More than 15 million people in the U.S. older than 18 have trouble with alcohol abuse. That’s about 7.4% of the population. If you want to get your health in check, you need to start with an alcohol medical detox as soon as possible.
For those unfamiliar with the process, it involves medications to calm cravings and withdrawals. One of the most commonly used drugs is Lorazepam. Here’s all you need to know about this particular medicine and what you can expect from it.
What Is Lorazepam?
Lorazepam is a type of medication that is a part of the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It interacts with the central nervous system to calm the body.
Benzodiazepines or “benzos” are a practical option for alcohol medical detox. That includes diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, and oxazepam. They come in the form of tablets and can be dissolved under the tongue or swallowed immediately. In some cases, doctors may offer benzos injections to amplify their effect.
Lorazepam is unique. It’s mainly used on patients with liver failure or old age. The drug can help with alcohol withdrawal and curb anxiety. Due to its intermediate effect, many doctors prescribe Lorazepam to decrease the risk of seizures.
How Does Lorazepam Work?
Lorazepam works by reinforcing the effects of a particular chemical in the human body that is naturally present in the system – GABA. It binds itself to the exact same neurotransmitters in the brain that control our anxiety and alcohol addiction.
With Lorazepam, patients get to boost GABA activity and suppress the nerve receptors. Because of the tampering, the mind can relax and decrease severe alcohol withdrawal.
According to clinical research published in the Oxford Academic, the drug effectively treats alcohol withdrawal, even in smaller doses.
Lorazepam for Treating Alcoholism
Unlike other drugs like naltrexone or disulfiram, Lorazepam can be consumed during a recovery detox phase. For the first week of a long term detox for alcohol, benzos can be taken in higher doses. They can help reduce cravings.
But, most importantly, they help patients overcome alcohol withdrawal issues. That’s why lorazepam tablets are known as drugs for alcohol withdrawal.
Based on studies from the National Institutes of Health, benzos, particularly Lorazepam, are the most effective medicine for avoiding serious alcohol withdrawal syndrome. They are primarily used in individuals who are at high risk of experiencing delirium and seizures.
A self-detox is dangerous, especially when taking drugs to control the cravings, explains the Industrial Psychiatry Journal. That’s why it’s best to get a safe place to maintain your sobriety at an Inpatient Alcohol Rehab in Texas, like Stonegate Center, which is located just west of Fort Worth, Texas.
A typical lorazepam alcohol withdrawal protocol involves drug-assisted therapy and individual programs. When the symptoms subside, and the alcohol cravings get better, the patient will receive lower doses. An inpatient alcohol rehab in Texas for men or an inpatient alcohol rehab in Texas for women can provide patients with comfortable facilities to help them overcome alcohol addiction safely.
- The drug can counteract dangerous and severe alcohol withdrawal difficulties, particularly seizures and pain.
- It can help alcoholics beat the worst possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms to help them focus on long-term recovery.
- The drug offers versatility so that each individual can be treated appropriately.
- Lorazepam can expose patients to less dangerous side effects than other similar drugs.
- It is a well-tolerated drug, stated by the Indian Journal of Psychiatry.
How Long Does Lorazepam Stay In the System?
Lorazepam is mainly metabolized in the liver. Once the organ processes the chemicals, it will then get to the kidneys and leave the system through the urine. The drug can remain in the body nine days after the last use.
This is a detailed list of its effects, depending on its location in the human system.
- Saliva – Up to 8h
- Blood – Up to 3 Days
- Urine – Up to 6 Days
- Hair – 30 days or more
Even though it’s a fast-acting medicine, it will take a long time for it to leave the system. Every 12 hours, the concentration of the drug in the body starts to dissipate. The higher the dosage, the longer it will take for it to metabolize.
Lorazepam will also remain detectable for a long time in patients who’ve been using the drug consistently. Because of how strong it is, it’ll take a while for the system to break it down and flush it out completely.
Therefore, if you must take a urine drug screen for a job or anything else, know that it will test positive. Lorazepam will show up on a urine drug screen. So, let the testing lab know about your prescription before you take that test.
How to Remove Lorazepam From the System?
Since Lorazepam has a very long half-life, you will need to excrete it naturally from the body. Drinking plenty of fluids can help. Fluids can promote more urine, and regular urination will remove the substance over time.
