The Dangers of Snorting Ativan (Lorazepam)

If a person is snorting Ativan, it is likely they are struggling with drug abuse. Ativan is one of the benzodiazepine drugs, and benzodiazepine abuse is a serious issue with potentially fatal consequences.

Benzodiazepines are highly addictive. Repeated use over time can lead to physical and mental dependence. Acute benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to overcome.

Snorting, as a method of drug abuse, can cause some unpleasant symptoms and serious health problems. It is important to seek treatment for any substance addiction and begin the path to recovery.

What is Ativan (Lorazepam)

Ativan (Lorazepam) is a drug typically prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or seizure disorders. It can be prescribed as a tablet, or in liquid form. Ativan is very effective in reducing panic attacks as a result of panic disorder.

Ativan affects the central nervous system (CNS) and works as a central nervous system depressant. This means that it works by changing the pathways in the brain to reduce activity.

Taking Ativan and other drugs classed as benzodiazepines can produce euphoric effects. As they are sedative, a person will feel extremely calm after ingesting.

Is Snorting Ativan Dangerous?

If someone is suffering from a substance use disorder, they could begin abusing Ativan. When it is prescribed in a tablet form, it can be abused by crushing the tablet, making a powder which is then snorted.

People suffering from Ativan addiction may choose to snort Ativan. Snorting is a common method of drug abuse as it leads to a faster high. Snorting drugs activates the effects faster for the nasal passages are full of nerves.

However, snorting Ativan comes with its own unique problems and risks. People who engage in Ativan abuse may struggle to obtain the desired dose of the drug legally. As a result, they could purchase Ativan illegally and be unsure of its purity.

Many overdose deaths caused by drugs are a result of impurity. A person may believe they have purchased an Ativan tablet or another benzodiazepine, but it could be mixed with other toxic substances. Accidentally ingesting high doses of a stronger substance can have lethal consequences.

Effects of Snorting Ativan (Lorazepam)

Taking Ativan and other drugs by snorting poses its own unique health risks. Snorting primarily affects the respiratory system.

The mucous membranes inside the nose are delicate and foreign substances can cause damage. This can affect a person’s ability to breathe normally. Inserting drugs into the nasal passages can also lead to:

  • Sinus infections
  • Chronic runny nose
  • Nosebleeds
  • Slurred speaking
  • Sores
  • Frequent cold/flu symptoms

Snorting can cause respiratory depression. This is a breathing disorder that affects breathing effectively. A person with this condition would take slow and shallow breaths.

Health Risks Of Snorting Ativan

One of the most serious risks posed by snorting Ativan is the potential for overdose. An Ativan overdose is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment help. If left untreated, it could be life-threatening.

Signs that someone has overdosed on Ativan include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Memory issues
  • Slowed cognitive processing
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slow breathing
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Coma
  • Death

Too much Ativan can result in coma or death, so knowing the warning signs are important. If you suspect someone has taken too much Ativan, call the emergency services immediately.

Ativan Addiction Signs and Symptoms

It may be difficult to spot the signs that someone is addicted to Ativan. Ativan addiction can be easy to conceal for some time. American addiction centers advise that someone who is addicted to Ativan may:

  • Search for Ativan on the internet
  • Ask friends or family for benzodiazepines

A person who struggles with substance use disorders may also have mood swings. If a person has ingested high doses of Ativan, you may notice a change in their behavior or cognitive functioning.

A person who is addicted to Ativan may also do what’s known as ‘doctor shopping’. This means going to different doctors in the hope of getting an Ativan prescription more than once.

Who Is At High Risk of Developing An Ativan Addiction?

Substance abuse can affect anyone, of any age, gender, race, or occupation. Data rates show that those who are often affected are:

  • People in difficult economic circumstances
  • People suffering from mental illness
  • People prescribed pharmaceutical drugs for pain

Sometimes people take Ativan to get through anxiety from alcohol withdrawal. However, it can be dangerous to mix benzodiazepines and alcohol. Mixing substances is a form of substance abuse.

Ativan Withdrawal

Drug withdrawal occurs when a person regularly takes a drug and suddenly stops. Withdrawal symptoms can be mental and/or physical, and depending on the substance and severity, they can range from mild to severe.

Ativan dependence occurs when a person regularly takes Ativan. If a person snorts Ativan, it is a good indication that they are possibly a heavy user.

Ativan dependency occurs when a person’s body is so used to the presence of Ativan in the system, and sudden cessation of the drug can lead to some difficult withdrawal symptoms.

In rare cases, a person can get what is known as protracted withdrawal. This is when withdrawal lasts longer than acute, or typical, withdrawal. If you snort Ativan, you are probably taking a high dose. This increases the chance of struggling with long-term withdrawal.

This occurs when someone has engaged in substance abuse for such a long time that the molecular and chemical structure of the body is altered. For example, taking Ativan over a long period of time could cause permanent nervous system damage.

This is another reason why it may be necessary to attend treatment facilities to detox. Suddenly removing a substance the body is dependent on can send the body into shock.

Acute withdrawal symptoms

In general, acute Ativan withdrawal can come on suddenly after stopping the drug and generally peaks at around two weeks. A treatment process may be required to medically detox safely if someone is physically dependent on the drug.

A person going through Ativan withdrawal may be:

  • Anxious
  • Depressed
  • Restless
  • Emotional

They may experience physical symptoms such as:

  • Migraine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Tremors
  • Shakes
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Ativan abuse can be difficult to overcome. Addiction treatment programs can help manage the symptoms of withdrawal. It doesn’t have to be done alone.

Addiction Treatment

There are many different types of addiction treatment at American addiction centers all over the country. For a physical dependence on a substance, a person may need immediate treatment help. Withdrawal symptoms from drug addiction can be life-threatening.

Medical detox at a treatment center can be a supportive and effective method. You should discuss with a medical professional to find a treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. The NP Addiction clinic in Port St. Lucie, Florida offers round-the-clock care with expert staff.

Addiction is a lifelong illness. To achieve long-term recovery, American addiction centers have found that counseling, support groups, and behavioral therapy are effective. NP Addiction clinic treats every addiction, from Ativan addiction to opioid dependence.

At the NP Addiction Clinic, you can speak with a treatment specialist today to explore your treatment options. We believe that healing is found through connection and we can help you find a suitable treatment from one of our addiction treatment programs.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine