Librium is a prescription benzodiazepine given to treat anxiety disorders. It is a drug that is known to cause dependence, addiction, and possibly a fatal overdose if misused or abused.

If a doctor prescribes Librium, it is vital to recognize the signs of addiction and how they can develop when used as directed. Benzodiazepines are powerful drugs prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizure disorders. However, benzodiazepine use can also cause serious problems. 

These medications work to slow down nerve activity in the central nervous system that can cause symptoms of the above-mentioned disorders. People taking benzodiazepines might likely feel some side effects, such as grogginess, confusion, impaired coordination, and depression. It is possible to develop a dependence on these types of drugs after one month of regular use.

Librium is an obsolete drug in the United States, but its generic formulation, chlordiazepoxide, is still prescribed. As mentioned above, someone who misuses or abuses Librium or its generic version may present signs of overdose. Those are:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

When someone takes Librium for an extended time, they could develop a dependence on the drug, which, in the case of this drug, can result in Librium addiction. 

Let’s learn more about Librium and its generic version chlordiazepoxide and how addiction can develop.

What is Librium?

Librium is a benzodiazepine that has a long half-life, meaning that 50 percent of the drug will be eliminated from the body within 24 to 48 hours. It affects chemicals in the brain that might be unbalanced in people with anxiety. It also produces sedation.

Librium (chlordiazepoxide) works by acting on the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter (or messenger) that acts as a natural nerve-calming agent. This medication increases GABA activity in the brain, therefore, increasing calming effects. These calming effects can result in decreased anxiety, muscle relaxation, and sleepiness.

More serious side effects from Librium warrant a call to the prescribing physician. These include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsiness/shuffled walking
  • Uncontrollable movements
  • Muscle and/or facial twitching
  • Trouble urinating
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Persistent fever or sore throat

Librium should always be taken as prescribed by a doctor. If there are any questions about the drugs, its side effects, the age of the person taking it, or any other question, it is best to consult with the prescribing physician.

Signs of Librium Addiction

Dependence develops when a drug is used for a more extended period or when taken in higher doses. There are several noticeable signs of Librium addiction. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction to Librium, it’s critical to know what the warning signs are.

The most common symptoms of addiction are:

  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep habit changes
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Trouble at work or school
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired cognitive ability
  • Withdrawal from enjoyable activities, hobbies

Addiction has some very clear signs in which to know and observe. These are:

  • Doctor shopping to get additional prescriptions of the drug
  • Lying to friends and loved ones about Librium use
  • Letting hygiene, relationships, and responsibilities go
  • Misusing the substance and using higher doses than a doctor recommends
  • Taking higher doses to feel the same effects and combat tolerance
  • Failed attempts to quit using
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid heart rate, sweating, or tremors when a dose is missed or when a less-than-normal dose is taken
  • Taking Librium is the high point of the user’s day
  • Having financial problems due to spending a lot of money on Librium
  • Forging prescriptions or other illegal acts to obtain Librium

Individuals who become dependent on Librium will feel normal only when they take the drug. If a person stops taking it suddenly, they could experience withdrawal symptoms. These could include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Agitation
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Mood swings and/or feeling depressed
  • Dysphoria (trouble feeling pleasure)

Even if the medication is used as directed for six to eight weeks, it is likely that an individual will experience similar symptoms. The withdrawal process from Librium or benzodiazepines is more than just uncomfortable. It can be deadly. As noted in Psychology Today, a person withdrawing from benzodiazepines “requires medical supervision to be completed successfully with minimal side-effects and risk to the patient.” It is imperative to enter an addiction treatment program if ending Librium use.

What is Involved in Librium Addiction Treatment?

Librium withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and even fatal if not overseen by medical professionals. Withdrawal symptoms can cause an individual to feel sluggish and have trouble walking. They can also have continuing nausea and vomiting and feel very depressed. Never stop taking Librium or any benzodiazepine suddenly after regular or frequent use.

Medical Detoxification

Undergoing medical detoxification at an accredited treatment center is strongly advised. Medical professionals monitor the detox process around the clock, which usually lasts between three to seven days, depending on the level of addiction. A staff of trained professionals oversees and helps the individual ease through the removal of chemicals and toxins from the body as safely as possible.

Residential Treatment

Librium side effects could last for several weeks once the drug has left the body. This is a strong reason why the individual should participate in a residential treatment program. This form of treatment usually lasts from 30 to 90 days, with 90 days being the most often recommended length of time.

A variety of therapies are offered as part of the treatment plan that the individual helps create. No two treatment plans are alike, though. To be truly effective, the types of therapies chosen are special to the individual. They are meant to guide and bolster the person along their journey to sobriety and help them recognize what led to their addiction.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment gives some people the ability to live at home and attend regular therapy sessions. Those who need to be at home to care for children or family members or those who must stay in school or need to work, might be able to participate in outpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment programs are designed to help people in addiction treatment recognize their everyday triggers and how to manage them without substance use.

Peers and counselors are significant sources of help for the person with Librium addiction who is on the road to living life substance-free.

Librium: Is it a Dangerous Drug?

Librium is a useful drug when taken as directed, but it can be dangerous for those who misuse or abuse it. When taken with alcohol or opiates, it can cause severe impairment leading to fatalities. It is a benzodiazepine medication that, if taken in higher doses, crushed and swallowed, or injected, or otherwise abused, can cause serious medical issues and even death. 

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates there were an estimated 5.4 million people over age 12 who misused benzodiazepines, such as Librium, in 2017.

Librium addiction is serious and should not be ignored. There are accredited substance use facilities around the country and one near you. Take the first step and find an available treatment center that is ready to help you or the one you care about begin life without Librium.

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