Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal and Detox

Chlordiazepoxide– commonly known by its brand name Librium – is a sedative in the benzodiazepine class of drugs, generally available as a tablet and often administered for the treatment of anxiety and management of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Because extended use of chlordiazepoxide can lead to substance dependence, it’s advised that the drug should not be used for longer than four weeks or in doses higher than prescribed by a doctor.The longer you use chlordiazepoxideor the higher the dosage, the greater the risk of developing a physical tolerance,which will eventually lead to addiction.

If you’ve developed a physical dependence on chlordiazepoxide, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly try to quit. This will be caused by your body not being able to function properly without the drug in your system. Symptoms of chlordiazepoxide withdrawal can include rapid heart rate, sweating, seizures, and insomnia. Depending on your physiology and other factors, withdrawal can linger for as long as weeks or even months.

What is Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal?

Because chlordiazepoxide is a habit-forming benzodiazepine, the drug can lead to the development of a physical dependence and in some cases, a psychological one as well. It’s possible to develop chlordiazepoxide dependence after using the drug chronically for only a few weeks. Like other benzodiazepines, chlordiazepoxide increases the functioning of brain neurotransmitters and will lead to feelings of calmness, as well as pleasure. Over time, this influence will change the chemical structure of your brain, as your system becomes more reliant on chlordiazepoxide to experience the desired sensations and function normally.

Withdrawal is how your body will physically react in the event you suddenly quit and your system in turn begins ridding itself of chlordiazepoxide; your body will begin feeling it cannot function normally without the presence of chlordiazepoxide in your system. If you abruptly quit, your brain will stop producing calming neurotransmitters in excess and you’ll no longer be able to feel the pleasurable sensations experienced when using chlordiazepoxide. This will lead to you experiencing anxiety, increased blood pressure and heart rate, as well as other related chlordiazepoxide withdrawal symptoms.

Depending on the severity of your addiction, withdrawal symptoms can either be mild or very uncomfortable. Some symptoms experienced during withdrawal include increased heart rate, sweating, insomnia, and seizures.

Withdrawal symptoms will continue until your brain is able to revert to the state and level of functioning it was before you began abusing chlordiazepoxide. To facilitate detox and minimise withdrawal symptoms, medical treatment can be explored. Such treatment will make going through withdrawals much safer and more comfortable.

If your addiction to chlordiazepoxide was severe, you might experience psychological withdrawal symptoms for some time after your physical symptoms have ended. This is because chlordiazepoxide psychological dependence is much harder to overcome in comparison to physical dependence. Such symptoms can last for months – or even years in cases where the addict suffers Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).

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Phases of Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal

Typically, chlordiazepoxide withdrawal occurs in three phases:early withdrawal, acute withdrawal, and the protracted withdrawal phase.

Early withdrawal phase:for most people, this can occur after a few hours or days since taking the last dose of chlordiazepoxide. The early phase may last for a few days, during which you might experience a return of insomnia and anxiety. This is caused by the brain rebounding in the absence of the drug’s influence; that is, symptoms chlordiazepoxide was formerly suppressing will suddenly come flooding back. Going through detox with the help of the tapering process – gradually reducing your intake – can help minimise the rebound effect.

Acute withdrawal phase: this phase can begin within a few days of quitting chlordiazepoxide and often involves the manifestation of the worst withdrawal symptoms. These can include: nausea, panic, anxiety, vomiting, insomnia, muscle spasms, tension, seizures, diarrhoea, blurred vision, hallucinations, trouble concentrating, short-term memory impairment, cravings, mood swings and agitation. During a medical detox, specific medication might be prescribed to help minimise the occurrence of some of these symptoms. Suicidal ideation can also rear its head around this time, and the entire acute withdrawal phase may last anywhere between two weeks and several months.

Some individuals may undergo a protracted withdrawal phase that lasts for as long as several months or years after quitting chlordiazepoxide. Symptoms during this phase can appear randomly and unpredictably. They include tingling in arms and legs, muscle twitching, anxiety and insomnia, as well as depression. Medical detox – accompanied by therapy and counselling- will be the way forward to effectively manage protracted withdrawal symptoms.

While there is no timeframe set in stone for how long chlordiazepoxide withdrawal lasts, the right medical assistance can help minimise the intensity of symptoms, as well as their duration during detox. Follow-up therapy and family support services are especially important in order to achieve a smooth and long-lasting recovery.

Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

Chlordiazepoxidewithdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable, ranging from moderate to quite severe in certain cases. Typically, the more severe and older your addiction to chlordiazepoxide, the more intense and drawn-out the withdrawal process will be.

Common chlordiazepoxide withdrawal symptoms that manifest during detoxification include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may also experience a symptom known as delirium tremens (DT), which is often characterised by a sudden change in your mental state that leaves you disoriented and confused. DT can also be accompanied by extreme anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and decreased attention span.

