Tag: ativan

An Instant Blackout & Overdose Pill

Ativan and Alcohol

Continuing our look at booze and benzo’s, this week we turn our attention to Ativan and alcohol. This dangerous combination can lead to a number of disastrous outcomes, the first of which is an almost instant blackout.

ativan and alcohol
image via Wikimedia Commons

I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. We first need to examine what exactly Ativan is and why people mix it with alcohol to begin with.

Ativan goes by the chemical name lorazepam and is a potent, immediate-duration benzodiazepine. This means it’s in the same chemical family as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. Ativan and alcohol both affect the same neurotransmitter, GABA.

As mentioned above, Ativan is one strong benzo. In fact, with the exception of Xanax, it’s the most potent benzo available. Also much like Xanax, it begins to produce effects almost immediately after ingestion.

This rapid onset of action is due to Ativan’s short half-life. It’s metabolized by the body very quickly and achieves peak blood levels within an hour. This makes it the fastest acting oral benzo around and, arguably, more addictive than its brothers and sisters.

This also makes mixing Ativan and alcohol dangerous for a number of reasons. We’ll explore some of them below.

Learn facts and statistics about Ativan

Mixing Ativan and Alcohol

As mentioned above, mixing Ativan and alcohol leads to an almost instant blackout. This is due to Ativan’s rapid psychoactive effects coupled with the amount of GABA being produced by the brain.

Simply put, mixing Ativan and alcohol is dangerous because Ativan packs a punch and alcohol potentiates that punch. Both chemicals release GABA and, when mixed, are more than the sum of their parts. Alcohol also strains the liver, making it harder to clear the blood of Ativan. This leads to increased plasma levels of Ativan, which leads to more intoxication.

So, why would anyone mix alcohol and Ativan? Well, the combination produces an incredibly strong high. For all the reasons just mentioned, lorazepam and booze are a potent mixture.

They’re also incredibly dangerous. Find a detailed breakdown of the dangerous associated with Ativan and alcohol’s effects below.

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Ativan and Alcohol Effects

Ativan and alcohol effects include, among other things, decreased respiration, low blood pressure, confusion and disorientation, and intense intoxication.

  • Decreased Respiration

Mixing Ativan and alcohol, two strong depressants, will immediately slow how quickly the body takes in oxygen. Combining the two tranquilizers sends signals to the brain to cut down on necessary bodily functions, including breathing.

  • Low Blood Pressure

Also known as hypotension, low blood pressure is defined as any pressure under 90/60. Mixing Ativan and alcohol produces hypotension due to their sedative qualities. Just like the combination decreases respiration, it also makes the brain slow down the heartbeat and how quickly blood is moved throughout the body.

These Ativan and alcohol effects are to be expected. Combining two strong tranquilizers will almost immediately distort how stimuli are perceived and interpreted. It’s also worth noting that GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter and one of Ativan and alcohol’s main effects is producing GABA in spades.

  • Intense Intoxication

This is the “instant blackout” I mentioned above. Mixing Ativan and alcohol produces a dangerously strong high. In fact, the deadliest drug combination is Xanax and alcohol. This is only true because of Xanax’s popularity. The true deadliest drug combination, based on strength alone, is Ativan and alcohol.

A Deadly Detox: Benzo Withdrawal

Benzo Withdrawal

Benzodiazepines, or benzo’s for short, are an extremely physically addictive anti-anxiety drug. They’re commonly described by users as “alcohol in a pill,” or, more alarmingly, “a blackout in a pill.”

benzo withdrawal
image via Wikimedia Commons

Benzo’s include pills like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and many others. Despite being addictive and arguably more dangerous than any street drug, benzo’s are prescribed frequently. In fact, in 2007 there were over 37 million Xanax prescriptions filled. If an average prescription contains thirty pills, that’s…a lot of pills.

Okay, enough of the science and statistics. What’s benzo detox really like? What are the benzo withdrawal symptoms that make these pills deadly? Well, that’s what I’m here to answer.

As a recovering addict myself, I’d like to give you an in-depth, firsthand look at the potential dangers of benzo detox.

What’s the deadliest drug combination? Hint: it involves Xanax

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

Without giving in to hyperbole, it’s safe to say that benzo withdrawal symptoms are among the most horrible things a human being can experience. Benzodiazepines produce an entirely different type of dependence than opioids. While detoxing from substances like heroin or oxycodone makes you feel like you’re going to die, detoxing from pills like Xanax and Valium can actually kill you.

So, it’s important to always seek professional medical help when attempting to quit benzo’s. To put it another way, don’t try this at home! Not only is it potentially deadly, but why not give yourself the best possible shot at recovery?

Fine a list of common benzo withdrawal symptoms below:

• Sweating
• Insomnia
• Tingling in Limbs
• Nausea & Vomiting
• Confusion
• Anxiety & Depression
• Hallucinations
• Agitation & Aggressive Behavior
• Arrhythmia
• Tachycardia
• Hypertension
• Seizures
• Cardiac Arrest

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The Dangers of Benzo Withdrawal

The benzo withdrawal symptoms listed above make it abundantly clear how nasty of an experience detox is. They also highlight how dangerous it can be. With seizures and heart attacks as two potential symptoms, benzo withdrawal is serious business indeed.

For this reason, and some of the other unpleasant benzo withdrawal symptoms, benzo’s should never be stopped cold turkey. Rather, a medically supervised and individually appropriate taper should be used.

A taper is a decreasing dose of less powerful benzo’s. For example, if you were detoxing from Xanax, medical professionals would use a taper of Klonopin, Librium, or some other long-acting benzo.

benzo withdrawal symptoms
image via Wikimedia Commons

In this way, the body can safely be weaned off of the drug without experiencing any potentially life threatening benzo withdrawal symptoms.

If you or a loved one are thinking about quitting benzo’s, seek professional help. Give Lighthouse Recovery Institute a call today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015. We’ll be happy to discuss any and all information about how to safely and best move from addiction to a benzo free life!

Did this man’s doctor turn him into a drug addict?

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