Librium Symptoms and Warning Signs
Librium is the trade name for chlordiazepoxide, a benzodiazepine. It is a prescription medication that results in the slowing of brain activity, as it is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. The drug is commonly used to provide relief from the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol and other sedatives. It is also widely used to treat anxiety disorders and to provide relief from the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) when used in combination with Clidinium.
Recognising the Common Warning Signs of Librium Abuse
Physicians usually only recommend Librium for short-term use, since it is habit-forming. It is considered bad enough that you could be developing a dependency without knowing it. Normally, you should be fine if you stick to the doctor’s prescription, but, if you go beyond the recommended limits, you could be setting yourself up for addiction. The drug tends to lose its efficacy the longer you use it, and you may decide to increase your dosage to try to address this. This is abuse and there are common signs of it that you can look out for.
Signs of abuse include: muscle spasms, impaired coordination, reduced libido, slowed heartbeat, mood swings, sleep disturbances, constipation, nausea, dizziness, and confusion. All of these warning signs may not occur all at once, but you should take extra care if you notice at least a few of them sometime after increasing your dosage. In cases of pronounced abuse, you may begin to neglect your obligations or engage in risky behaviour.
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The Dangers of Librium Abuse
Abusing benzodiazepines can lead to dangerous effects on your mental and physical health. Some of the physical health effects that you may experience include a drastically reduced heart rate and lowered blood pressure. More dangerous effects may occur, such as depression of lung function to the point that the organ fails, which can lead to death.
Other serious problems that may arise from misusing Librium include seizures, jaundice, shallow breath, and blackouts. Overdosing is also a dangerous possibility if you have been using other drugs, such as heroin and/or alcohol, at the same time. There is also the danger of getting addicted or physically dependent on the drug, in which case you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, insomnia, and anxiety.
Recognising a Librium Addiction
Addiction is a real danger that comes with misusing a benzodiazepine, due to its habit-forming properties. If you are concerned that you, or a loved one, may be addicted to Librium, there are a number of signs that can help you know for sure or, at least, strongly indicate that addiction is at play. Doctors often use the same criteria to diagnose an addiction.
Look out for continued drug use despite recognisable effects, using Librium in dangerous situations, failing to fulfil obligations due to drug use, strong cravings, spending too much time using or obtaining the drug, often failing to quit or cut down even when the user wants to, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit or reduce doses prioritising use of the drug over other enjoyable activities, and increased tolerance, causing the user to use it more frequently and in higher doses.
Librium Addiction and The Brain
When Librium gets into your system, it causes the brain to produce dopamine surges, which then result in pleasurable feelings. Unfortunately, these pleasurable feelings do a good job of hiding the damage that is going on in the brain. In the part of the brain called the ventral tegmental area (VTA), there are inhibitory interneurons which help to control dopamine levels. Librium acts to deteriorate their influence.
For decades, researchers knew that benzodiazepines could result in brain damage, even though the fact was not made known to the public until a long time later. It is believed that drugs belonging to this family may affect the cerebral cortex, possibly causing permanent damage in the process. Studies have found the long-term use of these drugs to result in abnormalities such as Sylvian, and interhemispheric, fissures, widening of the sulci, and ventricular enlargement.
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What Are the Immediate Side Effects of Librium Abuse?
There are a number of side effects that you may experience when you abuse a benzodiazepine, some of which can be particularly dangerous. Some of them may be psychological in nature, and others may take a more physical route. The side effects tend to vary from one person to another, so you may only experience a few of the listed effects.
Some of the side effects, which you may experience quicker than you expect, include poor judgement, EEG changes, constipation, skin eruptions, ataxia, drowsiness, diminished emotional reactions, and paradoxical disinhibition. Some of the contradictory symptoms that come with paradoxical disinhibition include aggression, hostility, increased excitement, and irritability. You may also find yourself engaging in risky behaviours such as driving while intoxicated.
What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Librium Abuse?
When you use Librium for a prolonged period of time, you could be exposing yourself to some long-term effects, even more, dangerous than the short-term ones. One of these long-term effects is physical dependence, which can cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, insomnia, and anxiety. There is also the possibility of developing an addiction, which can lead to severe consequences for your health, as well as in other aspects of your life.
Other long-term effects of abusing the drug include liver dysfunction, and severe, or even permanent, changes in mental abilities, including memory impairment, suicidal tendencies and chronic depression, and dimming of mental alertness. Over time, as you get dragged deeper down the hole of a substance use disorder, there is a good chance all facets of your life will be affected. You may begin to experience difficulties at home, school or work, and your relationships could begin to crumble around you.
Intervention for a Librium Addiction
If you have an addiction, it is not going to be easy to talk about it with your friends and family, either because you are ashamed, or because you may be in denial about your drug use. If you feel you don’t have a problem, but those around you have been saying otherwise, it is best to listen to those concerns and make the effort to evaluate yourself. If you are confronted by family or friends, try not to blow off the issue or react defensively. One of the best ways to prove them wrong is to agree to an assessment and let the doctors tell them for you.
Dealing with an addicted friend or relative can be exhausting, especially if they don’t seem like they will ever be ready to stop living in the denial of their drug abuse. It may be a good idea to seek the help of a skilled interventionist, to help you get your loved one to see reason about why they should get treatment. An interventionist can coach you, and other family members and friends, on how best to approach your addicted relative. They will also be there to help make sure the intervention goes as planned.
Detox and Withdrawal from Librium
The first step to treating addiction is detox, which is the process by which the body rids itself of the drug’s toxins. Detox creates a foundation upon which further treatment can be based. With detox comes withdrawal, which refers to the reaction of your brain and body to the abrupt removal, or reduction in dose, of Librium after you have become dependent on the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, and even dangerous, so medical personnel will do their best to ensure safe and comfortable withdrawal and detox, by means of gradual tapering or the administering of certain medications.
The Withdrawal Symptoms of Librium
Withdrawal from Librium can be exceedingly uncomfortable, ranging from moderate to severe in intensity, depending on how long you have been addicted, and the severity of your substance use disorder. There are several possible symptoms of withdrawal associated with this drug, but you do not necessarily have to experience them all.
Some of the common symptoms of withdrawal include memory loss, dementia, insomnia, tremors, psychosis, seizures, drug cravings, depression, anxiety, agitation, irritability, hallucinations, sweating, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, sensory hypersensitivity, elevated blood pressure, and increased heart rate.
What Is Librium Overdose?
An overdose occurs when one has taken so much of a substance that it becomes toxic to the body. It is so dangerous that it is considered a medical emergency, requiring immediate medical attention. Overdose is always a possibility with addiction, especially if you keep trying to quit.
If you try to stop and feel the withdrawal effects, the risk of overdose increases because your tolerance level is lowered during that period. If you relapse at this point, you could overdose. It is important to be able to tell the signs of an overdose, and not mistake them for signs of abuse so you can seek out medical attention immediately.
The Signs of Librium Overdose
Apart from the well-known overdosing during a relapse, another way you can overdose is by combining Librium with other central nervous system depressants, such as opioids, other prescription medications, or alcohol. Regardless of the reason behind an overdose, you can tell that you, or someone else, has overdosed by looking out for several visible signs.
Some of these signs include seizures, tremors, dangerously low body temperatures, extreme dizziness, profound confusion, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, bluish fingernails and lips, difficult or shallow breathing, blurred or double vision, and coma. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately as this may be the only way to save someone’s life.
Treatment and the Next Steps in Librium Abuse
There are different options when it comes to addiction treatment, so you should be able to find one that works the best for you. After detoxification, the next step is rehabilitation which can be inpatient or outpatient. Even after formal rehab treatment, recovery does not end, as there are aftercare services that you and your loved ones can take advantage of, including family consultations. They may include continued therapy sessions in the same treatment centre, 12-step meetings or halfway homes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can anyone tell I am using Librium?
Yes, anyone that knows the signs and symptoms of abuse will be able to tell if you are abusing Librium. Some of the signs they may notice include muscle spasms, impaired coordination, mood swings, unusual sleep pattern and confusion, among others.
Is it possible to prevent Librium abuse symptoms?
Yes, it is possible to prevent the symptoms of abuse. The way to do so is to ensure that you stick to the prescription and guidance provided by your physician and consult them if you notice the drug seems to be losing its efficacy. Also, do not take it at all if it was never prescribed to you in the first place.
How can I tell if my teenager is using Librium?
While there are other means by which your teenager can obtain Librium, you may need to be extra vigilant if a member of your household has a prescription. Look out for signs like lethargy, sudden weight changes, getting into trouble at school, excessive absences, poor academic performance, hanging out with new friends, and changes in behaviour, mood or attitude. You need to be aware of the prescription your doctor has authorised.
Can Librium abuse be fatal?
Yes, abusing Librium can be fatal, especially if you keep taking higher doses to deal with rising tolerance to the drug. Abuse can also be fatal if you combine the drug with other central nervous system depressants.
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