Librium Addiction and Abuse

Most people begin abusing Librium by gradually increasing dosage contrary to their prescription or using the drug more frequently than they should in order to enjoy its pleasurable effects. Some combine the drug with other substances (such as alcohol) to enhance the effects of Librium, but such acts ultimately lead to addiction, withdrawal symptoms or harsher health complications.

Similar to most other benzodiazepines, Librium is a psychotropic drug that is habit-forming. Even though it is generally legitimately prescribed for the treatment of insomnia or anxiety, you can still develop a physical dependence or addiction whilst using it.

The longer you abuse Librium, the worse your addiction and resulting withdrawal symptoms will likely be. This is especially so if your tolerance for the drug has greatly increased. People with underlying mental health conditions are at an even greater risk of developing a Librium addiction.

Once addiction sets in, it becomes very difficult to quit Librium without professional medical help. This is because the chemical structure of your brain (as well as your body) has adapted to functioning with Librium in your system. In the absence of its influence, your body will find it difficult to cope and function normally. The withdrawal process which follows after you try quitting can be very uncomfortable and it’s best if you undergo a medically assisted detox in a specialised addiction facility.

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What is Librium?

Librium is a benzodiazepine drug that is available in tablet form and used for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and drug/alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

It has a medium to long half-life and possesses anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, amnesic, sedative, hypnotic and skeletal muscle relaxant properties. Librium can be sourced illegally, sold under street names such as downers, tranqs, bennies, benzos, nerve pills and so on.

History of Librium addiction

It was in 1963 that chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and other Benzodiazepines were declared as medication with a high risk of addiction. A 90-day study was carried out by Carl F. Essig which showed that automobile accident rates amongst 68 people using benzodiazepines was 10 times higher than usual. Over the years (and because of Librium’s potential for misuse), the drug has been frequently detected in urine samples provided by people who haven’t even been prescribed the medication.

Librium is classified as a Class C controlled substance in the UK, due to the highly addictive potential of the drug and in order to control its abuse.

Are Librium and chlordiazepoxide the same drug?

Yes. Librium and chlordiazepoxide are the same drug. Chlordiazepoxide is the generic name for the drug, whereas Librium is the brand or marketing name.

Causes and risk factors for Librium addiction and abuse

Because it’s generally prescribed for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety disorders, people who use Librium might eventually abuse it to heighten the effects induced and in turn become addicted in time.

People with co-occurring disorders usually abuse anxiety drugs by self-medicating or combining them with other substances. Those who abuse the drug are often suffering from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, massive depressive disorder or sleeping disorders.

Professionals with very stressful jobs also have a high likelihood of abusing Librium, as they often suffer from work related anxiety, sleeplessness or physical stress. In truth, anyone who has been prescribed Librium is at risk of abusing it and becoming addicted, which is why the drug is only used to treat extreme cases or in instances where an alternative form of treatment is unavailable. Other risk factors that can result in Librium addiction include:

  • Medical problems such as muscle pain or alcohol withdrawal, where Librium is more likely to be abused to control the condition.
  • Mental illnesses such as anxiety and panic disorders which cause an individual to use Librium for longer than necessary, leading to an increased tolerance to the drug over time and eventually a possible overdose.
  • Polydrug use. This is the combination of Librium with similar depressants or other substances in order to intensify its effects. Such drug abuse is dangerous, as not only can it exacerbate addiction, it can also lead to fatal consequences.
  • Genetics. It’s thought that your genetic makeup plays a key part in determining the development of addiction to substances like benzodiazepines. If you have a family history of abusing benzodiazepines or some other form of addiction, the risk of you developing substance dependence when using Librium is much higher.
  • Environmental factors. Research has shown that individuals living in an environment that gives them greater access to benzodiazepines or those who are frequently surrounded by people with an addiction are more likely to engage in similar behaviours.

Librium drug interactions

Librium is not a medication that should be combined with other substances without the explicit instructions of your doctor. This is because there are a wide range of substances that, when consumed with Librium, can either increase its toxicity and render it poisonous, or enhance its potency and lead to an overdose.

Do not drink alcohol whilst taking Librium. Also, avoid combining Librium with cocaine, opioids, cold or allergy medicine, cough medicine, vitamins, herbal products, medicine for psychiatric disorders, sleeping pills, narcotic pain medicine, medicine for seizures or depression or muscle relaxants. Before taking Librium with any of these drugs (or any other substance), please inform your doctor in order to prevent a possibly dangerous interaction.

