Chlordiazepoxide Symptoms and Warning Signs

Chlordiazepoxide is a prescription medication, which is available for sale under the brand name Librium. The drug is a benzodiazepine which operates as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, slowing down brain activity.

Chlordiazepoxide is typically prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders, as well as for managing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. The drug can also be used to manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), when combined with Clidinium.

As a benzodiazepine, chlordiazepoxide is highly addictive, and should be used strictly according to prescription, to minimise the risk of developing physical dependence on the drug.

Chlordiazepoxide Abuse

Benzodiazepines like chlordiazepoxide are commonly abused recreationally for the high they produce. The abuse of benzodiazepines is so widespread that there has been a drastic increase in accidental deaths by overdose between 2001 and the present day. Most recorded benzodiazepine overdose deaths involve the concurrent abuse of alcohol with the drug.

Because chlordiazepoxide is a habit-forming drug, with a high risk of abuse and addiction, you should never use the drug at a dosage level beyond that prescribed by your doctor, or for longer than advised by your doctor. There are even reported cases of people developing an addiction to chlordiazepoxide while only using it according to their doctor’s prescription.

Chlordiazepoxide abuse occurs when you use the drug in larger doses, or more often, or for a longer period, than you were directed to by your physician. Abuse of chlordiazepoxide is more often seen among individuals who use the drug recreationally to get high, rather than for medicinal purposes. When abusing chlordiazepoxide recreationally, the drug may be ingested orally or crushed and snorted. Regardless of how you abuse chlordiazepoxide, it is a dangerous habit that can negatively impact both your physical and mental health.

Continued abuse of chlordiazepoxide, over time, will lead to your body developing a tolerance to the drug. This means that you will require higher and higher doses of it before you can experience the desired effects. An increased tolerance to chlordiazepoxide is one of the indications that you have begun to develop a dependence, and possibly an addiction, to the drug.

Once dependence or addiction sets in, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using chlordiazepoxide.

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The Signs of Librium or Chlordiazepoxide Abuse

Because chlordiazepoxide is a habit-forming drug with such a high potential for abuse, the drug is typically recommended for only short-term use. People who use chlordiazepoxide for longer than they are supposed to, rarely realise that they are at such a great risk of developing an addiction.

Chlordiazepoxide abusers have various reasons for abusing the drug. Some use it for fun, others abuse it recreationally because they believe it is safer than illegal drugs, and others combine it with alcohol or opioids for a more potent high. Whatever the case may be, there is no good reason to abuse chlordiazepoxide.

Abusing chlordiazepoxide will drastically suppress the functions of your central nervous system, and if you keep up the habit, you will, in time, begin to experience health complications.

If you have a loved one who you believe is abusing chlordiazepoxide, below are some of the symptoms you may see start to manifest:

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Decreased libido
  • Dry mouth
  • Appetite changes
  • Upset stomach
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed movements
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Impaired coordination
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Stupor
  • Coma

Aside from the above, continuous abuse of chlordiazepoxide is likely to gradually begin to negatively impact various aspects of the abuser’s life. For instance, obligations at home, work, or school will gradually be neglected, as the abuser becomes more concerned with procuring and using more chlordiazepoxide.

Frequently abusing, and being under the influence of, chlordiazepoxide can also lead to engaging in risky behaviour, such as driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence. Abusers have also been known to steal, doctor shop, or forge prescriptions so that they do not run out of chlordiazepoxide.

If you abuse the drug for long enough, your life will become dominated by it as your addiction grows. Once addiction sets in, you will be unable to see or think about anything beyond getting a fresh fix of the drug. The best way to avoid this fate is to only use chlordiazepoxide if it is necessary, and follow treatment exactly according to the prescription of your doctor.

If you suspect you, or a loved one, is abusing or is addicted to chlordiazepoxide, you should get professional help fast

The Dangers of Abusing Chlordiazepoxide

Chlordiazepoxide affects the body by suppressing the central nervous system. As a result, if you chronically misuse the drug, it can lead to possibly deadly health consequences, such as drastically decreasing blood pressure and heart rate, depressing lung function to the point of failure, as well as impairing cognitive and physical functions.

Recreational users who abuse the drug at high doses have been known to also experience seizures, along with other side effects such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Blackouts
  • Jaundice
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Mood swings
  • Shallow breath

The dangers of abusing chlordiazepoxide are even more pronounced if you abuse the drug by combining it with other drugs or substances, such alcohol or opioids.

Recognising a Chlordiazepoxide Addiction

Chlordiazepoxide abuse differs from addiction in a number of ways. Substance abuse reveals itself in the form of physical, social, interpersonal, and legal problems. Substance addiction, on the other hand, is characterised primarily by physical dependence, compulsive and escalating drug use, as well as being unable to quit drug use.

Other behavioural changes that typically indicate a chlordiazepoxide addiction are:

  • Loss of interest in activities which were once important and enjoyable to you
  • Obsessive behaviour and thoughts concerning chlordiazepoxide
  • Inability to quit using chlordiazepoxide even though you know it’s hurting you and your loved ones
  • Increased tolerance to the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to quit chlordiazepoxide
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Intervention for a Chlordiazepoxide Problem

Individuals who are suffering from a substance addiction often find it hard to discuss what they are going through with loved ones. This is either due to shame, guilt, or the addict simply being in denial concerning their drug use. Regardless of what the case may be, if you confront or challenge your loved one about a suspected drug abuse, they will likely react defensively, or ignore the discussion and further try to hide their addiction.

