Families dealing with an illicit drug use problem, such as an addiction to heroin or cocaine, might know that there’s no therapeutic value in the substance the person is taking. As a result, they might feel comfortable discussing the problem right away, as soon as they suspect a problem. On the other hand, since Ativan is a prescription medication often given to people with serious mental health concerns, there may be times when a family member is taking the drug appropriately, under the guidance of a doctor, and families might not know when to step in and suspect an addiction.
Spotting the difference between Ativan use and Ativan addiction can be difficult, but these warning signs may help. People who exhibit these behaviors tend to be abusing the drug, and they might need assistance in order to change their ways.
In a study in the journal Substance Use and Misuse, researchers report that Ativan produces a sense of euphoria. When people are given this drug, they feel happy and at peace, and those feelings are larger than those experienced by people who are given a placebo form of the drug. People who are addicted to Ativan are often hooked on this feeling of pleasure, and they might take remarkably high doses of the drug in unusual ways in order to bring that feeling about. At one moment, these people might seem low and sad, but in the next, they might switch to being happy and buoyant. Snorting the drug or injecting it can bring these sudden changes about, and that’s common among people who abuse this drug.
Very high doses of Ativan can also bring about brain changes that impact performance. A person under the influence might:
- Display blunted emotional responses
- Forget details
- Seem distracted
- Show signs of aggression
As the brain damage continues, these symptoms might grow more and more severe, until the person just doesn’t seem the same at all. It’s a sad progression to watch, and often addiction is to blame.
People who are addicted to Ativan might do their best to keep their habits hidden, but they might abuse other drugs at the same time, and they might abuse those drugs publically. For example, in a study in the British Journal of Addiction, researchers found that 44 percent of people who abused benzodiazepines took other drugs at the same time. People like this might snort Ativan pills in private, but they might drink heavily in front of their families, or they might light up marijuana pipes in public places. Families might not be able to spot the Ativan addiction in these people, but their other habits might certainly merit an open discussion and perhaps entrance into a treatment program that could help.
Seeing the signs and symptoms of Ativan addiction is important but it’s also vital for families to take action when they see something amiss. Assisting in the search for a treatment facility is one great way to help. By finding treatment programs, and explaining how therapy works, families can help addicted people to understand that Ativan addictions can be conquered, and that life really can improve.
If you’re looking for help for someone you love, please contact us at Black Bear Lodge. We can even schedule a tour for you, so you can see our facility firsthand. Please call us to find out more.