Timeline of Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal

While there’s no fixed timeline for chlordiazepoxide withdrawal (due to how each individual’s physiology influences the process), the rough timeline estimated below can give you a general idea of how each stage of withdrawal will proceed.

Week 1 : For certain individuals, withdrawal can begin anytime within 24 hours of their last chlordiazepoxide dose. For others, it can take up to a week or a little more to experience the first effects of withdrawal. The initial withdrawal signs can include anxiety, increased heart rate, agitation, loss of appetite, and profuse sweating.

Weeks 2-3 : Week two and three are when withdrawal symptoms often peak. Symptoms such as depression and insomnia are not uncommon at this stage, and you might also experience psychosis and seizures.

Weeks 4-6 : By this period, physical symptoms should begin fading and become easier to manage. Symptoms will completely disappear over the course of the coming weeks.

Weeks 7+ : For people recovering from an acute addiction, psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety or cravings may continue for months afterwards. Protracted withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety can also reappear after all other symptoms have disappeared. However, with prolonged abstinence, such symptoms will eventually dissipate.

What is Chlordiazepoxide Detoxification?

Detoxification is the natural process of your body ridding itself of all chlordiazepoxide related toxins. The process usually begins after the last dose of chlordiazepoxidehas left your system. This will then be followed by withdrawal symptoms that can be either merely uncomfortable or quite painful. How long detoxification lasts is dependent on a variety of factors, including your physiology, severity of addiction, and whether you were mixing chlordiazepoxide with other substances. To help make the detoxification process more effective and to ease withdrawal symptoms, a medically assisted detox can be applied. This will utilise medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and speed up the process. It’s a far safer and more effective way to undergo chlordiazepoxide detoxification.

Chlordiazepoxide Detox Process

It is always recommended that detox be carried out under the supervision of a certified medical professional, experienced in dealing with chlordiazepoxide withdrawals. This way, you can avoid any fatal consequences, or mental or physical complications brought on by an ill-managed detox.

Usually, the taper method is applied to help addicts safely and effectively get through the detox process. The tapering programme involves gradually decreasing your chlordiazepoxide dose over a period of time. This will give your body sufficient opportunity to acclimate to the absence of chlordiazepoxide in the system. The tapering process can take several weeks more than a ‘cold turkey’ detox would take, but is safer and greatly minimises the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.

Home Detox

Certain individuals prefer the idea of quitting chlordiazepoxide by detoxing ‘cold turkey’ at home. Such an approach to detox poses a variety of dangers. If improperly cared for,chlordiazepoxide withdrawal symptoms can lead to long-term health complications and could even be fatal. By detoxing at home, you won’t have access to immediate medical help and you may not be properly prepared for the withdrawal symptoms to come. Furthermore, detoxing at home greatly increases your chances of suffering a relapse, as you’ll still have easy access to substances of abuse.

For the most effective results, it’s best to be admitted to an inpatient treatment centre, where you’ll have access to 24/7 medical care from professionals. In such an environment, you’ll be protected from triggers and stressors that might cause you to abuse chlordiazepoxide. Also, your condition will be monitored round-the-clock and medical assistance provided as needed to reduce health risks and dangers brought on by withdrawal.

Why Detoxification at Home can be Harmful

Specific reasons why detoxing from chlordiazepoxide at home could be harmful include:

  • Inconsistency of symptoms:withdrawal symptoms can unpredictably fluctuate,leaving you overwhelmed and vulnerable to health dangers.
  • Re-emergence of mental health symptoms that you were initially treating with chlordiazepoxide can drive you to take the substance again.
  • Self-medication during withdrawal can do more harm than good, as you might end up abusing other drugs and substances in an unhealthy manner.
  • Risk of relapse is greatly increased during a home detox, as there’s no one to stop you from indulging your cravings.
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Medically Supervised Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal Detox

For the sake of your safety and in order to achieve long-lasting recovery, most specialists recommend completing chlordiazepoxidewithdrawal under the supervision of a doctor.This can be provided in an inpatient addiction treatment facility, where you’ll have access to round-the-clock care, as well as medication to help alleviate your symptoms.

Medication can be provided in instances where withdrawal symptoms are deemed to be severe and better off being treated. There is a variety of medication available for the treatment of specific symptoms during chlordiazepoxide detox, which can also speed up the process. While such medication cannot completely eliminate withdrawal symptoms, it can definitely render them far milder.

Medications Used During Chlordiazepoxide Detox

If your detox is applied via the tapering process, chlordiazepoxide might be substituted with a benzodiazepine with a longer half-life. One example is diazepam (Valium), which can assist with preventing rebound symptoms. Valium may also be used to treat the more serious symptoms, such as hallucinations and psychosis during the acute phase of withdrawal. Non-benzodiazepine medications such as melatonin or eszopiclone (Lunesta)may also be used to treat rebound symptoms as well as insomnia. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants could also be utilised as part of treatment during detox.

Treatment for Withdrawal

As with other benzodiazepines, chlordiazepoxide can lead to abuse, addiction, and dependence if not consumed according to prescription or if used for longer than prescribed.

