Ativan Detox Centers
Ativan is the brand name of the drug lorazepam, a medication commonly prescribed to treat anxiety. Unfortunately, the drug is also often abused for the high it causes when consumed at large doses. Ativan not only causes addiction when abused but one of the most dangerous and severe withdrawal symptoms associated with substance abuse.
If you have been taking Ativan either as prescribed or abusing the drug and are dependent on its effects, it is important to seek Ativan detox immediately. Call 800-315-1376 (Who Answers?) now to find a detox center that can provide you with the treatment you need.
How Ativan Detox Works
Patients are urged not to stop taking Ativan on their own after taking it for several months straight. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Stopping the drug suddenly can worsen your condition and cause [serious] withdrawal symptoms.” Instead, anyone who has been taking Ativan consistently over a period of several weeks or months should seek detox treatment.
Ativan detox works by slowly weaning a patient off the drug. There are currently no medications approved by the FDA to treat benzodiazepine addiction, like there are for the treatment of opioid addiction, so detox (which is usually the first step in treatment) involves simply tapering the doses of the drug until the individual is no longer experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Then, they can end their use of the substance, and in the case of addiction, further treatment can begin. In some instances, additional medications may be used on an as-needed basis.
This slow tapering of the drug helps individuals in several ways:
- It helps them to avoid serious withdrawal symptoms, many of which can be deadly in the case of benzodiazepines.
- It prepares them for addiction treatment.
- It allows them to go through withdrawal safely under the supervision of doctors, nurses, and other trained medical practitioners.
- It minimizes the chance of relapse caused by severe withdrawal symptoms, which is an especially serious possibility as associated with the abuse of Ativan.
According to the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavioral UCLA, the withdrawal symptoms associated with benzodiazepine dependence are easy to recognize and very serious. These include:
- Physical tremors
- Sleep disturbances
- Panic attacks
- Concentration problems
- Dry heaving
- Weight loss
The medical journal titled Addiction performed a study on the benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome that states, “Instances are also reported within the high-dosage category of more serious developments such as seizures and psychotic reactions.” Individuals are more likely to experience these effects if they were abusing the drug, especially in large amounts, but issues like seizures, depersonalization, fear, and full-blow psychosis can all occur without warning during Ativan withdrawal.
This syndrome is important to be aware of, especially if you or someone you love is a frequent Ativan user. Being able to recognize the withdrawal symptoms associated with this drug––and to know when you or your loved one requires immediate treatment––can help prevent serious issues from occurring as a result of this withdrawal syndrome.
Symptoms of Ativan Withdrawal Treated in Ativan Detox
The different symptoms associated with Ativan withdrawal are usually treated differently under individual circumstances. When one is weaned off the drug, this helps to minimize all the effects of withdrawal, which is why “treatments for benzodiazepine addiction generally begin with a slow detoxification process, eventually weaning a person away from the effects of the drugs” (Semel Institute). However, certain symptoms may require additional treatment options.
The possibility of psychotic symptoms is a very serious issue during Ativan detox treatment. As stated by the US Department of Justice, the severity of one’s withdrawal is often dependent on the “dose, duration of use, and drug used,” but whether or not psychosis will occur is impossible to predict. If it does, patients will need to be treated in a calm, comfortable environment, preferably away from stimulation. Often, they will need to have their own room that is kept considerably dark for the duration of their symptoms. Psychotic symptoms often last a few days to a week at the most.
Other medications may be used to treat certain symptoms during Ativan detox. For example, the Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners cites the use of antidepressants and how they can sometimes be beneficial for individuals in detox suffering from severe depressive symptoms and anxiety. In addition, some patients may need to be treated with antipsychotic medications for psychotic symptoms like hostility or severe paranoia, but all of these drugs must be given at the clinician’s discretion and only when necessary.
Therapy is another beneficial treatment option for detox from Ativan, though medications (especially a slow form of tapering) are still necessary during the early stages of withdrawal. Options like cognitive-behavioral therapy can help patients learn to recognize the side effects of their substance abuse and even the issues that led them to abusing Ativan in the first place, which can allow the healthcare providers to treat any co-occurring disorders associated with their abuse. This also helps make the transition into addiction treatment much easier for Ativan addicts.
In addition, therapy can help treat anxiety, tension, and other psychological effects of Ativan withdrawal in ways medications may not be able to. The treatment itself helps patients recognize the issue and learn to react in a way that is beneficial to their overall situation. This can also be extremely helpful in the long run, as many Ativan users also suffer from anxiety and other, similar issues, even before withdrawing from the drug.
Is It Safe to Detox at Home?
It is extremely important to emphasize the dangers of attempting to detox from Ativan at home. One should absolutely seek professional treatment for Ativan detox, as the severity of one’s withdrawal symptoms cannot be predicted, even from the onset of these symptoms. Detox must occur in a rehab center where the patient has access to a professional medical staff, medication appropriate to their withdrawal symptoms, behavioral therapy and other therapeutic treatment options, and any other necessities required for a safe withdrawal.
Sometimes, it can be beneficial for an individual to go through an outpatient detox program, especially for drugs like opioids or other substances that do not cause severe or deadly side effects. However, every individual should take their specific situation into account before choosing how and where they will go through detox. The fact that benzodiazepines cause such severe withdrawal symptoms, though, makes the possibility of attending outpatient rehab less beneficial in most cases (South Australia’s Health Department).
In general, it is much safer for someone going through Ativan withdrawal to detox in a residential rehab center and to avoid attempting to do so at home. The symptoms caused by this syndrome can turn very quickly, and it is important for someone to be in a place where they can be cared for if their condition does begin to worsen.
How Long Will Ativan Detox Take?
As stated by the medical journal Addiction, withdrawal from Ativan and other benzodiazepines usually takes one of two forms:
- The more common rebound syndrome that lasts about 1 to 4 days after the initial symptoms start
- The second, full-blown withdrawal syndrome that lasts about 10 to 14 days
A person could also experience symptoms of anxiety that do not subside until they receive the proper treatment. In general, detox from Ativan in a professional setting will usually take about 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the severity of one’s symptoms. It is important that healthcare providers do not attempt to force an individual through detox any faster than necessary and that the patient is able to go through their tapering schedule in a way that does not cause withdrawal symptoms to become more difficult, painful, or dangerous than necessary.
Your detox program may last less or more time depending on your specific needs, but it is important to remember that detox alone is not a well-rounded treatment for addiction. If you have been abusing Ativan, you must attend a professional rehab program for your addiction syndrome even after your withdrawal symptoms subside. Once your detox program ends, you may no longer be dependent on the drug, but you will still be an addict if you do not receive the proper treatment.
Help Me Find an Ativan Detox Center
Finding Ativan detox can be a difficult task if you do not know how. Fortunately, we can help you find the best program for your needs by matching you with a specific treatment center. It is important to consider first all the necessary treatments and options you will require from your detox center, including (if necessary) an easy transition into Ativan addiction treatment. Then, you can begin looking for the right detox program for your needs.
By calling 800-315-1376 (Who Answers?), you can connect with one of our rehab specialists who will match you to the best program for your Ativan detox. Once you receive all the information you require about the program itself, you can make the choice to attend treatment and to start your journey toward recovery.