Panic attacks and anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric problems in the world today. The medicines that fall in the benzodiazepine group are used to treat anxiety. Ativan is the brand name for the drug lorazepam. As the other drugs that fall into the benzodiazepine category like Klonopin, Ativan is also used as an anti-anxiety pill. It is a Central Nervous system depressant which acts on the brain and nerve endings, to produce calmness in the mind as well as in the body. Lorazepam enhances the performance of GABA receptors in our body to gives us the feeling of relaxation. Ativan should be used only as directed by the physician. As the drug is also known for causing addiction when used for a long term, it must not be prescribed to anyone with a previous history of drug abuse.
Does Lorazepam cause addiction?
Yes! Lorazepam capsules are regarded as highly addictive and if it is abused, then it can cause severe effects like that of cocaine and meth. For this reason, the physician is directed to enquire whether the patient has any history of drug abuse before prescribing this drug. Ativan is generally prescribed for a short term of 3-4 months, as the long-term Lorazepam dependency can lead to addiction. Long-term use of Ativan can produce a variety of side effects. There are several accounts of patients who confessed to feeling relaxed after using Ativan to treat anxiety and panic attacks which later turned into the desperate urge of taking the sedative. The common effect of consuming Lorazepam is a pleasurable euphoric feeling and some people have reported having witnessed hallucinations. Although these personal accounts are yet to be verified, but it is at least clear to us that this sedative can cause addiction, when consumed for a long time.
How long term use of Ativan can cause physical dependence?
Also, lorazepam is known to cause physical dependence when used for a long term. There are two main trademark symptoms of Ativan dependency. The foremost symptom is that the user’s body will grow a tolerance to the drug and the patient will require increased dosages of this tranquillizer to get the calming effect or recreational “high”. The increased medication also increases the threats and becomes dangerous to an individual’s physiology. The second symptom for the dependency is that a patient starts to witness withdrawal effects of Lorazepam once the dosage is decreased from the usual high amounts. Thus, as we can see, it is very dangerous to use Lorazepam pills for a long term purpose to treat anxiety.
How can I get the treatment if I get addicted to Ativan?
Addiction may occur if you are using Ativan for very long time. If you witness the symptoms of addiction and physical dependency, then the first thing that you should do is to contact your psychiatrist, then you can contact a drug rehabilitation centre as per the guidelines of your psychiatrist. Studies have proved that various drug rehab centres are well equipped to treat a person who is witnessing Ativan addiction. Although there is no medical assisted treatment (MAT) developed for treating the addiction caused by this sedative, but there are some psycho-behavioural techniques that can be used in the rehabilitation process. Some commonly used psycho-behavioural processes used to treat Ativan addiction are listed below:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Community reinforcement approach
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- Contingency management interventions
- Dialectical behavioural therapy