Quit Ativan

Recovering from an Ativan addiction is possible with the combination of medications, support, and behavioral therapies.

Ativan Addiction

Addiction to prescription medications such as Ativan is a serious problem in the United States due to an increase in physician prescribing practices. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. The quantity of Ativan obtained also increased from 1.1 kg to 3.6 kg of Ativan per 100,000 adults.

Ativan (lorazepam) is a prescription medication that is used to treat anxiety disorders and seizure disorders. Ativan works by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Ativan’s active ingredient is benzodiazepines, which produce a tranquilizing effect on the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines can be addictive for vulnerable people because the drug causes dopamine levels in a person’s brain reward system to abruptly surge. This creates a pleasurable feeling leaving susceptible people wanting more.

Ativan Symptoms

According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, it only takes 3 to 6 weeks for a person to become dependent on Ativan. Between 15 to 44 percent of chronic benzodiazepine users experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop using the medication. Around 40 percent of people who used Ativan for prolonged periods of time such as more than 6 months will have moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. The other 60 percent will only experience mild withdrawal symptoms.

If a person has developed an Ativan addiction they may experience failure or inability to reduce doses or stop using the medication, feeling unable to function without the drug, increased tolerance to the effects of the drug, requiring higher doses to achieve the desired outcome, and withdrawal symptoms when attempting to abruptly stop, such as depersonalization, anxiety, depression, hypersensitivity, physical tremors, and sleep disturbances. People who are addicted to benzodiazepines tend to display self-harming behavior and suicidal tendencies.

Ativan Health Risks

Ativan can also cause a number of adverse reactions such as fatigue, drowsiness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion, depression, suicidal ideations and attempts, seizures, headaches, coma, and respiratory depression.

Overdose is a serious danger of Ativan use as it can be fatal. Those who take Ativan with alcohol or other drugs are at an increased risk of overdosing on it. The signs of an Ativan overdose are slurred speech, drowsiness, mental confusion, lethargy, loss of full control of bodily movements, reduced heart rate, respiratory depression, and death.

Are alcohol and drugs ruining your life?

Find help now

How to Quit Ativan On Your Own

Quitting Ativan on your own is possible for someone who is highly motivated and has a good support system. The best way to quit Ativan is through meeting with your doctor to develop a taper plan. Many Ativan addictions are started by family physicians so they should play the leading role in limiting the amount of Ativan you consume.

Slow Taper

When attempting to quit Ativan, do not try to quit cold turkey. Quitting Ativan abruptly can result in painful withdrawal symptoms which can be severe. Talk to your doctor about developing a taper plan that will gradually reduce the amount of medication you take. According to the British Journal of General Practice, after a gradual reduction of dose, rates of successful withdrawal maintained at 12 months, ranged from 24 to 51 percent.

Tapering can help reduce or even eliminate your withdrawal signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms of withdrawal from Ativan to watch out for are nausea, headaches, rebound anxiety and insomnia, dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, delusions, paranoia, diarrhea, nightmares, poor memory, appetite loss, irritability, restlessness, depressed mood, muscle aches, tiredness, blood pressure changes, and rapid heart rate.

Social Support

Quitting Ativan is not easy. Friends, family, doctors, counselors, or therapists can be great forms of support to help keep you on track to your road to recovery. According to the Substance Abuse Journal, social support is important in the recovery of people who are addicted to drugs. People who have a solid support system tend to stick with their treatment goals better than those who do not have support.

Additional Tips

A few additional tips that may be helpful in overcoming your Ativan addiction are to stick to your regular mealtimes, eat foods that are low in fat, eat more protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber, and take mineral and vitamin supplements. Also, you should drink lots of water to prevent dehydration, get lots of physical activity, and make sure you are getting enough rest so your body has time to recover. Physical activity can be going for walks to help you relax or even practicing yoga to learn deep breathing techniques. Engaging in hobbies can also be beneficial in distracting you from thinking about using Ativan.

How Hard Is It To Quit Ativan

Quitting Ativan on your own can be extremely difficult. The pain from withdrawal, lack of family and friend support, and cravings can make it feel impossible to quit. However, overcoming an Ativan addiction is possible. With the proper medications, support, and behavioral therapy quitting Ativan is an attainable goal. As difficult as it may seem at the time, finding the right support from doctors, friends, family, and therapists can make the road to recovery achievable.

If you or someone you love is addicted to Ativan, finding a high-quality rehab clinic can help. Rehab clinics will provide a person with all the support they need to overcome their addiction. Through trained medical and mental health professionals your loved one will be safe and comfortable as they detox from Ativan and begin their recovery journey.


Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

Sunshine Behavioral Health Facilities


Chapters Capistrano


Monarch Shores


Mountain Springs


Willow Springs


Lincoln Recovery

Find out more about our admissions process