Lorazepam is the generic name for the name brand drug Ativan, which is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety-related disorders. Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine, and all benzodiazepines have the potential to be habit-forming when they are taken other than as prescribed. Because this specific medication is so potent and has such a high potential for abuse, it will only ever be prescribed short-term. In most cases, medical professionals will suggest that Lorazepam is not taken for more than one month at a time. It may also be prescribed to be taken during a panic attack, which is a common symptom of more severe anxiety disorders.
The truth is that even those who take the medication as prescribed can develop dependence over time. This is why Lorazepam should only be used short-term. Tolerance can develop, which will lead the individual to begin taking more than the intended dose – taking more than the intended dose, at any time, is considered abuse. If you or anyone close to you was either prescribed Lorazepam and has been taking it in greater quantities or more frequently than directed, or has been purchasing or stealing the medication from a friend or relative, seeking immediate professional help is necessary. Lorazepam addiction can lead to a host of serious health-related complications when not treated.
Lorazepam Abuse and Addiction
Some mistakenly believe that any drug prescribed by a doctor must be safe to use. Consider some of the medications that were historically used to treat medical conditions. It used to be believed that cocaine had medicinal properties, and it was used to treat ailments like depression and chronic fatigue – the same is true about methamphetamine. As we progress as a society, we learn that not all chemical compounds we once believed to be safe are. While Lorazepam is generally not harmful when taken as prescribed – in small doses for a very short period – it is not a safe substance to use just because it is used medicinally.
Despite its habit-forming qualities, it was recently reported that benzodiazepines are the third most commonly abused drug in the United States, right behind marijuana and prescription painkillers (this list does not include alcohol, which is the most commonly abused chemical substance in the US by a long-shot). What makes the drug so desirable? When taken in large doses, it can produce feelings of relaxation and euphoria. As tolerance builds, greater amounts of the medication will be needed for the same feelings to be produced. The building of tolerance contributes to addiction, and ultimately causes the symptoms of withdrawal that will begin to occur with ceased use.
Lorazepam Addiction Treatment
Once a medication like Lorazepam has been prescribed, it will be difficult – if not impossible – for the doctor to monitor whether or not the substance is being abused. Because of this, it is crucial that if you believe your friend or a family member has been taking any prescription medication other than as prescribed, you compassionately address the issue in a calm and non-judgmental way.
If your loved one admits to having a problem and needs professional treatment, we at Garden State Treatment Center are available to help. Our comprehensive prescription drug addiction recovery program is geared towards helping men and women of all ages overcome their addictive disorders and go on to lead happy and productive lives. To learn more, reach out today, We know just how devastating drug addiction can be, and we are dedicated to facilitating lifelong healing in a safe and supportive environment.