Ativan is also referred to as Lorazepam and is part of the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It is specifically prescribed to people struggling with anxiety-related disorders and sleep issues. Ativan is a highly potent drug that should be used for a short period to avoid developing a dependency and addiction to the drug.
Ativan directly affects the central nervous system by sticking to the GABA receptors in the brain. When it coats the receptors, they are unable to receive signals causing the brain to slow down. The body then slows down and creates a calming effect that also directly affects the respiratory system. Ativan is mainly prescribed to people who are struggling with psychosis caused by sudden alcohol withdrawal, nausea, muscle spasms, restlessness, chronic sleep issues, chemotherapy and cancer drugs-related issues, and manic bipolar.
Since Ativan is very potent it is very likely to cause addiction within as short a period as a week of use. Some patients have been known to increase their dosage of the drug or extend their prescription after a week of use. It is very addictive because it increases the tolerance of the body to the drug. This tolerance increase makes the body depend on the drug to perform normal body functions.
As of now, there are no approved medications that can aid in the treatment of Ativan addiction. However, many treatment options can help the person cope and beat their addiction. Abusing Ativan has severe and varying effects on the body. If you review the series of most drug abuse rehab centers, you will note that they offer core treatment services to people struggling with Ativan abuse. These services range from supporting the core recovery plan to treatment services.
A study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse titled Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment showed that the main treatment methods for addiction are psycho-behavioral therapy and pharmacological intervention. These two methods are commonly administered in drug rehab centers and have proved to be successful.
Pharmacological treatment is a medication-assisted method. Even though some drugs have been approved by the FDA in the treatment of substance abuse, no drug has been approved specifically for the treatment of benzodiazepine addiction.
When it comes to psycho-behavioral therapy, most facilities focus on the psychological stress that is causing a patient to use the substance. They then use various techniques to help them cope and have a better life after the treatment is complete. The most common techniques include:
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Contingency management interventions
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- Community reinforcement approach
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
This form of treatment is provided at the group and individual levels. Some of the techniques require a more personalized approach that seeks to identify the beliefs and thoughts of a person that led to them abusing the substance. The group-focused techniques are centered on promoting and supporting and showing the person struggling with Ativan substance abuse that they can manage just as others have. Additionally, it helps them share and learn from the mistakes of others. People struggling with Ativan abuse can learn coping mechanisms from their peers and apply them to their daily routines.
For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy requires individual intervention. It is personalized because the doctor has to understand what made the person struggling with Ativan addiction to abuse the drug in the first instance. It helps the person focus on learning new skills and addressing the underlying issues that caused them to abuse Ativan.
Most rehab centers offer this program in the form of meetings. The meetings are normally held during the recovery process. They are part of the treatment plan in most rehab centers. However, other facilities treat them as ancillary treatment options. Twelve-step programs are not the same as psychotherapy group-level work. In a twelve-step program, the members are the ones who organize and lead the group. On the other hand, in a psychotherapy group, a psychotherapist organizes and leads the entire program.
Therefore, when it comes to the twelve-step program, the rehab center facilitates the program. It does not manage the program. The rehab center does not pay the sober sponsors who volunteer to be part of the program. This treatment program is considered to be a core treatment because it is important at the beginning, during, and after the treatment is complete.
Families are the basic structure of society. Family molds our beliefs and thoughts and can be a contributing factor to most of our triggers. Therefore, most facilities offer family-centered therapy that allows the person struggling with substance abuse to address and heal from their triggers. Additionally, family therapy helps them end their broken relationships for a healthier future. The main family therapy options in rehab centers include –
- On-site family day social events – The members of the family can bond and enjoy a day with their loved ones. They catch up and learn how to better support their loved ones.
- Drug education for family – The family members are informed about the substance that their love is addicted to. They are made to understand how the drug works when it is ingested. The family learns and understands how the drug is affecting the health and general wellbeing of their loved one.
- Group therapy for family – The family members have a sit-down session with a therapist who helps them understand their issues and how they are triggering the patient to turn to substance abuse. The therapy helps them mend relationships that are disconnected because of Ativan abuse. Lastly, it helps the members of the family to learn how to provide better support to their loved one, which creates accountability and prevents the person from relapsing.
- Individual therapy – The family members are advised to seek personal therapy services to learn how to cope with the effects of Ativan on their loved one. Additionally, the members of the family will address their co-dependency issues and heal from the same.