What Ativan Is, and How Users Become Addicted

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Many people mistakenly believe that if a doctor prescribes a drug, that they don’t have to worry about becoming an addict. This, unfortunately, is far from the truth. Ativan is a perfect example of how a helpful medicine can quickly become a destructive addiction.

Also known as “benzos,” “goofballs,” and the date-rape drug “roofies,” Ativan is a prescription drug used to treat chronic anxiety and panic attacks. Less often, because of its addictive nature, it is given to those who need help sleeping as well. It is part of a larger family of narcotics known as benzodiazepines, and takes roughly two hours for the person using it to feel the effects.

The time it takes for a benzodiazepine to leave the body determines whether it is a short-acting, intermediate, or long-acting drug, as shown by this chart:

Name of Benzo Halcion Ativan Valium
Duration of Effect Short-Acting Intermediate Long-Acting
Time in System 2-4 hours 10-20 hours 20-70 hours


Ativan is a depressant, which means that it inhibits neurochemical transmission and slows down normal body functions, including breathing and heart rate. Those who take more than is prescribed by their doctor are abusing the drug, as are people who take it without a prescription for recreational purposes. If you or someone you know crushes pills and then snorts them or dissolves them in liquid, these are extremely dangerous practices that could result in serious injury or even death.

We believe Ativan addictions are often an honest mistake. After getting a prescription, users are relaxed, have heightened concentration, and are more energetic than before because they aren’t wasting so much energy on their fears. This may be the first time in years they’ve felt some level of control over their anxiety! As they develop a tolerance, taking more seems like a reasonable response. Unfortunately, by the time they realize what has happened, quitting is no simple matter.

When you or someone you love begins to neglect work or family obligations, loses touch with friends and family, or gets in trouble with the law as a direct result of addictive behavior, it’s time to take action. The counselors at Rehab-Finder.Org are waiting for your call. Finding the right treatment center is vital to successful recovery, and time is of the essence. Call us today at 877-251-4813.

Ativan addiction can happen to anyone

Abuse and Addiction Signs for Ativan

One reason that addiction is so heartbreaking is that it can happen to anyone, no matter their intentions. This is especially true when it comes to prescription medicines like Ativan, which are often prescribed to people who are simply looking for some relief to their constant anxiety.

If you feel helpless in the face of your craving for Ativan and the peace of mind it brings, you’re not alone. Anxiety is the most common psychiatric diagnosis in the United States, with an estimated 40 million adults struggling with this mental disorder – and Ativan is the most commonly prescribed medication for anxiety. What’s more, researchers warn that physical dependency on Ativan can result in as little as two weeks of regular use.

Do you or a loved one use Ativan in any of these ways?

  • Without a prescription
  • In higher doses than your doctor prescribed
  • In non-prescribed ways, such as snorting it or dissolving it into liquid then injecting it
  • For recreational purposes
  • Mixed with other legal or illegal substances, such as alcohol or cocaine?

Signs of a Potential Ativan Overdose

Now that you know what behaviors indicate an Ativan addiction, you should also be alert for signs that you or someone you know might have taken a dangerous amount. The normal effects of Ativan are as follows:

  • Relaxation, both mental and physical
  • Feelings of calm
  • Euphoria
  • Slower-than-normal response times
  • Decrease in coordination and motor skills, both fine and gross
  • Lowered breathing rate
  • Less ability to concentrate

Since drugs like Ativan stay in the body for extended periods of time, it’s not necessary to take several pills at once to experience an overdose. It’s possible to OD gradually if you don’t give your body enough time to clear the drug out of your system before introducing more. If you notice any of these symptoms in someone you know to be a frequent Ativan user, it might be signs of an overdose:

  • Breathing that seems dangerously slow
  • Forgetfulness
  • Noticeable decrease in motivation
  • Lack of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
  • Increased Aggression
  • Paranoid behavior

The combination of Ativan with other substances can not only exacerbate these conditions but cause other issues as well. Mixing Ativan with alcohol, for example, increases the risk of falling into a coma, having seizures, and even dying. Overuse can also result in kidney failure, debilitating depression, and failure of the respiratory system.

What to Expect When Ativan Addicts Detoxify

If you are struggling with an Ativan addiction, the good news is that Rehab-Finder.Org can help. When you call our counselors, we can steer you in the direction of a treatment center that is equipped to handle your special situation. What you are dealing with is no ordinary addiction; an Ativan habit requires you to receive treatment both for the physical symptoms and your mental illness as well. To attempt to beat an Ativan addiction without assistance is extremely difficult.

