An overdose of Ativan can be a severe and potentially life-threatening event. It’s essential to know the signs and symptoms of an Ativan overdose and what to do if someone you know overdoses on this medication. It is not possible to know precisely how much of a drug or medicine has been taken in many cases. To reduce the chances of an Ativan overdose, one should always take as directed by a doctor and/or follow all safety instructions. This is especially important when taking other medications that could interact with Ativan. It is also essential to keep track of how many Ativan tablets have been taken and when.
Why is Ativan Dangerous?
Ativan, otherwise known as Lorazepam, is a medication developed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This drug belongs to the benzodiazepine family of drugs, including Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), and other medications. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants, which means they slow down the brain and spinal cord activity, and it serves as sedatives. This can result in feelings of relaxation and drowsiness. Benzodiazepines are also habit-forming, which means they can be addictive if used for long periods.
The drug is available in two forms: orally disintegrating tablets (e.g., Alzam) and orally administered liquid (e.g., Lorazepam Intensol). In some countries, the medicine is sold over-the-counter without a prescription.
Ativan addiction is a real and serious problem. If you or someone you know is struggling with Ativan addiction, please seek professional help immediately.
How to Assess the Danger of An Ativan Overdose
This is a difficult question to answer, but it’s doable. Consider the following factors when making your guess:
- The maximum daily dose for adults as indicated by the manufacturer
- Whether or not you have ever taken other medicines in conjunction with Ativan?
- Your age and general health conditions
- What occurred after the drug was taken, as well (such as whether it was taken as directed or if you crushed and sniffed the pill)
- Your medical background (such as if you have a history of addiction, pre-existing medical conditions, and so on)
Is Ativan Addictive?
Yes, Ativan is addictive, and it has a very high potential for abuse and addiction. As with any benzodiazepine, if taken for an extended period or taken in larger doses than prescribed or mixed with other depressants such as alcohol, the person can become physically and psychologically dependent. When the person ceases to use the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and more.
Who is Most Vulnerable for Ativan Overdose?
Anyone who takes Ativan in large doses is at risk for an overdose. People who have a history of drug abuse or addiction and people with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders are also at increased risk. Young adults under the age of 24 may be more likely to engage in risky behavior when taking Ativan, increasing their risk for an overdose.
How Does an Overdose on Ativan Happen?
It is not possible to know precisely how much of a drug or medication has been taken. Many factors can affect this, such as body mass, age, drug tolerance, and other medical conditions such as kidney and liver damage. While Ativan is unlikely to cause an overdose when used alone in medically supervised settings. Generally speaking, a person may be at risk for an overdose if they:
- Took more than the prescribed dose of this medication by accident
- Took more than the prescribed dose of this medication intentionally
- Took medicine with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol or other benzodiazepines
- Are physically dependent on Ativan
- Occasionally, a person may not realize they have overdosed until it’s too late.
Is it possible to overdose on Lorazepam?
Ativan is another name for Lorazepam. Although you can’t “overdose” on Ativan, there are a few things to bear in mind so that if someone needs medical attention, they get it appropriately.
The maximum amount of Lorazepam that an adult can take in 24 hours is 4 mg. This indicates that if you take more than this amount in 24 hours, you could experience serious health issues such as respiratory arrest and abnormal heart rhythms.
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What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Ativan Overdose?
The signs and symptoms of an Ativan overdose can vary depending on how much of the drug has been taken. However, common signs and symptoms include:
- Drowsiness is the most common sign of an overdose. This is the feeling of being very tired and wanting to sleep.
- Confusion happens when a person has a hard time thinking straight or understanding what is happening around them.
- Slurred speech may occur when a person cannot speak clearly or has lost muscle control in their mouth.
- Loss of balance and coordination can make it difficult to walk, stand, or do basic tasks.
- Chest pain happens when a drug overdose affects the heart.
- Rapid heart rate is when the heart is beating faster than usual.
- Shallow breathing occurs when a person is not taking in enough air.
- Seizures may occur when the drug overdose has overly stimulated the brain.
- Coma is a state of extreme unresponsiveness and lack of awareness. A person in a coma will appear to be sleeping and will not respond to any stimuli.
If a person is taking Ativan and has any of the above signs or symptoms, it is crucial to go to the emergency room immediately. Signs and symptoms of an Ativan overdose may resemble other medical conditions or problems, so seek immediate medical attention if you notice them.
What is the effect of Mixing Ativan with Other Drugs?
Mixing Ativan with other drugs, especially depressants such as alcohol or opioids, can have dangerous effects because it causes the central nervous system to become more depressed. Central nervous system depression slows down the body’s vital functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. A person can experience respiratory distress or cardiac arrest and die if they take too many combinations of drugs.
How to Stop Taking Ativan Safely
If you or a loved one is dependent on Ativan, it is essential to stop taking the drug slowly with medical supervision. Sudden withdrawal can lead to very uncomfortable side effects, which may include seizures. Consult your doctor for more information about how to stop taking this medication safely.
What is the Physical and Mental Toll of an Ativan Overdose?
