Ativan Addiction


Ativan Addiction

Ativan is a prescription medicine that’s used to treat symptoms that are associated with anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disorders such as insomnia. The generic name for this drug is Lorazepam. Ativan is in a group of medications that are called benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines are psychoactive drugs and in high doses act as hypnotics, in moderate or low doses act as sedatives.


These are used therapeutically to produce sedation, induce sleep, and for the relief of anxiety and muscle spasms. They are also used in preventing seizures. Benzodiazepines are in a group of medications that are called CNS depressants. Central nervous system depressants are also referred to as sedatives and tranquilizers. These are substances that slow down normal brain function.


Addictions to Ativan do occur when not taken as prescribed by your physician. These are short term medications and if taken in large doses for an extended period of time, can become addictive once a tolerance has taken place. Once our bodies get use to a drug or substance, there is a physical and psychological need to increase the drug. When addiction occurs, if the medication is stopped abruptly the body is unable to function normally. Withdrawal symptoms begin to show, some of the symptoms are as follows:

  1. Tension
  2. Depression
  3. Insomnia
  4. Restlessness
  5. Irritability
  6. Sweating
  7. Panic attacks
  8. Possible seizures
  9. Diarrhea
  10. Personality changes
  11. Rapid heartbeat
  12. Palpitations
  13. Possible hallucinations

Post Discussion

  1. Addict

    Can anyone tell me the difference between Valium and Ativan? I know they are both Benzodiazepines. I am just looking for the main reason why one Dr. would prescribe one over the other.

    • Addict

      Its about half lives...Ativan has a longer half life(stays in your system longer). Also Valuim with its short half life is usually prescribed for sleeping aid,or someone who is going through a crisis. A person builds a tolerance for valuim much faster,and has to take more and more at a rapid rate.

      Another reason that a Dr. would prescribe Ativan over another benzo is to help detox an alcoholic...

      • Addict

        To Tkclary - The difference between valium and ativan is indeed their half-lives, but ativan has the shorter half life, not valium. Ativan and Xanax are short-acting, while Valium and Klonipin (and some others) are considered intermediate acting, and there are some that are considered very long acting. I actually work in a detox facility and double checked this w/one of our doctors before replying. As far as building tolerance, the shorter acting ones, if not taken as prescribed, will cause one to build tolerance the quickest, thus leading to dependence. All benzodiazepines are meant to be prescribed short-term due to their addiction potential. Good luck!

  2. Addict

    I have acute panic disorder. I was on SSRI's for a while but they did not work for me to stop the attacks. My doctor decided to put me on Lorazapem. It did stop my panic attacks very well and I started to feel good for a while, I was taking 0.5mg every day. About a year after I had developed a faster heart rate during my panic attacks and I started seeing my pulse pounding on my neck. I still used it and thought that it was probably a new health condition. After going to several cardiac test, nothing was found wrong with my heart. I read a message at a discussion board one day. Ativan may cause rapid heart rate, a pounding pulse on the neck and chest. I stopped taking it and switched to Xanax. All my symptoms went away.

  3. Addict

    I have terrible anxiety and panic disorder due to PTSD for many years. Ativan has helped me to have a conversation without tripping over my words. I still do that sometimes, but not every time I opened my mouth to speak.

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