An overview: What is Librium addiction?

Librium is typically abused orally in pill form, due to the quick euphoric and sedative effects it can have on the human body. Its intoxicating effect amongst abusers is recognised for its strong ‘high’, but abusing Librium comes at a price, as the drug can quickly lead to physical dependence and addiction, which brings a whole host of health risks.

People who are addicted to Librium tend to be at greater risk of polydrug abuse (combining illicit drugs for greater effect) and possess a higher level of social and psychological disorders. Librium is commonly abused by individuals taking multiple drugs, including alcoholics and heroin addicts. However, in many cases, Librium is the primary substance of abuse.

Once addicted to Librium, if you try to quit suddenly, withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to intense in severity can take hold, thus making it very difficult to kick the habit on your own.

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How Librium addiction starts

Librium addiction can be caused by using the drug in higher doses or more frequently than recommended by your doctor. Also, combining the drug with alcohol, opioids and other stimulants greatly increases the risk of developing an addiction.

The first indication of the development of addiction is usually an increase in tolerance level. In turn, this brings about the need for higher ongoing doses of Librium to achieve the desired effect.

Even if Librium is taken according to prescription, there’s still a very high possibility of developing an addiction. This is why it’s generally advised that it be used for the shortest time period possible in order to avoid any complications.

Why is Librium so addictive?

If you are addicted to Librium, there’s a high chance you could engage in anti-social behaviour in order to acquire more of the substance to continue your habit. Withdrawal symptoms that occur once an addict fails to take a fresh dose of Librium can be quite severe and could potentially motivate further drug-seeking behaviour to alleviate symptoms.

The drug is very addictive due to its active component of benzodiazepine and the way in which it modifies the chemical structure of your brain after extended abuse. The longer you abuse Librium, the more severe addiction is and the harder it usually is to quit. The best way to avoid addiction is to use the drug only (and always) according to the instructions of your doctor.

How Librium affects the mind and body

Librium is used in clinical medicine as an anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and sedative. It is mostly prescribed short-term to individuals with insomnia, or severe anxiety that leads to serious distress.
Librium functions by affecting your body’s release of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA is a brain neurotransmitter that can influence your system by causing a sedated or tranquilised effect, as well as inhibiting transmission of nerve signals. By increasing the effects of GABA on the brain, Librium will reduce the nerve signal transmissions and hyperactivity within the central nervous system. This will help put users of the drug at ease by causing a sedating effect and pleasurable sensations.

Signs, symptoms and effects of Librium abuse and addiction

Librium addiction can lead to a variety of health complications and is best treated as soon as possible. The best way to spot addiction before it fully takes hold is to be aware of the warning signs/symptoms, which can include:

  • Increased tolerance to the drug
  • Failing to meet responsibilities at school, work or home
  • Using Librium despite it causing physical, psychological and interpersonal problems
  • Participating in risky activities whilst under the influence (such as driving or operating machinery)
  • Combining Librium with alcohol or other drugs to heighten its effect
  • Experiencing strong cravings for Librium
  • Inability to quit using Librium
  • Avoiding social activities that don’t involve the use of Librium
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit
  • Using more Librium for longer periods of time than prescribed or intended

If you are experiencing any of the above or have seen a loved one going through such changes, please contact an addiction helpline today for advice.

Short-term effects of Librium on the body

Librium is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that slows down brain activity. Short-term effects of the drug can include:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Feelings of well-being
  • Relaxation

These effects can be induced fairly quickly and might lead to abuse, as people rely on the drug for quick relief. Other abusers use the drug to achieve a sedating ‘high’.

Long-term effects of using Librium

Librium and other benzodiazepines shouldn’t be used long-term, as this could potentially lead to physical dependence. Other long-term effects of chronic Librium abuse can include:

  • Increased tolerance
  • Loss of sex-drive
  • Social phobia
  • Agoraphobia
  • Addiction
  • Polydrug abuse (abusing multiple drugs simultaneously)
  • Increasing anxiety
  • Depression

Physical signs and symptoms of Librium abuse and addiction

If you’ve already developed a physical dependence on Librium, you’ll likely begin to manifest the following side effects and symptoms of abuse:

  • Poor coordination
  • Excessive sweating
  • Issues with balance
  • Lethargy and drowsiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Visual problems

Psychological signs and symptoms of Librium abuse and addiction

Psychological signs of abuse and addiction can include:

  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Poor judgment
  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Issues with memory
  • Confusion
  • Dementia-like symptoms

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

Signs of Librium withdrawal and overdose

Going beyond the prescribed dose or frequency of use for Librium can lead to an overdose with potentially fatal consequences. Because a Librium overdose can kill, if you suspect somebody has overdosed, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.

