How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System? | Harmony Stuart

Ativan is a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and a variety of other health conditions. The average half-life of Ativan is around 12 hours. Half-life refers to the time it takes for half of a dose of a drug to eliminate from a person’s system. Moreover, after ingesting the last dose, it can take approximately 2.75 days for the drug to be fully cleared from the body.

An active metabolite of lorazepam, known as glucuronide, has a longer half-life of 18 hours. For this reason, the full elimination of this metabolite will take longer than the Ativan itself. Glucuronide can remain in a person’s system and be detected in urine for as long as four days after the last use of Ativan.

Drug Screening for Ativan

Several types of tests can detect the presence of Ativan, such as:

Urine Tests

Urine tests will show Ativan for up to six days after the last dose, or one week in frequent users. If a urinalysis test detects glucuronide, it may be identified for up to nine days.

Blood tests

Blood tests can find Ativan in the bloodstream within six hours of ingestion and up to 72 hours after. For frequent users, however, it may take a bit longer than this to fully clear Ativan and its metabolites from the bloodstream.

Hair Tests

Hair tests are able to detect Ativan over a prolonged period. A correctly performed hair test can determine if a person has used Ativan for up to one month after exposure. However, this is not commonly performed due to expense.

Saliva Tests

The detection for Ativan in the saliva is only about eight hours.

 

Factors that Affect How Long Ativan Stays in the System

Individual factors can influence how long Ativan remains in a person’s system and how rapidly it is eliminated. These include:

Age

Older adults, on average, may exhibit a 22% slower clearance rate of Ativan when compared to younger individuals. Theories as to why younger people eliminate Ativan more efficiently than older people include co-existing health conditions, blood flow, metabolic rate, and organ functionality.

Body Height and Weight

A person’s height and weight relative to the dosage of Ativan may impact how long it remains in the system. There is some evidence that being overweight can actually accelerate Ativan clearance, while a shorter or lighter person may take longer to eliminate the drug than a taller or heavier person who has used the same amount.

Genetics

Genetic factors such as the presence of liver enzymes and kidney function can both play a role in how the body breaks down Ativan. People who do not metabolize Ativan well may take longer to expel it from their system.

How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System? | Harmony Stuart

Kidney Function

Studies have shown that, while liver impairment does not appear to have a significant effect on the body’s ability to eliminate Ativan, kidney function could, in fact, impact how rapidly the drug is cleared. What’s more, renal issues could impede the excretion of Ativan from the body.

Metabolic Rate

As with all substances, people with a relatively rapid metabolic rate will likely process and eliminate Ativan faster than those with slower rates.

Frequency and Duration of Use

A person who takes several doses of Ativan each day will take longer to eliminate the drug than say, others who only use it once per day. Frequent and/or long-term users of Ativan are more likely to develop a tolerance to the drug’s effects and, as a result, continue to increase their dosage.

Use of Other Substances

The use of other medications, illicit drugs, or alcohol, in combination with Ativan, can influence its absorption, metabolism, and rate of clearance from a person’s system. For example, consuming alcohol can reduce clearance speed by 18%.

 

How Ativan Affects the Body

The majority of CNS depressants act on the brain by increasing activity at GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors. GABA is an inhibitory neurochemical and decreases activity in the brain and body, thereby inducing relaxation and calm. In doing this, Ativan helps relieve symptoms of anxiety, such as tension, irrational thoughts, fears, and nervousness.

Ativan does not impact the liver as much as most other benzodiazepines, which may be an important consideration for those who are taking birth control pills, anti-abuse drugs, ulcer medications, and other substances that affect the liver.

Side effects of Ativan use may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in libido
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation

How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System? | Harmony Stuart

Dependence, Tolerance, and Addiction

When Ativan is abused or used for a prolonged period, both tolerance and dependence can occur. People with a high tolerance of Ativan, or other such substances, may be at a higher risk for addiction and overdose.

Dependence develops over time. The body and brain become accustomed to the substance’s presence, adapt accordingly, and become unable to function with it. As a result, attempts to discontinue use are met with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and often rebound effects (e.g., anxiety or insomnia). This reaction often encourages people to re-engage in use to feel better.

Getting Help for Drug Dependence

At Harmony Treatment and Wellness, we urge you to take dependence on Ativan very seriously. If you or a loved one are suffering, please seek help as soon as possible. We offer comprehensive treatment programs intended to address all aspects of a person’s physical and emotional well-being. In doing so, we evaluate and treat co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

If you want to become drug-free and experience the life you deserve, contact us today. We are here to help!

Is Xanax a Controlled Substance?

Is Xanax a Controlled Substance? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Is Xanax a Controlled Substance? – Xanax (alprazolam) is among the most commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications in the United States. Xanax is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule IV drug, indicating that it has a relatively low potential for abuse and risk of dependence.

Xanax has many legitimate medical uses, but many people abuse Xanax for the relaxing and euphoric feelings it induces. Repeated and prolonged abuse can result in dependence and addiction. Discontinuing the use of Xanax suddenly or “cold-turkey” can cause seizures and other dangerous health complications.

Most often, doctors prescribe Xanax to treat anxiety and panic disorders, but it is sometimes also used to treat insomnia or seizures. Xanax is a benzodiazepine and central nervous system (CNS) depressant that works by reducing activity in the brain, causing feelings of calm and sedation. These effects are why many people abuse Xanax—to seek relief from anxiety and induce feelings of intoxication, not unlike alcohol.

However, also like excessive alcohol consumption, Xanax abuse can be hazardous. It can impede a person’s ability to make rational decisions, and impair motor skills and response time required for safe driving, among other problems.

Is Xanax Addictive?

If it is not used as directed by a physician, Xanax is considered to be one of the most addictive benzos available. Those who misuse this drug can become addicted and experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to discontinue use. They may encounter rebound anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and dysphoria—effects that make quitting very challenging.

Withdrawal from prolonged misuse of Xanax can be life-threatening. To recover from Xanax dependence, people should taper off the prescription drug by gradually using lower doses over the course of several weeks. Doctors or addiction professionals should supervise this weaning process to ensure safety.

How Xanax Is Used as Directed

Is Xanax a Controlled Substance? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Doctors may prescribe Xanax because it has a relatively short half-life, meaning its effects wear off faster than longer-acting benzos, such as Valium (diazepam). People who use Xanax usually start to feel the effects within 10-15 minutes. Peak effects begin after about 30 minutes, and the overall effects typically subside after about six hours.

When Xanax is taken according to directions, common side effects may include the following:

  • Memory problems
  • Clumsiness
  • Reduced appetite
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Drowsiness and lethargy
  • Slurred speech

Xanax is considered safe for most adults. Benzodiazepines rarely result in life-threatening overdoses when taken alone, but can result in dangerous side effects when taken with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol or opioids.

Those who take Xanax for non-medical purposes often use it in conjunction with alcohol, marijuana, or other intoxicants. Combining alcohol or drugs, such as opioids, with Xanax is hazardous because these substances can interact with each other in unpredictable ways, and also amplify the effects of one another. When combined, these substances can cause a person to pass out and breathe at a dangerously slow rate.

How Xanax Use Can Result in Dependence and Addiction

Doctors usually start patients who have not been exposed benzos with low doses of Xanax, such as 0.25-0.5 mg. Of note, everyone who takes this drug on a regular basis will develop a tolerance, meaning that over time, they will require increasingly higher doses to achieve the same therapeutic benefit. Those with a burgeoning tolerance to Xanax may begin to require doses succeeding 4mg per day, thereby increasing their risk of dependence and addiction.

Dependence occurs after the extended use of a substance, which results in the body’s adaption to its presence. When the drug is removed, the body no longer functions normally, and the person encounters unpleasant withdrawal symptoms as the body works to reestablish chemical equilibrium.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Increased anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Uncontrollable shakiness
  • Hypertension

Being dependent on Xanax is not always hazardous. Some people need the medication to control anxiety or panic disorders and become dependent on Xanax yet experience few or no adverse effects. Physical dependency is only one aspect of addiction, not the addiction itself.

Is Xanax a Controlled Substance? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Addiction has an active psychological component that is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and uncontrolled use despite the incurrence of adverse consequences. Moreover, in many instances, people who are genuinely addicted to Xanax begin to assume they require it to alleviate anxiety. And yet, the anxiety that they are experiencing when they stop using the drug is actually a symptom of withdrawal—this is also known as rebound anxiety.

Dependence becomes a problem when people use Xanax for non-medical purposes or when they abuse the medication and don’t talk with their doctor about it. People with a legitimate prescription may, in some cases, develop an addiction to Xanax because they take the drug more frequently or in doses exceeding those prescribed. As tolerance increases and dependence grows, they become increasingly desperate and are clueless as to how they can control this behavior.

Excessive doses or the abuse of Xanax can lead to dangerous side effects, including the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia

What Is the Timeline for Xanax Addiction?

Some people become addicted to Xanax more rapidly than others. Those who regularly use high doses of Xanax are more likely to develop an addiction than those who take low doses less often.

Using a benzodiazepine such as Xanax for longer than 3-4 weeks can lead to physiological dependence, a condition that, as noted, can turn into addiction when a person begins obsessing over the use of the drug and keeps using it despite the potential for negative consequences. For this reason, many physicians have opted to limit Xanax prescriptions to a 1-2 week supply to prevent patients from becoming dependent.

People who are addicted to Xanax will compulsively seek the drug and may visit multiple physicians or pharmacies to obtain prescriptions or purchase it illicitly on the street or online. Likewise, these individuals may abuse alcohol or other CNS depressants when they do not have access to Xanax.

Detoxing From Xanax

The half-life of Xanax is around 12 hours, which means it takes this length of time for half of the dose to be purged from the bloodstream. Withdrawal symptoms can onset within six hours of the last dose, and generally peak after about 12 hours. Severe withdrawal symptoms persist for about four days, and withdrawal from an extended Xanax dependency can last for up to two weeks.

As mentioned, discontinuing Xanax use without medical supervision can be dangerous. Treatment centers can administer medication and other resources that can help relieve symptoms of withdrawal and ensure the process is safe and comfortable.

While supervising clients, treatment centers can gradually wean them off Xanax by slowly reducing daily dosages. Xanax may be replaced by long-acting benzodiazepines such as Librium. Also, buspirone and flumazenil can be used to relieve symptoms of withdrawal.

Treatment for Xanax Addiction

Harmony Treatment and Wellness is a specialized addiction treatment center that offers therapeutic services facilitated by caring, highly-skilled addiction professionals. Our staff is dedicated to providing every client with the tools and support they need to achieve abstinence, prevent relapse, and maintain long-lasting wellness and sobriety.

If you or someone you know is dependent on Xanax, other benzos, opioids, or illicit drugs or alcohol, please contact us today. Discover how we help people break free from the chains of addiction and begin to experience the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve!

Related: Meth and Xanax

How Long Does Klonopin Last?

How Long Does Klonopin Last? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Klonopin is a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine (benzo) that has relatively long-lasting effects. The effects of most benzos, such as Xanax or Valium, last between 3-4 hours, whereas the effects of Klonopin can last anywhere from 6-12 hours.

Klonopin (clonazepam) is prescribed to treat anxiety, panic, and seizure disorders. Benzodiazepines are a class of central nervous system (CNS) depressants that also includes medications such as Ativan, Xanax, Ativan, and Restoril.

Clonazepam is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule IV controlled substance. This classification means that while it does have a legitimate medical purpose, there is still some potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.

Determining Factors

Klonopin has a relatively long half-life, which refers to the length of time it takes for half of one dose of a drug to be eliminated from the body. For Klonopin, this time period ranges from 30-40 hours, meaning that it takes between 2-3 days for 50% of Klonopin to be expelled from a person’s system. Based on its half-life, some amount of the drug is likely to stay in the system for about 6-9 days after the last dose.

Some factors that may also influence how long the effects of Klonopin last and the length of time it takes for it to leave a person’s system include the following:

  • Age
  • Height and weight
  • Body fat and mass
  • Genetics
  • Food consumption
  • Liver function
  • Metabolic rate
  • Urinary pH
  • Dosage amount
  • Frequency of use
  • Duration of use
  • Use of other drugs or alcohol

What Is Klonopin?

Klonopin reduces activity in the CNS and mitigates hyperactive electrical signals in the brain, which are associated with anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, insomnia, and other disorders. It is also often used to treat seizures in those with neurological disorders like epilepsy.

As an intermediate-acting benzo, it can reduce the risk of seizure activity for many hours after the drug has been administered. Klonopin may also be prescribed to those who suffer from persistent fidgeting, restlessness, or other uncontrollable movements, some of which may be side effects of using antipsychotic medications.

Sometimes health professionals prescribe Klonopin for the treatment of severe anxiety and panic attacks. However, it isn’t prescribed as often for the short-term treatment of insomnia or anxiety as other medications, such as Ativan and Xanax. These other benzodiazepines tend to be more effective at addressing these disorders because their effects onset within minutes and are not as long-lasting as Klonopin.

Klonopin Abuse and Addiction

Like other benzos, Klonopin produces feelings of relaxation and well-being, which give it a potential for abuse and addiction. Even those who take the drug as directed by a physician may find themselves quickly progressing to problematic use. It is these desirable feelings that often compel a person to use Klonopin more often or in higher amounts than directed. Moreover, these coveted effects typically begin within an hour of use and can last anywhere from 6-24 hours.

Klonopin can result in tolerance and dependence if use continues for an extended period. Tolerance is a condition that develops as the body adapts to the presence of a drug and gradually mitigates the effects of that substance. When this occurs, the person may be driven to use more of the drug in order to experience the desired effects.

Dependence develops after long-term exposure to a substance, as the body adapts to its presence and can no longer function properly without it. Once dependence has been established, a person will begin to encounter withdrawal symptoms when they try to discontinue drug use. Tolerance and dependence are telltale signs of addiction, a condition that is also hallmarked by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of negative consequences.

Klonopin Overdose

How Long Does Klonopin Last? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Anyone who uses a dose of Klonopin in excessively amounts or too frequently is at risk for overdose. Although it is difficult to lethally overdose on clonazepam when used by itself, if it is used in conjunction with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol or opioids, the depressant effects of all substances are amplified and can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of a Klonopin overdose include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Amnesia
  • Blurred vision
  • Stupor or unresponsiveness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired coordination
  • Low blood pressure

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms after using Klonopin, please call 911 immediately.

Getting Treatment for Klonopin Addiction

Once a person has acquired a dependence on Klonopin, it can be very difficult to stop. Those who take Klonopin regularly for a long period will likely encounter unpleasant withdrawal effects when they discontinue use. The discomfort of these symptoms is often the prime reason why a person will continue to use Klonopin even if he or she wants to stop.

Recovery from Klonopin addiction is certainly attainable, however, and the first step is admitting that you have a problem and seeking help. Harmony Treatment and Wellness uses a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addiction recovery that includes psychotherapy, counseling, treatment for co-existing mental health conditions, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you know is dependent on Klonopin or other substances, help is available. You don’t have to suffer alone—contact us today!

