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What Is Ativan?

In the United States, 16 million people over the age of 12 abuse prescription drugs each year.1 What is Ativan, and why is it so addicting? It is the brand name of a type of anxiety medication that produces a soothing, calming effect and can be very addicting if abused. If you don’t take more than prescribed or take it with other drugs or alcohol, Ativan is safe to use. Unfortunately, many people do just that.

Roaring Brook is a full-service addiction treatment facility that supports Kentuckians who have developed an addiction to Ativan or other prescription medications. To better understand how to treat each participant, we run a full health assessment to determine the severity of the addiction and which treatment options are best. We believe in a whole-person recovery experience and include behavioral and holistic therapies along with medical support.

To learn more about our benzo addiction treatment programs, reach out to us today by calling 855.590.9944 to speak with our helpful team.

What Is Ativan?

Ativan is a type of antianxiety medication with the active ingredient lorazepam. It is a benzodiazepine, which is a central nervous system depressant that slows the communication between your brain and body. Ativan reduces stress and causes a euphoric response that creates a sense of calm. It is very effective in reducing anxiety symptoms and muscle spasms and is used to treat general anxiety disorders, insomnia, and alcohol use disorders.

While taking Ativan, you need to abstain from other drugs or alcohol. Even drinking one glass of wine while on this medication can create a more intense reaction to the drug and a psychological craving for the same experience. This means the next time you take your prescribed amount, it may not feel the same unless you take it with more wine. While it may seem harmless to do this, over time, it can lead to a serious substance use disorder and a worsening of the underlying condition.

Common symptoms of addiction include mental health disorders like insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

At Roaring Brook, we welcome adults who are abusing their prescription medication and need help breaking the addiction while still treating their anxiety symptoms. Our prescription drug treatment programs combine cognitive-behavioral therapy with medication to treat all aspects of the addiction and develop healthy coping skills to manage their symptoms and triggers.

Ativan Side Effects

Ativan is an effective antianxiety medication when you follow the prescription, abstain from other drugs or alcohol, and work with your doctor when your symptoms change. Before taking this medication, you should familiarize yourself with all Ativan side effects.

Short-Term Side Effects

Taking Ativan will cause drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and physical weakness. You may feel more unsteady walking and have trouble concentrating or remembering things that happened while taking the medication. In some cases, people taking Ativan have reported increased depressive feelings. Other side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • diarrhea

Long-Term Side Effects

With prolonged use, you may develop a physical dependence on Ativan, which can cause withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it suddenly. Other long-term side effects include:

  • Significant cognitive impairment
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Worsening anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Social withdrawal
  • Broken relationships

Individuals who abuse Ativan or other prescription medications run the risk of overdose if they continue to take more to increase the intoxicating effects. Signs of an overdose include slurred speech, hallucinations, uncontrolled eye movements, extreme vertigo, depressed breathing, and other symptoms.

If a friend or loved one overdoses on Ativan, call 911 immediately.

Enroll in Our Benzo Addiction Treatment Program Today at Roaring Brook

Roaring Brook Recovery in Lexington is open to all adults who struggle with an addiction to Ativan, Xanax, Fentanyl, or other prescription medications. We have a number of outpatient treatment options that allow our participants to begin their recovery while living at home or in a sober living community.

If you would like to speak with our team about what Ativan is and the dangers of abusing this medication, call 855.590.9944 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.


1. National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics