Experimenting with drugs like Ativan can often lead to adverse physical and mental health problems including addiction. Ativan experimentation is a form of drug abuse that often leads to the development of tolerance and physical dependence. A physical dependence to Ativan differs from addiction in that it is directly linked with physical health problems while addiction is linked to mental health problems. However, a physical dependence on Ativan commonly coincides with addiction and they work together to bring forth numerous adverse physical and mental health problems. Experimentation with Ativan becomes a physical dependence when the abuser’s body has adapted to regular intakes of the substance and has become tolerant to its usual effects. Tolerance occurs when the usual dose of Ativan will no longer provide the same effect and the body requires higher doses to be consumed. Once physical dependence on Ativan has set in the body will experience withdrawal symptoms if enough of the drug is not consumed or if consumption is abruptly discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms typically vary but can commonly include the following:
- Muscle tension
- Tightness in the chest
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
Other serious withdrawal symptoms can often occur especially in people who take high doses or consume multiple substances on a regular basis. Addiction to Ativan is commonly the next step after physical dependence has occurred. Addiction is considered a brain disease because of the numerous changes that occur within the brain. Drugs are chemicals that affect numerous areas of the brain such as the reward center which is part of the limbic system. Ativan experimentation can cause the brain to release high amounts of a neurotransmitter called dopamine within the brain. Dopamine release causes intense feelings of pleasure and signals the brain to recognize and remember what’s happening so that it can seek to repeat the pleasurable activity. Dopamine is released within the brain when any pleasurable activity is engaged in such as eating dessert. Ativan highjacks this system and floods the brain with dopamine which produces the euphoric effect. The brain also changes in the following ways when Ativan experimentation starts to become addiction:
- The brain senses the high amounts of dopamine and adapts by reducing the amount of dopamine receptors or decreasing dopamine production
- Decreased dopamine production results in depression forcing the abuser to continue using Ativan in order to feel joy and requires larger than normal doses in order to achieve euphoria
- The new chemical that is high jacking communication paths within the brain is causing numerous abnormal messages to be sent to various parts of the body negatively affecting emotions, behaviors, and thought processes
After the brain adapts to Ativan in these various ways and the abuser becomes addicted he will begin to compulsively seek out Ativan despite all of the different consequences. Addiction commonly leads to loss of numerous friendships and family relationships, criminal activity such as stealing, and various mental health problems. Seeking out immediate help from licensed professionals is essential to avoiding or overcoming addiction.
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