View Full Version : I'm new here, and would like some guidance
11-06-2005, 08:59 AM
I have had generalized anxiety for 1.5 years now and am currently taking Ativan (Lorazapam).
I would like to switch to NON ADDICTIVE medication.
Chris, are you taking Ativan daily, or as needed?
As far as 'addiction' goes, the word itself gets confused with 'dependency'. Its kind of like wanting candy vs. needing candy to survive.
Addiction is when someone feels the need or desire to take a drug, regardless of their condition, for the sake of getting the 'high' or the nice feelings associated with the drug. Sometimes an addict will take a lot more for better feelings.
Dependency is more of a physiological thing - your body becomes dependent on the drug, almost needing it to function properly, and to stop taking it will give bad withdrawal effects. You take the drug NOT because of a compulsion to do so, but because of the needs of your body.
Now, generally speaking most every medication you decide to take for treating anxiety will result in a physical dependence once you have taken it for a long enough time. This includes benzodiazepines (such as Ativan) and SSRI's among other commonly prescribed anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs. Its unfortunate, but the body does develop a need for the medication after enough time ingesting it. Withdrawing from drugs is a process that involves tapering down the dosage over a period of time decided by whatever gives the least amount of withdrawal effects.
Addiction is mainly a concern with those who've abused drugs or are more predisposed to, or people that don't have an anxiety condition. While it's still possible for someone with anxiety to become addicted to drugs, it seems less likely - at least from my experience and from reading alot of other people's experiences online. That includes benzo's - although again dependency will result if you take it long enough on a constant basis.
Basically what I'm trying to say is, decide first if you're worried about addiction or dependency, then consider making a switch. If Ativan works for you, and you don't feel you are addicted to it, I don't see a reason to stop.
Benzodiazepines are prescribed less and less by doctors these days for treating anxiety long-term, instead they generally prescribe it on an as-needed basis. In other words, you take it only when you feel you really need immediate relief from anxiety, as opposed to taking it on a daily basis.
SSRI's have become almost the 'gold' standard for prescription as far as anxiety & depression go.
11-06-2005, 01:59 PM
Thanks for your responce Dan. I am taking Ativan almost every day, usually first thing in the morning. I think my problem is that I worry about having anxiety and am not able to get that thought out of my head.
I usually only take one, unless I am having a bad day.
I have read that Ativan should not be taken for the long term. Is this true?
I don't know what is said about Ativan, but doctors usually recommend against taking any benzodiazipine long term. But I've talked to people that have been on benzo's for years and have no problems. It might be very difficult getting *off* of the medication after a long time though, that would be a big possible concern.
Still, I'd try to see what experts say about Ativan specifically, and talk to your pharmacist maybe because they will often know a lot more than docs about specific drugs.
11-06-2005, 02:09 PM
Dan , do you have anxiety? What medications are you taking, if any?
I have social anxiety disorder with panic attacks, I've tried Paxil CR, Effexor XR, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin, and a beta-blocker (cant recall the name just now).
Currently I'm taking Klonopin daily (its a benzodiazepine).
11-08-2005, 04:26 PM
hello and welcome to the forum
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