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  • Mixing Heroin & Ativan | Effects & Dangers

    Mixing Heroin & Ativan | Effects & Dangers

    Ativan (lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine and depressant that helps treat those struggling with anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. Heroin, on the other hand, is an illegal opiate (narcotic) drug strictly designed to make one feel euphoria.

    Benzodiazepines also referred to as benzos, are addictive and come with a few side effects, including sedation. Opioids such as heroin are also addictive and sought after due to the surge of euphoria one experiences.

    According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), combining Ativan with heroin can lead to serious side effects, including death. Here is a closer look at the dangers one may experience when mixing Ativan and heroin. 

    Effects Of Heroin Use

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that heroin is a highly addictive opioid. Not only does use heroin cause damage to the person suffering from substance abuse, but others can also suffer repercussions as well. 

    Risk Of Disease

    For instance, those using heroin may use contaminated needles which can carry diseases such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis to others who use the same needles. 

    Opioid Use Disorder

    In addition to this, those suffering from a substance use disorder may lose interest in family and work, solely focusing on the drug. 

    Heroin is a white powder that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Other opioids that cause similar effects include:

    • fentanyl
    • ​methadone
    • codeine
    • Oxycontin (oxycodone)
    • Vicodin (hydrocodone)
    • Buprenorphine

    Side Effects

    The rush one experiences with heroin also come with other side effects such as:

    • dry mouth
    • warm flushing of the skin
    • itching
    • slowed breathing
    • nausea
    • crowded mental function
    • vomiting
    • drowsiness

    Withdrawal Symptoms

    A person who has developed a dependency on heroin may suffer from serious withdrawal symptoms depending on the mode of injection as well as how much heroin the person has used. Long-term use of heroin will likely increase your risk of physical dependence.

    Respiratory Depression

    Many who use heroin and other opioids have fatal overdoses due to the significant respiratory depression and slowed breathing that occurs when high doses of heroin are used.

    Learn more about the Effects Of Heroin

    Effects Of Ativan

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that Ativan depresses the central nervous system (CNS). This prescription drug is primarily used to treat panic attacks and anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). 

    Calm & Sedation

    Ativan works by blocking the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Blocking this results in slowing the hyperactive mental processes. This creates a soothing effect.

    Ativan is a tablet typically taken two to three times a day. Benzodiazepines can be highly addictive, sometimes producing emotional or physical dependence.

    Benzodiazepine Addiction

    Some examples of benzodiazepines include:

    • Xanax (alprazolam)
    • Valium (diazepam)
    • Klonopin (clonazepam)
    • Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
    • Central (prazepam)
    • Doral (quazepam)

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prescription opioids and benzodiazepines labeled with warnings for people to not take the medication together. Opioids and benzodiazepines should never be taken together.

    Side Effects

    Some of the side effects of Ativan include:

    • dizziness
    • fatigue
    • impaired coordination
    • decreased concentration
    • difficulty urinating
    • nausea
    • changes in appetite
    • blurred vision

    Learn more about the Effects Of Ativan

    Dangers Of Mixing Ativan & Heroin

    Those who combine Ativan and heroin will likely experience severe judgment, motor coordination, and memory impairment. Opioids and benzodiazepines, when combined, may result in death. 

    Mixing these can cause your symptoms of anxiety and depression to worsen. Some of the other severe side effects of combining Ativan and heroin include:

    • impaired coordination
    • slow reflexes
    • confusion
    • extreme sleepiness
    • accidental overdose
    • slow or difficulty breathing
    • coma

    Partaking in Ativan abuse and heroin abuse can also lead to withdrawal symptoms such as:

    • high blood pressure
    • irritability
    • fast heart rate
    • nausea
    • dizziness
    • tremors
    • seizures

    Substance Abuse Treatment Centers

    Using heroin alongside a prescription drug like Ativan is a form of drug abuse. If you or a loved one suffer from heroin or Ativan addiction, professional treatment programs can help. 

    Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient programs as well as behavioral therapy and detox support. To learn about our treatment programs, 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.

    Australian Prescriber - Management of Benzodiazepine Misuse and Dependence
    National Alliance on Mental Illness - Lorazepam (Ativan)
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Heroin
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Heroin
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Lorazepam
    National Library of Medicine: StatPearls - Lorazepam
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Benzodiazepines in Combination with Opioid Pain Relievers or Alcohol: Greater Risk of More Serious ED Visit Outcomes

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on April 30, 2022
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