Category Archives: Research

Research and medical information on Ativan, the prescription benzodiazepine (also known as lorazepam) that is commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Mood Chemicals and Their Effect on the Brain

Mood Chemicals and Their Effect on the Brain

Many people believe moods to be emotional states that are controlled internally and directed by the conscious part of the brain. If someone is in a “bad mood,” we probably mean that she is melancholy, irritable, sad or lethargic, and we assume that her behavior is in some way a choice she is making. “Snap out of it,” we say; “just choose to be in a good mood.” While this kind of conscious mood change is certainly possible, many people find that they cannot control their moods any better than they can control the weather: some other force has a reign on their emotions. They often feel helpless or even despondent in response.

However, the truth is that moods are controlled by an intricate system of chemical triggers and responses in the brain. Slight imbalances in the amount of these natural chemicals can seriously disrupt someone’s response to experiences and challenges—some people overreact to frustration with outbursts of abusive language or behavior, some withdraw from society and suffer alone while some become suicidal.

These mood chemical imbalances can be caused by any of the following problems:

  • Hereditary factors
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Sometimes these chemical imbalances can be treated through behavioral therapy, but other cases require long-term use of medication.

How Mind-altering Substances Affect the Brain

Alcohol, marijuana, opiates, hallucinogens and psychotropic medications all impact the brain’s ability to manage mood. These chemicals give users a temporary feeling of euphoria during which physical and emotional pain is masked and everything seems wonderful. However, once the body metabolizes these chemicals, the user crashes down, so the brain then craves the rush on a deep, psychological level. As drug users continue the process of getting high and crashing, their tolerance to the substance grows, which means they will eventually need larger, more frequent doses to feel the desired effects. Eventually, tolerant drug users will need a near constant supply of the drug to function, but they will not feel the desired high any longer. In response, they will try new drugs or combine substances, which can be deadly.

While artificial mood chemicals are present, the brain stops producing natural “feel good” substances such as serotonin and endorphins. The longer and more intensely someone uses mind-altering substances, the more serious her withdrawal symptoms will be when she quits. The following are some of the most common withdrawal symptoms from painkillers:

  • Intense pain throughout the muscles, bones and joints
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sleep or lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Most people tend to pass through the physical phase of withdrawal in a matter of days, but the emotional cravings can last for months or even years. Lasting recovery requires addicts to reprogram their brain’s; they must learn new ways to feel good and to connect their awareness with their emotions.

Non-Pharmaceutical Ways To Boost Mood

Many natural methods elevate the level of “feel good” chemicals in the brain, such as the following practices:

  • Physical activity/exercise
  • Serving others
  • Creative expression
  • Conversation
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Good books or films
  • Eating healthy foods

Many people live being passively swept up and moved along by their emotions instead of actively directing them. Certain types of therapy can help such people gain control of their emotions and reduce negative consequences related to anxiety, depression or other issues.

Recovering addicts can also aid their own healing process by engaging healthy activities that boost mood. Many recovering addicts find that they are most likely to experience drug cravings when they are bored, frustrated, angry or feeling other negative emotions. By becoming mindful of those problems, recovering addicts can avoid relapse for the long haul.

Substance Abuse Helpline

The chemical process that controls the brain’s mood changes is intricate and fragile. Something as seemingly innocuous as a cloudy day can greatly impact emotional states, but the radical changes caused by drug or alcohol abuse devastate this natural system even more. Long-term mental health depends upon both chemical balance and behavioral controls, so innovative treatment programs can help reestablish this natural balance.

If you would like more information about mental health issues, addiction or mood chemicals, then please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now. Our admissions coordinators can offer the following free services:

  • Confidential answers to all of your questions
  • Immediate access to the most successful treatment programs
  • Free insurance coverage confirmation
  • Logistical help with treatment issues

The call is free and there are absolutely no strings attached. Call right now and let us help you understand the way mood chemicals may affect your own health or the health of someone you love.

