Picture yourself walking on a frozen lake. At first, it supports your weight, providing a sense of security, but as you continue, the ice cracks and you suddenly plunge into the freezing water below. This is a lot like many people’s pathway to Ativan addiction – what begins as a way to find relief or manage a legitimate medical issue quickly descends into a dangerous condition that leaves you feeling helpless and desperate for a way out. Fortunately, Banbury Lodge is here to help pull you out of the water and overcome Ativan addiction once and for all.
What is Ativan?
Ativan, a common brand name for lorazepam, is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. It is primarily prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia and seizure disorders and as a sedative before surgical procedures. However, due to its calming and sedative effects, recreational Ativan abuse has become more common with short-term pleasurable effects easily turning into serious long-term issues such as Ativan addiction.
What is Ativan addiction?
Ativan addiction is a form of benzodiazepine addiction characterised by the compulsive use of Ativan despite its negative consequences on your health, relationships and daily functioning.
To explain how Ativan addiction can develop through different pathways, let us introduce Jane, John and Jack.
Jane – lorazepam addiction through prescription
Jane was prescribed lorazepam to help manage her anxiety disorder. Over time, she started taking higher doses than prescribed to cope with increased anxiety levels. Gradually, her body built tolerance and she needed more and more lorazepam to manage her anxiety symptoms. Eventually, Jane needed the medication just to function and experienced withdrawal symptoms when she tried to stop taking it. Jane’s story is typical of many people who develop prescription drug addiction, including lorazepam addiction.
John – lorazepam addiction through self-medication
John began using lorazepam he bought from a friend with a prescription to cope with stress at work. At first, it seemed harmless, but as his lorazepam use escalated, so did his tolerance and dependence. Like Jane, John’s life began to revolve around obtaining and using lorazepam, leading to lorazepam addiction and the associated issues.
Jack – addiction through recreational lorazepam abuse
Jack was introduced to lorazepam by a friend at a pub who claimed that it would help him feel drunk faster and make the night more enjoyable. Intrigued, Jack tried it and found that combining lorazepam with alcohol intensified the sensations of intoxication, making him feel more relaxed and sociable. As Jack’s recreational lorazepam abuse continued, his tolerance to the drug increased, and he began taking it more frequently and in higher doses. Eventually, he started taking lorazepam all the time, even when not drinking, and realised he was addicted.
What are the causes of Ativan addiction?
While anyone can develop a lorazepam addiction, certain factors increase the risk:
- Mental health disorders: People with mental health issues, like anxiety or depression, may be more susceptible to lorazepam addiction. As in Jane’s case above, they may be prescribed lorazepam and become addicted or may obtain it illegally and self-medicate like John. Either route can lead to lorazepam addiction over time.
- Easy access to the drug: People who have easy access to lorazepam, either through a personal prescription, a friend, or a family member, may be more likely to develop a lorazepam addiction. This is because increased availability of the drug can lower the barrier to misuse and recreational lorazepam abuse, (as in Jack’s case above), increasing the risk of lorazepam addiction.
- A history of substance abuse or addiction: Individuals who have previously struggled with addiction or substance abuse are more vulnerable to developing an addiction to Ativan as their brains may already be wired to seek the rewarding effects of drugs.
- Chronic stress or trauma: Individuals experiencing chronic stress or a history of trauma may be at higher risk for Ativan addiction. The calming effects of lorazepam can provide temporary relief from stress or traumatic memories, making it an attractive option for those seeking solace.
- A family history of addiction: If you have a family history of addiction, you may have a genetically higher risk of developing an Ativan addiction.
- Peer pressure or social environment: The influence of friends, peers or your social environment can also contribute to the development of Ativan addiction as exposure to others who use or abuse Ativan may normalise its misuse and make it more likely for you to try it and subsequently become addicted. This is particularly prevalent among young people.
The effects of lorazepam addiction
Lorazepam addiction can have severe consequences both on your health and on every aspect of your life.
