaxation and drowsiness. When combined with other drugs that have similar effects, such as alcohol, the relaxing effects can be even more potent and, in some cases, dangerous. Even when taken as directed, Lorazepam slows the activity of the brain and other systems in the body. When misused, Lorazepam use can lead to accidental overdose, which may result in coma or death. Higher than recommended doses of Lorazepam can lead to coma, respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, and death.
When taken as prescribed, Lorazepam can help to alleviate the symptoms of specific conditions. However, given the addictive nature of the drug, one of its most severe and potentially dangerous side effects is tolerance. Lorazepam addiction occurs most frequently in those who take too much of the drug, take the drug in ways other than prescribed or combine the drug with other sedative drugs such as alcohol, prescription pain medication, and sleep aids.
Reach Out to Rise in Malibu Today for More Information Regarding Addiction Treatment
Addiction to Lorazepam or any prescription drug can lead to intense and complex withdrawal symptoms when trying to detox. To minimize these effects and ensure you can safely and successfully defeat your addiction to Lorazepam, comprehensive addiction treatment and medically assisted detox are always recommended. If you would like to learn more about our luxury programs and treatment facility here in Malibu, contact the admissions team at Rise today. Let us help you start your journey to recovery.