Why Are People Drawn to Abuse Drugs?

Why Are People Drawn to Abuse Drugs?

Drug abuse attracts people of all ages, but especially impressionable adolescents. There are a myriad reasons why people initially try and continue abusing Ativan, but the following list are some of the more common reasons:

  • Peer pressure – Many people take drugs the first time as a result of being pressured by friends, especially adolescents. People want to feel as though they fit in with a certain group, so, if that group abuses drugs, then all members may feel obligated to do so as well.
  • Escape from feelings – Emotional disturbances (such as stress, anxiety, depression and anger) often compel Ativan abuse. In fact, Ativan is specifically designed to treat anxiety and depression, two feelings that most commonly lead to substance abuse.
  • Relieve physical pain – Many people use prescription drugs for legitimate reasons, like back problems or chronic pain. Painkillers are typically prescribed to treat those problems, but people often become dependent upon the substances, so they slowly lead themselves into addiction.
  • Follow role models – Role models significantly impact impressionable youth, whether they are close friends, celebrities or even characters in movies or books. When a role model abuses drugs or makes drug abuse seem enticing, it will likely encourage others to do so as well.
  • Thrill-seeking – Some people abuse drugs because they want to do something different and exciting
  • Creative muse – Many people believe that certain drugs inspire creativity, so they abuse drugs to create new works of art. Unfortunately, drugs eventually lead to addiction and stifle creativity.
  • Rebellion – Adolescents often abuse drugs to rebel against authority figures and to gain attention from others
  • To get high – Many drugs create a state of euphoria that entices people. Unfortunately, the high does not last long, and it is followed by numerous consequences both to the user and to people around her.

Everyone’s road to addiction is different, but there are ways that everyone can get back to health, which is the mainstay of recovery. Professional rehab provides the tools that drug addicts need to cope with stressors in healthy ways. You can get over addiction with the right help.

Find Treatment for Substance Abuse or Addiction

If you or someone you know struggles with substance abuse or addiction, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment program that will work for you. Don’t become another victim of addiction; get help today by calling us now.

What Is the Law Regarding the Use of Ativan and Why?

What Is the Law Regarding the Use of Ativan and Why?

Ativan is a highly potent benzodiazepine that works by boosting levels of dopamine and serotonin – two “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain. It is commonly used to treat conditions including the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Acute seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Sedation

Alternate names for Ativan include the following:

  • Lorazepam (generic)
  • Orfidal (trademark)

Ativan is very addictive. It creates a sense of calm and euphoria that allows individuals to temporarily escape uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, grief and stress. Over time, dependence on Ativan can develop as the body begins to require the substance in order to function normally.

Symptoms of Ativan addiction include the following:

  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Poor balance
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Blurred vision

Ativan addiction is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment, ideally from a professional treatment center.

Ativan and the Law

Drugs and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five distinct categories, or schedules, which are determined by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This classification system governs the legal distribution and use of most substances with a significant abuse liability and is enforced by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

In the United States, Ativan is classified as a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule IV substances meet criteria which include the following:

  • A low potential for abuse relative to the drugs in schedule III, such as buprenorphine and codeine
  • A currently acceptable medical use
  • Potential of leading to psychological and/or physical dependence

Ativan abuse is illegal. Criteria that defines prescription drug abuse includes the following:

  • Using a medication without a prescription
  • Taking medication for the unintended feeling it induces
  • Using a medication in a way other than as prescribed

Many people do not know that activities involving prescription drug abuse can easily lead to felony charges. Several include the following:

  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of prescription drugs
  • Possessing controlled prescription drugs without a prescription

Giving or selling controlled prescription drugs to another person is also illegal. Additionally, if the recipient of the drugs dies from that drug, you can be changed with manslaughter or even homicide. If you suspect that you have a problem with Ativan, seek treatment before negative consequences destroy your chance of living a happy, healthy life.

