Addicted to Ativan (Lorazapam)

I met with my psychiatrist yesterday for our quarterly appointment to discuss my meds and how I'm doing.

Among other things, I brought up that I would like to, at some point, get off of the drug Ativan (Lorazapam).  I was first prescribed the drug over a decade ago, and I've used it on and off, as prescribed, for anxiety and insomnia episodes.

At one point, my Dr. had me on 1mg at bedtime, every night.  It was eventually reduced to 0.5mg,  but I haven't been able to kick that teeny tiny amount. I asked her if it was common for people to become addicted/dependent on such a small amount for sleep. Unfortunately, she confirmed that it is.

I noticed on a few occasions when I forgot to take my dose, I tossed and turned all night and barely got any quality sleep. Lo and behold, the next morning, when I went to take my morning meds, I saw that I had forgotten to take the Ativan the night before.

According to my doctor, the process, which she recommends waiting on doing until situations in my life are more stable, involves starting to take a drug called Klonopin, and then tapering off of both drugs.

She then said, "Or you might just need to stay on it."

I was a bit upset. "I'd actually really like to work on this."

She said that sleep is more important right now and that she recommended that we talk about it more in-depth at my next visit. I really don't want to be addicted to a narcotic for the rest of my life.

Right now, fine, it continues to help me sleep...but this is not supposed to be a long-term drug...and I've been on it for a very long time.

More Soon.


  1. One of the big reasons I refused ativan was because of the fear of addiction, and also read that it can increase impulsiveness in some people, which is true for me. The brief time I was using ativan, my impulsive behaviors went through the roof.

  2. klonopin is much much worse in the sense that weening off is torture on the mind and body!

  3. Thank you for this. I wondered what your position was on meds. Have you found ANY that work for you? I've been fighting this by myself for such a long time that I just have no desire to fight anymore, and I want to try mood stabilizers or something. My therapists says we talk meds next week.

  4. Debbie,
    (I was searching on Twitter for Borderline Personality Disorder and saw a tweet that lead me to this.)

    I realize (based on the comments) this post was written in 2012, so it's been a lengthy while between the original time or origin and today. Do forgive me if you have posted an update and I just haven't seen it, I'm horrible at missing things, but I wanted to ask how you were doing with this and if it is a thing you still struggle with today?

    I'm prescribed an "as needed" Klonopin (up to 2mg daily) for anxiety, PTSD, and agoraphobia. I knew quite well going into such resent re-prescribed prescription that the drug is addictive and far too often misused due to such addictive effects. I seldom take them due to my past history but when I do I am often left feeling extremely guilty.

    I know how you feel. *hugs*

    1. Hello Dear Glass,

      Thank you for asking. My situation remains the same. I've yet to wean off of Ativan due to other medication changes. I'll be sure to do an updated post when things shift around this. Thanks again! ♥

  5. I am going to have to go off of Lorazepam very soon as I am going to start outpatient treatment. Has anyone found an alternative that isn't a narcotic?

    1. If you can believe it, I'm still on it. I am told there will be a transition onto another drug to ease the recovery. Will post about it when I know what it is. Best wishes. ♥



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