Ativan is not prescribed for long term use due to its addictive potential and health hazards. The long term use of this drug is associated with serious mental, physical and emotional health damages. The effects are particularly apparent in users who take the drug for recreational purposes.
Ativan is central nervous system depressant that means it produces its calming effects by slowing down the brain functions. The extended use of Ativan produces tolerance so it takes more and more amounts of the drug to produce desired effects. This can produce both physical and psychological dependence.
Other long term signs and symptoms of chronic Ativan abuse may include:
- Memory impairment
- Declined cognitive abilities
- Excessive sedation or drowsiness
- Slow respiration
- Confusion and disorientation
- Loss of coordination
- Excessive fatigue
- Kidney dysfunction
- Mouth sores
There is a greater probability of cognitive impairment in elderly people who have low tolerance for the drug. Cognitive dysfunction may persist even after the drug has been quit after a long term use. However, in most of the cases, the major effects are reversible with some symptoms still persisting.
Long term Ativan abuse is associated with serious emotional issues. The drug addiction ends up changing the whole personality of the user. It becomes very hard to return to a normal life and establish normal relationships or socialize with the people. The prospects of getting a job and working normally also decrease.