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Lorazepam Addiction,
Withdrawal, and Treatment

Lorazepam (Brand name Ativan and Temesta) is a high potency benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and acute seizures. Lorazepam is a short-acting drug that exerts therapeutic effects from benzodiazepine bonding sites located in the central nervous system. Lorzazepam was introduced in 1977 for treating anxiety disorders. Like other benzodiapines, lorazepam can become highly addictive when it is abused. Long-term effects of lorazepam include dependency, tolerance, and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. Therefore, lorazepam is only recommended for short-term use (2-4 weeks).

Lorazepam is a white powder that is nearly insoluble in water and oil. It is most commonly taken orally as a syrup or tablet. It can also be used intravenously, or as a skin patch.

Adverse Effects of Lorazepam:

Amnesic effects can sometimes occur within patients. However, they do develop a tolerance with regular use. To avoid amnesia, a daily dose should not exceed 2 mg. Suicide can be triggered by the use of benzodiazepines. Lorazepam can act as a facilitator of suicidal behavior. Therefore it should not be taken in high doses. Paradoxical effects are likely to occur with higher doses, and patients suffering from personality disorders, and psychiatric illnesses.

Lorazepam Addiction

Dependence occurs in one third of patients who engage in four weeks of continued use. Higher doses greatly increase this risk. Tolerance to benzodiazepines develops in regular use. The benzodiazepine binding site receives alternative configurations from the GABAA receptor, thus internalizing the drug. Lorazepam has a high potency level and provokes change in the gene expression. If lorazepam is used as a long-term drug, doctors recommend slowly tapering off of the medication. This can reduce intense withdrawal symptoms. Pleasant withdrawal can also be achieved by switching to an equivalent dose of diazepam which has a longer half life.

Lorazepam Withdrawal

Withdrawal can take place within the first week of taking therapeutic doses of lorazepam. Since lorazepam is a short-acting benzodiazepine, the withdrawal can be more severe than other drugs. Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome can take place after chronic use.

Withdrawal Symptoms

*Panic attacks
*Short-term memory loss

Lorazepam Treatment

Detox off of lorazepam can be administers by a doctor or psychiatrist. If use lasted a larger amount of time, it is suggested to enter a detox facility and/or treatment center. Lorazepam is highly addictive and requires professional care to oversee a safe detox. To help locate a detox or treatment center in your area please call (866) 206-8656.


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