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Ativan Dependency: How to Get Off Lorazepam Safely

Ativan Dependency: How to Get Off Lorazepam Safely

For safety reasons, it is advisable to learn more about how to get off lorazepam safely prior to attempting to reduce and gradually eliminate the medication. Also recommended is to learn more about how lorazepam affects neurochemistry  Lorazepam (Ativan) is part of the benzodiazepine drug class and is most commonly known as a treatment for anxiety. By enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA, lorazepam is able to help produce a calming effect in the user.

While the medication can help individuals suffering from anxiety, sleeplessness, or even drug and alcohol withdrawal, lorazepam is also known to cause quite a few side effects and benzo withdrawal symptoms. 1

Before discussing how to get off lorazepam safely, naturally, we must first discuss the side effects and withdrawal symptoms associated with benzos. For many long-term benzo users, it is vital to undergo a licensed benzo detox program.

Top 10 Major Symptoms While Getting Off Lorazepam  

Quitting Ativan can lead to major symptoms, which can be more severe if abruptly stopping, and without adequate treatment to support and ease the process safely:

  • Memory loss
  • Seizures *
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased sensitivity to light/sound/environment
  • Tingling in extremities
  • Sleep problems
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

*The FDA warns that abruptly stopping lorazepam can induce seizures, especially when antidepressants are used concurrently.

Those with a history of long-term lorazepam use, heavy use, a history of addiction, or personality disorders may experience lorazepam withdrawal symptoms after just a few doses of the medication.5 For these reasons, it is always recommended to come off of lorazepam safely under the supervision of a licensed professional. This ensures all medical complications are monitored and treated promptly.

How To Ensure You Get Off Ativan Safely

Due to the toxic reactions that frequently occur, if a person begins to develop any symptoms of benzo withdrawal, it would be wise to consult a doctor to make a plan to have the lorazepam tapered in a gradual manner. In situations of quitting Ativan cold turkey, or abrupt discontinuation of Ativan, immediate medical assistance may be required.

Symptoms of benzo withdrawal could be more extreme for a person who is stopping cold turkey. A detox center or holistic psychiatry center is the best place to deal with the effects of lorazepam withdrawal. For severe cases of lorazepam withdrawal or co-occurring disorders, an inpatient benzo tapering center could help make things more comfortable. If you or a loved one is suffering and needs immediate advice, please call 1 (800) 301-3753 now.

Lorazepam / Ativan Dependency

Lorazepam (Ativan) is known to be a habit-forming and addictive medication. Its effects are very calming and pleasurable, and the pill is also used to help with drug and alcohol withdrawal, among other conditions. When a person becomes dependent, often they will develop a fear of not having the medication, or they may even allow a bad day or flare-up of symptoms to be an excuse to abuse their prescription.3

If a person has been dependent on drugs like Ativan for many years, the process of coming off Lorazepam safely becomes even more difficult. Severe symptoms associated with long-term benzodiazepine use are known to display both mentally and physically.

People experiencing Ativan withdrawal will often be crippled with fear, depression, mood swings, and hallucinations, along with physical issues like sweating, nausea, stomach cramps, and even seizures. Oftentimes, a person going through severe benzo withdrawal starts to believe they will never recover.1

Treatment Options for Stopping Lorazepam Use

discontinuation symptomsThere are plenty of different methods available to help those wanting to get off lorazepam safely. In many cases, the symptoms of acute benzo withdrawal will be so uncomfortable that medical help is needed.

Deciding on the best course of action can be confusing. Here are some options you can expect to find when looking for lorazepam withdrawal help or a treatment program. Analyze them carefully for your best options:

Rapid Detox

Similar to a drug and alcohol detox, this treatment modality offers a quick detox (Usually 3 to 7 days). During this time, the patient is monitored, vitals are kept at proper levels, and sedatives or other psychotropic medications can be used to help the patient feel calm. Sometimes, the patient will be discharged with additional medications to take upon returning home.

benzo drugsAlternative to Meds Center does not recommend rapid detox as it does not allow enough time for the body, brain, CNS to adjust to the absence of the medication. Normalizing the neurochemistry, especially after longterm use of a benzodiazepine can significantly speed up recovery, but it is not realistic to expect this major healing event to occur and sustain itself stably, in just a few days or weeks. 

