Dangers of Injecting and Snorting Ativan
Ativan is a benzodiazepine, also known by the generic name lorazepam. This medication is frequently prescribed to treat anxiety. Like other benzodiazepines, Ativan has a sedative effect and can be prescribed to treat anxiety and panic attacks, induce asleep, and even stop seizures.
However, like other benzodiazepines, Ativan’s effects can be misused and lead to addiction. To get Ativan into their system faster, people who become addicted to this substance may find other routes to ingest the drug. Someone may choose to misuse benzodiazepines like Ativan by injecting and snorting the drugs.
This page will discuss the many dangers of snorting or shooting up Ativan, and how addiction to benzodiazepines can be treated.
Injecting a drug like Ativan involves breaking down the pill, often crushing it, and mixing it with water. Then, the solution is injected into the body, generally into a vein. Injection causes the substance to enter the bloodstream directly, without any processing in the stomach. This can be dangerous because it can lead to an overdose much more quickly. It can also cause damage to skin, veins, arteries, and muscles. Common problems due to needle injection include:
- High risk of blood-borne illnesses like HIV and hepatitis C
- Blood clots leading to stroke or pulmonary embolism
- Collapse of the capillaries, veins, or arteries at the injection site
- Infection around the injection site
Snorting is another common method for abusing many drugs, including Ativan. Pills are crushed up and then inhaled through the nose. Although the substance does not enter the bloodstream as fast as with injection use, the drug still enters the bloodstream quickly, as it passes through the thin skin in the nose and into the nasal capillaries. Common physical problems from snorting include:
- Destruction of nasal tissue
- Constant runny nose
- Reduced breathing due to damage of the nasal passages and throat
- Greater potential for overdose
Risk of Addiction to Ativan
When a potent drug like Ativan is not taken as prescribed, it can lead to addiction. This is especially true if the substance is used in high doses or by forcing it into the body faster by injecting or snorting. This allows a much larger quantity of the drug to get into the body, without being filtered by the digestion system.
People who misuse Ativan and other benzodiazepines this way are also more likely to be engage in polysubstance misuse, and they may be taking Ativan to enhance the effects of the other intoxicating substances.
People who struggle with addiction to prescription painkillers or heroin are at high risk of misusing Ativan, as are people who use cocaine or drink alcohol. There is also a correlation between people who misuse amphetamines and benzodiazepine misuse. People that engage in polysubstance use who regularly inject or snort another substance are more likely to ingest Ativan in the same manner.
Symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can already be very dangerous, and this is further complicated by the misuse of multiple substances. Safely tapering off of benzodiazepines in a supervised medical detox program may be crucial for someone that has been using Ativan for an extended period of time.
It is important to get help to recover from an Ativan addiction. A comprehensive addiction treatment program like the ones provided by Recovery First in South Florida offers several evidence-based types of addiction treatment to address underlying issues. Recovery First also offers medical detox programs in Hollywood, FL. With the right help, complete recovery is possible. Please reach out to an admissions navigator at to learn more.