Ativan is a benzodiazepine drug that works by increasing the neurotransmitter, GABA, which slows down the brain. Withdrawal is the result of daily dosing of Ativan over a period of a few weeks or more. When dependent on Ativan, you need it to function on a daily basis. When it is no longer in the body, the brain, nervous system, and organs will go through a period of adjustment called withdrawal. Learn more about withdrawal from Ativan and how to find support if you struggle with addiction.

When Ativan Withdrawal Starts

Ativan addiction can happen before a person realizes it. The body will need larger doses to achieve the initial effects of the medication. Withdrawal symptoms typically start soon after the last dose of Ativan, which stays in the body for around 12 hours.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Between 50-80% of people who use benzos for about 6 months or more are likely to experience some withdrawal symptoms after cessation of use. Some withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiousness
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Shaking

Length of Withdrawal

Ativan withdrawal symptoms persist for a few days or weeks after the last dose. Some people may continue to feel the symptoms anywhere from several months to up to a year, or longer. Ativan withdrawal lasts differently for everyone. The most intense symptoms occur for people who take higher doses, use the drug more frequently, or use it for longer periods of time. Fully developed withdrawal may last up to two weeks or several months (chronic users).

What Helps

Ativan withdrawal is risky and dangerous when done without adequate medical monitoring and assistance. Seeking help from a detox facility is the best solution for a safe detox.  Some of the following can help:

  • Ask friends or family for help and support
  • Hydrate often and eats lots of fruit and veggies to keep the body from losing nutrients
  • Keep a recovery diary and chart progress to see how far you’ve come
  • Receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help establish control of your thoughts
  • Exercise
  • Speak to a treating physician about antidepressants, melatonin or other medication to help deal with symptoms of withdrawal

Sound Recovery will help you focus on your recovery with the proper staff and programs designed with you in mind. When you struggle with addiction to Ativan or other drugs, it can feel lonely and isolating. We help you realize you are not alone and provide space to heal. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.

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