What is Librium?
Librium is a brand-name medication that is also sold under its generic form, chlordiazepoxide. Chlordiazepoxide is a benzodiazepine that is prescribed to treat symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, or restlessness. It is a central nervous system depressant that may also be used off-label to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Librium is taken as an oral tablet between one and four times each day, either with or without food. This medication can be habit-forming, so patients should never take a larger dose or take their medication more often than they are supposed to. Long-term or excessive use can cause tolerance to develop, making Librium less effective as users begin needing to use larger amounts of the drug.
Librium may also be physically addictive. People who abruptly stop after taking this medication may experience withdrawal symptoms that worsen their original symptoms of anxiety. As a result, the best way to stop taking Librium is to work with a doctor to gradually reduce the dose taken.
As a schedule IV controlled substance, Librium is generally used as a short-term treatment method. However, it also has a mild to moderate risk for abuse. Street names that drug dealers might sell Librium as include:
- Blue bombs
Abusing this medication may increase the risk of side effects and addiction.
Librium Side Effects
Librium works to depress the central nervous system, however, it may cause some unwanted side effects. Possible side effects of Librium include:
- Dry mouth
- Upset stomach
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty urinating
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Changes in sex drive
If these symptoms become severe or do not go away, patients should schedule an appointment to speak with their doctor. However, other more rare symptoms may be serious and require immediate medical attention, including:
- Shuffling walk
- Persistent tremor
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Skin rash
- Irregular heartbeat
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
Librium produces effects similar to other benzodiazepines, however, it is longer lasting than most. When abused, the drug makes individuals feel extremely relaxed. This is why it is effective at treating anxiety and insomnia, however, it is the same reason why people abuse it.
Recreational drug users may obtain Librium from drug dealers on the streets or in their loved one’s medicine cabinet. Others may procure the drug online or go doctor shopping.
Any use of Librium that is not directed by a doctor is considered medication abuse. This includes:
- Taking someone else’s prescription
- Crushing and snorting Librium
- Taking more pills than are prescribed
- Mixing Librium with other substances like alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids
Sometimes, people mix Librium with stimulants like cocaine or meth to take the edge off. Stimulants like these can produce some undesirable side effects, but Librium can help take them away. However, mixing Librium with other substances can increase the risk of addiction and overdose.
Librium abuse can easily lead to overdose. As a long-lasting central nervous system depressant, it can be difficult to tell when the effects are completely worn off. This can lead users to abuse increasing amounts of Librium until their heart rate slows to a dangerous rate.
Taking too much Librium too quickly or combining it with alcohol or other substances can lead to a deadly drug overdose. Symptoms of Librium overdose include:
- Lack of coordination
- Blacking out
- Low blood pressure
- Abdominal pain
- Sleepiness or extreme drowsiness
- Blue lips or fingernails
- Rapid eye movement
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Long Term Effects
Librium is generally prescribed for the short-term treatment of anxiety, insomnia, or alcohol withdrawal. It is usually not prescribed for longer than 2-4 weeks. People who take Librium long-term may experience undesirable side effects. The first is tolerance.
Tolerance occurs when the body gets used to taking a substance. As tolerance develops, people will need to increase their dose to feel the desired effects. Tolerance often leads to dependence. Dependence occurs when the body depends on the substance to function normally. When dependence develops, users experience withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop taking Librium.
Symptoms of Librium withdrawal include:
- Muscle spasms
- Panic attacks
- Severe anxiety
Chronic Librium abuse may also cause individuals who stop taking it to experience hallucinations, psychosis, seizures, or even death. These are severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, which is why people should never attempt to stop taking Librium without speaking to their doctor or going to a medically assisted detox facility.
Similar to other sedative-benzodiazepines, Librium can be habit-forming, especially if it is abused. Even people who take Librium as prescribed may develop a physical dependence on the drug. Some people abuse their prescription by taking it in larger doses, while others buy Librium illegally on the streets and mix it with other substances to feel stronger effects.
People who take Librium illegally, mix it with other substances, or have underlying health conditions are at an increased risk of becoming addicted.
Signs and symptoms of Librium addiction may include:
- Taking Librium in higher doses than prescribed
- Crushing and snorting Librium
- Lying to friends and family about drug use
- Doctor shopping or visiting multiple doctors to try and obtain multiple prescriptions
- Engaging in illegal behaviors
- Appearing confused, tired, restless, or irritable
- Needing to take Librium in increasingly high doses
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking Librium
- Trying to stop or wanting to stop but being unable to do so
- Feeling as though one must have Librium to get through the day
Getting sober from Librium is difficult and dangerous. Librium withdrawal, like other benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes, can be life-threatening without medical treatment. Fortunately, addiction treatment centers in Massachusetts provide medically-assisted detox and individualized treatment to teach individuals how to stay sober.
Treatment for Librium Abuse
Librium addiction treatment must begin with detox. When patients enter detox, they will go through an extensive intake process where doctors gain a comprehensive understanding of his or her drug use, symptoms, and individual needs. The doctors use this information to develop a tapering schedule for patients that will slowly wean them off of Librium.
By gradually reducing the dose taken each day, the body is slowly detoxed from Librium rather than all at once. This helps avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. This tapering process may take anywhere from two weeks to one month depending on how long a person has been taking Librium and at what dose.
After detox, patients can go to a drug and alcohol treatment program that provides holistic healing services, evidence-based therapies, and peer support. These therapeutic interventions can help patients uncover the reasons why they abuse Librium, what their triggers are, and how they can cope and stay clean in the future.
Find Addiction Treatment for Librium Addiction Today
When doctors prescribe Librium, it is usually because they believe the benefits to the patient will outweigh the risks. However, that doesn’t mean it is never diverted from medical use or abused by patients.
As a benzodiazepine, Librium dependence and addiction can be dangerous, and stopping Librium suddenly can even be deadly. It’s important that anyone who is hooked on Librium finds the help they need from a detox and treatment center that specializes in benzodiazepine detox.
At Elevate Recovery Center, our team of addiction specialists take a multidisciplinary approach to detox and treatment. We can help you or a loved one detox from benzodiazepines, including Librium, and begin your journey to sobriety. To learn more about our treatment programs or to find a rehab center near you, pick up the phone and call today.