Help for Ativan Addiction

Recovering from Ativan abuse is difficult but you don’t have to do it alone. We are here to help. Admissions coordinators are available at our toll free, 24-hour helpline to guide you and your family to wellness. Please call today and take the first step.

How Ativan Affects Your Eating Habits and Appetite

How Ativan Affects Your Eating Habits and Appetite

Ativan is a benzodiazepine, prescription narcotic that is primarily used to treat short- and long-term anxiety disorders and seizure disorders. The drug depresses the central nervous system, causing several neurological side effects such as drowsiness, apathy, and mood swings, but the use and abuse of this drug also has many physical side effects. Many people are unaware of the significant impact medications can have on their metabolism, appetite and weight gain/loss.

More common side effects of Ativan use include

  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Appetite changes

Studies on Ativan use have documented that the drug can cause both weight gain and weight loss. The effects of Ativan, like any other medication, are dependent on a dozen factors like other medications being used, genetics, pre-existing health conditions, and more. A decrease in appetite and weight loss are more common side effects of Ativan when the drug is taken short-term, whereas long-term Ativan use is more likely to result in weight gain.

Any central nervous system depressant works by slowing down brain activity and as a result the rest of the body’s organs function slower than usual while the drug is present. This can slow down the digestive system and affect one’s metabolism and perhaps lead to weight gain. Another possible reason the drug could lead to weight gain is due to the general side effects of using a benzodiazepine.

Benzodiazepine’s cause tiredness, drowsiness or apathy and this can impact how active a person is, ultimately affecting weight gain. The motivation to exercise may be depleted by the drug’s sedating and calming effects. Furthermore, Ativan is addictive, and this can also have a significant impact on appetite, eating habits and weight fluctuations. When people become physically dependent and psychologically addicted to a substance, they lose control over their behavior. Feeding the addiction becomes a necessity and things like nutrition, exercise, and other responsibilities fall to the wayside. This can result in overeating, under-eating, eating to fend off withdrawal symptoms, having no energy to workout, or having little to concern about eating. When addicts become so consumed with their addiction, they place all their time, focus and energy into maintaining a life that supports their addiction, or allows it to continue. This is one reason why several drug addicts experience a change in their diet, eating habits, weight and physical appearance.

If unwanted side effects do arise from Ativan use, patients should talk to their doctor or pharmacist immediately to avoid any serious damage.

If you’re concerned with your Ativan use and would like to learn more from a recovery professional, you can call our toll-free number, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our recovery professionals are happy to assist you with all of your questions, concerns and needed information regarding Ativan. For those of you seeking drug abuse, dependence or addiction treatment, we have connections to a wide-array of quality treatment services all across the globe and can help you find the options that are right for you and your unique needs. Only you can make the decision to better your health; if you’re ready, people are ready to help you the rest of the way. So call and ask for help today.

What Prescription Drugs Were Abused the Most in 2013?

What Prescription Drugs Were Abused the Most in 2013?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drug abuse continues to increase in the U.S. After alcohol and marijuana, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substance by people ages 14 and over in the U.S.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs in 2013 include the following:

