- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Ativan Addiction?
- Am I Addicted to Ativan?
- How to Encourage Someone to Get Treatment
- Support Groups for Family and Friends
- Ativan Addiction Treatment
- Finding the Best Ativan Treatment
Is Ativan Addictive? How Addictive is Ativan?
Ativan is highly addictive, especially when mixed with other drugs. About 60,000 people seek treatment for addiction to Ativan and other benzodiazepines each year. It's likely that millions more struggle with addiction without seeking help. It doesn't matter whether you use Ativan on a recreational basis or with a medical prescription. In either scenario, prolonged use often leads to chemical dependency and addiction.
Ativan--and its generic counterpart lorazepam--is part of a group of drugs collectively known as benzodiazepines. These drugs can be highly effective for treating anxiety in the short-term, but some experts worry that doctors are too eager to hand out benzodiazepine prescriptions. Prolonged use of these drugs, even with a medical prescription, can lead to severe neurological impairment, so if you are prescribed Ativan, make sure to talk to your doctor about the relative risks and benefits.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Ativan Addiction?
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of Ativan addiction include:
- Taking more than the recommended dose, or using Ativan without a prescription.
- Faking medical symptoms to get Ativan.
- Feeling like you're not yourself without Ativan.
- Using Ativan to self-medicate symptoms of depression or anxiety.
- Changes in mood, thinking, concentration, or memory.
- Feeling sluggish for much of the day.
- Requiring progressively larger doses to get the same high you once got with a lower dose.
Am I Addicted to Ativan?
Of course, if you have a medical prescription, talk to your doctor before quitting Ativan. If doing so feels impossible or results in intensely unpleasant side effects, you're likely already experiencing Ativan dependency.
How to Encourage Someone to Get Treatment
But addiction is a complex disease, and it's not easy for addicts to accept that their lives are controlled by a drug.
In a perfect world, loved ones could say a few magic words and get a loved one to accept treatment. But addiction is a complex disease, and it's not easy for addicts to accept that their lives are controlled by a drug. For this reason, many addicts refuse to go to treatment.
You can't change an intractable addict's mind, but you can offer love, support, and a willingness to help him or her find treatment. Most importantly, don't judge the addict in your life. If he or she feels like seeking treatment is an admission to being a bad person, then the odds that he or she will seek treatment become vanishingly slim.
Staging an Intervention
An intervention is a chance to highlight the ways the addict's behavior has affected you and your family. In so doing, the addict may be inspired to seek treatment. Even if he or she refuses treatment, though, an intervention gives you a chance to clarify your boundaries and protect yourself. If you're interested in trying an intervention, invite only people who love the addict and want him or her to get treatment. Each member of the group should share how the addiction has affected their lives, explain what they will do if the addict will not seek treatment, and then ask the addict to please accept treatment. In many cases, the overwhelming love and pressure of an intervention is sufficient to encourage an addict to consider treatment.
Support Groups for Family and Friends
Loving someone who is struggling with Ativan addiction is no easy feat. He or she may alternate between anxiety, paranoia, and anger, and may seem distant, detached, and profoundly uncaring.
- Nar-Anon, the sister program to addiction treatment groups such as Pills Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, can help you get the support you need.
- Support groups give you the chance to lean on other folks who have been there, to develop clear boundaries, and to steadily work to protect yourself from the pain of a loved one's addiction--even if the addict in your life chooses never to get sober.
Ativan Addiction Treatment
- Private facilities, which you pay for out of pocket, but which are typically nicer than public facilities, which often blend addiction and mental health care under one roof.
- Luxury treatment, which offers inpatient care in a luxurious, resort-like setting.
- Executive treatment, which affords extensive privacy, access to meeting spaces, and the supplies you need to continue working as you receive treatment.
- Medically supervised detox and withdrawal often begin any treatment period, as benzodiazepine withdrawal can have serious health consequences.
- Medically prescribed detox - important when recovering from the effects of Ativan addiction, which can have dangerous withdrawal effects when abruptly stopped.
- Medical care to combat addiction, to find less addictive treatments for your health, and to help reverse the health effects of addiction.
- 12-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and Pills Anonymous.
Finding the Best Ativan Treatment
You're the expert on yourself and your life; so don't be afraid to shop around. You deserve a treatment facility where you feel safe and respected, where your values are not ignored, and where your questions are clearly and comprehensively answered. Be sure to ask for references, read online reviews, and trust your gut.