Ativan withdrawal and detox

While Ativan has the potential to work wonders for issues such as anxiety and insomnia, the saying, ”everything has a dark side,” holds true for this drug. Misusing Ativan can have severe consequences, including life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that require medical detoxification to treat safely. Banbury Lodge provides a residential detox facility with round-the-clock support to help you safely withdraw from Ativan and regain control over your life.

Ativan detox

Understanding Ativan detox

Ativan detox is a type of benzodiazepine detox and refers to the process of gradually tapering off and stopping the use of Ativan. This is done to avoid withdrawal symptoms, minimise the risk of relapse and improve overall quality of life. The detox process may involve a combination of medication, therapy and support from healthcare professionals to ensure a safe and successful recovery.

What to expect from an Ativan withdrawal

The misuse of Ativan can lead to Ativan addiction, making it difficult to stop taking the medication without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If you are considering a prescription drug detox, knowing what to expect regarding withdrawal symptoms is essential to ensure you receive the appropriate medical support and care.

Physical withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches and pains

Psychological withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Aggression
  • Psychosis

What is the general timeline of an Ativan withdrawal?

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for overcoming habitual Ativan use. The body needs time to adapt to the mass of changes that it will encounter over the withdrawal period and it’s essential you educate yourself on how long this whole process takes and what to expect.

The first twenty-four to seventy-two hours

During this time, an individual may start to experience anxiety, insomnia and irritability. They may also experience physical symptoms like headaches, sweating and tremors. It’s important to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest during this time.

Days three to five

In the days following discontinuing Ativan use, an individual may notice an increase in symptoms like anxiety, agitation and depression. Physical symptoms may also continue, including sweating, tremors, nausea and muscle pain. An individual may also experience rebound insomnia during this time.

Days six to fourteen

By this time, the physical symptoms of withdrawal have typically subsided. However, an individual may experience psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression and insomnia. They may also experience cravings for Ativan, which can be overwhelming.

Week two and beyond

During this time, an individual may still experience psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression. However, symptoms typically begin to improve as the brain begins to regulate without the use of Ativan. Therapy and support groups can be helpful during this time to address any underlying issues that contributed to drug abuse.

Why is Ativan withdrawal so strong?

The explanation for the intense withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepines is quite complex and long-winded. Therefore, we have simplified it into easily understandable bullet points:

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a key neurotransmitter in regulating many brain functions.

  • These functions include regulating brain activity, mood and anxiety levels in your body.
  • Benzodiazepines, like Ativan, increase the activity of GABA in the brain. This is why they’re prescribed for people with anxiety; the drug gives the brain a much-needed boost.
  • Long-term use of Ativan reduces the brain’s own production of GABA. The brain starts to get familiar with the presence of Ativan and essentially “takes the foot off the gas” in terms of regulation.
  • If Ativan is suddenly stopped, it leaves nothing to regulate basic brain functions. Try to think of it as unsupervised, heavy machinery in a factory; a lot can go wrong.
  • Strong and/or unpredictable withdrawal symptoms can occur as a direct cause.

Why are Ativan home detoxes so dangerous?

Due to the strong and unpredictable withdrawal symptoms, coupled with the fact that your body will undergo a mass of changes during the detoxing period, it is strongly recommended not to attempt a home detox. Below we have listed some of the complications that can arise from the extreme withdrawal symptoms that could occur;