"As an Ativan user, you are also likely experiencing anxiety issues for which you will need treatment as well. These will be heightened as your body begins to clean the Ativan out of your system, making qualified care vital for your recovery."

Fortunately, help is available. Treatment centers are recognizing the greater need for treating patients with a dual diagnosis (mental illness and addiction), and have created programs specifically for this select group. Weaning an addict off benzodiazepines in general, and Ativan in particular, requires careful monitoring in a controlled environment in order to mitigate the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting, heart palpitations, seizures, and hallucinations.

Even in a controlled environment, withdrawal can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, hypersensitivity to light, and panic attacks. Sadly, there is no easy way to kick the Ativan habit, especially after prolonged use or having mixed it with other substances for an extended period of time.

These acute withdrawal symptoms generally last until the drug has left the body, but there still may be long-term withdrawal symptoms as well, such as anxiety, depression, apathy, difficulty thinking, and, of course, cravings for Ativan. Rehab-Finder.Org counselors strongly recommend enrolling in a treatment program if you fear that you’ve become addicted to Ativan.


Drug Profiles

Learn more about the symptoms, risks, and treatment methods of specific drugs:

Treatment and Rehabilitation for Ativan Addiction

It’s important for you to have access to all the information and resources possible so that you can fully understand and finally beat your addiction to Ativan. Likely you have already waged a difficult battle against addiction, and Rehab-Finders.Org would like to help you make the process of selecting a rehabilitation center as painless as possible.

"When you or someone you love begins to neglect work or family obligations, loses touch with friends and family, or gets in trouble with the law as a direct result of addictive behavior, it’s time to take action."

The most important consideration as you sift through alternatives is to find a facility that’s qualified to handle your co-existing issues. As an Ativan user, you are also likely experiencing anxiety issues for which you will need treatment as well. These will be heightened as your body begins to clean the Ativan out of your system, making qualified care vital for your recovery.

There are other important factors to consider as well, which our counselors will be glad to help you work through. These include understanding how much a program will cost and how much your insurance will cover, as well as the location of the facility. Also, the philosophy of the treatment program should line up with your personal views. If faith in a higher power is important to you, for example, you may want to lean more toward a rehab center affiliated with a certain religious denomination.

There are essentially two types of rehab for Ativan addiction for you to choose from: inpatient and outpatient. Outpatient programs provide you with the most flexibility, and work best for those who are unable to spend extended periods of time away from home. Often, outpatient services are less expensive, but they are also less immersive as well, and may not offer the heightened level of attention that someone with a dual diagnosis might require for a full recovery from substance abuse. Commitment to at least two aftercare programs – one for addiction, the other for anxiety – is crucial.

Inpatient programs provide recovering addicts with a safe, drug-free environment where they can focus solely on their recovery without the normal distractions of day-to-day life. Participants live at the facility for a predetermined period of time, which at the very least will include the detox process, therapy, and the development of an aftercare program.

Understanding the Signs of an Ativan Addiction, and Addressing Them

Whether your own or that of someone you love, it’s never easy to come to terms with addiction. If you suspect that Ativan addiction might be an issue, but aren’t convinced, we suggest asking yourself the following questions:

  • Am I or my loved one using Ativan more than the prescription bottle says?
  • Do I jump through ridiculous hoops to make sure there’s always Ativan on hand?
  • Is my loved one trying to hide the amount of Ativan they’re using?

If you don’t know what to look for, it’s easy to hide or deny the signs of an Ativan addiction – even from yourself. These questions can help you shed light on issues you may not have noticed (or may not want to have noticed) and act on your observations by seeking an appropriate rehabilitation facility:

  • Rehab Specifically for Ativan: Some treatment centers specialize in helping addicts overcome specific substances and the issues that are common with those addictions.
  • Locale-Specific Rehab: When possible, the best solution is to remove yourself entirely from the environment in which addictive behavior is the norm. When relocating isn’t an option, a more local opportunity will have to suffice.
  • Long-Term or Short-Term Stay: There are two basic descriptions for treatment facilities: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient is the most effective and immersive, but also the most time-consuming and expensive. Outpatient focuses on counseling, group therapy, and aftercare programs to prevent relapses. If you are a long-term addict who has had repeated relapses then we strongly recommend inpatient care.
  • Treatment-Specific Rehab: There are many choices when it comes to treatment, but some of the most popular and effective methods include 12-step programs, holistic approaches, and faith-based counseling.

