Plugging Ativan | Effects & Dangers Of Rectal Lorazepam Use

Ativan is intended for oral use, though rectal forms of lorazepam do exist. However, tampering with Ativan and plugging it tends to be an ineffective method of administration at best and a hazardous form of prescription drug abuse at worst.

Lorazepam (brand name Ativan) is a strong anxiolytic and central nervous system depressant that can be used to manage anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and insomnia, seizures, or symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Lorazepam is also prone to abuse, including uncommon methods of administration like plugging that may increase both the drug’s euphoric effects and potential side effects and health risks.

Rectal Ativan Abuse

Plugging, also known as boofing or booty bumping, is a slang term that refers to the rectal administration of liquid or water-soluble substances ranging from opioids and alcohol to illicit stimulants.

Although rectal drug use is sometimes recommended as a form of harm reduction, plugging lorazepam is not advised because it’s not water-soluble, is poorly lipid-soluble, and can be difficult to prepare for rectal administration compared to other benzos like diazepam (Valium). 

While lorazepam is sometimes compounded specifically as a rectal rescue medication for severe seizures, the concentration of lorazepam a person might absorb from plugging modified Ativan is likely to be far lower than if they simply took the medication by mouth, as intended.

Nevertheless, it is possible that a person with the right procedure could modify oral Ativan tablets for effective rectal administration.

Effects Of Plugging Ativan

Suppositories and plugging both function because the delicate membranes of the rectum are able to rapidly absorb different substances into the bloodstream. 

Plugging drugs bypasses the “first pass” effect provided by the digestive system, which otherwise tends to slow down the effects of oral medications and lower their bioavailability, as not all the medication is eventually absorbed.

Rapid Effects Of Euphoria

For the purpose of substance abuse, this means that plugging can, in the right conditions, promote a rapid and increased effect, dumping the full dose of the drug into the bloodstream quickly.

This may lead to powerful feelings of euphoria, safety, wellness, drowsiness, and relaxation that can be highly addictive. Otherwise, some individuals will mix Ativan with other drugs like alcohol, opioids, or cannabis to heighten their overall experience.

Dangers Of Plugging Ativan

If you plug Ativan or similar medications the process can increase the relative potency of the medication while reducing its duration, leading to an increased risk of adverse effects, side effects, and overdose symptoms like respiratory depression.

Respiratory Depression

Respiratory depression can be fatal without effective emergency care, especially if the medication was mixed with other CNS depressants like alcohol, which some recommend as a solvent for use in preparing Ativan for plugging.

Addiction & Health Complications

Plugging may also increase a person’s chances of becoming physically dependent on Ativan or addicted to it, and is strongly associated with a variety of gastrointestinal complications, including:

  • tearing and other tissue irritation
  • persistent diarrhea
  • increased risk of acquiring diseases/infection
  • immune system dysfunction
  • circulation problem

These risks increase significantly when a person doesn’t use the right equipment, fails to clean and disinfect their gear, or improperly prepares their solution before administration.

Risk Of Physical & Mental Health Issues

Abusing any benzodiazepine drug, including Klonopin (clonazepam) Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), or Ativan (lorazepam), can lead to a wide range of long-term physical and mental health issues. 

The change of experiencing the following issues increase when benzodiazepines are taken over a period of three to six months or longer:

  • development of physical dependence leading to severe and prolonged Ativan withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation
  • serious side effects like sedation, dizziness, weakness, and unsteadiness that can make it hazardous to drive, operate machinery, or perform other tasks
  • increased risk of lorazepam/polydrug overdose, which can be fatal without effective treatment
  • long-term cognitive impairment impacting a person’s concentration, thinking, motor coordination, and memory
  • increased risk of developing dementia
  • increased risk of liver disease
  • addiction, involving severe and harmful changes to one’s behavioral and personality

If you or a loved one are abusing or thinking about abusing Ativan or other prescription drugs in unusual ways, it’s a strong sign that you may live with addiction.

To learn how we treat addiction in an inpatient setting, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. American Family Physician
  2. National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI )
  3. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls

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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