Two of the most common ailments that affect American’s are anxiety and insomnia, which is precisely what the medication Ativan was designed to treat. Ativan is a benzodiazepine, and these drugs are the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. There are 15 different variations of benzos currently on the market. They are used to treat various symptoms of an overactive nervous system ranging from physical to psychological, but they are mostly used to alleviate sleep and anxiety ailments.
Overactive nervous systems are a common occurrence in some individuals who cannot produce enough gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) on their own, and Ativan is a central nervous system (CNS) that can be occasionally used to treat epilepsy, a seizure disorder that can be debilitating.
Were you aware that nearly 40 million Americans struggle with chronic, long-term sleep disorders? An additional 20 million of these individuals report occasional sleeping problems Anxiety and sleep disorders have the capability of exacerbating one another and intensifying the issue.
Sleep disorders are comprised of abnormal sleep patterns and interfere with physical and emotional functioning. Struggling with a sleep disorder can cause destructive patterns in someone’s life and affect them in many ways. It can interfere with their job or schooling because they will not function at their highest level.
One issue you may run across is determining the right moment to take a sleeping pill, and when your usage crosses the line of becoming a crutch. Those with sleep disorders will agree that Ativan has changed the quality of their lives, but there will also be those who could not tote the line and began abusing Ativan by smoking or snorting the drug.
Unfortunately, those who start using medications like Ativan do so with honest intentions, and their sole desire is to cure their ailments, but drugs like Ativan are so potent and addictive that users fall into the trap of addiction. It’s hard to determine that you’re becoming addicted because you are suddenly freed from your anxiety or inability to sleep, and that is reason enough to continue using.
The rise of tolerance and dependence will enter into the equation, and the longer a person uses, they will find new ways to get high from the drug. A person may not feel the same effects as they did when they started using the medicine, and this is known as tolerance. The user will begin experimenting with new ways to feel that sensation they did when they began using, and this could mean smoking or snorting the drug. While the medication says to take orally only, can you smoke or snort Ativan safely? We don’t consider it safe. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.
What is Ativan?
Ativan is the brand name for lorazepam. Ativan is classified as a Schedule IV substance, which means it can only be obtained with a prescription from a medical professional. Benzodiazepines were synthesized in 1930 by Leo Sternbach when he worked at Hoffman-LaRoche Company. The drugs required extensive testing and were not approved until 1957. These were highly sought out medications to replace barbiturates, which were very addictive medications originally used to treat overactive nervous systems.
Ativan is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and falls into the same category as alcohol. These two drugs share common characteristics in that they slow down brain activity and manage GABA that function at a higher level. It is why those with sleep orders will benefit from Ativan because it binds to receptors in the nervous system and increases the efficacy of GABA. Once it is activated, it provides anxiolytic feelings such as sedation and muscle relaxation. When it is used as prescribed and used as needed, it is a very effective medication.
Ativan is not meant for long-term use, and as mentioned above, it should be used as needed. The medication is seldom prescribed for longer than four weeks at a time, and when Ativan is used for this length of time, the outcome is an addiction. When Ativan dependence becomes an issue, users will experience withdrawal symptoms. At this stage, users may start to snort or smoke the drug.
Dangers of Snorting Ativan
Ativan is meant to be used orally, and snorting any drug comes with dangers. Humans are not designed to put substances in their nose, and it can lead to undesirable and even deadly effects. Snorting is done to increase the impact of the substance while achieving a high much quicker.
Snorting requires the drug to be crushed until it turns into a fine powder. Users will then divide the powder into what is known as “lines” and snort with a straw, dollar bill, or off of a key.
The absorption rate of this method is much higher than other forms of administration, and it travels through the bloodstream because of the soft tissue inside the nose. The most common reasons people choose to snort Ativan are:
- A much stronger high than when Ativan is ingested orally
- To speed up the onset of Ativan’s effects
- Information they may have read that it is safe to snort the drug
Pills are designed to be absorbed slowly in the bloodstream for a more prolonged effect, and snorting Ativan will cause a faster reaction. Due to this, crushing it and snorting Ativan makes it much more dangerous and will likely lead to a full-blown Ativan addiction.