However, you must not drink alcohol, even if you are trying to stay hydrated. It’s very dangerous for the body.
Why Is It Dangerous to Take Lorazepam With Alcohol?
If you need to take Lorazepam consistently, you should avoid alcohol completely. Mixing these two substances, even by accident, can magnify the intoxication effects. The lorazepam alcohol side effects will put you at risk of experiencing blackouts, short-term memory loss, etc.
If you combine Lorazepam with alcohol often, you’ll be exposed to a serious overdose. You can experience impaired cognition, trouble breathing, unstable blood pressure, lack of body control, and more.
Note: If you’ve consumed alcohol while taking Lorazepam and you experience these symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.
How to Take Lorazepam?
Lorazepam should be taken orally. Your doctor will recommend whether or not you should eat food with the drug.
The dosage will be determined based on your age, health state, and response to the drug. In more severe cases or long term detox for alcohol, the doctor can suggest regular use since you can benefit most from it.
For ideal effects, it’s best to use the pill every day at the same time. Our experts at Stonegate Center, an Inpatient Alcohol Rehab in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, will make sure you stay on schedule with your medication.
Stopping with the Lorazepam abruptly before the body has been fully detoxed, can cause withdrawal problems. The alcohol medical detox has to be completed before you can stop taking the drug.
Your pharmacist will provide you with a medication guide on how to use Lorazepam. Every time you purchase a refill, you will get a medication guide. If there is something you are unfamiliar with, it’s better to consult with your pharmacist or healthcare provider.
Lorazepam is a helpful drug for alcohol detox but must be used properly and regularly monitored to avoid addiction. Don’t stop taking the drug without talking to your doctor first.
What Happens If You Miss a Dose?
Missing a dose will not expose the body to serious health complications. Just take medicine as soon as possible. But, if the missed dose is too close to the next one, it’s better to avoid it completely. It’s not recommended to take two doses at a time or close to each other. So, it will be in your best interest to watch out for the next dose before taking the missed one.
Because of how unpredictable alcohol withdrawal can be, it’s highly recommended to try an alcohol detox in Texas under the care and supervision of medical experts. We can make sure you are getting the treatment you need and avoid any possible side effects.
Lorazepam Side Effects
Like any other drug, Lorazepam can cause side effects. One of the most prevalent ones are:
- Trouble staying focused
- Loss of coordination
- Appetite changes
Which Drugs Can Affect Lorazepam?
Lorazepam can interact with other drugs. Consult your healthcare provider if you are using:
- Sleeping pills
- Opioid meds
- Muscle relaxers
- Cough medicine
- Drugs for seizures
- Depression medication
Any medicine that is meant to treat anxiety or emotional difficulties can interact with Lorazepam. Plus, medicine for seizures and mental illness can have the same effect. Anything that is packed with an antihistamine can create a reaction in the body and slow down breathing.
There is also a possibility that drug interactions will make patients feel sleepy and drowsy. However, this drug interaction list is incomplete. Researchers are still studying the effect of Lorazepam and its interactions with over-the-counter medication.
There is a chance the drug will interact with herbal or vitamin products as well. It’s crucial to explain your medical history to your doctor before taking the Lorazepam for alcohol detox.
Are you struggling with alcoholism?
If you’re struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, our team at Stonegate Center is here to help! We provide inpatient treatment services as well as medical detox for those looking to get clean and sober.
We offer stays of 45-days, 60-days, and 90-days, most of which is covered by your commercial health insurance provider. To be specific, we are in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Texas, Aetna, Cigna, Ambetter, HealthChoice of Oklahoma, and PHCS Multiplan. For a free quote, just fill out our insurance verification form and we’ll call you with the results within an hour.
Lastly, our program is a faith-based, gender-separate facility that incorporates 12-Step Programming with proper medical and clinical care. At our 125+ acre campus in Azle, Texas, we offer individual counseling, group therapy, equine and recreational therapy, as well as access to our Alumni Program.
So, if you’re serious about getting sober, give us a call today at (817) 993-9733 or shoot us an email at email@example.com! We look forward to hearing from you and having you a part of our recovery community.
John Eckelbarger is a Business Development Representative for Stonegate Center. With a BSA in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, he has an interest in the neurobiology of addiction & pharmacology of drugs. He hopes to bolster Stonegate Center to the forefront of addiction medicine through bold, innovative content. He is currently pursuing his MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.