Ativan is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety. Benzodiazepines work in the brain to adjust chemicals that may have become unbalanced, resulting in anxiety. Ativan is highly habit forming and is currently one of the most commonly-abused benzodiazepines in the United States. Using the drug in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. Ativan addiction happens when the body becomes tolerant to the drug and needs more for the same level of anxiety relief. Once tolerance is present, dependence on the drug is not far behind. Although not everyone who experiences dependence on the drug will become addicted, people with a personal or family history of addiction are at increased risk.
Ativan Side Effects
Ativan, like other benzodiazepines, has many side effects. If you or a loved one uses the drug to control anxiety you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Muscle weakness
- Amnesia or trouble concentrating
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation
- Appetite changes
- Skin rash
Some more serious side effects of Ativan use include the following:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Feeling light-headed or fainting
Ativan Addiction Symptoms
Because Ativan produces a calm, trance-like state in the user, those who take the drug can begin to crave that feeling. People who use Ativan in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician risk addiction. If you or a loved one uses Ativan and you suspect an addiction is present, look for the following symptoms:
- Needing more of the drug to achieve the same level of relief
- Needing a supply of the drug on hand at all times
- Becoming preoccupied with getting and using Ativan
- “Doctor shopping” to get new prescriptions for the drug
- Engaging in illegal behaviors, like stealing, to get and use the drug
- Participating in dangerous activities, like driving, while under the influence of Ativan
If you know someone that uses Ativan and he or she has even one of these symptoms of addiction, it is time to get help.
Finding Help for Ativan Addiction
If you or a loved one struggles with Ativan abuse, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about treatment options.