At-Home Nutrients and Remedies

There are many remedies out there for symptoms associated with benzo withdrawal. These remedies can be purchased at health food stores and taken at home, without medical supervision, for anything from anxiety to sleeplessness. While these remedies may have some use, benzo withdrawal is one of the most dangerous forms of drug withdrawal and should be handled under the care of a licensed specialist. 1,2,4

Medication Taper

help by prescribing physician get off lorazepamFor most people, trying to get off Ativan safely with a knowledgable doctor is the safest way to approach trying to get off Ativan. Some benzo tapers last for over a year to avoid any major symptoms, and to make it easier for the patient to perform his or her daily duties or responsibilities. If major symptoms persist during a medication taper at home, seeking the care of an can help move the healing along more rapidly. 1,2,5

Get off Ativan Safely at a Holistic Psychiatry Center

safely get off lorazepam treatment Inpatient healing centers such as Alternative to Meds Center in Sedona, AZ are seeing very positive results in using holistic psychiatry to help individuals overcome mental health challenges.

Recovery stories show how liberating one can feel when they finally become benzo free after decades of taking the addictive medication!

How to Get Off Lorazepam Safely for Good!

When getting off lorazepam safely, under the care of a doctor, a benzo detox program, or a wellness center, your treatment professional should offer some sound recommendations for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and mentality upon returning to your daily routine. Make sure to ask for resources and have a counselor or doctor already arranged for follow-up visits.

A person will likely experience physical, mental, or emotional symptoms once becoming med free, so finding a healthy daily routine is important to maintain progress in healing. As a basic roadmap, a person recovering from benzo use, anxiety, or any mental health condition should follow a regimen that makes their health the top priority. Be sure to incorporate healthy activities that support the wellbeing of the physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies.

An individual leaving a benzo detox program having scheduled just one follow-up appointment per month will have a far lower rate of long-term healing than a person who follows a daily regimen of holistic therapies, counseling, and nutrient therapy. Focusing your energy on your health is the best way to make sure your days keep getting brighter and will make any daily triggers that pop up less significant.

Find Hope Through Healing

treatments help get off lorazepam safelyAt Alternative to Meds Center, a holistic psychiatry center located in Sedona, Arizona, the educational program explains how to get off lorazepam safely, naturally. Each day, clients go through various nutrient therapies combined with Chinese medicine modalities, toxin removal therapies, and adjunctive treatments in order to alleviate the symptoms of medication withdrawal. Thousands of cases of even the most severe Ativan withdrawal symptoms have been assessed, treated, and maintained through the oversight of the medical team at Alternative to Meds.

It is not unheard of for someone to turn their entire life around once becoming med free. In this inspiring video, a graduate of Alternative to Meds tells her uplifting story of overcoming medication for good.

If you or someone you love is dealing with the effects of lorazepam use, or any form of medication withdrawal, please contact us for treatment options and support!

1 (800) 301-3753
  1. FDA Label Ativan [Internet] [cited September 14, 2020]
  2. Breggin, P, “Benzodiazepines.” Psychiatric Drug Facts [Internet] N.D. [cited September 14, 2020]
  3. Cuthbertson R, Burke D,  “Anxiety pills that promise so much leave behind a hidden ‘epidemic’. ”  CBC Nova Scotia [Internet] January 7, 2019 [cited September 14, 2020]
  4. Guina J, Merrill B,  “Benzodiazepines – Upping the Care on ‘Downers’: The Evidence of Risks, Benefits and Alternatives.” Journal of Clinical Medicine [Internet] January 30, 2018 [cited September 14, 2020]
  5. Ashton H, “The diagnosis and management of benzodiazepine dependence.” Current Opinion in Psychiatry [[Internet] May, 2005 [cited September 14, 2020[

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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