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Are There Less Addictive Drug Alternatives?

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Treatment for Three Decades and Counting

If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction, we’re here to help.

Ativan is a drug used to treat anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms or alcohol withdrawal. However, when you take this prescription for more than a couple of weeks—or use more than the recommended dose—Ativan can be habit-forming. As a result, some people want to find a less addictive form of treatment that does not jeopardize their recovery.

AtivanAtivan belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. These medications are classified as controlled substances because of their potential for abuse and chemical dependence.  Benzodiazepines are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States, and addiction to these medicines has become increasingly common. The use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Valium, is on the rise, and the number of overdose deaths related to them soared in recent years. The good news is that doctors can prescribe a variety of non-addictive or less addictive alternatives to benzodiazepines. Some drug alternatives include1:

  • Antidepressants. This class of drugs includes citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac) and other popular psychotherapeutic medications.
  • Blood pressure medications. Medications such as propranolol (Inderal) and prazosin (Minipress) regulate heart rate and respiration have been used to treat anxiety as well as to control high blood pressure.
  • Buspirone. This prescription drug has a low abuse potential and can be taken to relieve anxiety symptoms. Buspirone affects the chemicals in the brain that regulate your mood, without causing sedation or chemical dependence.
  • Anticonvulsant medications. Certain anticonvulsant medicines, like gabapentin (Neurontin), are used to control muscle spasticity and nerve-related discomfort. In some cases, anticonvulsants can replace Ativan as a way to control painful muscle spasms.

Natural Remedies and Alternative Therapies

Drugs are not the only form of treatment to soothe your nerves or sleep more deeply. There are a variety of natural remedies you can explore with your doctor’s approval. Chamomile, melatonin, passionflower and valerian may help relieve anxiety. A nutritionist might recommend a B-complex vitamin or a combination of magnesium and calcium supplements to help you get better sleep.2

Holistic drug rehab programs offer alternative therapies in addition to a medical detox. Yoga, guided meditation, massage, expressive therapy, biofeedback and hypnotherapy are just a few of the stress management techniques that are employed at innovative rehab centers. With a combination of pharmaceutical therapies, alternative treatments and counseling sessions, you can learn how to control anxiety in healthy, non-addictive ways.

At Michael’s House, we understand that addiction often starts with an attempt to treat a disorder of the mind or body. Whether you’re struggling with an addiction to Ativan or another substance, we’re here to help. Call our toll-free number to learn how our Southern California treatment centers can help you on your path to recovery.


1 Longo, Lance. Addiction: Part I. Benzodiazepines—Side Effects, Abuse Risk and Alternatives. American Family Physician. 3 October 2017. Accessed 11 October 2017.

2 Kessler, Michael. Benzodiazepine Prescription Drug Risk in Older Adults. Doctors Health Press. 8 July 2015. Accessed 11 October 2017.