Author: James Anderson

Mixing Ativan and Alcohol: Can You Drink on Ativan?

ativan and alcohol

Using these substances together can also increase the risk of misuse and dependence, which may lead to a substance use disorder. The most detrimental side effects of drinking alcohol with Ativan usage revolve around slowing brain activities, breathing, and heart rate. This is because both substances are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Plus, they affect similar areas of the brain that are involved in GABA production.

  1. The combined effects of alcohol and Ativan are more powerful than when you consume the substances separately.
  2. Mixing alcohol with a benzodiazepine like Ativan greatly increases the intoxication the individual will experience, but this can be deadly.
  3. This interaction typically results in heightened dizziness, pronounced drowsiness, and a substantial decrease in cognitive functioning.

Due to how long Ativan lasts in your body, it is important to understand the risks of drinking if you take this medication. Ativan, known generically as lorazepam, belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines, which are central nervous system depressants. These drugs have a sedative effect, but their influence on the brain and body is multifaceted and profound. The liver is responsible for filtering the drugs from the system simultaneously, meaning the risk of overdose increases.

If either drug is present in the body because of a metabolic issue, it could cause both of them to flood your system. You can research and find the right options tailored to you or your loved one’s situation. Recovery from drug addiction is a journey, and your loved one might face setbacks along the way. Your continued support and encouragement can mean the difference between success and failure in their recovery process. People combine alcohol with Ativan to get a more intense feeling of intoxication.

Are there any long-term effects of mixing Ativan with alcohol?

Ativan, known generically as lorazepam, is a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and as sedation before medical procedures. It works by enhancing the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms brain activity. In the realm of mental health and neurology, Ativan is thus a potent ally against acute disturbances in brain function, but it is not without its challenges and potential for misuse. Its calming effects must always be balanced against the risks of sedation, dependency, and the amplified dangers when mixed with substances like alcohol. Alternative treatments for anxiety or insomnia, such as therapy or non-benzodiazepine medications, may be potential options for people at risk of mixing Ativan and alcohol. Treatment options and other forms of support are also available for people who are struggling with Ativan and alcohol misuse.

ativan and alcohol

The sedation can be so powerful as to cause household accidents, such as falling asleep with the stove on, falling asleep while smoking or sleeping through a fire alarm. If you suspect that you or a loved one is overdosing on Ativan, alcohol or any other substance, it’s crucial that you call 911 as soon as possible. Alcohol inhibits the body’s ability to metabolize Ativan so that Ativan accumulates in the body and circulating levels of the drug increase to well above those present when taking Ativan on its own. When the alcohol intake is more than low-level (a drink or two), this inhibition is total.

The combined effects can escalate quickly and may become life-threatening. The cognitive impairments from mixing Ativan with alcohol are particularly troubling. This can lead to poor decision-making and risky behaviors, potentially resulting in actions that might never be considered under normal circumstances. It is a benzodiazepine and similar in function to other medications you may have heard of, such as Xanax and Valium.

In other instances, the person may struggle with substance use disorder, mixing multiple drugs to become more intoxicated. Mixing alcohol with a benzodiazepine like Ativan greatly increases the intoxication the individual will experience, but this can be deadly. Alcohol also increases the activity of GABA in the brain, so combining the two can have additive effects. These include the risks of slowed breathing and heart rate, overdose and death.

What Are the Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Ativan?

It was rare for overdoses to be caused solely by benzodiazepines like Ativan. The DAWN report found that opioids or alcohol alongside benzodiazepines increased the risk of more serious outcomes, like longer stays in intensive care, by percent. Lorazepam and alcohol pose the same dangers you might expect from Ativan and alcohol. Some people wonder how long after drinking can I take Ativan, or should you drink alcohol with Ativan, but the answer is no. Like Ativan, it also poses a risk of addiction and adverse effects, especially when it’s mixed with other depressants like Ativan or alcohol. The combination of the two will likely lead to potentially fatal outcomes, including slow and labored breathing, drowsiness, coma, or death.

It’s important to note that these signs may also indicate other substance use disorders or mental health conditions, so it’s best to seek professional help for any concerns. Ativan is a potent benzodiazepine, a class of drugs that includes Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), and Klonopin (clonazepam). These medications work by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter or chemical in the brain that slows down nerve activity. The increased activity and effects of GABA lead to central nervous system (CNS) depressant effects, such as sedation and a sense of calm.

If you have been prescribed Ativan, you might be wondering whether it’s safe to take Ativan with alcohol. Whether it’s an occasional drink or long-term, heavy alcohol use, mixing Ativan and alcohol is not safe and could lead to serious side effects, such as respiratory depression, coma, or even death. Warning labels on Ativan state that drinking alcohol while taking this medication can be dangerous. Unfortunately, lorazepam is statistically one of the most abused prescription drugs in the United States, so many people are at risk of abusing both alcohol and Ativan. Taken on its own, Ativan has a relatively low rate of slowed breathing and heart rate; however, this can dramatically increase when combined with alcohol.

Ativan is approved by the FDA for the short-term symptomatic management of anxiety disorders and anxiety related to depression. Ativan is also sometimes used off-label without FDA approval as a sedative for insomnia and for preventing seizures in alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Because so many people in the country drink at least casually, there is a high risk of mixing medications and alcohol. Sometimes, this occurs unintentionally; for example, a person may take prescription medication for anxiety, like Ativan, then go out for a drink or two with friends.

What is Ativan, and why is it prescribed?

Because alcohol and Ativan are central nervous system depressants, combining them increases your risk of unintentionally slowing down your central nervous system too much. It is even possible for your breathing and heart to stop when mixing alcohol and Ativan. Given these risks, it is crucial to avoid alcohol while being treated with Ativan. Even the recommended dose of Ativan, when combined with alcohol, can lead to dangerous outcomes. Adhering strictly to the prescribed amount is essential, and one should remain vigilant regarding how the medication affects personal functioning.

Lorazepam and Alcohol

This means it starts working relatively quickly, and its effects can last for a reasonable amount of time without lingering too long in the system. This balance is part of why it’s favored for certain applications, such as acute anxiety relief and preoperative sedation. Beyond its sedative effects, Ativan also has muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant properties. These make it valuable in settings where muscle spasms or seizures are a concern, such as in the treatment of epilepsy or during certain medical procedures.

For some people, only one or two drinks can create a bad reaction when consumed with Ativan. Healthy habits, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep, may help improve overall physical and mental health. These lifestyle changes may be beneficial for relieving anxiety or hangover symptoms. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of taking Ativan with alcohol and how to avoid the potential consequences of mixing Ativan and alcohol.