Is Ativan addictive?
YES. Ativan (lorazepam) is addictive.
But what makes Ativan addictive? How long does Ativan stay in the body (up to 6 weeks after last use)? How do you know that you’re an Ativan addict? We’ll review here and invite your questions about the addictive potential of Ativan at the end.
What is Ativan made of?
Ativan contains lorazepam, a benzodiazepine medication. Ativan’s inactive ingredients include monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polacriline potassium.
What is Ativan used for?
The main ingredient in Ativan, lorazepam, is used to relieve anxiety and also to treat severe seizures, insomnia, and muscle spasms. Ativan is generally dispensed in tablet or liquid form, both of which are taken by mouth. Ativan works by slowing brain activity, and in large doses, Ativan can also get a user “high.”
How addictive is Ativan?
Ativan, like most benzodiazepines, is very addictive. Doctors try to prescribe Ativan for no more than 3 or 4 months because of the well-known habit-forming potential of Ativan. But how addictive a drug is doesn’t just depend on its chemical properties; it also depends on how you’re using it. Snorting Ativan high or mixing Ativan and alcohol increase chances of drug addiction. Ativan addiction also depends on various social and cultural factors. Some factors which play a role in Ativan addiction include:
- Ativan availability
- Ativan’s illegal diversion history
- attitudes of doctors prescribing Ativan
- public awareness of Ativan action
- state laws or local controls on Ativan
Ativan dependence vs. addiction
Most people who take Ativan long-term will develop a physical dependence on lorazepam, but this isn’t the same thing as an addiction. An Ativan dependence causes you to develop a tolerance to the medication’s effects over time, and also causes withdrawal symptoms when you cut back on Ativan doses or abruptly stop taking Ativan. Ativan addiction may manifest these same symptoms, but MUST also involves a psychological dependence on Ativan. An Ativan addict will experience strong cravings for the drug and compulsively uses lorazepam, despite negative consequences to social, work and home life.
How do you get addicted to Ativan?
In general, those who are taking Ativan to treat a legitimate anxiety disorder or other medical issue are less likely to get addicted to Ativan than people abusing Ativan recreationally. If Ativan is taken in the doses prescribed by a doctor, a dependence on Ativan may develop, but an addiction may not necessarily occur. Addiction is more likely to occur when you smoke, snort, or inject Ativan or if you otherwise take Ativan other than prescribed. People with a past history of drug or alcohol abuse are also at a greater risk of developing an Ativan addiction.
Some of the ways that people consciously choose to abuse Ativan include:
- chewing Ativan to release the medication immediately
- crushing Ativan into a powder and snorting it for a quicker high
- crushing Ativan to dissolve in water and inject intravenously
- taking Ativan in higher doses than prescribed
- taking Ativan more frequently than prescribed
Signs of Ativan addiction
It’s true that Ativan addiction and Ativan dependence can be difficult to distinguish from one another. If you take Ativan to cope with everyday stresses and feel you can’t go without it, you may be addicted to Ativan. Other signs of Ativan addiction include:
- Continuing Ativan use or abuse even if it has negative consequences
- Craving Ativan and using it compulsively
- Seeking Ativan in order to stimulate the “reward center” of the brain
Ativan addiction potential questions
Do you still have questions about Ativan addiction potential? Please leave them here. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. If we do not know the answer to your particular question, we will refer you to someone who does.