Tuesday January 17th 2017

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How to help an Ativan addict?

Helping an Ativan addict requires information, planning, and care. It is important to educate yourself about the nature of Ativan addiction and learn what you can expect from the treatment process. Most importantly, you don’t have to do everything alone. There are many medical professionals who specialize in treating Ativan withdrawal and addiction, as well as the behavioral, emotional, psychological, physical, and/or mood changes that go along with it.

So, how can you really help treat Ativan addiction? In this article, you’ll learn more about the process of getting help, types of treatment, and long-term goals. Then, we invite your questions regarding Ativan use, abuse, or addiction in the section at the end. We try to respond personally and promptly to all comments.

Help an Ativan addict quit

Ativan (lorazepam) is useful in the treatment of anxiety disorders when taken as instructed by a doctor. However, addiction can be formed when it is taken chronically and for a prolonged period of time. But, how do you know when someone has an addiction problem? Ativan addiction signs and symptoms can be recognized when a persons’ behaviour manifest the following:

  • a constant need for Ativan
  • feeling unable to function without Ativan
  • running out of Ativan too soon (before the next prescription)
  • sudden changes in memory, mood and concentration
  • withdrawal symptoms when Ativan is not available (restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, increased blood pressure and heart rate…)

While these signs are not all-inclusive, they can give you a feel for problem behavior.

The first challenge: Getting off Ativan

The best and safest way to help an Ativan addict quit is by understanding the special effects of the psychoactive drug. Regular use of Ativan can trigger both physcial dependence and/or tolerance. These two indicators of changes in the central nervous system need to be cared for medically.

People experience best results during detox and withdrawal when they follow a personalized tapering schedule. Generally, doses should be tapered down, gradually and slowly. A doctor can help you create a tapering plan that is fit for your needs, or refer you to a detox facility if needed. Medical Ativan detox allows a person to safely work through the withdrawal symptoms under constant medical supervision.

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5 things to consider when helping an Ativan addict

Other ways you can help an Ativan addict quit is by educating yourself on the nature of the disease, the challenges that go along with it, and the treatment process. Here are a five (5) points to remember:

..1. Keep in mind that addiction is a complex, but treatable disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior.

..2. The success of addiction recovery is related to a person’s motivation to quit and stay sober, the length of time spent in treatment, as well as the types of therapies included (counseling and other behavioral therapies). in addition to treating physical depdence, treatment should address the reasons BEHIND ABUSE, as well as other possible mental disorders.

..3. Addiction treatment is a different process for everyone. This means that one person’s Ativan recovery journey will be much different from the addiction treatment journeys of others. This is the reason why every treatment should be adjusted to each individuals’ needs. Even during recovery, treatment plans must be reviewed and updated in order to fit the patient’s changing needs.

..4. The use of prescription or over-the-counter medications as a part of the Ativan addiction treatment is OK. However, medication therapy has the best outcomes when combined with behavioral therapies.

..5. There is no rule that treatment should always be voluntary in order to be effective. You can stage an intervention with the help of a professional interventionist in order to communicate the importance of getting help to the Ativan addict in denial.

Help an Ativan addicted friend

When you intend to find help for Ativan addiction, you should take into consideration that s/he will need to be ready and willing to make a step towards accepting help and treatment. You will surely feel that you need to say or do something about it. You may find the following suggestions useful when approaching a friend or a loved one who is struggling with Ativan addiction to prevent getting shut out or ruining your relationship:

  • Avoid all criticism and judgement.
  • Do not start the conversation when they are under the influence.
  • Have compassion for their situation.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek professional help for yourself.

TIP #1 – Check out Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). The CRAFT approach is intended for family members and friends who would like to improve their relationship with an addict in their life. This program teaches families and friends some effective strategies and ways to encourage the addict to reduce or end his/her substance abuse. CRAFT works with the concerned significant others (CSOs) of an addicted individual (also called ‘identified patients’ or IPs). CRAFT instructs the CSOs to teach the IPs to:

  • modify the usual behaviors, reactions, and expectations
  • reduce or eliminate any current substance use and addictive behaviors
  • seek treatment though motivation strategies
  • practice self-care

TIP #2 – Try Brief Interventions. Another technique used for the purpose of initiating change for an unhealthy or risky behaviour is called a Brief Intervention. This technique aims to change the persons behavior by helping them understand how their substance use puts them at risk. Healthcare providers and doctors can also use brief interventions to encourage those with more serious dependence to accept more intensive treatment within the primary care setting. However, this approach can also be used when medical professionals believe a person requires a specialized drug treatment agency.

Self-help Ativan addiction

Ativan addiction treatments are effective at getting people off the medication and into a recovery program. But, there are things you can do to help yourself get the most outof the treatment program. Here is how:

  • identify your triggers that urge you to take Ativan
  • identify what triggers your anxiety
  • keep a diary to track your anxiety, what happened before an anxiety attack, and your anxiety levels
  • plan a new social life and avoid social situations where you feel anxious
  • read other successful stories for motivation and addiction free manuals and workbooks
  • set achievable goals about what you plan to achieve
  • use positive self-talk
  • write all the pros and cons of not using Ativan

Who to contact to begin the process of Ativan addiction treatment?

Q: Where do you turn for help if you or an addicted loved one is ready to stop taking Ativan?
A: There are multiple sources of help and support you can turn to when you need Ativan addiction treatment. You can contact the following sources for help when facing an Ativan addiction:

  1. Addiction support groups
  2. Addiction treatment centers
  3. Clinical psychiatrists and psychologists
  4. Detox clinics
  5. Family doctor or physician
  6. Loved ones and family members
  7. People you know who attended addiction treatment
  8. Social workers

Helping an Ativan addict questions

If you still have questions regarding Ativan addiction treatment after reading this article, we welcome you to post them in the comments section. We will try to provide personal answers as quickly as we can, or refer you to someone who can help.

Reference sources: Mirecc: Community Reinforcement and family training support and prevention
SAMHSA: Brief Intervention
NIH: Self-help and drug addiction treatment

Photo credit: David Hawkins-Weeks

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