Ativan addiction in Pennsylvania and the United States as a whole continues to be a problem. It’s a widely-used prescription medication but it’s also an addictive drug when used recreationally. People addicted to Ativan often need to attend addiction treatment to achieve recovery.
Prescription drugs like Ativan are deceiving. Many believe they’re a safe option because a doctor prescribes the medication. These drugs aren’t always as harmless as they seem, though. Lots of prescription medications are highly addictive. Once dependence or addiction develops, many need the help of drug rehab in Pennsylvania to quit.
What is Ativan (Lorazepam)?
Ativan is the brand name for Lorazepam, a prescription medication used to treat anxiety. It’s part of a larger class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These medications interact with the body’s central nervous system to provide feelings of calmness. Though it’s mainly used to treat anxiety, Ativan also relieves symptoms of insomnia and epilepsy.
Ativan usually comes in the form of quickly dissolving tablets. It’s occasionally found as a concentrated, colorless liquid. Ativan is ingested orally or sometimes intravenously when in a medically-administered inpatient hospital setting. The medication is fast-acting and offers quick relief. It takes between 45 minutes and 2 hours to feel the effects of the medication.
Short-term use of Ativan is always recommended because of its high potential for misuse. Using Ativan for long periods, even as prescribed, can lead to dependence or even accidental addiction. This leads to an even greater problem.
What Makes Ativan So Addictive?
Ativan, along with other benzodiazepines in general, is a powerful and potent medication. It works by enhancing the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain. The strong effects are amplified when a person takes more than prescribed. This makes Ativan a popular drug for recreational use. Effects of Ativan misuse include:
- Euphoria and a “high”
- Widespread feelings of calmness
- Relaxed muscles
- Drowsiness or sleepiness
These enticing effects lead people to overuse and abuse the medication. Recreational benzodiazepine use is common in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. Street names for Ativan include:
- Heavenly blues
Combining Ativan with other substances also amplifies its calming effects. Many people combine benzodiazepines with alcohol or other prescription drugs. Users often misjudge the risk potential when using Ativan because it’s a prescription medication. Unfortunately, misuse usually leads to Ativan addiction.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Statistics in Pennsylvania
Ativan abuse in Pennsylvania, along with benzodiazepine use in general, continues to be a problem. Statistics show that benzodiazepine prescriptions have skyrocketed over the past few decades. According to multiple studies:
- 4.8 million people reported misusing benzodiazepines in 2019
- Doctors dispensed more than 28 million benzodiazepine prescriptions in 2011
- There are 46 benzodiazepine prescriptions for every 100 adults in Pennsylvania
- Between 1996 and 2013, deaths due to benzodiazepine overdose increased more than 500%
- More than 50,000 people were admitted to the ER for Ativan complications in 2011
- 95% of people admitted for benzodiazepine abuse also abuse another substance
- Benzodiazepines were present in 31% of opioid overdoses in 2011
Pennsylvania Drug Rehab Options for Ativan Addiction
It’s difficult to quit using the drug once Ativan addiction develops. Those addicted to Ativan in Pennsylvania should consider seeking professional help. Addiction treatment facilities in PA offer different levels of treatment for anyone battling drug addiction. Each level of care exists to help people depending on their specific needs.
Inpatient Rehab Programs
Inpatient rehab is a supervised, residential program offering structure and support around the clock. These programs tend to be the first step in addiction treatment for people with severe substance abuse problems. Inpatient programs consist of two parts: drug detox and inpatient rehab.
Ativan addiction causes physical dependence on the medication. Stopping drug use suddenly can cause physical reactions called withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms range from mild to intense and may be hard to manage without medical attention. Drug detox for Ativan addiction uses medication-assisted treatment to manage these symptoms.
Inpatient rehab is a residential program that lasts around 30 days. These programs offer structured sessions and activities every day. Programming includes individual and group therapy, family therapy, experiential therapy, and more.
Outpatient Rehab Programs
Outpatient rehab programs are a more flexible and accessible approach to addiction treatment. Not everyone has the time or financial capability to attend a full-time residential inpatient program. Outpatient fills the gap by providing the same high-quality care during fewer hours each week.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
Partial hospitalization programs are similar to inpatient rehab but remove the residential portion. These programs provide full days of treatment during the week while allowing patients to live at home or a nearby sober living.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive outpatient programs are the most adaptable type of addiction treatment available. They offer about 3 hours of programming per day on 3 to 5 days each week. Most have both a daytime program and an evening program to accommodate different schedules. Those with existing responsibilities such as family, school, or work can still receive the help they need.
Outpatient therapy is an ongoing aftercare option for people who complete inpatient rehab or an intensive outpatient program. Patients meet with a therapist for individual sessions to support their ongoing recovery. They usually meet once or twice a week depending on the person’s needs.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes are not a type of addiction treatment on their own. They do offer a sober living environment for those in early recovery. People in their first few weeks and months of recovery find sober living homes a great way to reintegrate into life. They’re surrounded by sober peers with the same challenges and goals in mind.