It’s also one of the most commonly abused benzos in the market. Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are central nervous system depressants that are used to treat conditions like anxiety and insomnia. Lorazepam, or Ativan, is believed to be one of the safer benzos available. However, while Ativan is considered to be weaker than Xanax, the drug can still produce some adverse side effects. But can you overdose on Ativan? How dangerous is this drug?
Like other benzos, Ativan acts on the central nervous system by increasing the levels of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it inhibits or blocks nerve activity in the brain, producing a calming and tranquilizing effect on the body. This is why Ativan and other benzos are used to treat anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. However, when taken in high doses, this drug can produce a sedative high. The drug is also addictive in that it changes chemical brain structure and causes physical dependence. Many who become physically dependent on Ativan and similar drugs need a medically monitored detox and rehab program to quit.
Yes, you can overdose on Ativan. However, while an Ativan overdose is possible, it’s not always fatal. The toxic levels of lorazepam are usually not the cause of a fatal overdose. Ativan overdose effects that aren’t treated on time are the main cause of death. One of the most common and severe symptoms of Ativan overdose is respiratory depression, which is slow and ineffective breathing that can cause hypoxia. Hypoxia is what occurs when the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, resulting in brain damage and Ativan death.
An Ativan overdose can occur if you take above 10 milligrams (mg) per day or any dose higher than what your doctor prescribed to you. However, the amount of Ativan that a person takes for them to overdose varies from person to person. The risk of overdose may depend on factors like weight, gender, genetics, and any underlying health conditions. Additionally, those who are addicted to benzos may have developed a tolerance to drugs like Ativan, making their threshold for overdose higher than the average person’s. Doctors take these factors into account whenever they prescribe drugs to their patients, which is why you should only take prescription medications if and as prescribed by your doctor.
What happens if you take too much Ativan? If you or someone you know is taking this medication, knowing the lethal dose of Ativan is important in avoiding overdose. Additionally, you should be able to recognize the signs of Ativan overdose, including:
Most importantly, a lorazepam overdose can also affect a person’s breathing. Ineffective or shallow breathing can cause loss of consciousness and even permanent brain damage or death if not treated in time. If you recognize any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. Individuals who show signs of Ativan addiction early on can avoid overdose by looking into addiction treatment options, such as our inpatient rehab in Delaware.