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How Long Does Ativan (Lorazepam) Stay in the Body?

Prescription medications can remain in the body for longer than many people realize. The addiction risk of many mental health medications can make this especially problematic. Ativan, a prescription used for some mental health disorders, can be traced in urine alone for nearly six days after ingestion. Various factors will influence how long Ativan stays in the body.

If you or a loved one struggles with Ativan addiction, there is no better time to get help than now. Call 425.414.3530 today to get started with our team of professional rehabilitation specialists.

What Is Ativan?

How Long Does Lorazepam Stay in Your Body?

Ativan is the brand name of the medication lorazepam. It belongs to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines, or benzos. Other familiar medications in this class include Xanax and Valium.

Like many other benzos, Ativan is often used to treat anxiety and neurological disorders like seizures. Additionally, Ativan also carries a similarly high risk of addiction as other benzos.

Ativan interacts with transmitters in the body to help calm the nervous system, which helps ease agitation and excitement in the brain. It can have a sedating effect, helping many people feel a relieving calm.

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Ativan in the Body

Factors that influence permanence in the body

The amount of time it takes for a medication to be used up is measured in a half-life. For example, Ativan has a standard half-life of about 12 hours. After 12 hours, the body will break down about half of the medication. This timeline will continue until the drug is used up and eliminated by the body.

Various factors will influence how fast each person will break down and eliminate Ativan, including:

  • Genetics
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Substance use
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration

As Ativan moves through the body, it is digested and eliminated from the body like other substances. It can be easy to trace the medication's path through the body using standard drug tests.

How Is Ativan Use Detected?

Ativan in urine, blood, saliva, or hair tests

Standard drug tests can reveal Ativan but may detect use at different intervals. Urine tests are often practical for about six days after ingestion, while hair tests can detect the drug for nearly a month.

People may be required to complete a drug test for many reasons, including:

  • New employment
  • Military screenings
  • Pain management
  • Addiction rehab

Drug screenings provide essential information for people trying to quit using Ativan. Though it is an effective medication when used as prescribed, many people often abuse it and experience adverse side effects.

Ativan Side Effects

Like with other medications, people often experience side effects when taking Ativan. Though many of these side effects are mild, people who abuse Ativan may begin to experience more severe consequences.

Some side effects of Ativan include:

  • Feeling drowsy or dizzy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of coordination
  • Bouts of forgetfulness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Skin rash
  • Appetite fluctuations

Even after dealing with serious side effects, people who abuse Ativan may continue to use the drug, a serious sign of addiction.

Signs of Ativan Abuse

Taking Ativan against the prescribed directions or taking it without a prescription is substance abuse. As people abuse the drug, their tolerance will often increase, driving them to seek higher doses. When they seek higher doses, their body will have difficulty functioning without the drug because it is physically dependent on it.

Some clear signs of Ativan abuse include:

  • Craving Ativan
  • Neglecting school or work to use Ativan
  • Being secretive about their Ativan use
  • Making poor financial decisions
  • Having a hard time maintaining relationships

Becoming dependent on a drug is a sure sign of addiction. Breaking the cycle of addiction is tough and can even be painful, which leads many people who struggle with substance abuse to relapse.

Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms

Recovering from Ativan

The first step in breaking the cycle of addiction is detoxification, where a person's body fully uses the remainder of the drug. The body then has to relearn how to function normally. Since Ativan is a mental health medication, this often means the brain has to begin creating chemicals on its own.

As the body begins to function normally again, it can often experience serious withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure

These symptoms will usually peak within the first few days after the last use. However, the mental symptoms can continue to cause problems for weeks and months after detoxing. Trying to detox alone can be dangerous and quickly lead to relapse. Seeking a professional rehabilitation facility can be a critical step toward sobriety.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Northpoint Seattle

Getting Help for Ativan Addiction

Many people only begin abusing Ativan after receiving a prescription for it. Since Ativan is a mental health medication, there is a high likelihood that those who abuse it have both mental health and addiction problems, called a dual diagnosis.

If you have struggled to kick your Ativan addiction, it is not too late to begin the journey to recovery. You may benefit from receiving treatment for both mental health and substance use issues simultaneously, which can help you learn the coping mechanisms needed to succeed in sobriety.

We offer a safe, supportive environment to begin your recovery journey. Get started today by calling us at 425.414.3530.

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Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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