Ativan is the brand name for Lorazepam, a mild tranquilizer, sedative, and central nervous system (CNS) depressant, often prescribed as an anti-anxiety agent. Ativan belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Like all drugs of this type, has a high potential for abuse.
Ativan has joined a growing list of prescription drugs being deliberately abused and diverted from pharmaceutical use. In the United States, emergency room visits related to nonmedical use of prescription drugs increased 38% between 2004 and 2006. Of these, lorazepam (Ativan) is listed as the third most commonly abused benzodiazepine. Drugs like Ativan account for almost 60% of drug-related suicide attempts involving pharmaceuticals.
Individuals develop Ativan abuse problems because the drug produces feelings of well-being. Once an individual begins abusing Ativan they will often get multiple prescriptions from different doctors to support their addiction. Ativan activates the brain’s reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to crave more Ativan and to focus his or her activities around taking the drug. The ability of Ativan to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and its ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems is what produces Ativan abuse and addiction. Ativan also reduces a person’s level of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.
Sudden stoppage of the drug can bring on such severe withdrawal symptoms that it is generally extremely difficult for patients to beat Ativan abuse problems by themselves. It takes 18-36 hours for the drug to clear itself from the body, during which time the cravings can be so intense and the withdrawal symptoms so unpleasant that most addicts give in and resume taking it. Ativan withdrawal symptoms can occur after just a week of use.
If you or a loved one is expierencing problems with Ativan Abuse, it is important to seek medical supervision and treatment for Ativan abuse. Ativan is a highly addictive drug and the effects can be devastating. Many lose their jobs, dreams and ambitions. But, the good news is that Ativan abuse can be treated by attending the correct Ativan abuse treatment program.