Related: Meth and Xanax

Is Lorazepam Addictive?

Is Lorazepam Addictive? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Is Lorazepam Addictive? – Lorazepam is the generic for the brand name benzodiazepine (benzo) Ativan. This drug is used to treat several conditions, including anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, epilepsy, and nausea or vomiting related to cancer treatment.

Benzodiazepine medications are frequently used to treat these types of disorders because they are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Drugs in the CNS depressant class function by binding to GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain and reducing transmission between neurons.

Lorazepam Addiction

Ativan and other benzos can also stimulate the reward system in the brain, which can lead to dependence and addiction. These drugs have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Still, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies lorazepam and other benzos as Schedule IV substances because they also have legitimate medical purposes and use of them is very widespread.

People who are prescribed lorazepam are more likely to become dependent upon or addicted to these medications. This effect is primarily due to therapeutic exposure to the drug in conjunction with existing substance abuse and mental health issues, such as anxiety.

Persons who have experienced substance use disorders in the past are more likely to struggle with abuse of benzos such as lorazepam. This is especially true for those who have suffered from alcohol use disorders because benzodiazepines have effects comparable to alcohol and are sometimes prescribed to mitigate alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Lorazepam is a short-acting benzo, and because the euphoric and sedating effects subside after about two hours, people who use this medication may soon feel anxious again. The unpleasantness of this effect may compel the user to take another dose. This circumstance can lead to a cycle of misuse and addiction faster than with long-acting benzodiazepines such as Valium (diazepam).

People who use lorazepam for non-medical purposes rarely use this substance alone to get high. One study found that about 80% of benzodiazepine abuse was related to polydrug abuse, most commonly in combination with opioids.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that up to 15% of heroin users have also used benzodiazepines. Other research has revealed that people who struggle with an alcohol use disorder concurrently tend to abuse Ativan and other benzos. In many instances, this abuse begins as an attempt to relieve the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Because lorazepam is a CNS depressant, people who use other CNS depressants, especially alcohol and opioids such as heroin or oxycodone, might use this benzodiazepine to amplify the effects of the other psychoactive substances. This behavior is very dangerous, however, and can rapidly result in overdose and other severe health complications.

Is Lorazepam Addictive?: Side Effects

Lorazepam is among the top 100 most prescribed medications in the world. Even when a person uses it as directed, they may experience side effects. However, side effects are more likely to manifest or become more severe if the person has become addicted to Ativan and abuses the drug, or takes it too frequently or in increasingly larger doses. Lorazepam and other benzos can cause several side effects, on both a short- and long-term basis.

Side effects may include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Impaired equilibrium
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Hypotension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Respiratory depression

People who use lorazepam for insomnia may experience parasomnias, which may include sleepwalking, eating, driving, or having conversations while sleeping.

Is Lorazepam Addictive? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Signs of Lorazepam Abuse and Addiction

As a person battles an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they will exhibit a number of symptoms, including altered behavior and various physical effects.

The effects of long-term lorazepam abuse may include the following:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Cognitive impairments, such as memory loss/amnesia
  • Slurred speech or other symptoms that mirror alcohol intoxication

Once tolerance and dependence have developed, the person will no longer experience the desired effects of lorazepam. In response, the user may increase their dose, either with or without a doctor’s permission.

If a user is dependent on lorazepam and they try to discontinue use, they will develop withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can also manifest after just a few weeks of abuse and become more severe when a person tries to stop taking their medication abruptly or “cold turkey.”

Lorazepam withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Impaired memory
  • Sweating
  • Dysphoria
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Stomach cramps
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid pulse
  • Vertigo
  • Seizures

If the person discontinues lorazepam use abruptly, the most severe physical withdrawal symptoms can take up to 10 days to wane. Sudden cessation of use of any benzo is dangerous and never advised, and those who are dependent upon them should only attempt to quit using them under medical supervision.

Is Lorazepam Addictive?: Addictive Behaviors

Also, the unpleasantness of withdrawal combined with drug cravings can result in a relapse to subdue the undesirable symptoms. This dangerous and potentially life-threatening cycle of use can continue indefinitely. For these reasons, medical detox is usually recommended for benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Changes in behavior that may indicate a lorazepam addiction include the following:

  • Intense cravings for lorazepam or other benzos
  • Obsession with acquiring or using the next dose of lorazepam
  • Requiring more of the substance to experience the intended effects
  • Prioritizing the use of lorazepam over other important or enjoyable activities, such as school, work, family, or social obligations
  • Being deceptive about how much lorazepam one is using
  • Stealing to pay for more lorazepam or doctor-shopping in an attempt to acquire multiple prescriptions
  • Refilling prescriptions too early or too often
  • Spending a significant amount of money obtaining lorazepam
  • Irritability, agitation, aggression, moodiness, and depression
  • Denying that drug use is a problem despite the incurrence of adverse consequences

Is Lorazepam Addictive? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Signs and Symptoms of Overdose

A lorazepam overdose is consistent with symptoms characteristic of an overdose on any benzodiazepine, which may include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Stumbling and falling
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lethargy
  • Increased sedation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Death

People who have overdosed on lorazepam may experience profoundly reduced respiration and shallow breathing, as well as cardiovascular depression that could lead to a loss of consciousness, coma, or death.

