Ativan is a benzodiazepine commonly prescribed to treat various health conditions, including anxiety disorder. Ativan addiction may develop over time, though, even when the benzo is used as directed by a healthcare provider. Read on to learn about the addictive nature of this benzodiazepine, and discover how to connect with evidence-based care in Ohio.
Is Ativan Addictive?
Ativan is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, indicating a potential risk for abuse, addiction, and dependence.
People are most vulnerable to Ativan addiction when they exceed recommended dosages, misuse the drug for nonmedical purposes, or combine Ativan with other tranquilizing substances such as alcohol, prescription pain relievers, or sleep aids.
Extended use of Ativan for more than 2 to 3 weeks can lead to the nervous system adapting to the drug’s effects. This adaptation often results in a phenomenon known as tolerance, where patients may require higher doses to alleviate symptoms. Tolerance, in turn, can lead to dependence – either physical or psychological reliance on the drug to feel normal. Without appropriate intervention, continued misuse of Ativan or failure to reduce the dosage can escalate from tolerance to dependence and ultimately culminate in addiction. Addiction, clinically describe as substance use disorder, is a progressive condition that instigates a compelling urge to seek and use the drug compulsively.
How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Ativan?
The timeframe for developing an addiction to Ativan varies among individuals and is influenced by factors such as dosage, frequency of use, and individual susceptibility. Generally, the risk of addiction increases with prolonged use. Key factors that influence how long it takes to get addicted to Ativan include:
- Duration of use: The longer Ativan is used, the greater the likelihood of developing tolerance and dependence. Continuous use over several weeks can heighten the risk.
- Dosage and frequency: Higher doses or more frequent use may expedite the development of tolerance and increase the potential for addiction.
- Individual variability: Each person responds differently to medication. Some individuals may be more prone to developing an addiction due to genetic, environmental, or psychological factors.
- Co-occurring substance use: Combining Ativan with other substances, especially those with sedative effects like alcohol or opioids, can intensify the risk of addiction.
While addiction can occur in a relatively short period for some individuals, it may take longer for others. It is vital for those using Ativan to adhere strictly to prescribed dosages, durations, and medical guidance. If there are concerns about dependence or addiction, consulting with a healthcare professional can enable proper evaluation and intervention.
Ativan Addiction Side Effects
As individuals grapple with Ativan use, certain side effects may manifest, especially when under the influence of the drug. These side effects can include both physical and psychological aspects and may include:
- Slurred speech
- Coordination problems
- Concentration difficulties
- Memory problems
- Involuntary eye movements
- Lack of inhibition
- Slowed breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Low mood
Despite the recommended short-term use outlined in Ativan’s package labeling, some people extend their usage over an extended period. Long-term Ativan use poses potential risks and side effects, including:
- Prolonged cognitive impairment
- Increased susceptibility to hip fractures
- Elevated risk of motor vehicle crashes
Beyond this, given its classification as a controlled substance, persistent Ativan use heightens the risk of addiction over the long term, regardless of the duration of use. Vigilance and awareness of these potential consequences are crucial for individuals using Ativan, prompting the need for careful monitoring and professional guidance.
Ativan Addiction Symptoms
Ativan addiction, classified within DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) under substance use disorders, encompasses an array of symptoms, including:
- Difficulty in regulating or reducing Ativan use, despite attempts to do so.
- Adverse effects on social relationships and functioning, such as conflicts within interpersonal relationships.
- Engagement in hazardous activities while under the influence of Ativan, despite awareness of potential harm.
- Developing a tolerance to Ativan, necessitating higher doses over time to achieve the desired effects.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to reduce or discontinue Ativan use.
- Intense desires or cravings for Ativan, leading to compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
- Neglecting essential obligations in favor of Ativan use.
- A significant amount of time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of Ativan.
- Diminished interest in activities that were once enjoyable or meaningful.
- Persisting in Ativan use despite awareness of its negative consequences on physical, psychological, or social well-being.
- Developing a reliance on Ativan to function normally, either physically or psychologically.
Recognition of these symptoms is pivotal for identifying and addressing Ativan addiction. Seeking professional assistance for a comprehensive evaluation and tailored intervention is crucial for individuals exhibiting these signs.
Get Treatment for Ativan Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers
We appreciate that not everyone wants or needs residential rehab when addressing issues of prescription drug misuse. Choose from a variety of flexible, affordable outpatient programs at our Cincinnati treatment facility while continuing to fulfill your daily commitments.
All Ohio Recovery Centers treatment programs offer a personalized mix of holistic, behavioral, and pharmacological treatments, enabling you to initiate whole-body healing from addictive behaviors. Dial 877-679-2132 when you are ready to move beyond substance abuse.