Ativan Abuse Symptoms and Warning Signs

An addiction to Ativan (lorazepam) can develop even when taking the prescribed dosage. Learn the symptoms and signs to recognize an Ativan addiction in someone you love.

Start the road to recovery

(877) 746-0480

    Call Now

    Treatment Center Locator

    Signs of Ativan (Lorazepam) Abuse

    1526449882_2ffc4a9bf0_mAtivan is one of the most potent benzodiazepines available. Because the drug is so powerful, there is a higher risk of developing a physical dependence on Ativan than other drugs.

    Taking Ativan for longer than the prescribed period of time and/or more than the recommended dose increases the likelihood of developing a dependence.

    However, some people have become dependent on Ativan even after following a prescription. A person physically dependent on Ativan has developed a tolerance to it and needs it in order to function normally. A dependent user who suddenly stops taking Ativan will begin experiencing physical and emotional discomfort. These symptoms are the first signs of withdrawal.

    Patients intoxicated with [Ativan] appear similar to individuals intoxicated with alcohol. Slurred speech, ataxia, and poor physical coordination are prominent.

    - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    Outward signs of Ativan abuse might include:

    • Loss of appetite
    • Headaches
    • Tremors
    • Sweating
    • Confusion
    • Hallucinations
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Dizziness
    Get started on the road to recovery.

    Dangers of Ativan

    Due to its highly addictive nature, Ativan should only be used under the supervision of a doctor and as prescribed. Generally, Ativan is only recommended for short-term use given the risk of physical and psychological dependence.

    Most severe side effects associated with Ativan use occur with high doses. Dangerous side effects of Ativan abuse can include:

    • Respiratory depression
    • Excessive sedation
    • Seizures
    • Tremors
    • Memory impairment
    • Loss of consciousness

    Extended use of Ativan can also cause changes in brain functioning. Studies have shown long-term benzodiazepine use can result in cognitive impairment. While cognitive dysfunction improved in some patients after quitting benzo use, not all patients regained full cognitive functioning.

    Questions about treatment?

    Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:

    • Access to top treatment centers
    • Caring, supportive guidance
    • Financial assistance options
    (855) 826-4464

    Recognizing an Ativan Addiction

    As is the case with most prescription drugs, it’s not always easy to recognize an Ativan addiction. While many obtain and use this drug illegally, there are some who abuse Ativan with a prescription. The abuse often takes place behind closed doors and can go unnoticed for some time.

    To determine if someone’s an Ativan addict, look for signs of physical and psychological dependence.

    A physical dependence on Ativan can develop quickly. It can even happen to those with a prescription who take the recommended dosage. Withdrawal symptoms, like nausea and anxiety, are a clear sign of a physical dependence. Those with a physical dependence to Ativan may also develop tolerance, meaning they’ll have to take more of the drug to achieve the desired effects.

    Cravings are the hallmark of psychological dependence. A person may experience cravings while still taking Ativan or after a period of not using. Continuing to use Ativan even though it’s causing problems with responsibilities or social relationships is another sign of psychological dependence.

    Whenever he would crave something he would obsess about that one thing and nothing else mattered. I always said there were like two of him.

    - Anonymous, loved one of a recovering Ativan addict

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) helps addiction professionals diagnose a substance use disorder or addiction. There are 11 criteria that characterize addiction as outlined by the DSM. Depending on how many of those criteria a person meets, they may have a mild, moderate or severe Ativan use disorder.

    Background image

    Ready to get help?

    Our phone number is available 24/7 to help you or your loved one find a treatment center that suits your needs. It only takes one call to start your new life in recovery.
    Don’t waste another second. Call now to speak with a compassionate treatment expert.

    Speak with an expert (855) 826-4464

    - OR -

    Let us call you
    (877) 746-0480

      Intervention for an Ativan Problem

      If someone you know is addicted to Ativan, you can help them get on the path to recovery by staging an intervention. While some addicts are aware of their problem, many are in denial. This can make talking about their addiction very difficult and the assistance of a professional may be needed.

      An interventionist can educate and guide you through the intervention process.

      It’s important to time and plan an intervention carefully. You’ll want to rehearse what you’re going to say beforehand and be prepared for anything. Getting other loved ones to participate may help with convincing the addict it’s time for a change.

      See how Jerry
      overcame his
      Jerry Lawson sitting in a chair

      Withdrawal from Ativan and Treatment

      Withdrawal symptoms can present quickly in those who take Ativan because it’s so addictive. Even those who follow the recommended dosage as prescribed by a doctor can experience physical withdrawal. Some people experience withdrawal after only one week of taking the prescribed dosage of Ativan. Prolonged abuse of Ativan will undoubtedly cause physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when use is terminated.

      Generally, the more Ativan is used and the longer the amount of time it’s used, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms. A treatment program or medically assisted detox can safely reduce the effects of withdrawal and teach the skills needed for a successful recovery.

      Getting Help for An Ativan Addiction

      There are currently no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of addictions to benzodiazepines like Ativan, but there are other therapies and treatments that can help. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to Ativan, don’t wait any longer; contact a dedicated treatment specialist to learn about your treatment options today.

      Get help today

      Don't go through the process of recovery alone. Get in touch with someone who can help.

      (877) 746-0480

        What does it mean that this site is brought to you by Delphi Behavioral Health Group?

        We strive to be fully transparent in all of our relationships. To that end, we want you to be aware that AddictionCenter is compensated by Delphi Behavioral Health Group for the work AddictionCenter does in the development and operation of this site. Delphi Behavioral Health Group was carefully vetted and selected to be a trusted provider and partner with AddictionCenter, based on the quality of treatment that Delphi provides and their rigorous commitment to ethical practices. Learn more about why Delphi Behavioral Health Group is a trusted provider with AddictionCenter.

        All calls to numbers on individual facility listings will always go to the facility listed. All calls to general contact numbers and contact us forms on this site are routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group. If Delphi Behavioral Health Group is unable to assist with a particular need they are committed to providing direction and assistance in finding appropriate care.

        Get 24/7 help now. All calls free and confidential.

        (855) 826-4464

        Take control of your life

        Our treatment specialists offer 24/7 assistance.

        • Access to top treatment centers
        • Caring, supportive guidance
        • Financial assistance options

        Call now:

        (855) 826-4464


        Have us call you:

        (877) 746-0480

          Where do calls go?

          Calls to numbers dedicated to a specific treatment center profile will be routed to that treatment center. All other calls will be routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group.

          Rehab experts are available 24/7/365 to answer and return calls routed to Delphi.

          All calls are private and confidential.

          How do we choose our partners?

          Find out more about AddictionCenter.

          A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. Learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing.