Librium is a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It is also used to treat alcohol withdrawal.
Librium may also be used to treat irritable bowel syndrome.
As with many other benzodiazepines, Librium carries the risk of abuse and addiction, which is why doctors carefully prescribe it—it is typical to prescribe Librium at the lowest possible dose, to prevent against potential dependence. Even so, the risk of dependence is still high. Abusing Librium may eventually lead to addiction.
What Is Librium?
Librium is also known generically as chlordiazepoxide, and is used to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, anxiety disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome, and is also used to reduce anxiety in patients undergoing surgery.
As a benzodiazepine, Librium is used in the treatment of anxiety, and work by slowing brain activity through the central nervous system while increasing the amount of GABA activity in the brain.
Librium is prescribed to be taken by mouth and is available in capsules of 5 mg, 10 mg, or 25 mg.
Signs And Symptoms Of Librium Abuse
Although a doctor can prescribe Librium, any individual may become addicted to the drug, even when taken as prescribed. That is why a medical professional will carefully monitor a patient’s symptoms while taking this drug. But when the drug is taken in ways other than prescribed or taken in increasing amounts without a doctor’s permission, this can indicate drug abuse, which may eventually lead to addiction.
An individual may begin to display signs of drug-seeking behavior when struggling with Librium abuse.
Compulsive behavior is one facet of substance use disorder—this refers to when an individual uses as a response to a specific emotion, event, or other triggering situation. As a coping mechanism, Librium may be used to deal with stress or anxiety. This type of coping mechanism is known as self-medication. Even when used as directed, Librium has side effects.
The most common side effects of Librium are:
- blurred vision
- A headache
- stomach pain
- blurred vision
- dry mouth
In some cases, these side effects may be experienced to a higher degree. When this happens, it is critical to seek medical attention immediately. When used outside of a prescription or not as prescribed, Librium abuse can intensify common side effects.
The most common signs of Librium abuse are:
- upping dosage to intensify the effect
- using Librium to enhance the effects of other drugs
- neglect of typical responsibilities
- inability to quit using Librium
- financial problems
- neglect of relationships
- higher tolerance
- withdrawal when attempting to quit
The Dangers of Librium Addiction
When taken as prescribed, Librium should never be taken with other substances, such as alcohol. Since alcohol and Librium both affect similar parts of the brain, it can be appealing to take both at once, as one enhances the effect of the other. After having taken the drug for a long time in increasing amounts, an individual may decide to take Librium with another drug, because Librium’s original effects have lessened. For example, opioids are another drug commonly taken with Librium.
When alcohol and Librium are mixed, this can produce dangerous symptoms, such as:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- irregular heartbeat
Librium abuse can also lead to overdose. Overdose symptoms can manifest in an allergic reaction, the signs of which include hives, breathing difficulties, face swelling, rash, and hives. If these symptoms occur, contact a medical professional immediately.
Librium overdose symptoms also include:
- low blood pressure
- extreme drowsiness
- slowed reflexes
If you suspect that someone has overdosed on Librium, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medications and medical procedures are available and can help to prevent further dangerous symptoms. Librium overdose can lead to coma and even death.
Librium Withdrawal And Detox
When Librium dependence occurs, this indicates that an individual has become physically dependent on the drug, and cannot function without using. Once this occurs, it is very difficult to quit. This is because the neural pathways of the brain have adjusted to the continual presence of the drug, and developed a physical dependence.
Symptoms of dependence include:
- Obsession with Librium
- “Doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions
- Neglect of personal responsibilities
- Financial problems
- Neglect of friends and family
- Continued use of Librium despite harm to others
- Heightened side effects of Librium
Withdrawal is the period of time after ceasing use of a drug, during which the drug leaves the body. Since Librium has affected the neurotransmitters in the brain that help an individual to feel calm and relaxed, they won’t be able to feel that way without the use of Librium. Instead, their heart rate and blood pressure will increase, and they will feel anxious. These are just a few withdrawal symptoms that an individual will experience when struggling with Librium abuse and addiction.
Symptoms of Librium withdrawal include:
- elevated blood pressure
- memory loss
- increased heart rate
- drug cravings
Withdrawal is characterized by dangerous, uncomfortable, painful symptoms. This is often why an addict who attempts to quit on their own won’t succeed—when uncomfortable symptoms occur, an individual dependent on Librium will likely go back to using, as this stops the symptoms.
Due to this, it is recommended to seek treatment for the detoxification process in a professional facility. In an inpatient treatment center, both medication and the monitoring of physical symptoms will help assure a successful detoxification process. A comfortable environment will help the individual as they detoxify themselves from Librium, and help to develop health and healing from abuse and addiction.
While detoxification helps the individual to deal with physical symptoms, treatment does not end there. Going to an inpatient treatment center helps with the rest of the healing process, and promotes a successful recovery from Librium abuse.
Treatment For Librium Abuse And Addiction
Treatment for Librium abuse in a recovery setting should be completed with the use of medication, alongside therapy—this is the best way to complete a successful rehabilitation.
Typically treatment begins with tapering, or ceasing the use of the drug slowly, over a period of time, until stopped entirely. It is important to taper the use of the drug, as uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can cause an individual to use again, and prove dangerous, raising the potential for accidental death.
Behavioral therapy is a medical practice designed to help an individual develop positive coping mechanisms, in order to deal with stress or anxiety. Since drug use is so often a response to adversity, it is important to develop coping mechanisms for future potential triggers.
Both detoxification and inpatient treatment are offered in professional recovery settings. A treatment center offers 24-hour medical support, group therapy, exercise, and other therapeutic elements intended for healing.
When struggling with Librium abuse and addiction, it’s important to undergo treatment at an inpatient recovery center—this prevents dangerous symptoms in the detoxification and withdrawal process. In addition, behavioral therapy helps anyone struggling with Librium abuse and addiction to develop new coping mechanisms that will help them to prevent potential use in the future.
Everyday Health- What Is Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)?
RX List – Librium
Medicines.org.uk – Chlordiazepoxide Summary of Product