Health effects of lorazepam abuse and addiction include:
- Cognitive impairments
- Memory loss
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Depression and mood swings
- Increased risk of accidents and injuries
- Respiratory depression
- Withdrawal symptoms, including seizures and rebound anxiety
- Overdose, which can be fatal
Other effects of Ativan abuse and addiction include:
- Strained relationships with family and friends
- Job loss or difficulty maintaining employment
- Declining academic performance
- Legal issues related to drug possession or use
- Financial hardships due to drug-seeking behaviour and loss of income
Three interesting facts about Ativan
1. Ativan is sometimes prescribed to cats
Ativan can be prescribed to pets, including cats, to help manage seizures, anxiety and stress-related behaviours.
2. Ativan can be used to treat motion sickness
Although not its primary use, Ativan can help reduce symptoms of motion sickness, such as nausea and dizziness.
3. Ativan can help alleviate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
Ativan is sometimes prescribed to manage the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as agitation, seizures and tremors.
Am I addicted to Ativan?
Recognising Ativan addiction signs and symptoms is crucial for seeking help and treatment. Ask yourself the following questions to identify possible Ativan addiction symptoms:
- Am I taking more Ativan than prescribed or using it without a prescription?
- Do I experience cravings or withdrawal symptoms when I try to stop using Ativan?
- Have I tried and failed to reduce or stop my Ativan use?
- Do I spend significant time and energy obtaining and using Ativan?
- Have I developed a tolerance, requiring higher doses of Ativan to achieve the desired effects?
- Have I neglected responsibilities or relationships due to my Ativan use?
- Do I continue using Ativan despite the negative consequences it causes?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be struggling with Ativan addiction and should seek help immediately.
How is Ativan addiction treated?
Treating Ativan addiction is typically a two-step process involving:
- Ativan detox – This is when the body is cleansed of Ativan and its toxic effects. This process should always be conducted under medical supervision.
- Ativan rehab – This stage involves a range of therapies which focus on addressing the underlying causes of Ativan addiction, equipping you with the skills needed for long-term recovery.
Banbury Lodge offers both of these stages as part of our comprehensive Ativan addiction treatment programmes so get in touch with us today to find out more.
How to help a loved one with lorazepam addiction
If you suspect that a loved one is struggling with lorazepam addiction, it can be challenging to know how to help. Here are some tips to guide you in supporting them through their recovery journey:
Learn about lorazepam addiction, its symptoms, and the available treatment options so you can provide informed support and empathise with your loved one’s struggles.
Express your concerns…
Approach your loved one in a non-confrontational manner and express your concerns about their lorazepam use. Be honest and compassionate, explain why you are worried and assure them that you only care about their well-being.
Recovery from lorazepam addiction can be a long and challenging process and it is essential to remain patient and understanding. Your loved one may be reluctant to accept help or may face setbacks during their recovery journey but it is crucial that you continue to provide support and encouragement.
Offer to help find treatment options…
Show your loved one this page, help them make calls or accompany them to appointments. This can stop them from feeling isolated which is a common symptom of Ativan addiction.
While it is crucial to support your loved one, it is also essential to set boundaries to protect your well-being. Make it clear that you will not enable their Ativan addiction by providing money, access to the drug or covering up the consequences of their actions.
Acknowledging and celebrating your loved one’s progress, no matter how small, can be a powerful motivator for continued recovery from Ativan addiction.
Take care of yourself…
Helping a loved one through Ativan addiction can be emotionally draining. Remember to take care of your own physical and emotional well-being by seeking support, staying healthy and engaging in self-care activities.
The love and support of friends and family have proven time and time again to be a powerful weapon in the battle against Ativan addiction. Follow these tips and you can be a defining factor in your loved one’s recovery.
How to get help for Ativan addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with lorazepam addiction, it is essential to seek help immediately. Banbury Lodge offers a comprehensive approach to Ativan addiction treatment, providing a supportive environment where you can begin your journey to recovery. Don’t let Ativan addiction control your life any longer – reach out to Banbury Lodge today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier future.