No, there is no safe way to shoot Ativan. Injecting the drug comes with a host of potential dangers.
Everyone feels anxiety from time to time, but some people truly have anxiety disorders and need all the assistance they can get. This often includes prescription medication use.
Lorazepam, better known as its brand name Ativan, is a prescription drug that helps people who are dealing with anxiety. It works by boosting feelings of relaxation.
MedlinePlus says it is sometimes prescribed to people to deal with side effects from cancer treatments including nausea and vomiting. It is also used for other health issues such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Can You Dissolve Ativan in Water?
You may be wondering if Ativan is water-soluble. It is a powder that is almost white in color. It is insoluble in water, as the RxList explains. It needs to be mixed with other ingredients that will dissolve the powder into an injectable solution. If you smash the pills and mix them with water to shoot the drug, the solution will not properly mix with your blood and may cause inherent harm. Crushed Ativan pills mixed with water result in miniscule pieces of the drug floating in the water. If you were to inject this mixture, you would be injecting the particles into your bloodstream, where they will block passage into small veins. This might result in issues because the blood cannot get to where it needs to go. Some blockage cases may be severe enough to cause the affected body part where the injection occurred to die. So, can you dissolve Ativan in water? No.
Can Ativan be Abused?
Ativan is known to be habit-forming, and people should only take it as directed by their doctor. Despite these warnings, a 2016 study published on Mental Health Clinician states that benzodiazepines are often misused. The study says that people are likely to misuse benzodiazepines while also taking other substances. As a whole, benzodiazepines are known to affect the brain negatively if abused.
Ativan is often prescribed to stop seizures and treat alcohol dependency. Because of its legitimate medical uses, some people may think they can safely inject Ativan at home.
Can You Inject Benzos?
It is never smart to inject benzos for recreational purposes. Most of the top name-brand benzos, such as Xanax, Valium, Halcion, Klonopin, and Ativan, are not water-soluble. Medicines in the benzo class of drugs are not made to be injected by the average person. Medical grade injectable benzos are combined with other ingredients, which make the drug more compatible when it is flushed into the veins. Injecting benzos brings other risks also. These include:
- Vein damage
- Bacterial infections
More outward signs of Ativan injection or other benzos can include warm, painful, red-flushed skin, fever, pus-filled wounds, dizziness, and lightheadedness.
Can you inject Ativan? You can, but only if you have the other compounds that make it water-soluble, none of which are sold to the general public. Injecting benzos, including Ativan, is not safe for anyone who is using the drug to get high. The risks of possibly losing a limb due the blood flow blockage are real and should not be taken lightly. An Ativan injection should only be given by a medical professional under supervision by a physician or surgeon. If you think shooting Ativan can be done and get you higher faster, you are sorely mistaken. You may get a ride in the ambulance, but that’s it.
There is a big difference between injecting a drug yourself and having a physician do it for you. Some people may decide to buy Ativan without a prescription, but street versions can be counterfeits or mixed with dangerous, unknown substances.
Injecting any drug, including Lorazepam, comes with a host of additional consequences.
Dangers of Injecting Ativan
A 2015 article published by the Australian Prescriber states that using a benzodiazepine for three to four weeks increases the chances that the user will experience unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal if they quit using it suddenly.
A person may become dependent on a benzodiazepine—even if it is prescribed—and start engaging in behaviors that signify misuse such as injecting the drug. Ativan is often prescribed as a tablet or liquid, so it is only meant to be taken orally.
Crushing Ativan tablets to combine the powder with liquid or injecting the liquid form of it into the veins is dangerous even in medically supervised environments. In 2014, Pharmacy Times published an article on nurses who have accidentally injected an oral version of the drug into patients.
The article said that, in some cases, nurses did not know enough about the risks of injecting a patient with an oral version of a drug intravenously. Other times, nurses were simply trying to help, and they improvised in the best way they could.
Pharmacy Times states that injecting an oral drug into a person’s veins could cause various health issues. Oral versions of any medication often have added ingredients for digestion that are not meant to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
Other Dangers of Injecting Ativan Include:
- Increased desire for Ativan. A 2015 article published by The Conversation reports that injecting a drug has been found to make a person desire a substance even more. Intravenous drug use generally leads to addiction more quickly than other forms of taking the drug.
- Risk of HIV and hepatitis infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that people who inject illicit substances put themselves at risk of becoming infected with HIV or hepatitis A, B, or C if they share needles with other people
- Injury to injection sites. Most individuals who inject drugs are not trained on the best ways to use a syringe.
- Neck injuries: A 2015 study published on Drug and Alcohol Review states that people who inject substances into their neck often suffer from obstructions to their airways, paralysis to their vocal cords, trauma to the jugular vein, blood clots, and bacterial infections.
- Endocarditis: An April 2018 article published by The New York Times states that endocarditis is a serious infection in the valves of the heart. A person who injects a drug may transfer bacteria into their bloodstream that reaches their heart. Care for this infection involves open heart surgery. Doctors are still deciding on the best way to move forward whenever a patient is admitted with endocarditis that is the result of drug use. NYT interviewed Dr. Kevin Pollard, who said some patients keep on abusing drugs even as they are on their way to surgery. Even though it is a doctor’s job to save the patient, some doctors warn patients that they will only operate once, and they may not do so a second time, which could ultimately cost the person their life.
- Overdose: Overdose is a possibility with any abuse, and the risk is heightened when the drug is injected.
Injecting Ativan is a sign of a clear substance abuse problem. This could lead a person to buy Ativan without a prescription, online, or on the street. Not only is this illegal, but it could also be incredibly hazardous.
Effects on the Brain
Psychology Today states that doctors have been worried about the risks of benzodiazepines like Ativan since at least the 1960s. Some studied effects of Ativan on the brain are:
- Dependency – Doctors used to believe that only people who have a history of substance abuse could become dependant on benzodiazepines. It is now known that anyone can misuse benzos, and dependency forms very quickly.
- Changes to the brain’s anatomy – As early as 1989, brain scans revealed changes to the physical structure of the brains of people who abuse benzodiazepines.
- Withdrawal – Since 1990, the American Psychiatric Association has recognized that benzos cause withdrawal.
The Dangers of Counterfeit Ativan
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a warning on counterfeit drugs in August 2016. S
- It could contain no Ativan.
- It could contain fentanyl, which is an opioid that is much stronger than morphine and can quickly lead to fatal overdose.
- It could contain substances that are banned and very dangerous.
The Mental Health Clinician mentions several trends that can help us understand how people misuse benzodiazepines like Ativan:
- In 2010, there were 408,021 visits to emergency rooms linked to benzodiazepines.
- Between 2004 and 2011, benzodiazepines played a role in overdose deaths. They went from being found in 18 percent of toxicity screens to 31 percent.
- Opioids and benzodiazepines are two commonly found prescription medications that are often responsible for overdose deaths.
- Between 2000 and 2010, treatment programs for benzodiazepine misuse became increasingly popular. Admissions to such programs went up 570 percent.
There is no safe way to inject Ativan. Shooting any drug to get high can result in severe addiction. If this is you and you need to stop shooting Ativan or other benzos, we can help. Arete Recovery is an accredited substance use treatment center located in South Florida. Centrally located in Pembroke Pines, the center is easily reached from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and all points in between. Drug rehab begins with medical detox and involves intensive inpatient therapy that focuses on finding the root cause of your addiction and learning alternative and healthful ways to deal with what caused you to abuse Ativan and benzos. Severe addiction can be tough to overcome, but it is possible.