Ativan or lorazepam, which belongs to a class of drugs, benzodiazepines, is an anti-anxiety drug or tranquilizer. The worst part is that you could get addicted or habituated to it. If you abruptly stop taking the drug, the symptoms for which, you were taking the drug, will resurface.
You will find anxiety, insomnia, irritability, agitation and even convulsions kicking in. Benzodiazepines addiction is equivalent to alcohol addiction. Dr. Andrew Weil says that if you have been taking the drug for many years, you would have become physically and psychologically dependent on it.
Dr. Weil adds that you must not attempt to wean off Ativan by your own. Instead, you must speak to your physician under whose prescription, you were taking the drug. He will gradually reduce the dosage over a number of weeks, depending on how long you have been on the drug and what dosage you are taking. During the process of weaning, if you find any form of anxiety setting it, counteract it with simple breathing exercises.
If you have been taking more Ativan than what was initially prescribed by the physician, you must enroll in a drug rehab program to overcome your drug dependence. Residential rehab programs, lasting around three months, have high rates of success. You can also seek an advice of a healthcare professional regarding this. Also, you may find one through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.
Dr. Weil advocates a more natural approach for treating anxiety:
- Limit the consumption of coffee as caffeine may up anxiety levels.
- Practice deep breathing exercises, a very effective technique
- Activities like aerobic exercises, brisk walking will all help
- Do meditation
You can take two tablets of Valerian herb before going to bed at night. According to studies, valerian attaches to the same receptors, with which medications like Ativan tie to without causing side effects like dependency, sluggish brain and morning hangover.