Effects & Dangers Of Snorting Ativan (Lorazepam)

Those who snort Ativan may experience severe side effects such as an increased risk of overdose. Abusing the drug in this manner can lead to serious dangers like respiratory depression and other life-threatening concerns.

Lorazepam (brand name Ativan) is a benzodiazepine prescription drug used to treat panic attacks caused by anxiety disorders and panic disorder. Sometimes referred to as a “benzo,” Ativan is a Schedule IV controlled substance that can lead to psychological or physical dependence.

Ativan is offered in tablet form, but those who participate in substance abuse may crush the Ativan tablet into a powder and snort the drug. Snorting Ativan may create a range of severe side effects along with many health dangers.

Effects Of Snorting Ativan

Ativan is a central nervous system depressant (CNS) that provides sedation and relaxation by acting on the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to slow brain activity.

In addition to feelings of calmness, snorting Ativan comes with both short-term and long-term side effects.

Short-Term Side Effects

Per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some of the more short-term side effects of Ativan may include:

  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • drowsiness
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness

Long-Term Side Effects

Snorting Ativan can increase the common side effects that one experiences. Additionally, snorting Ativan long-term can lead to:

  • damage to the nasal passageways
  • recurring sinusitis
  • risk of disease
  • Ativan withdrawal
  • Ativan overdose

Dangers Of Snorting Ativan

Ativan dependency may occur more quickly in those participating in heavy Ativan use. Snorting Ativan can lead to this as well as severe withdrawal symptoms. Those who stop Ativan “cold turkey,” especially after snorting the drug, may experience benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms

Ativan withdrawal is uncomfortable and can result in a person experiencing a range of symptoms, including:

  • cravings for the drug
  • sleeping problems
  • severe mood swings
  • fluctuations in blood pressure
  • fatigue
  • muscle cramps
  • mental health problems such as anxiety

Damage To Nasal Passages

Snorting Ativan not only heightens the effects of the drug when taken as prescribed, but may create dangers to your nasal passageways and your respiratory system. The continued snorting of Ativan can irritate the sinuses, leading to problems such as:

  • damage to the mucous membranes
  • diminished smell
  • bacterial infections
  • damage to nasal cartilage
  • frequent nosebleeds
  • chronic runny nose
  • difficulty swallowing

Risk Of Disease

Snorting Ativan requires paraphernalia and instruments such as straws, which may be sharp on one end. Those who snort Ativan frequently may develop sores that bleed.

When straws or other paraphernalia are shared during this form of Ativan abuse, there’s a potential for disease due to the mixing of bodily fluids. This may lead to diseases such as hepatitis C or HIV.

Ativan Overdose

Those who snort Ativan are consuming the drug in high doses, threatening the risk of overdose. Combining benzodiazepines with opioids or other CNS depressants can lead to difficulty breathing, especially when taken in higher doses.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), signs of an Ativan overdose may consist of:

  • respiratory depression
  • seizures
  • confusion
  • slowed heart rate
  • impaired coordination
  • loss of consciousness
  • slowed heart rate

If an overdose has occurred, seek urgent medical attention and contact 911 immediately.

Ativan Addiction Treatment

If you snort Ativan or participate in other forms of drug abuse, consider professional care at an accredited treatment center. At Ohio Recovery Center, we provide a wide range of prescription drug addiction treatment options for you or your loved one, including:

Contact us today to speak with one of our healthcare representatives. You can learn more about our treatment process and the many ways we can assist you on your road to recovery.

  1. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1684083/
  2. Food and Drug Administration https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2021/017794s048lbl.pdf
  3. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11697755/
  4. National Alliance on Mental Illness https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Lorazepam-(Ativan)
  5. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682053.html
  6. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532890/

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 18, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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