  • Dizziness
  • Hypotension
  • Hypoventilation
  • Impaired balance
  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Mental confusion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Somnolence (difficulty staying awake)
  • Coma

If you take too much Librium over a prolonged period, you put yourself at risk of withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit or reduce your dose. Librium withdrawal can lead to the manifestation of physical and psychological symptoms such as aggravated anxiety, psychosis, suicidal behaviour, seizures and chest pains.

Dangerous effects of Librium abuse and addiction

While Librium has several benefits, it must be used with care, as incorrect use can lead to dangerous side effects. Serious health issues can arise whether or not Librium is abused, which is why it isn’t prescribed unless absolutely necessary.

Physical, emotional and social effects of Librium abuse and addiction

Even when using Librium as prescribed, physical and psychological side effects can still manifest. Misusing Librium only increases the risks of harmful effects associated with using the drug. Said harmful effects can include:

Physical side effects

  • Changes in appetite
  • Coma (in the event of an overdose)
  • Coordination problems
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Stupor
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Unsteady gait
  • Upset stomach
  • Weakness

Psychological side effects

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Emotional blunting
  • Memory loss
  • Suicidal ideation

Abuse of Librium can also result in mental and behavioural disorders that can manifest via the following symptoms:

  • Aggression
  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Increased excitement
  • Impulsivity

Exhibiting any of the above can lead to violent or antisocial behaviours.

The social impacts of Librium

Aside from the health dangers, substance abuse also negatively impacts your social relationships and leaves you vulnerable in a variety of ways.

Long-term Librium abuse can severely impact the social aspects of your life in the following manner:

  • Impaired work or school performance
  • Excessive absences
  • Job loss
  • Engaging in criminal activities to finance drug use
  • Suspension or expulsion from school
  • Divorce
  • Loss of friends
  • Child neglect
  • Loss of finances
  • Physical injuries due to accidents
  • Legal problems
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Drug-seeking behaviour

Therapy, treatment and rehab for Librium abuse and addiction

Because Librium withdrawal is accompanied by seizures, delirium tremens (and other symptoms similar to those experienced during alcohol withdrawal syndrome), the most effective and safest way to quit the drug is via detox supervised by a medical professional in a specialised detox facility.

Such a facility will ensure you are closely monitored by addiction specialists for the duration of your withdrawal symptoms.

Professional treatment will significantly minimise the unpleasantness of physical symptoms, as well as provide emotional support throughout the process.

Such a facility will ensure you are closely monitored by addiction specialists for the duration of your withdrawal symptoms. Professional treatment will significantly minimise the unpleasantness of physical symptoms, as well as provide emotional support throughout the process.

A medically assisted detox will include gradually tapering your Librium dosage whilst monitoring withdrawal symptoms. This will be performed in a safe and controlled environment, free of the triggers and stressors which normally lead you to abuse drugs. Any underlying conditions or co-occurring disorders will also be cared for during treatment.
The following can also be provided to facilitate your recovery:

  • A low-stress environment, where you can stay focused on long-term sobriety
  • Anti-seizure medications like carbamazepine or valproate to minimise symptoms
  • Antidepressants with sedative effects like trazodone or imipramine to minimise other symptoms

All the above can be combined with cognitive and behavioural therapies to ensure you make a full recovery.
Keep in mind that detox is just the first step on the path to recovery. Ongoing treatment (either via an inpatient or outpatient programme after detox is completed) will help you build the coping skills you need in order to continue with abstinence post-addiction treatment.

Depending on the severity of your Librium addiction, treatment can be received via an inpatient or residential programme for more severe cases, or partial hospitalisation and other outpatient treatment programmes for less serious instances.

Librium addiction treatment prices

The cost of treatment is often dependent on a variety of factors, such as the type of treatment programme, its duration, type of treatment centre and severity of your addiction. For instance, inpatient programmes often cost more than outpatient treatment. Also, a luxury inpatient facility or executive one will certainly cost more than regular inpatient treatment. Therefore, be sure to verify the affordability of the treatment facility you prefer before committing.

Staying off Librium

Quitting Librium is one thing, but staying off the drug long-term is an entirely different journey. In order to achieve long-lasting abstinence, you can take advantage of the following support and aftercare:

Individual counselling: During individual counselling, you’ll receive one-on-one treatment from an addiction specialist, who will talk to you about your condition and help identify the root cause of your substance abuse. You’ll also be taught about how to avoid the stressors and triggers that typically led you to abuse Librium, as well as healthy ways to cope in the outside world without having to abuse drugs.

Support groups: This is a highly effective form of drug rehabilitation that will provide help and support through group therapy. You’ll attend sessions with people who are going through exactly the same thing and attendees can help each other stay focused and committed to abstinence. Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programmes are examples of such support groups.

Family therapy: Family is a very important support system for any recovering addict. In order for your family and loved ones to be able to help you stay clean long-term, it’s important that they receive necessary training on how to effectively support and help you remain Librium abuse-free.


FAQs

What Is Librium Abuse?

Librium abuse is the recreational use of the drug or using it in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed to enhance its enjoyable effects. Librium abuse can also involve combining the drug with other substances to intensify the pleasurable effects it induces.

Who is at risk of Librium addiction?

Anyone who is prescribed Librium or using it recreationally is at risk of developing an addiction. This is especially so if it’s used at higher doses or for a longer duration than prescribed. Teenagers, the elderly and people with underlying mental conditions are at a higher risk of abusing Librium and developing an addiction.

Why do people become addicted to Librium?

People become addicted to Librium because of its primary benzodiazepine component and how it brings about changes in the chemical structure of the brain after frequent use or

Is Librium a recreational drug?

No. Librium is a drug that’s meant for clinical use in the treatment of sleeping and anxiety disorders. Because of the ‘high’ it can induce, the drug is often abused recreationally and sold illicitly.

How is Librium legally classified?

In the UK, it is classified as a Class C drug.

Are there side-effects from Librium abuse?

Side effects of Librium abuse can include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Coma
  • Coordination problems
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Stupor
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Unsteady gait
  • Upset stomach
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Emotional blunting
  • Memory loss
  • Suicidal ideation

What is Librium withdrawal?

Librium withdrawal is how your body reacts after you’ve developed an addiction to the drug and suddenly attempted to quit. Withdrawal symptoms will begin to manifest once the last dose of Librium has left your system. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Delusions
  • Chills
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased irritability
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal behaviour

How long does it take to become addicted to Librium?

Librium should never be prescribed for longer than two to four weeks. This is because using the drug for longer than this can lead to physical dependence and, eventually, addiction.

What is the Librium ‘high’ like?

The ‘high’ from abusing Librium is quite similar to what is experienced during alcohol intoxication. This will include feelings of sedation, relaxation, mild euphoria and decreased flow of thoughts.

What is Librium addiction and treatment?

Librium addiction occurs when your body has developed substance dependence and requires frequent doses of the drug to fend off withdrawal symptoms. Once addiction has developed, the best way to recover is through a medically assisted detox to address the physical aspects of the addiction. Meanwhile, rehabilitation will treat the psychological aspects of addiction.

Treatment can be provided on either an outpatient or inpatient basis, depending on the severity of addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

What treatments are available for Librium addiction?

Once Librium addiction has developed, the best way to care for the condition is through a medically assisted detox for the physical aspects of the addiction, and rehabilitation to treat the psychological side of things.

Treatment can be provided on an outpatient basis for less severe addictions, or an inpatient facility for a harsher addiction and related withdrawal symptoms.

What is a Librium overdose?

When taken beyond the prescribed dose, Librium consumption can lead to a range of health complications, including overdose. This will occur if you consume more Librium than your body can metabolise. The risk of overdose is especially high if you combine the use of Librium with other substances, such as alcohol, barbiturates and other central nervous system depressants.

What are the dangers of overdosing?

The greatest danger of overdosing on Librium is the possibility of death. The following side-effects can also occur:

  • Somnolence (difficulty staying awake)
  • Mental confusion
  • Hypotension
  • Hypoventilation
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired balance
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Coma

What are the dangers of mixing Librium with other substances?

Mixing Librium with substances such as alcohol, opioids or other stimulants and depressants could lead to a fatal overdose. Mixing also leads to increased tolerance and can increase the toxicity of Librium, thus rendering it poisonous.

Does Librium show up in urine tests?

Yes, it does.

Where can I find help?

If you are experiencing Librium addiction or withdrawal symptoms, consult your doctor immediately or contact an addiction helpline for advice and support.

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