Treatment for Lorazepam Addiction

For those who suffer from an addiction to lorazepam, it is crucial to get help to surmount this disorder. Long-term use can result in adverse physical effects and poor health, and changes in behavior can result in loss of social support and a number of adverse consequences.

The best treatment to address a lorazepam addiction is to taper the dose under medical supervision until the brain and body are no longer dependent upon the drug. This process should also include enrollment in a comprehensive addiction treatment program.

Harmony Treatment and Wellness employs a well-rounded approach to addiction treatment that considers how factors such as lifestyle, environment, and physical and emotional health play vital roles in a person’s addiction to drugs or alcohol. By collaborating with you and your loved ones throughout the treatment process, we can equip you for recovery by customizing a program that includes a complete continuum of care.

Our programs include both partial-hospitalization and outpatient options and features evidence-based behavioral therapies, individualized treatment, and aftercare planning services designed to predict the challenges you may encounter on your journey to long-term sobriety and wellness. Our team of compassionate addiction specialists is dedicated to providing people with the resources, tools, and support they desperately need to take back their lives, free from addiction.

If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, contact us today!

Related: Meth and Xanax

Signs of Valium Addiction

Signs of Valium Addiction | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Valium (diazepam) is a prescription benzodiazepine commonly prescribed to prevent seizures or alleviate anxiety. However, even users with a valid need for the medication can become dependent. It can take as little as a few weeks to several months for the outward signs of Valium addiction to develop. Watching for these physical and behavioral warning signs will help you determine whether a family member or friend is engaging in Valium or has developed an addiction.

Physical Symptoms and Signs of Valium Addiction

As a sedating medication, Valium reduces activity in the central nervous system (CNS), meaning that vital functions of the body, such as heartbeat, respiration, and digestion, can be impacted by Valium abuse. The user may appear to be drowsy much of the time or be difficult to arouse from sleep. He or she might exhibit shallow and slow breathing, pale skin, and impaired motor coordination.

These symptoms may be present even when the person is using Valium at prescribed doses. At high doses, the effects may resemble profound alcohol intoxication.

Excessive users may present with the signs and symptoms as follows:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Slurred speech
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Reduced appetite
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures

Valium addiction can have dangerous health consequences, including low blood pressure, respiratory depression, seizures, dizziness, and overdose. When Valium is used in conjunction with alcohol, sleeping pills, or other substances that have a sedating effect, the risk of an overdose is even higher.

Behavioral and Psychological Signs of Valium Addiction

Signs of Valium Addiction | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

For decades, Valium has been among the most commonly used anti-anxiety medications in the U.S. However, abusers may experience an amplification of the same psychological symptoms that prompted them to seek help initially.

Behavioral and psychological signs of Valium addiction may include the following:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Impaired memory

Someone who is dependent on Valium will exhibit an increased concern about obtaining and using the medication, even at the cost of his or her health and well-being. Social withdrawal may occur as the user begins spending more time using the drug and recovering from its effects.

The person may neglect work and family responsibilities and lose interest in his or her favorite activities. Personal grooming habits and hygiene may decline, and the addicted person may borrow or steal money or attempt to obtain the drug from dealers to maintain their habit.

When used for a prolonged period, Valium use can result in physical and psychological dependence. Dependence occurs when the brain adapts to the continual presence of the drug and begins to require it in order to function normally. When chemical dependence develops into addiction, the user’s need for Valium becomes a persistent, compulsive preoccupation.

The chronic effects of Valium abuse can have a severe impact on the user’s physical and psychological health. And yet, thousands of people become addicted to Valium and other benzos each year, despite the well-established health risks.

Note: Although Valium can have dangerous long-term health effects, it is equally hazardous to attempt to quit this drug abruptly following weeks or months of use. Valium withdrawal can lead to seizure activity, agitation, restlessness, increased anxiety, and muscle spasms. Users are encouraged to undergo a medical detox to ensure that withdrawal from Valium is as safe and comfortable as possible.

Co-Occurring Mental Illness

A co-occurring mental health disorder often accompanies the long-lasting effects of Valium misuse. There is a heightened risk of benzodiazepine abuse among those with mental illnesses, such as severe depression and bipolar disorder. For people with mental health problems that require treatment, medications with less potential for abuse and addiction are usually recommended.

Getting Help for Valium Addiction

Recovering safely from Valium addiction requires more than a commitment to stop using the drug. Those who try to discontinue Valium use without medical supervision are at risk of developing severe rebound effects on the CNS, such as seizures, extreme anxiety, and muscle spasms.

To minimize the effects of withdrawal, a physician can prescribe a drug taper or gradual dose reduction. Around-the-clock supervision from clinical staff helps to prevent potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

In addition to the risks of withdrawal and the discomfort of its effects, research has shown that people have a much better chance at maintaining long-term recovery if they have the support of a multidisciplinary treatment team. Harmony Treatment and Wellness employs caring addiction specialists dedicated to providing each client with the tools and support they need to recover from drug addiction and foster long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

We offer integrated programs in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats that include evidence-based services, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

If you or someone you love is exhibiting signs of Valium addiction, contact us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction for good!

