People who are experiencing anxiety may be prescribed lorazepam as a way to mitigate the issue. Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine. Also within this class of medication are Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan. These act to enhance the workings of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA helps suppress the neural activity within the brain that causes feelings of anxiety.
Becoming addicted to Lorazepam
Lorazepam isn’t recommended as a long-term solution to help alleviate the anxiety one experiences. Health professionals only prescribe this drug for several weeks, as long-term usage can lead to addiction.
Even after a short time using Lorazepam, some individuals may exhibit addiction withdrawal symptoms. Also, within the small window of time that one may be prescribed this benzodiazepine, there can be a tendency to abuse the drug.
Lorazepam mimics alcohol
Some of the effects Lorazepam exhibits can be similar to those experienced with alcohol. That is, people may feel a “buzz” or uplift in their mood. Also, there can be a sensation of being inebriated. Some people may want to enhance these effects by drinking alcohol. Yet, consuming alcohol while taking Lorazepam can cause negative side effects and may be fatal.
Drinking while on Lorazepam
Some people may be tempted to consume alcohol while on a prescribed course of Lorazepam. One report states that 41% of those struggling with alcohol addiction abuse benzodiazepines to increase the effect of alcohol or as a way of coping with alcohol withdrawal.
However, seeking to magnify the ecstatic feelings that taking both substances may provide also increases the risk of severe side effects.
The Effects of Alcohol Consumption
Because alcohol has a sedative effect, some people take advantage of this by using alcohol to help them “loosen up” and become more sociable.
Yet, the side effects of alcohol consumption can be:
- Mood swings
- Coordination issues
- Slurring speech
- Short term memory issues
- a decrease in heart rate and breathing
- Feeling tired
As we mentioned earlier, lorazepam has a similar influence on an individual as alcohol does. This is a reason why it is prescribed for individuals who are withdrawing from drinking.
The side effects are also those associated with alcohol, such as tiredness, poor coordination, and an inability to concentrate. Individuals who are on Lorazepam may also experience:
- The sensation of being light-headed
- Loss of strength
Mixing Alcohol with Lorazepam
Mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines can be fatal. Again, the side effects are parallel to those of both alcohol and Lorazepam. Yet, the level is more severe and potentially life-threatening.
The issue is exacerbated by the fact that one can build up an immunity to the desired effect of these substances. This leads to individuals needing to drink more or take more pills to get that “buzz” or the feeling of being intoxicated they are seeking.
The chance of overdosing has increased. Also, the probability of having an adverse reaction to consuming alcohol with Lorazepam has risen.
The symptoms of combining alcohol and benzodiazepines are:
- extreme drowsiness
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Lack of coordination
- Erratic and abnormal behavior
- Poor memory
- Impaired coordination
The central nervous system is also affected. This results in difficulty breathing as well as a slowing down of the heart rate. These problems have fatalistic potential.
Why Do People Drink While Taking Lorazepam?
We have already considered that one reason people combine alcohol with benzodiazepines is to heighten the perceived positive effect of the substances.
Another reason is that people consider using legally prescribed drugs a safer option than mixing alcohol with illicit drugs. So, there is an implication that the individual won’t suffer from any self-conceived side effects.
A final suggestion is that because alcohol is widely available, it makes it an attractive option for those who want to misuse drugs.
Lorazepam belongs to a class of benzodiazepines, which are drugs used to alleviate anxiety. It acts similarly to the sedative nature of alcohol.
Also, like alcohol, those who take Lorazepam feel a buzz. Some individuals seek to add alchemy to the equation to enhance this sensation. This practice increases the negative side effects. The possibility of a fatalistic outcome is also expanded.
Those who are prescribed Lorazepam need to abstain from alcohol throughout treatment. If you feel you have become addicted to this drug, please consult your physician or contact a treatment center.