Combining Ativan (lorazepam) with other substances is a dangerous game. You can never be certain how a sedative-hypnotic drug like Ativan will interact with alcohol, illicit drugs or other prescription medications. Taking multiple drugs at a time sets the stage for a possible overdose, loss of consciousness, coma, or death.

Mixing Drugs and Over-Sedation

Lorazepam belongs to a category of prescription drugs called benzodiazepines. These medications promote sedation and relaxation in the central nervous system. Drug and Alcohol Dependence explains, “Benzodiazepines act to enhance the effects of GABA by increasing chloride flux and rate of channel opening.

These drugs are a commonly used and effective treatment for anxiety disorders, and adjunctive treatment in several psychiatric and neurological illnesses. Activation of the GABA/barbiturate/steroid receptor sites is thought to produce the muscle relaxant effects of benzodiazepines, and activation of the various GABAA subunits has been implicated in their sedative and anxiolytic actions.”[1]

Benzodiazepines like lorazepam work by acting on receptors and changing how the brain and body respond to GABA, a neurotransmitter. If you take too much Ativan, even when no other drugs are present, you can experience over-sedation. At best this impacts coordination and memory. It can lead to accidents and injuries. Extreme slowing of central nervous system functions leads to dangerously low heart rate and breathing rate.

When you take Ativan with other depressant drugs, each substance’s sedative properties are amplified. The combined effect of benzodiazepines and alcohol is more powerful than the effect of either drug on its own.

Mixing lorazepam with other drugs can impair your judgment, coordination, reflexes and decision-making skills. This exposes you to accidents and injury. You may harm yourself or others. Taking Ativan with other depressants increases the risk of becoming overly sedated, a state that can lead to unconsciousness and unintentional death. Injury Epidemiology shares that among overdose-related fatalities, “almost three-quarters involved one or more prescription drug.”[2] The more substances you use on a single occasion, the more vulnerable you are to an accidental overdose and death.


Ativan, Mixed Drugs, Dependence and Addiction

Ativan use eventually leads to dependence and addiction. When you misuse the drug, dependence and addiction develop faster. When you mix Ativan and other substances, you may be sealing your fate. Polydrug users often rely on Ativan to mitigate unwanted side effects from stimulants like meth or cocaine. Others may take Ativan to ease withdrawal symptoms when they can’t obtain heroin or methadone.

Individuals may combine Ativan with opiates or alcohol to increase the wanted effects of all substances involved. Drug and Alcohol Dependence explains that taking a benzodiazepine drug like Ativan in conjunction with opioids lead to an, “increase the rewarding and reinforcing effects of opioids.”[1] These effects directly relate to if and how quickly addiction develops. No matter the reason, when Ativan is used with other drugs, addiction risk increases.

Find Help Now

Mixing drugs is serious. It puts your life in immediate danger of overdose or other health risks. It puts your life in long-term danger of addiction. You can protect yourself or a loved one. You can heal. At Black Bear Lodge, we understand that addiction is a complex, multifaceted disease. We provide individualized addiction treatment for our patients at our peaceful treatment center in the Appalachian foothills of northern Georgia.

If you’re ready to break free from the cycle of Ativan addiction, we’re here to offer support, encouragement, and guidance. Call our admissions coordinators at 706-914-2327 to learn more and begin your journey of healing.


[1] “Polydrug Abuse: A Review of Opioid and Benzodiazepine Combination Use.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 1 Sep 2013. Web. 31 May 2017.

[2] “Prescription Drug Monitoring and Drug Overdose Mortality.” Injury Epidemiology. 11 Dec 2014. Web. 1 Jun 2017.