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Ativan Detoxification

The initial step on every journey of addiction recovery is admission to a medically assisted detoxification center. Those who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for any period of time almost always undergo some degree of withdrawal upon abrupt cessation of use. More often than not, the symptoms of withdrawal will lead a person back to substance use before the detoxification process is over. This is part of the reason why entering into an inpatient detox program is so important. At Immersion Recovery Center we provide a comprehensive Ativan detox program; one that focuses on more than a safe, pain-free withdrawal. In addition to providing around the clock medical care, we actively prepare our clients for the next appropriate stage of their personal recovery journeys. During detox we conduct an individualized, in-depth evaluation, which helps us determine the length of our clients stay, what kind of medical intervention is necessary, and the next step for each client once they become physically stabilized.

If you or someone you love has been suffering from an Ativan use disorder, detox is an important initial step, and we are available to help. At Immersion Recovery Center we effectively treat the physical and psychological symptoms associated with Ativan withdrawal, making the entire detox process as comfortable as possible from start to finish. We utilize a combination of evidence-based medications, therapeutic practices and holistic treatment methods to provide the most integrated and effective care available. To learn more about our program of Ativan detox or to learn more about our multi-staged addiction treatment program as a whole, contact us today.

What is Ativan?

Ativan is the brand name of the generic drug lorazepam, a benzodiazepine medication most commonly used for the treatment of anxiety disorders and insomnia. In some cases, benzodiazepines like Ativan might be used to treat seizure disorders or the more severe symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal. This specific medication is generally not prescribed to be taken for more than several weeks at a time, seeing as it can result in physical and psychological dependence. When taken exactly as prescribed, this medication is generally highly effective and results in limited side effects. Potential side effects might include dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, fatigue, decreased ability to concentrate and impaired coordination. Associated side effects typically resolve within one to two weeks, though it is a good idea to get in touch with your mental healthcare provider if side effects persist or worsen over time.

Most people can take Ativan without incident. However, because the medication can be addictive, it is a good idea to stop use entirely if you develop a physical tolerance, start taking more than the recommended dose, or have a hard time regulating your use.

Is Ativan Addictive?

Ativan is a benzodiazepine, and all benzodiazepine medications have a high potential for abuse. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “Benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam, are often used for short periods of time only. They may produce emotional and/or physical dependence (addiction) even when used as recommended. Physical dependence may develop after 2 or more weeks of daily use. The risk of withdrawal reactions when stopping therapy with lorazepam is increased with prolonged use of the medication.” If you suffer from an anxiety disorder and you have a personal history of substance abuse or dependence, your prescribing psychiatrist will help you look into alternative treatment options.

Signs & Symptoms of Ativan Addiction

If you believe you or someone you love has been suffering from a diagnosable Ativan use disorder, there are several signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) outlines a list of diagnostic criteria used to identify the presence of an Ativan use disorder. If you answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions, seeking professional help from a medical detox center is likely a good idea.

Ativan addiction signs and symptoms
  1. Do you sometimes end up using a higher dose of Ativan than you originally intended, or do you use Ativan more frequently than you intend to?
  2. Have you wanted to cut back on your dose or quit entirely, only to find you were unable to do so for any significant period of time?
  3. Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining Ativan, using Ativan and recovering from its effects?
  4. Do you often think of using Ativan/do you ever experience intense cravings?
  5. Has your drug use interfered with your ability to fulfill personal obligations or negatively impacted your performance at work or at school?
  6. Have you experienced interpersonal problems as a direct result of your Ativan use?
  7. Have you given up activities which were once interesting or important to you in order to engage in Ativan use?
  8. Have you been engaging in risk-taking activities more often than normal, like driving while under the influence of Ativan or combining Ativan with other substances like alcohol or opioid narcotics?
  9. Do you continue to use Ativan despite physical or psychological health concerns directly related to the prescription medication?
  10. Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning a higher dose is required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
  11. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when Ativan use is stopped abruptly?

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Ativan Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

If you have been taking a higher dose of Ativan than recommended, or if you have been taking the medication without a written prescription, you are at higher risk of developing an Ativan use disorder and experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when use is stopped abruptly. Ativan is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines in the country, with an estimated 26.4 million prescriptions written in 2017 alone. If you have been struggling with an Ativan use disorder you are certainly not alone, and recovery is possible. When it comes to Ativan addiction recovery, medical detox is always a recommended first step. The symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal can be severe — and potentially life-threatening — when left untreated.