Therefore, if you have a loved one who is an addict, you need to know the right way to approach them to consider getting professional addiction treatment. This is something a skilled interventionist can help with. An experienced interventionist knows the right way to show your addicted loved one the error of their ways and guide them towards accepting help.

During the planning of an intervention, an interventionist will coach you, as well as other family members and friends, about how to best approach the addicted loved one about their substance abuse. You will also be prepared to face possible outcomes, such as what should happen next if the intervention is successful or unsuccessful.

During the intervention itself, the interventionist will be with you to provide any necessary support, or to help guide the conversation as appropriate. During the intervention, you and the rest of the substance abuser’s loved ones will be given the opportunity to express how you are no longer able, or willing, to ignore or enable their addiction. You can also state that you are prepared to offer your support and love throughout drug addiction treatment if the addict accepts to go to rehab.

Remember that the objective of setting up an intervention is to convince the addict to seek and accept professional addiction treatment, not to blame or shame them.

Withdrawal from Chlordiazepoxide and Treatment

Quitting chlordiazepoxide abuse “cold turkey” is not a safe way to quit using the drug. It is, in fact, far more unsafe if you have an extended history of drug abuse or mental illness. Suddenly quitting chlordiazepoxide abuse can give rise to some serious withdrawal symptoms, which will make it difficult for you to remain committed to quitting. If you want to quit chlordiazepoxide safely, the most ideal way to accomplish this is to follow a gradual tapering process, which will slowly wean you off the drug. A medically assisted detox program can also help to greatly minimise withdrawal symptoms.

Once detox is complete, you can seek further treatment, either through an outpatient or inpatient rehab programme. This, combined with an effective detox programme, will help ensure you achieve sustained recovery. Rehab will help break your psychological addiction to chlordiazepoxide, while detox helps with your physical addiction. During rehab, therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and group therapy may also be applied.

The Effects of Chlordiazepoxide Abuse

Chlordiazepoxide is relatively safe to use for treatment, as long as it is used strictly according to your doctor’s instructions. However, abusing the drug can lead to a variety of harmful health complications, including:

  • Addiction: this will be signified by you developing a compulsive and destructive pattern of chlordiazepoxide use, which you will be unable to stop even when aware that your drug abuse is endangering your wellbeing.
  • Physical dependence: this occurs as your body adapts to the presence and influence of chlordiazepoxide in your system. If you try to stop chlordiazepoxide abuse after dependence has developed, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, anxiety, or insomnia.
  • Polydrug abuse: chronic drug abusers are known to combine their primary drug of abuse with other substances to enhance the effects of the drugs. This mixing of substances will lead to the addict being addicted to multiple substances, and also places the addict at an increased risk of an accidental overdose, along with other adverse effects.

People abusing chlordiazepoxide may also experience possibly dangerous psychological side effects like:

  • Cognitive deterioration in the elderly
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Increased excitement
  • Hostility
  • Aggression
  • Diminished emotional reactions
  • Impaired memory
  • Poor judgment
  • Suicidal ideation

A combination of the aforementioned effects can lead to the chlordiazepoxide abuser’s life, in general, being negatively impacted, leading to difficulties at work, home, or school. There may also be domestic or social problems, such as loss of close friends, child neglect, or divorce.

Lastly, abusing chlordiazepoxide can lead to fatal consequences, especially if you are continuously increasing your chlordiazepoxide dose, or mixing the drug with other drugs or alcohol.

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Chlordiazepoxide Overdose

Chlordiazepoxide interacts with prescription medication, non-prescription medication, and a host of other substances. Combining your chlordiazepoxide use with opioids or alcohol increases your likelihood of experiencing a possibly fatal overdose. If emergency treatment isn’t sought immediately when you realise you have overdosed, coma or death may occur as a result.

Visible signs of a chlordiazepoxide overdose you should be aware of include:

  • Profound confusion
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Bluish fingernails and lips
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficult or shallow breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low body temperature
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

The sooner you call for help if experiencing any of the above, especially difficulty breathing or unconsciousness, the better.

FAQs About Chlordiazepoxide

How Long Does Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal Last?

The duration of chlordiazepoxide withdrawal is often dependent on a number of factors, such as your physiology, severity of addiction, and if you were combing the drug with other substances. In typical circumstances, withdrawal can last for about four to six weeks, or more if the addiction is particularly severe.

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

There are home remedies to safely get clean from chlordiazepoxide addiction, but it’s hard to recommend any of them. This is because trying to detox by yourself at home is very risky and can be particularly uncomfortable, as you’ll have no access to medication that can help alleviate or minimise withdrawal symptoms. Rather than consider home remedies, it’s advisable to seek out guaranteed effective treatment at an addiction treatment facility near you.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Chlordiazepoxide?

The duration of a chlordiazepoxide detox isn’t set in stone, as factors such as your physiology and the severity of your addiction will influence how long it will take to complete. Whether your detox is medically assisted will also help determine the duration.

Can Medication Help?

Yes, medication can not only help make chlordiazepoxide safer, but also less uncomfortable. Some of the medication used to accomplish this includes: Anticonvulsants (like carbamazepine), antidepressants (such as trazodone), Clonidine, and phenobarbital or diazepam (Valium).

Are There Ways to Prevent or Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

Yes. Withdrawal symptoms can be minimised by using the tapering method to wean yourself off the drug, rather than attempting to quit ‘cold turkey’. Withdrawal symptoms can be further minimised with the help of the right medication, prescribed by an addiction specialist.

Is Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal Dangerous?

Chlordiazepoxide withdrawal can be especially dangerous if not properly monitored and managed by a medical professional. This is why it is recommended to be admitted to an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility before attempting a detox.

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