Healing from your Ativan addiction is possible

Owning Your Ativan Addiction

Coming to terms with an addiction is difficult. It’s much easier to deny the problem, or place the blame for the behavior on other people. It really is impossible to begin the healing process until you admit to the need for healing though, which makes this the most important (and perhaps most difficult) step in the whole process. What’s more, you don’t have to do it alone. Even if you just suspect that you might have an addiction, enrolling in a program will get you around supportive professionals who can encourage you on your journey to sober living.

Helping Someone You Love Face Their Ativan Addiction

Though they are often painful and emotionally charged events, interventions are valuable tools for helping a friend or family member address their addiction to Ativan. They provide:

  • A way for you and your loved one to move past denial.
  • The opportunity for your loved one to realize the negative impact of their addiction.
  • Increased motivation for them to enter a rehab program.
  • A demonstration of love and support from you, your friends and family, and others in their social circles.

If you’re not confident that you understand the intervention process well enough to plan one, or are afraid of the way your loved one might react, Rehab-Finder.Org can help. It would be our pleasure to put you in contact with a professional who can help stage the intervention and guide the ensuing conversation in a positive direction. Seeking professional guidance increases the chances that your loved one will own their addiction, enter a treatment program, and begin the process of healing.

When the intervention takes place, facilitated either by you or a professional, you’ll want to describe the typical recovery process to your loved one so that they know what to expect. Fear of the unknown is a powerful demotivator. Typically, these are the basic components:

  • Admission: This first step is where you check into a facility and allow professionals to assess your situation and recommend treatment based on your individual needs.
  • Detoxification: The process of cleaning the Ativan out of your body. It won’t be pleasant, but medical professionals will be monitoring every step of the process.
  • Treatment: You will have the option of several different treatment options, all of which are designed to help you change your habits and behaviors. This stage often involves both individual and group therapy.
  • Relapse Prevention Strategies: Without specific training, it will be difficult to prevent a relapse from occurring. This step will teach you not only to identify and avoid potential relapses, but help you build the support network you will need to stay sober.
  • Aftercare Program: Once your rehab program is finished, you’ll need to stay vigilant against relapses. Aftercare will help you in this endeavor, and could take the form of outpatient therapy, 12-step programs, or special housing situations for recovering addicts. Learn more about aftercare.

Whether it’s you or someone you love, the time has come to stop denying the truth and finally seek the help you deserve.

Family support plays a vital role in beating Ativan addiction

The Importance of Family for Recovery From Addiction

Loved ones play a vital role in the recovery process. Not only will they provide the love and encouragement an addict needs to heal, but they should also seek counseling themselves for codependent behavior.

At one time, codependency was a term used to describe romantic partners that shared a substance abuse problem, but the definition has been expanded to describe anyone who comes from a dysfunctional family. The extreme focus on relationships that codependent people have developed as a result of their stressful upbringing is usually connected in a deep and subtle way to the addictive behaviors being displayed by their loved one, and must be addressed to ensure that these learned behaviors don’t unwittingly cause the addict to relapse.

When you decide to confront a loved one about their addictive behavior, it is common for them to either deny the issue or in some way deflect the blame for the problem. Following this list of dos and don’ts will help you keep the conversation as positive as possible:


  • Tell them you understand that they are having a rough time
  • Assure them that you’re not angry, and can forgive them for anything they’ve done
  • Be reassuring; let them know you support them
  • Tell them that they are not alone, and that there are ways for them to get the help they need to heal


  • Confront them about their addiction when they’re using the drug
  • Try to make them feel like a bad person
  • Insinuate that they belong in jail
  • Believe that they are in control


You Are Strong Enough to Beat Your Ativan Addiction

If you’ve had the fortitude to read through all this information, then we believe that you’re serious about beating your addiction. What’s more, we believe that you deserve to be drug-free, and lead a long and healthy life. Don’t let Ativan control you. We can help you find the right rehabilitation center and make your dreams of sobriety a reality.

Understanding Your Financial Obligations When Seeking Treatment for Addiction

Cost is a factor in almost every decision you make, and it’s reasonable to be concerned with the financial obligations of seeking treatment for your Ativan addiction. Where you go, length of stay, services received – these will all factor in to the cost.

Rehab-Finder.Org professionals are here to help. We provide our rehabilitation center placement services without cost to you, and we work with your insurance company as well so that you understand what will and will not be covered. Money is always a consideration, but we feel your primary concern right now should be with healing and recovery.

Call us today at 877-251-4813, and we’ll guide you through this challenging experience. You are not alone.

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