Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health issue in the United States, affecting 40 million adult citizens. Benzodiazepines are a common type of anxiety drug used to ease anxiety, sleeplessness, and withdrawal-related discomfort.
The drug must be taken exactly as directed by medical professionals. It is not advised to combine the prescription with any other drugs.
When Ativan, the brand name for lorazepam, is used with alcohol, terrible things can happen. Both alcohol and Ativan are depressants. It can result in horrible consequences.
Continue reading to learn how alcohol and lorazepam work and, when taken together, what type of consequences a person can face.
Lorazepam is an anti-anxiety medication that is a part of the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It interacts with the central nervous system to calm the body.
This article contains the following findings:
- The benzodiazepine class lorazepam, also sold as Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, is used to treat anxiety.
- Alcohol and lorazepam interact in a harmful way. Only one or two drinks combined with Ativan can cause adverse side effects in certain people.
- Medication, therapy sessions, and detox can help you return to a healthy life.
Seek professional help from Indiana Center for Recovery. Contact us at (844) 650-0064 to learn more about our treatment programs and service charges.
The anxiety drug lorazepam is sold under the name Ativan. Ativan is a member of the pharmacological class known as “benzodiazepines,” which also contains well-known brand names like:
- Valium (Diazepam)
- Xanax (Alprazolam)
- Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Restoril (temazepam)
- Halcion (triazolam)
It can also be given as an IV sedative before anesthesia or used to treat seizures. Although it is typically consumed as an oral tablet, injectable delivery is also an option. They all act the same way and share the same dangers combined with alcohol.
In people dependent on alcohol, it is also used to manage withdrawal symptoms. When taking these kinds of medications, there are severe guidelines on alcohol use, and for a good reason.
How Lorazepam Works
Lorazepam works by reinforcing the effects of a particular chemical in the human body that is naturally present in the system – GABA. It binds to the same neurotransmitters in the brain that control our anxiety and alcohol addiction.
With lorazepam, patients boost GABA activity and suppress the nerve receptors. Because of the tampering, the mind can relax and decrease severe alcohol withdrawal.
According to clinical research, the drug effectively treats alcohol withdrawal, even in smaller doses.
Besides the therapeutic effects, side effects of Ativan can include:
- Impaired coordination
- Reduced ability to concentrate
How Alcohol Works
When you consume alcohol, it enters the bloodstream. It travels through the digestive system to the brain, among other body parts.
Once the alcohol has reached the brain, it impacts a variety of neurotransmitters, particularly GABA neurotransmitters.
In contrast to glutamate, which has a negative impact on NMDA receptors, it binds to GABA receptors and increases the activity of that neurotransmitter.
Additionally, drinking alcohol and alcohol abuse is linked to more brain dopamine activation. Dopamine release is accompanied by satisfaction and pleasure, which can encourage drinking habits.
Alcoholism continues to be a problem for public health. According to the National Institutes of Health, excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for 88,000 deaths yearly in the United States, making it the 3rd most common preventable cause of death.
Particularly alarming is the prevalence of alcohol and benzodiazepine usage together. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, alcohol was the drug people most frequently reported having a secondary addiction to when they want emergency room visits for drug abuse problems.
Some of the acute effects of alcohol include:
- Lowered inhibitions
- Mood swings
- Kidney problems
- Sleep problems
- Reduced ability to think clearly and concentrate
- Memory problems
- Slowed reaction times
- Poor coordination
- Slurring of speech
- Slowed heart rate and breathing
Lorazepam and Alcohol Addiction
A benzodiazepine is lorazepam. Although this family of drugs is frequently prescribed for anxiety, certain people are more susceptible to developing physical and psychological dependence.
Users of lorazepam enjoy a buzz comparable to that most people get from drinking alcohol. Additionally, some people develop a tolerance to the drug and need more significant doses to get the desired results. The following signs of drug abuse include:
- Want to take more of the prescription drugs or use more of them than is recommended
- Being physically ill when not taking the medication.
- Unable to abstain from alcohol when taking lorazepam.
Negative Side Effects of Mixing Lorazepam and Alcohol
Alcohol and lorazepam interact poorly. If you drink alcohol while taking this drug, your heart rate may slow, and you may experience breathing difficulties. As a result, drinking while using this medication can be dangerous and even fatal.
