Substance Use

Ativan Overdose: What You Need to Know

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white ativan pills on wooden table

What You Need to Know About Ativan Overdose

Ativan (Lorazepam) is a prescription medication that is used to treat anxiety disorders. It is a benzodiazepine that works by depressing the central nervous system. Ativan can be habit-forming and should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor. It is essential to know what to do if someone overdoses on Ativan. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of an Ativan overdose, treatment options, and ways to prevent an overdose from happening in the first place.

Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about the potential for overdosing on Ativan. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of taking this medication. In addition, contacting a helpline at treatment centers like Zinnia Healing can give you medical guidance to safely use Ativan. For more information about our services, call us today at (855) 430-9439.

Can You Overdose on Ativan?

Yes, you can overdose on Ativan. The effects of an Ativan overdose will depend on how much of the drug was taken and whether it was taken with other drugs or alcohol.

While some people may only experience mild symptoms from an Ativan overdose, others may experience more severe effects that can be life-threatening.

What to Do in an Emergency?

If you suspect someone close to you is overdosing on Ativan, call 911 immediately.

Please call 911 immediately to get help and advice for a person who is overdosing.

What Are the Treatment Options for an Ativan Overdose?

If you or someone you know has overdosed on Ativan, it is vital to seek emergency medical assistance immediately. Various treatment options are available for an Ativan overdose, depending on the severity of the situation. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Intravenous fluids: This is often the first step in treating an Ativan overdose. Intravenous (IV) fluids can help to flush the drug out of the system and stabilize vital signs.
  • Activated charcoal: This medication can be used to bind to Ativan and prevent it from being absorbed into the body. It is usually given through a tube that goes down the throat and into the stomach.
  • Benzodiazepine antagonists: Medications like Flumazenil work by blocking the effects of Ativan in the brain. They are typically only used in severe cases where other treatments have failed.
  • Assisted ventilation: This may be necessary if the person overdosing on Ativan has trouble breathing. A machine will be used to help them breathe, and they will be closely monitored.
  • Hospitalization: In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary to provide close monitoring and support. This is often the case with severe overdoses or if there are other complicating factors present.

Is an Ativan Overdose Dangerous?

Yes, high doses of Ativan can lead to severe and life-threatening side effects, including:

  • Respiratory depression: This is when breathing becomes slow and shallow, leading to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain. Respiratory depression can cause brain damage or death.
  • Coma: A coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness in which a person cannot be awakened. Comas can be caused by a variety of factors, including drug overdoses.
  • Seizures: Seizures are sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain that can cause convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. 
  • Cardiac arrest: This is when the heart stops beating, which can lead to death if not treated immediately.
  • Death: An Ativan overdose can be fatal if not treated promptly.

How Much Ativan Does It Take to Overdose?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as a benzodiazepine overdose depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The person’s height, weight, and health
  • Whether other drugs or alcohol are involved
  • How much Ativan was taken
  • How long ago was Ativan taken

A typical daily limit of Ativan is around 10 mg. An overdose can occur with any significant amount over this amount, especially for those without tolerance to the drug.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of an Ativan Overdose?

The signs and symptoms of an Ativan overdose will vary depending on how much of the drug was taken and whether it was taken with other drugs or alcohol. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Mental confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slow reflexes
  • Slower heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Respiratory failure
  • Death

If you or someone you know displays signs of drug abuse or Ativan addiction, it is vital to be proactive and seek help. Zinnia Healing specializes in the treatment of addiction and substance use disorders. Our experienced professionals will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Contact us today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our programs.

What Increases the Risk of an Ativan Overdose?

Several things can increase the risk of overdose, including:

  • Mixing Ativan with other drugs or alcohol: Mixing Ativan with other drugs or alcohol can overload the liver and increase the risk of a fatal overdose.
  • Having a mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression: People with mental illness disorders may have higher risk factors for abusing Ativan and are at a greater risk for an overdose.
  • Taking more Ativan than prescribed: Depending on the person’s tolerance and reaction to the drug, taking more Ativan than prescribed can lead to an overdose.

Why Does an Ativan Overdose Occur?

Benzodiazepines like Ativan are psychoactive drugs that work by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is responsible for slowing down nerve activity in the brain, which results in feelings of relaxation and drowsiness. 

Overdosing results from taking too much of a drug or taking a drug in combination with other substances. When this occurs, the body’s systems cannot quickly process and remove the toxic substances.

How to Tell Someone Is on Ativan?

If you suspect someone to be on Ativan, there are specific symptoms that may give you an indication of drug use. The following are some of the most common signs:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Lethargy or sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Loss of coordination

If someone you know is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical help immediately. These symptoms can be indicative of an overdose and could potentially be life-threatening.

Why Would Someone Take Ativan?

There are several reasons why someone might take Ativan, but some of the most common include the following:

  • To relieve anxiety or panic attacks through sedation
  • To help with insomnia
  • To help with seizures
  • To ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms

When taken as prescribed by a doctor, Ativan can be a safe and effective medication. However, due to its potential for abuse and dependence, it is essential to use it only as directed.

How to Help Someone With an Ativan Use Disorder?

If you or someone you know is struggling with an Ativan use disorder, there are several treatment options including:

  • Detoxification: The first step in treating an Ativan use disorder is to detoxify the body of the drug. This can be done through a medical detox treatment program with a certified healthcare provider.
  • Inpatient or outpatient drug addiction treatment facilities: These programs use various methods to help people with an Ativan use disorder, such as counseling and medication.
  • Therapy: Therapy can help you identify the underlying causes of your addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Support groups: Many Ativan support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are available. These groups provide peer support and can be an invaluable resource during recovery.

With so many resources available, it can take time to figure out where to start. Zinnia Healing can help you navigate the treatment landscape and find the right program for your needs. Our philosophy is simple. We believe in providing comprehensive, individualized care that leads to lasting recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an Ativan use disorder, don’t hesitate to reach out for help at our website or call us at (855) 430-9439.