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Ativan Withdrawal: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment & Recovery

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Ativan is a medication known as a benzodiazepine that is commonly prescribed in the treatment of seizure disorder and anxiety. It is also known by the generic name lorazepam. When taken for a prolonged period of time or if taken at high doses for even a short time, Ativan has the potential to lead to addiction and physical dependence which subsequently can cause withdrawal.

If you or a loved one is struggling with Ativan withdrawal, call 888-602-1971(Who Answers?) for immediate support. We can help you find a treatment program that will offer care and medical intervention during the withdrawal and recovery process.

Individuals with a history of Ativan addiction, alcoholism, or personality disorders are naturally at a higher risk of becoming addicted to this benzodiazepine if it is prescribed to them again or if they take it on the streets. If you’re already addicted to Ativan, and consider a time to quit, it’s important that you fully understand the risks involved in Ativan withdrawal and you do NOT quit “cold turkey” because this could lead to seizures, coma or death in some users.

Why Does Ativan Withdrawal Occur?

Withdrawal is the body’s human response to having something taken away. In this case, it’s the chemicals in lorazepam that are being taken. What happens is the body becomes accustomed to having the drug, and it stops making certain chemicals of it own in response to the synthetic chemicals that are given to it daily. Over time, the body adjust to these chemicals and comes to “expect” the drug. When you take it away, the body reacts by sending out signals of anxiety, panic, discomfort and fear.

The only safe way to combat these symptoms is to get medically assisted detox for Ativan withdrawal so that you can be monitored and medical intervention can take place if and when you need it. Don’t let the potential for dangerous symptoms of withdrawal STOP you from getting help—symptoms such as these are rare when you are treated in a professional setting where medical intervention and around-the-clock monitoring are readily available.

For immediate help, call 888-602-1971(Who Answers?) and we’ll connect you with a rehab center that can provide withdrawal treatment and recovery options that are right for your individual needs.

Signs and Symptoms of Ativan Withdrawal

There are two types of withdrawal. These are acute and post-acute withdrawal. Generally speaking, acute withdrawal from a benzodiazepine such as Ativan is mostly physical in nature. Post-acute (the process that happens next) is generally more psychological in nature. This is why counseling and therapy is so important in addition to detox.

During acute withdrawal from Ativan you may experience any combination of the following symptoms:

Ativan Withdrawal

Anxiety, headaches, and weight loss are common symptoms of Ativan withdrawal.

  • Cravings for the drug
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty in controlling your actions
  • Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach or stomach cramps
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Panic attacks
  • Weight loss
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Psychosis
  • Difficult concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle aches, pains or even muscle spasms
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure

As you can see, many of the above symptoms are things that aren’t noticeable on the “outside” and should be monitored by a doctor or nurse. For your safety, we encourage you to call our helpline at 888-602-1971(Who Answers?) to find a medically assisted detox center that is right for you.

During post-acute withdrawal from Ativan, you can expect any range of the following symptoms to occur:

  • Panic and anxiety that seems relentless
  • Feelings of depression
  • Dysphoria
  • Continued drug cravings
  • Insomnia or nightmares that make it difficult to sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of interest or initiative
  • Obsessive tendencies toward certain behaviors
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling lethargic

If you or someone you care deeply about is about to quit Ativan on their own, advise them to call for help. Quitting alone can be very dangerous and may lead to seizures or death. DO NOT try to quit Ativan on your own, seek professional help by calling our helpline at 888-602-1971(Who Answers?) or if you are in an emergency situation, if you suspect someone you love is already having a serious reaction to Ativan withdrawal, call 911 immediately for help.

How Long Does Withdrawal Last?

The amount of time that you spend in a period of struggling with symptoms of withdrawal from Ativan is largely dependent upon you and your individual situation. If you’ve been taking the drug for a very long time, or if you take a very high dose, it’s likely that you will spend more time in a phase of detox and early recovery before you can transition to inpatient care. Here’s what it generally looks like to withdraw from Ativan:

  • Days 1-first 72 hours – During this time, the acute withdrawal symptoms begin to set in. They include things like a headache, nausea, vomiting and symptoms of anxiety or rapid heart beat. Most of these symptoms will gradually become worse or peak and then begin to fade in several days.
  • Week 1 – During the first total week of withdrawal from Ativan, you will experience the peak of your withdrawal symptoms and you may feel strong cravings, tremors and if untreated, seizures could occur during this time. You’ll likely be highly irritable and keeping calm will remain very difficult for you.
  • Second Week – During the full second week of acute-withdrawal from Ativan you will start to notice that many of the early symptoms of withdrawal have gone away. Rebound symptoms tend to dissipate by now and you’ll begin to notice that, although you’re far from feeling great, you don’t feel too bad.
  • Week 3 and on – after two full weeks of coping with symptoms of acute-withdrawal, you should not have too many physical symptoms left keeping you up or making you feel otherwise uncomfortable. IF you had underlying anxiety that the Ativan was originally used to treat, you likely need continued treatment or care for that, but otherwise most of the lingering symptoms of withdrawal should be fairly mild and easy to cope with.

Unfortunately, we don’t have much research on when or how the post-acute withdrawal symptoms will occur. These are generally psychological in nature and some users report experiencing them for just a few weeks after they make their way past the 30 days or so of acute-withdrawal while others report symptoms lasting up to two years or more. The strange thing with these symptoms is that a user can feel perfectly fine for a while and then the post-acute withdrawal symptoms can sort of “pop up” out of nowhere.

Is Withdrawal Treatment for Benzodiazepines Dangerous?

Ativan Detox

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Ativan, you’re only safe choice in recovery is to seek detox and professional treatment to ensure that IF any type of medical intervention is needed along the way, you’ve got around-the-clock monitoring to ensure that you get the help that you need. Being addicted to a benzodiazepine like Ativan can be scary and downright dangerous, but with proper help you CAN get sober. Call 888-602-1971(Who Answers?) to speak with a helpline representative that will guide you through the process of finding and choosing the best detox center for your recovery needs.

What’s important during detox is that you:

  • Prepare yourself mentally for a process that is likely to take months not just a few days.
  • Don’t give up or lose hope if you relapse—just pick up and start over.
  • Keep your head up, even when you want to give up.
  • Keep in mind that your detox is not like anyone else’s detox, so don’t compare the two.
  • Know that this too shall pass.

Choosing a detox center begins with an understanding of the treatment options that are available to help you overcome Ativan withdrawal. These include:

  • Medically assisted detox
  • Residential detox
  • Outpatient detox
  • Inpatient counseling and therapy
  • Outpatient counseling and therapy
  • Support groups
  • Long-term care

Most patients require a combination of these treatment options. Generally, some level of medically assisted detox is required to help patients taper off the drug slowly under a doctor’s supervision. Following this, the patient will enter a residential treatment program and then they may even receive long-term care to help them remain sober for the long haul.

If you or a loved one is addicted to this drug, or to any drug and you’re ready to get help, don’t let fear get in your way of making a life-changing phone call. Call 888-602-1971(Who Answers?) today to speak with a live support specialist that will guide you through the process of finding and choosing the best possible treatment for your individual needs.

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By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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