Dangerous side effects include:
- Impaired coordination
- Impaired memory
- Unusual behavior
- Extreme drowsiness
- Difficulty breathing
- Slowed heart rate
- Slurred speech
- Low body temperature
- Clammy skin
- Unusual behavior
- Delusions and mania
- Dangerous mood swings
- Suicidal ideation
- Loss of consciousness
- Respiratory arrest
- Increased risk of overdose
Since lorazepam has a long half-life, you will need to excrete it naturally from the body. Healthcare providers recommend drinking plenty of fluids. Fluids can promote more urine, and regular urination will remove the substance over time.
When to Seek Medical Help
Without medical supervision, stopping Lorazepam use is risky, especially if you are also experiencing alcohol abuse.
Suddenly ceasing to take lorazepam can cause harmful physical and psychological side effects, such as nausea, exhaustion, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.
This type of addiction can be safely treated by gradually weaning off lorazepam. People may need to take another benzodiazepine medicine, such as diazepam, to maintain stability while going through lorazepam withdrawal.
Ativan use with Alcohol poisoning can have fatal side effects, but assistance is available. If you need help with drug addiction to either of these two substances, treat it by contacting a capable facility.
Reach out to us to discuss your treatment choices if you struggle with where and how to start your recovery. We offer professional medical advice to help people get rid of physical dependence.
Effective Treatment Options
Benzodiazepine users who want to stop need medical care. Having a “cold turkey” withdrawal can be risky, even fatal. The medicine must be tapered off gradually for safety.
Benzos withdrawal can be a challenging procedure. Many patients struggle with anxiety, agitation, or insomnia during detox. A full-time psychiatrist gradually lowers the patient’s dose during the detox process.
Patients in inpatient programs receive round-the-clock assistance at a live-in facility. Healthcare providers might give medication to lessen unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
The nursing staff offers reassurance, support, and encouragement around the clock. Our team is always available to assist, no matter what challenges patients face.
Patients frequently use benzos to treat chronic insomnia or anxiety disorders. Doctors may give patients prescription medicine as part of their treatment as alternative care.
A comprehensive treatment plan can help patients enhance their quality of life, regulate their mood, and prevent a recurrence. A capable psychiatrist can help patients select the best medication.
Therapy is a crucial component of the healing process. Patients consider their mental processes and behavior during treatment to identify harmful or damaging thoughts and create coping skills. Patients might look at their personal history as well.
Environmental variables may occasionally help explain addiction. Patients may also be motivated to misuse benzodiazepines by stress, anxiety, or trauma.
Our therapy staff assists patients in identifying the source of their issues. They employ evidence-based therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to aid the patient’s recovery.
Patients can beat addiction disorders with the aid of CBT. Patients who undergo CBT also recover from trauma and rebuild their lives.
Patients’ relationships are also mended through therapy. Families can work through their problems in therapy together, obtaining support while they deal with their loved one’s addiction.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long after taking lorazepam can you drink alcohol?
Lorazepam has a 12-hour half-life. Lorazepam won’t be gone for 60 hours after the last dose because drugs have five half-lives until they are gone. Alcohol consumption must be avoided for at least three days after your previous lorazepam medication.
Can I have a glass of wine with lorazepam?
Healthcare professionals advise against drinking alcohol while taking benzodiazepines due to the increased adverse effects of the combination.Your risk of experiencing significant side effects and adverse effects is reduced if you abstain from alcohol entirely while taking these drugs.
What can you not mix with lorazepam?
The drug lorazepam is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It works by interfering with the brain chemicals that can become out of balance and give rise to sensations of worry.Mixing lorazepam and alcohol can have harmful adverse effects if you are hooked to both drugs. This is because alcohol and lorazepam interact poorly.
Addiction Help from Indiana Center for Recovery
Indiana Center for Recovery understands that combining lorazepam and alcohol can affect your life. If you want help, get reliable medical treatment from Indiana Center for Recovery to return to a happy, healthier, sober lifestyle.
We offer effective addiction treatment services, including an integrated care treatment program, medical detox treatment program, residential treatment program, outpatient treatment program, and family programs to assist in recovery.
Furthermore, our team is around the clock available to assist no matter what challenges patients face.
Contact us at (844) 650-0064 to discuss your treatment requirements if you need help with where and how to start your recovery.