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  • Ativan (Lorazepam) Drug Classification | Is Lorazepam A Controlled Substance?

    Ativan (Lorazepam) Drug Classification | Is Lorazepam A Controlled Substance?

    Lorazepam, the generic prescription for Ativan, is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This drug classification was established in the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S.

    What Type Of Drug Is Ativan?

    Ativan is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines sometimes referred to as benzos, produce central nervous system (CNS) depression causing sedation. The medication is primarily used to treat anxiety disorders, epilepsy, and sleeping disorders.

    Schedule IV Drugs

    Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for addiction compared to those classified as Schedule III drugs, which have a moderate to low potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs have the highest potential for abuse and Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Ativan as a depressant. The DEA drug scheduling guidelines are followed by doctors when prescribing medication.

    Schedule IV Benzodiazepines

    Here is a list of Schedule IV benzodiazepines:

    • Ativan (lorazepam)
    • Valium (diazepam)
    • Tranxene (clorazepate)
    • Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
    • Restoril (temazepam)
    • Versed (midazolam)
    • Soma (carisoprodol)
    • Xanax (alprazolam)
    • Klonopin (clonazepam)
    • Halcion (triazolam)

    The controlled substances listed above can cause both physical dependence and psychological dependence. Benzodiazepines are usually only prescribed for short-term use due to their lasting effects.

    Is Lorazepam A Narcotic?

    Lorazepam is not a narcotic. Narcotics refer to some illicit drugs and Schedule II opioids such as: 

    • methadone
    • meperidine
    • fentanyl
    • morphine
    • hydrocodone
    • ​codeine
    • opium
    • oxycodone

    Ativan Side Effects

    When taking a benzodiazepine such as lorazepam, there are several side effects. Some of the side effects may include:

    • drowsiness 
    • impaired coordination
    • fatigue 
    • difficulty concentrating

    Depending on how Ativan is administered, the effects of the drug can cause heavy sedation. For instance, smoking or snorting Lorazepam will result in stronger effects that take hold much sooner than taking the medicine orally. 

    Physical Dependence

    In addition, physical dependence on the drug can become worse when lorazepam is abused. Lorazepam withdrawal symptoms can also be dangerous, which are likely to occur after you stop use. 

    You should always consult your doctor when changing your medication. With a prescription drug as strong as Ativan, it’s important to have the appropriate care and detox support

    Ativan Addiction Treatment

    At our treatment centers, healthcare professionals work around the clock to ensure you have the care you need. Whether you’re going through lorazepam withdrawal or suffering from anxiety symptoms, we have the expertise to assist you on your road to recovery. 

    If you or a loved one live with addiction, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Drug Enforcement Administration - Benzodiazepines
    National Alliance on Mental Illness - Benzodiazepine-Associated Risks
    National Alliance on Mental Illness - Lorazepam (Ativan)
    National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information - Lorazepam
    US Department of Justice - Controlled Substance Schedules
    US Food and Drug Administration - Ativan

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on January 31, 2023
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