Librium is the brand name of the benzodiazepine drug chlordiazepoxide. Like other benzodiazepines (benzos), it’s used to treat anxiety, among other conditions. But, like other drugs within this class, Librium can be abused, either for purposes of self-medication or recreational drug abuse.
Librium abuse can quickly spiral out of control, leading to dangerous withdrawal, addiction, overdose, and death. Inpatient drug rehab programs offer the greatest level of protection from these concerns, and best prepare you for a drug-free life.
Anxiety impacts millions of Americans. While many of us experience an anxious moment at some point in time, for individuals who struggle with an anxiety disorder the effects can be felt daily in a way which is crippling. To meet this need, various benzo medications like Librium are prescribed.
When used exactly as prescribed, Librium can be a valuable tool within a person’s medical treatment plan. When misused within patterns of self-medication or abused recreationally, Librium can be a very dangerous drug.
What Is Librium?
In addition to treating anxiety, Librium is also prescribed as a treatment for alcohol withdrawal (to reduce agitation), for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and for the treatment of anxiety prior to surgery. MedlinePlus does caution that you should “not take chlordiazepoxide for more than 4 months.” Sadly, many drug abusers do just this, exposing themselves to a myriad of adverse health risks including addiction.
Librium is an effective treatment for anxiety and agitation, due to the way it reduces certain types of electrical activity within your brain. This action results in a calming, sedative effect, qualities which are present across the benzodiazepine class as a whole. According to the DailyMed, chlordiazepoxide also has “appetite-stimulating and weak analgesic actions.”
Any of these effects may lead an individual to self-medicate with Librium, though the sedative and relaxing nature of the drug is what usually fuels recreational abuse. People who use drugs recreationally also seek a euphoric state, usually through higher and more frequent doses of Librium.
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Understanding Librium Abuse
Librium isn’t as powerful as other benzodiazepines. In fact, it’s considered a low-potency benzodiazepine with a long half-life. These qualities lead some individuals to wrongly assume it’s safe to use Librium to self-medicate or use recreationally.
No amount or form of drug abuse is safe. Any time you’re misusing your prescription or using Librium to illicit a high or euphoric state, you’re running the risk of forming an addiction and experiencing physical and mental drug-related health effects.
Though Librium’s effects are felt more slowly and less intensely when compared to other benzos (peak blood plasma concentrations take several hours, which leads to a more delayed high) individuals still abuse this drug.
People who self-medicate may increase dosages because they’ve reached a tolerance, which can occur within prescribed use. This means they no longer experience the therapeutic effect the drug originally offered. Recreational users follow these same behaviors when seeking to beat tolerance. While both groups consume Librium orally for these purposes, recreational users are more apt to alter the form of the drug to increase the absorption and to intensify the high.
Tolerance isn’t the only thing which fuels abuse and addiction. Regular use or abuse of a drug can lead to physical dependency. If your body is dependent on the drug to function, without it certain physical states begin to malfunction, symptoms better known as withdrawal. Recreational drug abusers quite often increase the amounts and frequency of Librium to overcome these conditions, and, as abuse progresses, to quell cravings.
Tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal from prescribed drug use don’t mean a person is addicted, nor that they will necessarily become so. But, should these individuals take matters into their own hands and self-medicate to counter these conditions, it’s an entirely different matter. Self-medication is drug abuse, and, once these habits are initiated, a user faces the risk of addiction.
How Can You Tell If A Person Is Abusing Librium?
The more a person uses a drug the more evident is its toll on their life. While initial use may be somewhat easy to hide, as a person becomes increasingly consumed by cravings and thoughts of drug use their actions begin to revolve around fulfilling these urges.
Basic elements of their life relating to family, career, or educational responsibilities begin to seem less important, if at all. As drug use becomes their main focus, a person’s relationships and health (both physical and mental) begin to deteriorate. One main facet of addiction is that a person continues abusing drugs despite realizing the toll it’s taking on his or her life. Should they attempt to quit or reduce their use, within an addicted state they will find they are unable to successfully do so.
As relationships fail, or even before this point, a person may push their loved ones away so that they’re not distracted or made to feel bad about their drug abuse. When confronted, a person may lie or become very angry about any questions or accusations revolving around suspected abuse.