  • Risk of Seizures: One of the most dangerous risks associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal is the potential for seizures. Without medical supervision, individuals attempting to detox at home will not have access to medications that can help prevent or manage seizures.
  • Dehydration: Benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause symptoms such as sweating, nausea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. This can be dangerous, especially if an individual is already experiencing other medical complications.
  • Increased Anxiety and Insomnia: Ativan is often prescribed to manage symptoms of anxiety and insomnia so when an individual abruptly stops taking Ativan, they may experience rebound symptoms. These symptoms can be difficult to manage without medical supervision.
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Actions: Ativan withdrawal can cause depression and mood changes, which may lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. Without medical supervision, individuals attempting to detox at home may not have access to the support and resources they need to manage these symptoms.
  • Medical Complications: Coming off Ativan can lead to a range of medical complications, including cardiovascular problems, respiratory distress and kidney failure. Without medical supervision, individuals attempting to detox at home may not recognise the signs and symptoms of these complications or have access to emergency medical care if necessary.
  • Relapse and Overdose: Without medical supervision, individuals attempting to detox at home may be more likely to relapse or to attempt to self-medicate with other substances. This can lead to overdose or other serious medical complications.
  • Unpredictable Withdrawal Timeline: Ativan withdrawal can have an unpredictable timeline, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe and lasting for weeks or even months. Without medical supervision, individuals attempting to detox at home may not be prepared for the length or severity of the withdrawal process.
  • Potential for Harmful Self-Medication: Without medical supervision, individuals attempting to detox at home may be more likely to turn to harmful self-medication, such as alcohol or illicit drugs, to manage their withdrawal symptoms. This can be dangerous and may lead to a range of medical, psychological and social complications.

Ativan detox - withdrawal symptoms

The benefits of detoxing from Ativan at Banbury Lodge

At Banbury Lodge, our medical health professionals can offer a range of techniques and resources to assist in managing withdrawal symptoms during Ativan detoxification. These methods aim to alleviate any severe symptoms of withdrawal and ensure your safety throughout the process.

Assessment and evaluation

Healthcare staff will thoroughly evaluate your physical and mental state before starting detox, which involves psychological or physical assessments.

Tapering off

Gradual reduction of Ativan dosage over time can prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and complications, allowing for a smoother transition to recovery.

Medical supervision

Residents at Banbury Lodge receive 24/7 support to ensure their safety and stability during the Ativan detox process.

Nutritional support

Proper nutrition and hydration can help the body confront the Ativan withdrawal process. An in-house personal chef and nutritional education will support you in this.

Emotional support

Banbury Lodge encourages counselling and therapy to address the root causes of your Ativan issues. This support continues during detox and after detox in Banbury Lodge’s Ativan rehab programme.

Preparing for Ativan detox

Remember that Ativan inpatient detox can be an intense and difficult process but is also the first step towards recovery. With the right preparation and support, you can successfully overcome your troubles and begin a new, healthier chapter in your life. Below are some tips on how you can prepare yourself physically and mentally to ensure a smooth transition into the detox process:

If you have work or family responsibilities, make arrangements to ensure that those responsibilities are covered while you are at the detox facility. Communicate with your employer, family and friends so that they understand your situation and can provide support.

Bring comfortable clothes, toiletries, any necessary medications and other personal items that will help you feel more comfortable during your stay.

Detox is just the first step in recovery from drug misuse. Make sure you have a plan for aftercare, including therapy, support groups and continuing medical treatment. Banbury Lodge can help you with these necessary arrangements.

Detox is a challenging process, both physically and emotionally. Prepare yourself mentally by setting expectations, practising relaxation techniques and reminding yourself of your reasons for seeking help. Always remember that if you find it too difficult during this time, one team of professionals are always ready to provide support and help for you.

Does finishing Ativan detox mean I’m fully recovered?

Completing Ativan detox is a huge accomplishment and the first step towards a healthier, happier life. However, finishing detox does not necessarily mean that you are fully recovered. In fact, detox is just the beginning of your journey to recovery. It’s essential to continue with the Ativan rehab treatment and make use of Banbury Lodge’s aftercare support to maintain your sobriety.

Remember, recovery is a lifelong process, but don’t let that discourage you. Instead, let it motivate you to keep pushing forward and taking the necessary steps towards a brighter future. You can achieve lasting success in your recovery journey with the right support and resources.

Frequently asked questions

How can I help a loved one through this difficult time?
To aid a loved one during Ativan detox, provide them with emotional assistance and lend an ear when needed. Urge them to persevere with their treatment, participate in therapy and offer to attend with them if possible. Show patience, empathy and avoid being critical as they navigate this challenging journey. Your support is crucial during this difficult time.
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