Ativan (lorazepam) is a prescription benzodiazepine (benzo) indicated to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and other mental and physical health conditions. The average half-life of Ativan is about 12 hours. Half-life is a term that refers to the time needed for half of a dose of a drug to be expelled from an individual’s system. Moreover, after ingesting the last dose, it will take approximately 2.75 days for the medication to be eliminated from the body.
Glucuronide is a metabolite of Ativan, that has a longer half-life of around 18 hours. For this reason, the full clearing of this metabolite will take longer than Ativan will itself. Glucuronide can stay in a person’s system and be identified in the urine for up to six days after the last use. During this time, several other metabolites are expelled, and within five days after the previous dose. Most, but perhaps not all, of the medication will have been fully cleared from a person’s system.
Ativan is manufactured in both tablet and liquid form, the latter of which can be delivered intravenously. It is most often taken orally, however, as prescribed by a doctor. When abused, it is sometimes crushed and snorted.
Drug Testing for Ativan
There are a few drug screens that can be administered that may identify the presence of Ativan.
As noted, Ativan can be detected in the urine for up to six days after the last dose, although most users will have expelled the drug and its metabolites within five days. In severe, long-term users, however, this detection window could exceed a week. If a urinalysis has been designed to detect glucuronide, it may be detectable for up to nine days after ingestion.
Tests can identify the presence of Ativan in the bloodstream within six hours of use and up to three days following. For frequent users, however, it may take longer than this to eliminate Ativan and its metabolites from the bloodstream.
Hair tests can be used to detect Ativan use over an extended period. Although this method is rarely conducted due to expense, a correctly performed hair test can ascertain if an individual has used Ativan for up to one month following exposure.
The detection time for Ativan in the saliva is about eight hours. For this reason, saliva tests are not typically used to identify the presence of Ativan or other benzos.
Factors That Influence How Long Ativan Remains in the System
Individual factors can affect how long Ativan stays in a person’s system and how quickly it is eliminated.
On average, older adults may exhibit a 22% slower elimination rate of Ativan compared to younger people.
Body Height and Weight
A person’s height and weight relative to Ativan’s dosage may influence how long it stays in the system. There is some evidence that those who are overweight can accelerate Ativan clearance, while a shorter or lighter person’s body may take longer to clear the drug.
The ability to metabolize Ativan may be impacted by genetic factors such as the presence of liver enzymes and kidney health and function. Individuals who do not break down Ativan well may take longer to eliminate it from their system.
As with all substances, individuals with a relatively rapid metabolic rate will likely process and expel Ativan more rapidly than those with a slower rate.
Frequency and Duration of Use
A person who uses several doses of Ativan every day will take longer to clear the drug than say, others who only take it once a day or less.
Use of Other Substances
The use of other medications, illegal drugs, or alcohol, in conjunction with Ativan, can influence its absorption, metabolism, and elimination rate from a person’s system.
How Ativan Affects the Body
Most CNS depressants work in the brain by boosting activity at GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces activity in the body, thereby inducing feelings of calm and relaxation. In doing this, Ativan helps mitigate symptoms of anxiety, such as tension, fear, irrational thoughts, and nervousness.
Side Effects of Ativan Use:
- Impaired coordination
- Blurred vision
- Changes in sex drive
- Changes in appetite
Getting Help for Drug Dependence
Ativan, although having a lower potential for abuse and addiction than many other psychoactive substances, can cause dependence, particularly if used long-term. Furthermore, use of other drugs or alcohol, in addition to Ativan, may increase the risk of physical and mental health complications, as well as its addictive potential.
At Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery, we offer comprehensive, personalized treatment programs intended to address all aspects of an individual’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In doing so, we assess and treat co-existing mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
If you are motivated to become drug-free and begin to live the life you deserve, contact us today and discover how we can help!