The Risks of Using Clonazepam and Alcohol

Clonazepam and Alcohol | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) is an anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepine (benzo) family, and is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Alcohol, also a depressant, is an intoxicant found in distilled spirits, beer, and wine. Under no circumstances is it regarded as safe to combine the substances.

Effects of Clonazepam and Alcohol

Alcohol, when consumed alone, can produce effects, including the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Mild euphoria
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Impaired coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irregular or slow breathing
  • Elevated heart rate

Drinking alcohol chronically and in excess can result in adverse health complications, including liver disease, pancreatitis, arrhythmia, hypertension, and an increased risk of several types of cancer.

Clonazepam is a prescription medication and should only be used as directed by a physician. Misuse, including consuming too much or using it too frequently, can result in side effects, which may include the following:

  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory impairment
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache
  • Impaired coordination
  • Loss of appetite and vomiting
  • Sleep disturbances

While it is possible to use either one of these substances responsibly, the two should never be used in conjunction, even when a person has a legitimate prescription for clonazepam. This is because their combined use can quickly amplify the effects of one other, which can lead to a much higher risk of overdose, hospitalization, and death.

Can You Mix Klonopin and Alcohol?

Clonazepam and Alcohol | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Both alcohol and clonazepam and are CNS depressants. In prescription doses of clonazepam, this property helps to reduce activity in the CNS and calm nerves, helping those who suffer from anxiety to function more normally.

However, CNS depressants used in combination can result in sedation as well as profoundly depressed respiration and heart rate. Moreover, when clonazepam and alcohol are used together, even in relatively small doses, the overall compounded effect can result in extreme drowsiness, severely impaired coordination, and an increased risk of a serious fall or injury. This effect can also mean that the person becomes unresponsive, ultimately leading to coma and death.

Depressed or labored breathing is a potentially lethal side effect of mixing alcohol and clonazepam and is an indication that the person is not receiving enough oxygen. One characteristic of a lack of oxygen is pale, clammy skin and blue tinting around the lips or under the fingernails (cyanosis). If left untreated without emergency medical assistance, the person could stop breathing altogether and die.

Recent research conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2014) revealed that 38% of emergency room visits involving benzos combined with alcohol or opioids resulted in a more severe outcome, such as hospitalization and, in some cases, death.

Treating Alcohol Withdrawal with Clonazepam or Other Benzos

If a person has an alcohol use disorder and they seek treatment, a doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine such as clonazepam to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal. Anxiety and seizures are two major symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and benzos are very effective at minimizing the risk of severe symptoms such as these. In this way, benzos can make a person’s transition away from alcoholism easier.

However, it is critical that the overseeing physician carefully supervise the patient and watch for signs of a burgeoning dependence on benzos. Each of these medications has its potential for abuse, and the development of a new dependence can be particularly dangerous if the person experiences a relapse and combines clonazepam with alcohol use.

Help for Alcohol or Clonazepam Addiction

For those who struggle with an addiction to clonazepam, alcohol, or both, it is vital to seek help as soon as possible to receive treatment before the problem gets worse. If these conditions are left untreated, the person may become more likely to use alcohol and benzos together or to use these drugs in combination with others, such as heroin and prescription opioids.

Comprehensive addiction treatment is the most effective way to treat polysubstance abuse disorders. Emotional support from therapists and peers helps clients to uncover factors that led to their substance abuse issues and develop better coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s stressors and cravings for substances.

Harmony Treatment and Wellness is dedicated to helping clients achieve abstinence. Through psychotherapy, counseling, and group support, we provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to prevent relapse and make educated decisions about their lives, health, and well-being.

We employ highly-skilled, compassionate addiction specialists who facilitate therapeutic services to clients with care and expertise. We understand that addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease and should be treated as such. We help clients without judging their past actions and, instead, foster encouragement and hope for the future.

Call us today to discuss treatment options and begin your journey to recovery! We can help you reclaim the happy and fulfilling life you deserve!

Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Xanax Abuse | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Xanax Abuse – Xanax belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which are often used to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety. These drugs are designed for short-term use and when used long-term have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Benzos are relatively short-acting medications that have a rapid onset and quickly reduce anxiety. Effects typically begin within a half hour of use and can provide relief for several hours after.

Benzodiazepines produce a relaxing effect by attaching to certain sites on GABA receptors in the brain. After a prolonged period of use, Xanax can cause changes to these receptors in the brain, making them less sensitive to stimulation. Eventually, an individual develops a tolerance to these drugs and requires him or her to take increasing dosages to produce the desired effect.

For people who have become chemically dependent, a decrease in consumption will likely lead to withdrawal effects. It can be quite challenging to regain control over prescription drug use without professional treatment.

Moreover, ue to the life-threatening symptoms related to withdrawal from these types of drugs, it is critical that individuals do not attempt to quit Xanax abruptly without appropriate medical supervision.

Causes & Risk Factors of Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Oftentimes, substance abuse addiction specialists are not able to identify an exact cause – there are numerous factors that can play a role in the development of addiction. However, some well-known contributors include genetics, individual characteristics, and environment.

Genetic Risk Factors

Much evidence has shown that addiction problems can run in families through traits that are genetically passed down through the generations. Moreover, people who have close relatives that have a substance abuse problem are twice as likely to incur a substance abuse problem themselves. While genetics certainly do not guarantee the development of an addiction problem, there is a definite association.

Brain Chemistry

Xanax works by affecting the brain’s reward system, creating feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Some people lack sufficient levels of chemicals in the brain to properly stimulate the reward system – one theory is that when people use Xanax or Ativan it helps make up for the lack of natural brain chemicals. People may then continue to use these substances to continue experiencing feelings of relaxation and pleasure, which can eventually result in addiction.

Environmental Risk Factors

Many people who grow up in unstable home environments or experience extreme life stressors may have come to rely on drugs such as Xanax to help cope with emotional pain. Also, some people are raised in an environment where substance abuse is viewed as acceptable behavior.

Psychological Risk Factors

Individuals who have developed addiction problems are also at high risk of having a co-occurring mental health disorder. People with undiagnosed psychiatric illnesses may not understand symptoms that they are experiencing and may be unsure how to deal with them.

In an attempt to self-medicate, people may begin to use Xanax as a way to manage symptoms. Over time, some individuals may start to rely on such substances to function on a daily basis.

Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Common symptoms exhibited/experienced by those who are abusing or are addicted to Xanax may include the following:

Mood Symptoms

Xanax Abuse | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Mood symptoms associated with Xanax abuse may include anxiety, notable mood swings such as those alternating between depression and mania, agitation, rage, and restlessness.

Behavioral Symptoms

  • “Doctor-shopping,” or visiting multiple doctors to obtain more Xanax
  • Stealing or borrowing someone else’s Xanax
  • Decreased inhibitions and engaging in risky behaviors
  • Exhibiting hostility and violence
  • Neglecting family or personal responsibilities
  • Declining occupational or school performance
  • Taking higher doses or more tablets than what was prescribed
  • Chewing pills to make them work faster or crushing/snorting pills to enhance effects

Physical Symptoms

  • Swelling in hands and feet
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Dry mouth, stuffy nose
  • Decreased urination, constipation or diarrhea
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness, dizziness
  • Heart palpitations, tachycardia
  • Tremors or seizures

Psychological Symptoms

Psychological symptoms may include confusion, disorientation, difficult concentrating, hallucinating, and memory problems.

Effects of Xanax Abuse

Xanax abuse can produce many adverse effects. The intensity of effects experienced depends upon the duration of abuse, the amount of the substance regularly used, and individual character traits of the abuser.

These effects may include:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Social isolation and relationship conflicts such as divorce
  • Legal or financial problems, incarceration
  • Inability to function at work or school
  • Hospitalization
  • Migraines
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Uncontrollable muscle twitches or seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts

Many people who have substance abuse problems also experience a co-occurring mental health condition. These may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Additional substance addiction (drugs or alcohol)
  • Borderline personality disorder, or other personality disorder such as antisocial personality or histrionic personality disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders such as social anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Effects & Symptoms of Withdrawal from Xanax

Withdrawal from a Xanax dependency can be dangerous should only be done under the direction of a qualified medical professional in a safe environment. The detox process will slowly decrease the amount of Xanax in the body to minimize the chance of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of withdrawal from Xanax may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep disturbances, insomnia
  • Intense sweating
  • Nervous feelings and anxiety or depression
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Weight loss
  • Tingling sensation in hands and feet
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts or death resulting from suicide or health
  • complications

Overdose

A life-threatening overdose of Xanax is unlikely when taken as directed or used alone, without the presence of drugs or alcohol. However, benzodiazepines such as Xanax are currently estimated to be involved in at least 30% of overdose deaths in the United States. In the majority of cases, other drugs such as opioids or alcohol were also involved.

The following are signs of an overdose, and immediate medical attention may be required to save a life:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Confusion – saying things that don’t seem to make sense
  • Dizziness even when not moving around
  • Blurred vision and difficulty focusing
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech -they have become difficult to understand
  • Difficulty breathing – breathing is slow, shallow, labored, or stopped entirely

Treatment for Xanax Abuse

Xanax abuse can result in many adverse mental and physical effects as well as impaired functioning in many vital aspects of life, such as academics, career, and family. Treatment for Xanax abuse may begin with a gradual tapering of the drug over the course of weeks or months to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Long-term rehab, therapy, and counseling should co-occur with the tapering medication schedule or should closely follow it. Our center offers comprehensive, evidence-based approaches that have been shown to treat Xanax abuse and addiction effectively. We offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment formats, each of which includes psychotherapy, family counseling, and group support.

Our medical staff and mental health professionals aim to provide the very best care for our clients and ultimately, provide them with the tools they need to achieve sobriety and sustain well, happy lives long-term treatment has been completed.