If a person overdoses on Ativan, they may experience a variety of physical and mental effects, which can include:
- Headache is experienced when blood vessels are constricted.
- Muscle pain is felt when the drug overdose is affecting the muscles.
- Tremors occur when the person experiences uncontrollable shaking.
- Nausea and vomiting may result from the drug overdose and the body’s attempt to get rid of the drug.
- Diarrhea is a common side effect of Lorazepam and can occur when taking too much of the drug.
- Psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia may occur when too much of the drug is in the body.
- Restlessness can happen when a person wants to move their body because they feel physically uncomfortable.
- Fatigue happens when a person has been awake for too long and cannot stay alert anymore.
- Excessive sweating is a sign that the drug overdose affects the sweat glands.
- Confusion may be experienced if a person cannot keep track of what they’re thinking or experiencing around them.
- Lack of coordination or balance can make it difficult to walk, stand, or perform simple tasks.
- Depression can be a result of lorazepam overdose because this drug is part of the benzodiazepine family which has been linked to depression.
- Ringing in the ears can happen when the drug overdose is affecting the auditory senses.
- Memory problems such as forgetting what you did or said. Memory problems are caused by the chemical imbalance created in the brain when an Ativan overdose occurs.
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors may happen when the drug overdose is affecting the brain.
Must Read: Ativan Withdrawal
How is an Ativan Overdose Treated?
The treatment for an Ativan overdose will vary depending on the person’s symptoms and medical history. Some common treatments include:
- Activated charcoal
- Supportive care (such as oxygen and fluids)
- Medication to reverse the effects of the overdose
- Intravenous benzodiazepines
What can I do if Ativan begins to Affect my Life?
If you begin to feel that Ativan is affecting your life, it is best to speak with a doctor. They will help determine whether the drug is causing mental or physical problems and whether a different medication may be more appropriate for you. Do not stop taking Ativan without speaking with your doctor, as this can be dangerous.
If you are struggling with an addiction to Ativan, it is vital to get help. There are many programs and resources available to help you get on the road to recovery. Treatment for an Ativan addiction may include detox, therapy, and medication-assisted treatment.
What should you do if someone you know overdoses on Ativan?
If someone you know overdoses on Ativan, you should:
- Call 911 immediately
- Give the person activated charcoal if you have it
- Stay with the person until help arrives
- Activated charcoal can help absorb Ativan from the stomach and prevent it from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
- If assistance is not immediately available, try to keep the person awake and talking to you.
What is the Outlook for a Person who Overdoses on Ativan?
The outlook depends on the person’s symptoms and overall health. A person who overdoses on Ativan may be monitored in a hospital and then released once they no longer show signs of an overdose. However, suppose a person is on any medications which cause central nervous system depression (such as opioids). In that case, they should not drive or operate heavy machinery once they are released from the hospital.
Support a Loved One During Recovery from Ativan Overdose
Your support helps them tremendously in maintaining sobriety and building a fulfilling life without Ativan. You can:
- Be there for them because they know they can count on you
- Help them connect with resources and treatment programs
- Attend support group meetings with them
- Help them find a therapist or counselor
- Encourage them to seek out other resources, such as 12-step programs
- Make sure they are eating healthy and getting enough sleep
- Remind them how proud you are of their progress
- Provide positive reinforcement when they make healthy choices
- Be patient – recovery from addiction is a long process, not always an overnight process
The person recovering from an Ativan Overdose is not alone. Many people understand what they’re going through and support them every step of the way. With your love and support, they can overcome anything.
What are the resources available that will help support your loved ones during their Ativan Overdose recovery?
There are many resources available to help support your loved ones during their Ativan overdose recovery. Some of these include:
- Treatment programs are available all over the United States. Ativan can cause people to feel sleepy or dizzy, so it is essential to get help when you overdose on the medication. Treatment for an Ativan overdose may include monitoring in a hospital until symptoms decrease and switching medications if necessary.
- 12 step programs are available all over the United States. These support groups are free of charge and are very helpful for people overcoming addiction or overdose to Ativan.
- Therapy is an excellent way for your loved ones to get help with their mental health and addiction.
- Support groups, there are many groups available both in-person and online that offer support for those recovering from addiction or overdose.
- Family and friend support groups, these support groups allow family and friends to help those overcoming addiction. This will support your loved ones in their journey to overcome Ativan addiction.
- Youth support groups are available for those who have suffered an Ativan addiction or overdose as a youth.
Many resources are available that may be beneficial during the recovery process from Ativan overdose. In addition, there is free information about addiction and Ativan overdose available with personalized questions.
Not only that, but you have the support of a caring community. There are numerous resources available to your loved ones to assist them on their path to sobriety, and they do not have to go through this journey alone. These services are accessible for your loved ones’ recovery. Do not allow your loved one to suffer alone. Some individuals are eager to assist them and will be there for them every step of the way. Allow them to reclaim what they’ve lost, but most importantly, get assistance as quickly as possible so that your loved one may begin rebuilding their life. With your help, they can overcome any obstacle.