  • OxyContin: OxyContin has been one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs since it was approved in the 1990s. OxyContin is an opioid pain reliever with high addictive potential. It is used to relieve moderate to severe pain for people who need pain relief for long periods of time. Long-term opioid use is more likely to lead to dependence and addiction.
  • Ambien: Ambien is a well-known prescription sleep aid. It acts as a sedative and should only be used short term to avoid chemical dependence.
  • Zoloft: Zoloft is a drug that falls under the category of a selective serotonin repute inhibitor (SSRI). It is an antidepressant that is used to treat several mood disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. This drug is heavily prescribed and heavily abused.
  • Lunesta: This drug is a sedative and slows down brain activity. It is used for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders. Sleep aid medications like Lunesta are highly addictive and are climbing charts of abuse very fast.
  • Adderall: This drug is composed of both dextroamphetamine and amphetamine and acts as a central nervous system stimulant. The drug is similar to Ritalin and is so heavily abused because of its wide availability due to being often prescribed. Adderall is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder.
  • Ritalin: This drug acts as a central nervous system stimulant and is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Ritalin is highly prescribed and is a popular drug of abuse among teens and young adults.
  • Concerta: This is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat ADHD.
  • Ativan: The generic name for this drug is lorazepam. The prescription drug is used to treat anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders associated with depressive symptoms.
  • Valium: Valium, also known as diazepam, is a central nervous system depressant. The drug is used to manage anxiety disorders or short-term anxiety symptoms.
  • Percocet: This drug is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen and has been a popular drug choice for abuse. It has been around since the 1970s. Both opioid analgesic and anilide analgesic structures make this drug especially addictive.
  • Fentora: This drug is also known as fentanyl citrate. Fentora is a newer drug on the scene, acting as an opioid to relieve pain in adults with cancer.
  • Vicodin: Vicodin is composed of both hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Vicodin is an opioid pain reliever. There are also several other generic versions of this drug.
  • Xanax: The generic name for this drug is alprazolam. This drug acts as a central nervous system depressant and is used primarily to manage anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Opana ER: This is an opioid agonist used for the relief of moderate to severe pain.

Knowing these drugs are commonly abused can help individuals avoid abuse, dependence, and addiction if they are prescribed one of these drugs.

Get Help for Prescription Drug Abuse Now

If you are concerned about your prescription drug use and want to prevent your problem from getting worse, please call our toll-free number for help. Our trained addiction counselors are available 24 hours a day and can assist you with your search for treatment and recovery options. Whether you have questions, want information, or are ready to find the treatment services that will work for you, we are happy to help.

What Makes Ativan Different From Other Substances?

What Makes Ativan Different From Other Substances?

Ativan, also known as lorazepam, is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. It is classified as a benzodiazepine (also known as benzos), which means it interacts with the brain and central nervous system to create a calming effect. Other uses for Ativan include the following reasons:

  • Reduce vomiting that results from chemotherapy
  • Counter the symptoms of alcohol detox
  • Treat insomnia on a short-term basis
  • Treat seizures
  • Relax patients before they are given anesthesia

Ativan can cause side effects that differ from person to person based on an individual’s weight, severity of symptoms, the drug’s interaction with other drugs, genetics, allergies and previous medical history. In fact, short-term side effects of Ativan abuse include the following problems:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Forgetfulness or amnesia
  • Change in sexual interest

Some older adults are more sensitive to the side effects of Ativan abuse, especially dizziness, confusion and loss of coordination, all of which can increase the risk of injury. While these side effects are common to Ativan, this drug can also cause severe allergic reactions and swelling of the face. This can occur even after a single dose. Another unusual side effect of Ativan abuse is its impact on memory. Some people who take Ativan to medicate sleep problems often engage in activities while asleep, such as making a phone call or eating food, without ever remembering such behavior after waking up.

Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms

Ativan’s withdrawal symptoms are determined by several factors, including the type of drug, the dosage and the length of time it has been taken. Withdrawal symptoms also vary from person to person, but these symptoms are difficult to handle, because Ativan is highly addictive. Unique side effects of abrupt Ativan detox include the following problems:

  • Depersonalization
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypersensitivity to light and noise
  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Twitching and/or muscle spasms

Because of these unusual side effects and pain from detox, it is important to seek professional help to taper off a drug safely. Do not try to quit Ativan all at once; most detox and treatment centers offer specialized care to help people get and stay clean.

Ativan Addiction Help

If you or a loved one struggles with Ativan addiction, we can help you get and stay clean. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline as soon as possible to talk with an admissions coordinator that can discuss the best course of action for your treatment. Based on your unique symptoms, life situation and needs, you can find the treatment resources that encourage long-term addiction recovery. Don’t allow an Ativan addiction to destroy your life; call us now to begin recovery today.