Trying to quit chlordiazepoxide (after you’ve developed a dependence on the drug) can be made difficult by the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms. It’s advised you don’t try tackling withdrawal symptoms on your own, as a significant number of them can be severe in nature or even fatal.

A professionally administered medical detox is the best way to manage chlordiazepoxide withdrawal symptoms and ensure you recover safely from addiction. However, detox is only the first step in making a full recovery from addiction, as detox only treats the physical aspect of your addiction. If you want to make a full recovery and achieve long-term sobriety, it’s best to also receive ongoing treatment – possibly through an outpatient programme.

Withdrawing from Chlordiazepoxide: Treatment Methods and Options

There are a range of options and settings available for the treatment of chlordiazepoxide withdrawal. Each treatment type offers a unique level of care and differs in duration. What treatment works best for you is determined by the severity of your addiction and withdrawal symptoms, as well as what you can afford. Other factors that may influence what form of care is right for you include:

  • Availability of adequate transportation (if opting for outpatient treatment).
  • Mental health or medical conditions.
  • History of seizures.
  • Previous episodes of complicated withdrawal.
  • Availability of support system.

Depending on your condition, treatment can be provided via any of the following methods:

  • Detox centres: these establishments are specifically designed for the purpose of helping people get through withdrawal safely. Such facilities rarely provide treatment beyond the detox phase, which means drug rehabilitation will need to be sought elsewhere.
  • Inpatient/residential centres: these facilities are characterised by the availability of both housing and treatment. This is because treatment is provided solely within the facility and patients are not allowed to leave until the programme is complete. Treatment in such a facility will involve round-the-clock care and medical attention being provided whenever needed. Medical care is often intensive and structured, while duration of treatment is dependent on severity of addiction. Inpatient treatment can be further classified into standard, executive, and luxury centres. Luxury and executive inpatient centres offers pampering and extravagance such as gourmet meals, spa treatments and more to ensure patients’ comfort.
  • Outpatient: such facilities allow patients to commute from home to receive treatment on scheduled dates and time. Treatment each day can last for an hour or more, depending on the severity of addiction. Outpatient centres can be further categorised into Partial Hospitalisation Programmes (PHP), and Intensive Outpatient Programmes (IOP). Care provided in PHP is generally the most intensive of all outpatient programmes.

Regardless of the sort of programme you opt for, it will start with an assessment followed by detoxification. Once detox is complete, addiction rehabilitation treatment can begin, which often consists of individual or group therapy, relapse prevention training, and addiction education.

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Guided Chlordiazepoxide Therapy

Tapering may involve the gradual reduction of chlordiazepoxidedos age until you’re completely weaned off the drug. Chlordiazepoxide may also be substituted for a longer-acting benzodiazepine before tapering commences.

While medication can greatly facilitate a withdrawal process, detox treatment is infinitely safer and effective if directly supervised by a medical professional, who has the expertise to recommend medication as necessary and in appropriate doses. They can also offer tapering treatment that weans you off chlordiazepoxide and other substances.

Tapering is generally performed in either of the following ways:

  • Chlordiazepoxide taper: reducing dosage gradually,until completely weaned off chlordiazepoxide.
  • Replacement medication taper: this first replaces chlordiazepoxide with long-acting medication like diazepam or phenobarbital,before gradually reducing dosage of the replacement medicationover time.

The duration of tapering is mostly dependent on the severity of addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Tips for Handling Cravings

Cravings during addiction recovery are much easier if you keep yourself busy with hobbies and other activities. This will keep your mind from dwelling excessively on cravings and using drugs. Another important tip is to stay away from activities and individuals that typically drive you to abuse chlordiazepoxide. Support groups such as your family and Narcotics Anonymous can also help you stay focused on sobriety, as well as combat the temptation of cravings.

Find a Treatment Centre

Depending on the severity of your addiction or your preference, you can opt for either an outpatient or inpatient chlordiazepoxide programme to treat your addiction and care for your withdrawal symptoms. Before settling on a specific clinic for addiction recovery, be sure to verify the treatment centre’s success rate with other patients.


How Long DoesChlordiazepoxide 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 combining the drug with other substances. In typical circumstances, withdrawal can last for about four to six weeks or more if addiction is particularly severe.

Are there any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

There are home remedies to safely get clean from chlordiazepoxideaddiction, but 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 advised that you seek guaranteed effective treatment at an addiction treatment facility near you.

How long does it Take to Detox from Chlordiazepoxide?

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

Can you Die from Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal?

It is not commonplace for chlordiazepoxide withdrawal to be fatal, but it is nonetheless possible. Withdrawal can prove to be fatal if symptoms are not properly cared for by a medical professional.

Can Medication Help?

Yes, medication can not only help make chlordiazepoxide safer, but also less uncomfortable. Some of the medication used to accomplish this include 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 that you are admitted to an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility before attempting to detox.

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