Ativan (Lorazepam) Withdrawal and Treatment

Symptoms and signs of lorazepam withdrawal typically peak between two to four days after halting the use of the drug. Here's what you need to know.

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Lorazepam withdrawal can cause severe symptoms, but detoxifying from the drug is a necessary step when you are trying to recover from a lorazepam addiction. Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine, a type of anxiety-reducing medication. This drug is also used to relieve the withdrawal symptoms of a recovering alcoholic. It acts quickly in the body and is extremely potent, making it one of the most addictive of the benzodiazepines. While it serves a useful purpose as a prescription drug, it is also highly addictive.

Addiction often occurs even in some people who are taking it legitimately. It is especially addictive when used continuously for four months or longer. After four to six months of use, lorazepam may lose its effectiveness at treating anxiety, so use for longer periods of time than this can indicate a dependence on the drug.

Ativan (Lorazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms

Lorazepam withdrawal symptoms also differ between individuals. The type, severity, and length of withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on how long one has used lorazepam, how large the doses of lorazepam were, how frequently they took lorazepam, whether they used lorazepam alongside other benzodiazepines or substances, and if they have any co-occurring mental health disorders. Common symptoms of lorazepam withdrawal may include:

  • Insomnia.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Anxiety.
  • Agitation.
  • Seizures.
  • Sweating.
  • Elevated heartrate.
  • Hand tremors.

How Long Does Ativan (Lorazepam) Withdrawal Last?

The duration of the timeline for lorazepam withdrawals can differ for each person. It is usually about the length of several weeks. In severe cases, however, some withdrawal symptoms can last for several years.

Detoxing from Lorazepam

Detoxing from benzodiazepines like Lorazepam can be a difficult process, but with the right medical detox programs it can be accomplished with a sense of safety. The severity and timeline of the withdrawal symptoms will depend largely on who long one has used Lorazepam, the size of the doses taken, the frequency of the doses, concurrent substance use, and the presence of co-occurring mental health disorders.

Since benzodiazepines can cause significant withdrawal symptoms if one stops taking them abruptly, many medical detox programs may have a patient go through a tapering process. Tapering will gradually have a patient reduce their intake of a substance, mitigating the potential for the appearance of severe withdrawal symptoms. Medication management may also be present during lorazepam detox, especially if one ceases use abruptly. Detox programs may also pair medication treatment with behavioral therapies.

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Can I Detox from Lorazepam at Home?

If you’re considering a home remedy as a natural alternative to rehab, you should look into different options. Rehab centers can help ease the pains of withdrawal and provide the relief that you need. There are rehab centers that specialize in relieving the pains of withdrawal. Additionally, detox can take may only take several days to complete. A small sacrifice for the safety of medical professionals and processes in contrast to some of the serious side effects of withdrawal.

Ativan (Lorazepam) Addiction Treatment

While inpatient or outpatient detox for Lorazepam addiction is an important first step, it does not constitute a comprehensive treatment program. Many may benefit from continuing treatment after detox, engaging in a rehab program that can help them get to the root of their addiction. Many programs may also provide aftercare and relapse prevention support.

If you’re ready to take the first steps to find Ativan detox and addiction treatment, you’ll need to go about finding a nearby treatment facility. It may be a good idea to reach out to your doctor. They may be able to help determine your medical needs and could refer you to a nearby detox facility. Additionally, you may consider visiting the SAMHSA treatment locator, an online resource that allows you to search for Ativan detox centers by zip code. You can also reach out to an addiction helpline. American Addiction Centers (AAC) operates a 24/7 addiction helpline that can connect you compassionate professionals who can answer questions you may have about Ativan addiction, detox, and treatment. They may also be able to help you find a suitable treatment facility and help verify your insurance. Don’t delay; call us now at .

More About Lorazepam:

Lorazepam Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Lorazepam
  • Generic Name Variations: N/A
  • Chemical Name: Benzodiazepine
  • Brand Name: Lorazepam
  • Brand Name Variations: N/A
  • Cost/Price: Roughly $0.76 per 1mg tablet
  • Used to Treat Addiction? No
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Treat anxiety
  • Function or Use at High Dose: Treat anxiety
  • Chemical Makeup: C16H13CIN2O
  • System: Benzodiazepine
  • Duration of Action: The duration of action differs depending on how it is taken.
Form, Intake and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Tablet/IV
  • Administration Routes: Oral/Injected
  • Dosage: N/A
  • Overdose: N/A
  • Alcohol Interaction: Lorazepam can increase the effects of alcohol, so it is not recommended to take lorazepam with alcohol.
  • Illicit Drugs: Lorazepam should not be taken with any illicit drugs.
  • Prescription Medications: Consult your doctor before taking any other prescription medications with lorazepam.
  • Contraindications: Glaucoma, sleep apnea, respiratory insufficiency
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Dizziness, weakness, unsteadiness
  • Long-Term: Sedation, respiratory failure, hypotension, injections-site reactions, hypoventilation
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: Because it is a benzodiazepine, there is a high risk of lorazepam abuse.
  • Signs of Abuse: Anxiety, neglect
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: N/A
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Headaches, terror, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, hypersensitivity to light or sound, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hallucinations, seizures, abdominal cramps, muscle pain, agitation, heart palpitations, tachycardia, panic attacks
  • Tolerance: Over time, your body can build up a tolerance to lorazepam
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: N/A
  • Psychological Dependence: Because lorazepam changes the chemical balance of your brain, your brain can become highly dependent on lorazepam, which can make it very hard to withdraw from.
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule IV


  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition. (2013).
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). TIP 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.