As a person becomes dependent on and tolerant to Librium they become increasingly consumed with maintaining a constant supply of the drug. This may result in feelings of panic or anger, should they not be able to find it (and quite likely, withdrawal). To prevent this from happening, a person may approach you for your medication, or even steal it. Compulsive drug abusers even purchase diverted medications off the street, or “doctor shop” in the hopes they can obtain multiple prescriptions for the drug.
Other signs of abuse may include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty walking
- Slurred words
A person may seem abnormally calm or relaxed, even in the face of intense stress, when abusing Librium.
The Dangers Of Librium Abuse
To counter the delayed action of Librium or to overcome tolerance, cravings, or symptoms of withdrawal, individuals may use more of the drug within a short time, or mix it with other drugs. These practices increase the odds of overdose, especially with a fatal outcome.
Signs of a Librium overdose include:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Falling blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Labored or stopped breathing
- Poor reflexes
Benzodiazepines are frequently abused with other drugs, especially alcohol, other benzodiazepines, and opioids. All of these drugs are CNS depressants, which means they slow your body’s life support systems which regulate heart, breathing, temperature, and blood pressure rates.
Should you use too much Librium, or mix it in any of these ways, these systems may begin failing. In the most severe of cases, this can lead to coma, brain damage, and/or death.
Chronic patterns of addiction may result in a protracted abstinence syndrome, or withdrawal felt over a matter of months. “Symptoms include prolonged…anxiety, depression, and insomnia. In addition, physical symptoms related to gastrointestinal, neurologic and musculoskeletal effects may occur,” as detailed by the American Family Physician. Without the proper education and support of an inpatient drug rehab program, an individual may not be able to handle these feelings on their own, leading them to return to drug abuse.
Is It Necessary To Detox From Librium?
Not every person seeking treatment will need to undergo medically-supervised detox. But know that symptoms of Librium withdrawal, if left untreated, can become too much to safely handle on your own. The intense cravings alone are cause enough for the support of an inpatient detox program. When coupled with additional intolerable or dangerous symptoms, this support can be even more life-changing.
Librium withdrawal may cause:
- Sensory hypersensitivity
- Stomach pain
Safety is a key concern during benzodiazepine withdrawal, which is why we strongly suggest that you’re assessed to determine if a medical detox is necessary. Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines can surpass only what is uncomfortable and painful. Benzodiazepine withdrawal, like that of alcohol, can culminate in dangerous symptoms such as seizures, delirium tremens, and even death.
Utilizing a gradual dosing taper method will help you or your loved one to be as comfortable and safe throughout detox as possible. Should symptoms progress to intolerable or dangerous extremes, certain medications will be administered in addition to highly-trained medical support on a constant, 24-hour schedule.
Once the medical staff has stabilized you and given your body ample time to flush the residual drug toxins from its system, we recommend that you plan on moving into an inpatient drug rehab program.
What Is Inpatient Drug Rehab Like For Librium Addiction?
After physical dependency has been treated, it’s time to address the emotional and mental impact of addiction. Treating psychological addiction is a key component of effective and long-lasting treatment, and without this, a person faces a much higher risk of relapse.
Since many individuals may have progressed to Librium addiction from self-medicating anxiety, the anxiety should be treated. A dual diagnosis treatment program blends this treatment into the drug rehab program, allowing for anxiety and any other co-occurring mental health disorders to be treated.
Drug addiction can deplete your physical and mental health. It’s for these reasons that nutritional support and counseling should be integrated into your treatment protocol. Counseling and therapy sessions are commonly offered in individual, group, and family settings, allowing you to strengthen your mind, body, and life on all the levels which were adversely affected by substance abuse.
Healing takes courage, insight, and acceptance for change, all things which are supported by various behavioral therapies within the treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and motivational interviewing (MI) are researched-based psychotherapies which support these transformations.
Addiction begins and creates many negative thoughts and behaviors. These sessions work to undo this damage while teaching you positive and affirming ones on which you can build a life of sobriety.
In addition to traditional programs based on a 12-step model, alternative treatment formats are available, including equine, executive, holistic, luxury, and wilderness programs. Whatever your struggles and history, we can help you find an individualized treatment program for your needs.
Find Help And Hope Today
If you’re looking for treatment for either yourself or a loved one, we can help. Perhaps you want more answers on Librium abuse and addiction, inpatient drug rehab, or paying for treatment. Our treatment specialists can help you with these things and more. Contact us today.