Ativan, also known as lorazepam is a highly-potent, immediate-acting and strong sedative that is often used to treat anxiety disorders and associated symptoms. Ativan can also be used to manage insomnia, acute seizures, and occasionally used for sedation of aggressive individuals. This benzodiazepine produces therapeutic effects via the interaction of the benzodiazepine binding cells located in the GABA receptors of the central nervous system. Although helpful for management of anxiety, this medication is not intended for long-term use as it’s both highly addictive and habit-forming. Since this medication is so addictive it should only be used by those who have a prescription and should be used directly as prescribed.

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Long-term usage of Ativan include tolerance, dependence, addiction, benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, cognitive impairments (that may not be reversible after usage is discontinued), which is why it is only recommended for treatment for two to four weeks. Some individuals pair Ativan with alcohol to intensify the relaxation effects of the drug, which can lead to harmful consequences such as respiratory depression. Others use it to mute some of the less pleasant effects of stimulant abuse, creating a more intense high. Polysubstance abuse can cause many potentially negative health effects such as coma and death.

It is the euphoric feeling and the overall sense of relaxation that causes many individuals to continue using Ativan. As the pleasant calming effects of Ativan begin to wear off it can cause an individual to become irritable, angry, or even depressed. To get rid of these unpleasant side feelings more Ativan is taken which can eventually lead to an addiction problem as the individual becomes physically and psychologically dependent on this substance. Ativan is one of the three most commonly abused benzodiazepines in the United States, in large part due to ease of availability. Additionally, Ativan has been directly linked to many pharmaceutical drug assisted suicide attempts. The nonmedical usage of prescription drugs is a growing problem in the United States.

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