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Ativan Addiction? Please Help

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Old 02-09-2008, 10:33 AM   #1
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sixthextinction HB User
Question Ativan Addiction? Please Help

I had a panic attack earlier this week. Quite a severe one that lasted for hours... I can't even describe to you in words how horrible the feeling was. I was practically begging for death after an hour of it.

Anyways, I went to the ER and was prescribed 2mg Ativan one tablet twice daily , or as needed. The ativan is working wonders.... I slept 12 hours last night and I can't ever remember sleeping that long in the past 3 years.

My fear is this though, benzos cause addiction and dependency. Will I be addicted by these 60 pills and suffer withdrawal? I've been reading some TERRIFYING stories of ppl going through ativan withdrawal.

THanks for reading!

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Old 02-09-2008, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: Ativan Addiction? Please Help

Hi Sixth

Welcome aboard.

Yes, Ativan can indeed be addicting. And yes, getting off a benzo can be a horrible experience.

That does not mean, however, that using it as needed is not sometimes what we are supposed to do. And that is the real key.... as needed. I am glad you got some sleep because lack of sleep can sure play havoc with our well being. Please just remember, though, ativan is not a sleeping pill, it is an anti-anxiety medication and is potent. Unless a true anxiety attack is looming, it is not needed. It is oh, so easy, to cross the line into abuse when using meds that have side effects we like, but don't need.

Please just be totally honest with yourself when evaluating the 'as needed' direction. It should, in my thoughts, be highlighted in bold, red letters on every presciption that is doctor-directed to take that way.

Best wishes

Old 02-09-2008, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: Ativan Addiction? Please Help

In most cases, it takes several weeks, if not longer, to become physically tolerant to meds. Most addiction is "mental" whereas physical tolerance is your body's dependance on a substance, like caffeine for example. If you drink coffee every AM, your body will eventually become physically dependent and won't like it if you suddenly quit. Ativan is a schedule III med, which means it has abuse and addiction potential, but nearly as much as schedule I and II meds. For example, comparing Ativan (III) to Oxycontin (II) to Cocaine (I) is comparing apples to oranges to watermellons. A lot of what you read on this board is people dependent on very strong meds and/or doses.

If you can, give your body a periodic break, which will help. For example, if you can skip a day or two or more per week, your body will know it can do without it. Play it by ear and skip when you feel you're ok. Even skipping just one day, will help a lot.

Work with your family Doc on a plan, and he/she may script an alternative that isn't as troublesome. Many of these meds are very safe if taken as directed.

Good luck!

Last edited by Executor; 02-09-2008 at 06:32 PM. Reason: clarification

Old 02-10-2008, 07:46 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Twinsburg, OH
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sixthextinction HB User
Re: Ativan Addiction? Please Help

Thanks for the info fellas. While this drug has made me feel so much better than I have in months, will just a one month supply of it cause dependence?

The doctor didn't mention anything about benzodiazapine withdrawal... It was like "Here's your meds, and sign here." I have an addictive personality ... never narcotics but I was an alcoholic for 2 years... and have been clean for 1.5yrs now.

Old 02-10-2008, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: Ativan Addiction? Please Help

Like Reach VERRRRY careful with the benzos!! Coming off of a bad Benzo addiction in the INcorrect way can be VERY hazardous to your health....possible even deadly. So PLEASE be careful.

I don't mean to scare you here, but I've just seen/heard it way too many times.... IE: Heath Ledger.

Be safe, and follow your doc's orders EXACTLY.

Good luck friend - let us know how you're doing.


Old 02-12-2008, 04:34 PM   #6
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Location: San Fransciso, CA, U.S.A.
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brittney777 HB User
Re: Ativan Addiction? Please Help

I have been prescribed Ativan .5mg to be taken 3x per day. So I figure to take it about every 8 hours. Here is my question: Once I take a pill, is it safe for me to drive after taking the pill? If I got pulled over by the cops, and I told him I just took an Ativan pill, could that get me into legal trouble?

Also, one last question: What is the half-life of Ativan .5 mg. Meaning, once I take it, how long do the results last until I will need to take another?


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