Snorting drugs can cause other damages to the body including:
- Damage to the nasal passage(s)
- Increased rapid heart rate
Dangers of Smoking Ativan
While this is a less common form of administration, not much is known about smoking Ativan. When the drug is broken down into a fine powder, it makes it possible to smoke it. There have been personal anecdotes on forums around the internet of users mixing Ativan with tobacco, and others mixing the drug in their marijuana joints. Other stories mentioned they placed it on foil and freebased it like black-tar heroin.
Smoking Ativan is dangerous, and it may encourage someone to mix the drug with other substances. Polydrug use accounts for a high level of overdoses, and nearly 30 percent of those who died from opioid overdoses also had a benzodiazepine present in their system. Heating the drug can also change the chemistry and how it affects someone. It has not been studied thoroughly enough to offer definitive evidence of this claim, though.
Using any drug not as prescribed can lead to grave consequences, and those who have reached this level of abuse have likely developed an addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder or is using the drug in an unintended fashion, you must reach out for help immediately. It is not worth losing your life over a habit you want to stop.
Can You Crush Ativan?
As a means of getting the drug into your system faster, many people believe that snorting drugs like Ativan will get their desired effect faster. You might wonder if you can crush Ativan. If you’ve ever wondered, the answer is yes, Ativan be crushed. You can crush, chew, and split Ativan tablets, so what happens when you snort Ativan? Can Ativan get you high? Yes, and the drug will be absorbed directly into your bloodstream for an immediate and intense high. Although it doesn’t last as long as taking it orally, the effects are extreme. It’ll cause an individual to continue snorting more as the effects wear off and increase the potential for a fatal overdose.
If you’ve never used the drug, you may wonder, “What does Ativan do?” It’s designed to treat anxiety or anxiety-related depression, but many people use it for its euphoric effects. As a central nervous system depressant, it will bring you into another state of consciousness. Your problems will melt away when it takes effect, causing you to feel sluggish and detached from reality. Many people report forgetting many of the events that take place while they’re high, but these feelings are short-lived. The longer you use a drug like Ativan, you’ll begin developing a tolerance, meaning you’ll need more to feel these effects. Eventually, you won’t feel them at all, and you’ll use the drug to feel normal.
In two weeks of oral use, Ativan can lead to dependence. If you’re using high doses, crushing and snorting the drug, you’ll likely experience this much faster. When you stop using or lower your dose, you’ll experience extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. At this point, you’ll need professional medical treatment to overcome your symptoms. Ativan withdrawal can be fatal if left untreated.
Ativan is a Schedule IV drug, meaning it has a moderate potential to be abused and for the development of physical dependence. The potential for physical dependence means it will eventually cause withdrawal symptoms in chronic users and abusers when they stop using or start taking less.
Physical dependence is the direct result of someone taking drugs over a long period. When individuals abuse Ativan, their system adjusts to its effects and rewires itself to function at a steady level only when the drug is present. Your body automatically adjusts its own release of chemical substances like neurotransmitters and hormones to account for Ativan’s presence. When you stop, your system goes out of balance and produces various physical symptoms known as Ativan withdrawal.
Ativan withdrawal can be potentially severe and even fatal because of the potential for seizures during the process. Ativan withdrawal occurs in two stages – an acute phase and a prolonged stage. The half-life of the drug is 10-12 hours, meaning withdrawal symptoms will appear around 24 hours after your last dose. The average onset of symptoms is three to four days. Acute withdrawal starts with a rebound effect that increases your level of anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate and causes problems with your sleep cycle. Acute symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Rapid heart rate
- Abdominal cramps
- Weight loss
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
Protracted withdrawal refers to the symptoms that occur after the acute phase. These typically last 10 to 14 days but can last longer if the individual takes high doses of Ativan. You’ll likely experience drug cravings, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, fatigue, and become depressed. You may continue experiencing mood swings and depression for months or even years to follow. This is often referred to as post-acute withdrawal syndrome.
For this reason, getting professional help to overcome Ativan addiction is important.
Call Serenity for Help with Ativan Abuse Today
Addiction to Ativan can have dangerous consequences. While most of us don’t anticipate getting addicted to a drug, it does happen to many of us. It’s common that you started using the medicine for anxiety or sleep disorders, and one day, you realize you can’t live without snorting or smoking it. Once you’ve reached this level, it’s time to call the professionals.
Serenity offers a smooth transition back into your life through various therapies and intensive care designed at stabilizing you as a whole. Contact us immediately at 844-326-4514, or contact us online to stop using Ativan today.