Sunday October 26th 2014

Can you get high on Ativan?

Yes. Ativan, like many anti-anxiety medications or sleeping pills that are addictive, can get you high when used in larger doses than normal.

However, Ativan is well-known for its addictive and habit-forming potential, so getting high on Ativan can be harmful. Like any prescription drug, when taken in larger doses than prescribed, Ativan can have adverse effects which may even be dangerous. More here on how Ativan affects your body, as well as addictive properties of Ativan. As always, we invite your questions about Ativan use at the end.

Ativan chemistry and use

Ativan contains the drug lorazepam, a benzodiazepine medication. Ativan is mainly prescribed to help reduce anxiety. Ativan may also be prescribed to treat severe seizures, insomnia, and muscle spasms. Because lorazepam is addictive, Ativan is prescribed over short-term periods and in small doses. Ativan is usually taken 2-3 times per day, for no longer than 4 months.

Ativan and euphoria

It’s unlikely that you can get you high on Ativan if you’re taking it for legitimate medical reasons in normal amounts. However, Ativan can be abused to cause a euphoric high, by taking in larger doses than prescribed, methods other than prescribed, or more frequently than prescribed. Ativan can intoxication-like side effects, including dizziness and drowsiness but can also cause adverse side effects, especially if you mix Ativan with alcohol or narcotics.

Ativan and central nervous system effects

Ativan is a central nervous system depressant. It works by slowing certain kinds of activity in the brain. Specifically, Ativan enhances the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid, a natural, calming substance in the brain. Ativan can, for this reason, have a sedative or tranquilizing effect.

Mixing Ativan with other substances

Ativan is most dangerous when mixed with other central nervous system depressants, such as narcotics or alcohol. These drugs heighten the effect of Ativan and can lead to easier overdose. When mixed with these substances, benzodiazepines can cause trouble breathing or loss of consciousness. Some people enjoy getting high on Ativan and other CNS depressants at the same time because it more easily gives them the effects they’re interested in, but this can be potentially deadly.

Can you get addicted to Ativan?

You can absolutely get addicted to Ativan.

Ativan is a benzodiazepine; benzodiazepines are some of the most addictive prescription medications on the market. Over time, even normal users will develop a tolerance Ativan, needing to take larger doses in order to treat their symptoms. In Ativan addicts, this tolerance can become dangerous and increase the likelihood of adverse effects, such as difficulty breathing or irregular heartbeat. Ativan addiction also causes withdrawal symptoms and compulsive, drug-seeking behavior.  Ativan versus Xanax is less likely to induce drug abuse, but Ativan remains moderately high on the  drug addiction potential index.

Am I addicted to Ativan?

Do you take Ativan in larger doses than prescribed, more frequently than prescribed or without a prescription? Do you snort or smoke Ativan (or inject it)? Do you need to take Ativan regularly to avoid withdrawals? Do you find you need to take larger and larger doses to get high on Ativan? If so, you’re probably addicted.

Help for Ativan abuse

The good news is that you’re not alone. Benzodiazepine addiction is very common, and there are resources out there to help you. Never stop taking Ativan abruptly – this can be dangerous, potentially causing seizures. Start by talking to your doctor, who will be able to help you taper your dosage until you can safely stop taking Ativan without withdrawals. Ask about local support groups or therapists who treat Ativan addiction.

Getting high on Ativan questions

Do you still have questions about getting high on Ativan? Please ask them here. We are happy to try to answer all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt response.

Resources: The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists drug info on Lorazepam
Drug Enforcement Administration: Benzodiazepines
PubMed Central: Lorazepam withdrawal seizures http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1601300/

Photo credit: tscibilia

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