An estimated 40 percent of people who take benzodiazepine medication for over 6 months will experience moderate or severe withdrawal, which includes a combination of physical and psychological symptoms. Because it is impossible to predict how severe the symptoms of Ativan withdrawal will be, entering into a medical detox center before symptoms begin to develop is always a good idea.

The Physical Symptoms of Ativan Withdrawal

The most common physical symptoms of Ativan withdrawal include:

  • Hand tremors
  • Body tremors and muscle spasms
  • Persistent headaches
  • Profuse sweating
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Goosebumps, skin crawling, and other abnormal bodily sensations
  • Aches and pains/general feelings of physical discomfort
  • In extreme cases, grand mal seizures

The Psychological Symptoms of Ativan Withdrawal

The most common psychological symptoms of Ativan withdrawal include:

  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances, like nightmares
  • Depressed mood
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Hallucinations which can be visual, auditory or tactile
  • Dissociation from reality
  • Delirium
  • Severe confusion and disorientation

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Ativan Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 8 to 12 hours after the final dose. Over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours, symptoms will grow in severity. The most severe symptoms, also known as the acute withdrawal stage, typically resolve within one to two weeks. The duration of symptoms can be minimized significantly if a person enters a professional medical detox program.

Ativan detox timeline and the symptoms of Ativan withdrawal

Is Ativan Detox Always Necessary?

Because Ativan is a benzodiazepine and because benzodiazepine withdrawal can be so severe, entering into a medical detox center always comes recommended. It is impossible to know exactly how an individual will react to the withdrawal process, and even people who have been taking the medication for a short period of time are liable to develop moderate or severe symptoms.

Treatment Options for Ativan Withdrawal

One of the most effective treatment options for Ativan withdrawal is tapering. When a person is tapered off of a medication, their dose is slowly reduced over the course of several weeks or months. This way, the central nervous system doesn’t go into shock, and the more severe symptoms of withdrawal can be successfully avoided.

Medications Used for Ativan Withdrawal

A person might receive some medications during Ativan detox geared towards minimizing symptoms of withdrawal. These medications might include:

  • A long-acting benzodiazepine with a lower risk of misuse, like diazepam.
  • Antidepressant medications, like an SSRI. This type of medication might be prescribed if a person is experiencing suicidal ideation as a result of depressed mood.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers. In the case of mild benzodiazepine withdrawal, OTC medications and bed rest are often an effective treatment option.

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Long-Term Ativan Addiction Recovery

At Immersion Recovery Center we break our medical detox program down into three distinct stages: evaluation, stabilization and preparation. Upon admission to our detox program each client undergoes a detailed and in-depth addiction assessment, or evaluation. We ask a series of pertinent questions, including:

  • What type of substance/substances were being used, and for how long?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed or treated for an underlying mental or physical condition, such as a mental illness or chronic health concern?
  • Have you undergone treatment for a substance use disorder in the past?
  • What dose of Ativan were you consuming on a daily basis?

The questions we ask during the initial assessment help our clinical and medical team determine which detox methods are the most appropriate for each unique case. Next, we focus our attention on physical stabilization. Clients are able to relax in their private or semi-private bedrooms, and they have the opportunity to participate in group workshops and behavioral therapy sessions if they are feeling up to doing so. The physical and psychological symptoms of Ativan withdrawal are treated as soon as they develop, seeing as our team of licensed medical professionals are available 24-hours a day. Our main priority is making the Ativan detox process as comfortable as possible. Once physical stabilization has been achieved, clients make a smooth transition into the next appropriate level of clinical care. In most cases, this means transitioning into a residential inpatient treatment center. At Immersion Recovery Center we offer a multi-staged program of recovery, which includes:

Long-term Ativan addiction recovery is possible. With an individualized and effective treatment program in place, even the most severe cases of addiction can be overcome. Contact us today to learn more or to get started with our simple and straightforward admissions process.

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Immersion Recovery Center provides a licensed, individualized and integrated detox program to people of all ages who have been struggling with addictive disorders of all types and severities. We offer a step-down curriculum of clinical care, designed to help our clients make a smooth and seamless transition from medical detox into the next level of care, and eventually back into independent living. We understand how difficult it might seem to choose the best drug and alcohol detox in Florida for your unique personal needs. Fortunately, we are available to help make the decision easier. The moment you contact us, either directly through our website or over the phone, you are put in touch with one of our experienced and compassionate Treatment Advisors. They ask a short series of questions, ultimately helping you determine which level of care is the most appropriate for your unique case. If we believe our program is a good fit we conduct a free, no obligation insurance benefit check and facilitate local travel to our Delray Beach, Florida treatment center. Contact us today to begin.

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