Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Lorazepam Abuse Help

Lorazepam is a drug often used for the short-term treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and acute seizures. It was initially marketed under the brand names Ativan and Temesta, but is now widely available from many manufacturers. Lorazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines like lorazepam can be highly addictive, with 23% of people becoming addicted within three months of starting their use. Lorazepam dependence can be psychological, physical, or a combination of both. A study of drug-related visits to hospital emergency rooms found that sedative drugs such as lorazepam were the most frequently abused type of pharmaceutical product.

Lorazepam Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms, which occur when people stop taking the drugs they are addicted to, are very common. Withdrawal symptoms range from mild to very severe, and may be possible after only a week of lorazepam use. Those who take lorazepam for longer periods of time and/or at higher dosages have a greater risk of developing dependence. Possible withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Hypersensitivity to touch, sound, light, and smell
  • Shakiness
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis

Lorazepam Abuse Treatment

There are a variety of approaches to treating lorazepam abuse, but the common goal is to help the client reduce lorazepam usage while minimizing withdrawal symptoms. Approaches vary depending on factors such as the strength of lorazepam dependence and desires of the client. Sometimes treatment consists of helping the patient gradually switch to an equivalent dosage of another drug, finding stabilization, then initiating dose reductions. At other times, a slow, monitored dosage reduction of lorazepam, without substitution of another drug, is the preferred treatment method.

One complication when seeking lorazepam abuse help is that rebound/withdrawal effects of the drug often mimic symptoms of the original condition being treated. A trained practitioner can be of great help in diagnosing and sorting out symptoms and distinguishing between relapse and rebound. Because withdrawal symptoms include irritability and hypersensitivity, a nurturing and supportive environment during treatment is also very helpful.

It is typical for the acute stage of lorazepam withdrawal to last about two months, but some level of withdrawal symptoms may persist from 6-12 months, or even more, and gradually improve, with good and bad days, over that period of time. Many factors may affect the severity and duration of symptoms, including rate of dosage tapering and length of lorazepam usage. Genetic factors may also play a role. A good practitioner will monitor withdrawal symptom severity and alter the speed of dosage reduction accordingly.

Finding Help for Lorazepam Abuse and Addiction

Although the rate of lorazepam addiction is high, the rate of recovery, when patients are properly treated and monitored, is also high. Please call our toll-free number for help. We’re available 24 hours a day and can help you or your loved one find the path back to a normal life.Lorazepam Abuse Help

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