Can You Overdose on Ativan?

in Drug Insights
Published Mar 8, 2021
ativan overdose

Ativan, the brand name for the drug lorazepam, is a tranquilizing type of medication that is classified as a benzodiazepine. It can be used to treat anxiety disorders, sleep problems, alcohol withdrawal and can prevent seizures. It is typically not used for an extended period of time and research findings reveal that long term use will worsen anxiety over time. If Ativan is taken for recreational purposes or used any differently than how it was prescribed, it can become highly addictive and can lead to serious health problems, potentially an Ativan overdose.

How is Ativan Intended to be Used?

Ativan comes either in tablet form or liquid form and is to be taken orally. The amount of times it should be taken per day will be determined by a physician and is dependent upon a patient’s needs. Before taking this medication, it is important that the patient lets their doctor know of any other medications they are taking because they could interact negatively. It is also important that a doctor knows if the patient is currently pregnant or hoping to get pregnant in the future as well as any health complications they may have. Throughout the time that a patient takes Ativan, they should continuously check in with their doctor and discuss how the medication is working for them.

What are some Possible Side Effects of Ativan?

There are a wide variety of side effects that someone taking Ativan could experience. Besides an Ativan overdose, they could include:

  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and/or diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Restlessness
  • Constipation
  • Increased anxiety after long term use


It is possible to experience more severe side effects while taking Ativan. These could include:

  • Tremors
  • Trouble breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Yellow skin or eyes


If a patient experiences any of these serious side effects or any persisting side effects, they should contact their doctor immediately.

Is Ativan Addictive? Is Ativan Overdose an Issue?

Ativan is highly addictive and if it is misused for even a short amount of time it can lead to serious health problems. As someone continues to use Ativan incorrectly for an extended amount of time, they will begin to build up a tolerance to the drug. Thus, they will find that they need more and more of the substance to get the same effects. At this point, their body is dependent upon the drug and the person is at risk for an Ativan overdose. The longer that a person misuses Ativan, the more risk there is for serious health consequences. Additionally, this sedative will impact their natural ability to deal with stress and anxiety and over time replaces more functional coping skills.

How Do I Know I am Addicted to Ativan?

If someone finds that they want to quit using Ativan but are unable to do so, they may have become addicted to the drug. They may experience urges or cravings, as well as increased anxiety, or mood swings when they don’t take the drug. The best way for an individual to determine if they are suffering from drug dependency is to speak with their doctor candidly about their use or call us at Gallus Detox.

What are the Possible Consequences of Misusing Ativan?

An individual misusing Ativan can experience a variety of health problems. Some of these could be serious. They could include but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Kidney Problems
  • Memory Loss
  • Mental and Physical Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Increased Anxiety
  • Disorientation and confusion

The most serious consequence of misusing is an Ativan overdose. The chance of possible overdose is increased when Ativan is combined with other drugs or consumed with alcohol.

It’s important to note that misusing Ativan doesn’t only lead to physical issues. It can lead to personal issues such as family problems. It could lead to difficulties in a marriage. An addicted individual may have trouble keeping up with their responsibilities and face risks like losing their job or being unable to keep up financially due to their dependence.

How Can I Stop Using Ativan?

While quitting Ativan right now may seem like an impossible task, recovery is possible. If you think you have a problem with Ativan, your doctor will likely tell you that a detox process is necessary.

A taper program after the initial detox process might be necessary. If that is the case, here at Gallus we offer a benzodiazepine taper program that offers clinical expertise and an individualized plan for each patient. This program includes key components such as, IV Therapy 24/7 medical supervision and cardiac telemetry and video technology. In-patient treatment under supervised medical care is the safest and most effective way to detox. At Gallus, we can help you every step of the way with professional and ethical treatment from detox to aftercare. Our skilled staff will ensure that by the time you leave our facility you will have every tool possible to enjoy a lifelong recovery.

Ativan can be effective for treating certain disorders such as anxiety, seizures and alcohol withdrawal. However, if it is misused it can be highly addictive. Misusing Ativan can lead to very serious health problems that could be life threatening. After misusing Ativan for a long amount of time, an individual will build up a tolerance to it. If this drug is misused over a long period of time, an individual could face long lasting side effects like kidney problems and memory loss. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we can help you to safely and effectively detox from Ativan and move towards a complete and long lasting recovery. We pride ourselves in our Gallus Method which we believe is the safest and most effective way to detox. Throughout this process we will ensure you are comfortable and treated with dignity. If you are ready to begin a new way of life, contact us at (866) 296-5242 today.