If you or your loved one is abusing Xanax, other drugs, or alcohol, please contact us as soon as possible. You CAN regain your life with our help!

Meth and Xanax

Meth and Xanax | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Meth (methamphetamine) is a potent, illegal stimulant drug that produces feelings of energy and euphoria. Xanax is a benzodiazepine and central nervous system (CNS) depressant used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Mixing meth and Xanax is dangerous and potentially deadly because meth works to increase heart rate and blood pressure while Xanax has the exact opposite effect.

Moreover, the reaction that results is a product of two drugs with contradictory effects. Thus, the body is placed under severe stress and effects can lead to risky, unpredictable health risks and complications. For one, this pair can put excessive strain on the heart and may directly contribute to cardiac arrest or stroke.

Meth itself is often mixed with other substances to enhance a high or reduce manic symptoms. Users sometimes report using too much meth and then turning Xanax or other CNS depressants to calm nervousness and anxiety and maintain a higher level of functionality.

As a result, the user may erroneously believe that they are indeed back to normal, but in reality, they are still impaired. Indeed, driving and other activities can still be dangerous and lead to injury or death to the user or others encountered in their path.

Recent statistics from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) revealed that in one year, nearly two-thirds of emergency department visits related to meth also involved another substance – and more than 10% included the use of benzodiazepines such as Xanax.

In fact, polydrug abuse (the use of one or more illegal drug or misuse of multiple prescription medications in combination with alcohol) often leads to overdose because when these substances are combined, effects are unpredictable and often far more intense and dangerous than any one substance alone.

Meth and Xanax | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Meth and Xanax Overdose and Death

Combining meth and Xanax increases the risk of complications and deadly side effects. The following symptoms may manifest due to use of this combination:

  • Excessive drowsiness/sleepiness
  • Cardiac arrest (heart attack)
  • Light-headedness
  • Slow/impaired breathing
  • Stroke
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Dizziness

Using meth and Xanax can also result in a life-threatening overdose. Benzodiazepines contribute to thousands of deaths each year and are highly addictive. If used to ameliorate an intense and uncomfortable meth high, both dependence and tolerance (in which the user needs increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the desired effect) can occur and the risk of overdose substantially increases.

Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

Meth, like Xanax, is highly addictive. Just a brief period of use can compel the user to repeat consumption long-term. The method of ingestion is most often smoking, but some snort or inject it to induce a faster and more intense high.

When addiction develops, discontinuing meth use can be extremely challenging due to the very unpleasant and uncomfortable effects of withdrawal. Symptoms may include depression, lethargy, fatigue, insomnia, anger, irritability, anxiety, nervousness, paranoia, and strong cravings.

Over time, using an increasing amount of Xanax can lead to physical dependence, especially when more than the recommended or prescribed amount is consumed. Abrupt cessation of Xanax can result in severe withdrawal symptoms, and these effects may increase when other substances are used simultaneously.

Meth use, in addition to increasing energy and hyperactivity, can lead to anxiety that follows the euphoria. When users start experiencing a “comedown” from meth, they may consume downers such as benzos, sleep aids, and alcohol to mitigate unpleasant stimulant effects. Using CNS depressants such as these can take the edge off, both slowing down brain activity and causing sedation.

For these reasons, most healthcare and addiction professionals strongly recommend that users seek a professionally monitored medical detox to prevent relapse, overdose, and death.

Using Xanax to Prevent Tweaking

The use of meth may lead to a condition known as “tweaking.” This refers to the aftermath of an intense rush, usually following a binge.

Users binge to prevent withdrawal symptoms and a comedown, but after multiple using, effects decrease to the point that the user can no longer achieve a high and has no choice but to tweak and crash.

During the tweaking phase, the user experiences feelings of apathy, paranoia, intense cravings, insomnia, and may exhibit odd, unpredictable behavior and sometimes psychosis and hallucinations. To mitigate or prevent the effects of tweaking, users may turn to Xanax as a means to counteract the effects of a meth comedown. There may be unpredictable effects, however, from combining these two opposite-reacting substances.

If a person uses both drugs in conjunction, the effects that are produced can be very disturbing and unpredictable. Users may alternate back and forth from hyperactivity to excessive sedation. These polarizing effects can lead to increased anxiety and further drug use.

Meth and Xanax: Recommended Treatment

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common, most researched, and effective form of treatment. CBT works to change a person’s attitudes and behaviors, as well as their thoughts, and feelings toward drug abuse and stressors or trauma they have experienced. CBT also focuses on the adoption of coping skills and fosters a patient’s ability to deal with triggers.

If the patient is dependent on Xanax, the psychiatrist or physician will likely recommend a tapering schedule in which the person is slowly weaned off the drug by decreasing dosages over time to lessen dependence and mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

Following a tapering schedule or detox, meth and Xanax users should participate in a residential (inpatient) or outpatient treatment program. Our center offers both formats which include behavioral therapy, counseling, and group support.

You can regain your life and be free of drugs and alcohol! Please contact us as soon as possible and start your path to wellness and recovery.

Related: Injecting Meth