Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options
Benzodiazepines are highly addictive and habit-forming, and chlordiazepoxide, also known as Librium, is no different. Benzo misuse increases the risk of overdose and death. In fact, statistics show that more than four out of every 100,000 adults who died of an overdose had benzodiazepines in their system. These statistics also show that more than 30% of opioid overdoses involve benzos.
If you or a loved one struggles with Librium abuse, it’s important to know you’re not alone. In this post, we’ll go over the details of Librium addiction, Librium withdrawal, and your treatment options to help you on the road to recovery.
Get help for chlordiazepoxide/Librium addiction by contacting Zinnia Health treatment center today.
What Is Chlordiazepoxide/Librium?
Librium is the brand name of chlordiazepoxide, the first benzo to be synthesized in the 1950s.
According to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Librium is a schedule IV drug primarily used to treat anxiety and help patients relax before surgery. It’s also often used to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Once ingested, Librium affects the brain and central nervous system (CNS) by producing a sense of calm. It does so by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA.
Doctors prescribe Librium in capsule form for their patients to take by mouth. Recreational users often empty the capsules and snort the substance or inject it into their veins. People addicted to this drug snort or inject Librium so that it will enter their system and start producing effects and euphoria as quickly as possible.
People who received a Librium prescription from their healthcare provider for medicinal use can still become addicted. Considering healthcare providers write more than 50 million prescriptions for benzodiazepines, including Librium, each year, a legitimate prescription is often the gateway to addiction. This sometimes happens when people start taking more than their prescribed dose, as the effects of the medicine weaken when their body develops a tolerance for it.
Some of the popular “street names” for chlordiazepoxide include:
- Blue bombs
- Nerve pills
What Are the Side Effects of Librium/Chlordiazepoxide?
Librium causes users to feel intense relaxation, which is the main reason people abuse it. When it’s taken in large doses, it can produce feelings that are similar to alcohol intoxication.
Some of the most common side effects of Librium include:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Muscle weakness
- Slow heart rate
- Stomach ache
- Loss of motor controls
- Strange sleep schedule
- Mood swings
- Memory issues
- Difficulty walking
- Lying about drug use and hiding drugs
In severe cases, Librium side effects can include:
- Memory loss
- Suicidal thoughts
- Uncontrollable muscle movements
- Liver dysfunction
- Blood disorders
If you experience any of the severe side effects of Librium, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Common Drug Combinations
Librium is commonly combined with:
- Other benzos
Combining Librium with other drugs and/or alcohol increases your chances of addiction and severe side effects. These serious effects can include extreme sedation, slowed breathing, and blackouts. It also significantly increases your risk of behavioral health issues and fatal overdose.
What Are the Signs of Librium Addiction?
A simple but well-intentioned prescription from a doctor or other healthcare provider can often become a full-blown benzo addiction. When a Librium addiction develops, the user may display the following signs of addiction:
- “Doctor shopping” to get access to more medication
- Appearing intoxicated frequently
- Lying to loved ones about their Librium use
- Misusing the drug by taking more than the recommended dose
- Missing appointments and work/school obligations to focus on when they take the medication
- Resorting to illegal methods to obtain Librium, including using street dealers or forged prescriptions
- Being unable to stop taking the drug
- Spending all of their money on acquiring the drug
- Feeling extremely irritable and restless
- Needing continually higher doses of the drug to feel the effects
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back
- Having obsessive thoughts and behaviors related to the drug
- Continuing to use despite persistent issues, including relationship problems, social problems, and problems at work
Why Do People Use Benzos?
The reasons people start and continue to use Librium and other benzodiazepines vary. However, the most common associations include:
From a Prescription
Whether benzos are prescribed for anxiety, to help people fall and stay asleep, or to treat seizures, the beginning of benzo addiction often starts in the doctor’s office. Once the brain gets used to the effects of the substance, it needs more and more to produce the same results. This feeling is known as physical dependence.
Some people are offered benzos at parties or social settings. They might take the drug because it helps them let loose and have fun while forgetting about obligations and worries.
To Help With Stress Relief
Since benzos are most commonly prescribed for anxiety, many people take them to unwind and relieve stress from their daily lives. Benzodiazepine effects are very welcome when people start to feel overcome by stress. But, the more someone relies on benzos for stress relief, the more of the drug they will need to achieve the same level of relief.
For the Good Feelings They Produce
Who doesn’t want to feel good and relaxed? The euphoric effects of benzos are often enough to get people hooked as they look to escape work, relationship issues, boredom, and other issues.
To Deal With Grief
Grief can overcome any aspect of a person’s life. These feelings can often be overwhelming, leading to panic attacks and the inability to complete daily tasks. Benzodiazepine prescriptions are often prescribed to help counter these effects and help people return to their day-to-day responsibilities.
You’re never alone when struggling with prescription addiction or a substance use disorder. Our Zinnia Health treatment center can support you through this challenging time and help you move toward a drug-free future.
Why Are Benzos So Dangerous?
Benzos produce similar effects to alcohol and opioids because they all impact the central nervous system. When paired with other depressants, such as alcohol, benzo abuse can become disastrous. This usage can also turn deadly as the combination enhances the side effects of each substance. Some of the most dangerous and life-threatening side effects of benzos include:
- Loss of cognitive functioning
- Increased risk of overdose
- Slower reaction times
- Increased likelihood of long-term physical and mental health issues
What Are the Symptoms of an Overdose?
Librium overdose can happen when somebody takes too much of the substance or combines it with other benzos and/or alcohol. Librium is commonly abused for its calming effects, and people who use it for this purpose are at the highest risk of overdose.
Remember, Librium abuse and overdose can be life-threatening. If you start to experience any of the following signs of overdose, call 911 immediately:
- Intense drowsiness and “nodding out”
- Impaired reflexes
- Rapid eye movement
- Blue lips and fingernails
- Double vision
- Low blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling lightheaded
- Confusion and delirium
- Difficulty breathing
- Shallow breathing
Understanding the Symptoms of Chlordiazepoxide Withdrawal
Like all prescription drugs, a chlordiazepoxide prescription is meant to be a short-term solution. But unfortunately, it’s easy to become dependent on the drug to keep you calm or help you fall and stay asleep.
Once your body builds up a tolerance to the drug and becomes dependent on it, you are at risk of experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you stop using it. These withdrawal symptoms include:
- Severe agitation
- Muscle spasms
- Panic attacks
- Severe anxiety
- Drug cravings
In the most severe cases, a person undergoing Librium withdrawal may also experience seizures, psychosis, and death. This is why going through a medically-supervised detox program is vital if you believe you are addicted to Librium.
Medical Detox for Librium Addiction
Quitting chlordiazepoxide is hard. But more than that, it can be dangerous if you don’t have professional help. Medical detox for Librium addiction is critically important to give yourself the best and safest shot at recovery.
This type of detox often comprises a taper method in which you will slowly wean yourself off the drug. Tapering allows your body to gradually get used to not having the substance in your system. This approach prevents your body from going into shock when it can’t get the substance it’s used to, reducing or eliminating the withdrawal side effects mentioned above.
Tapering schedules depend on several factors, such as length of use, dosage, and history of drug addiction. Since benzos have a reputation of being difficult to quit, medical detox schedules sometimes last between two months to up to a year. During tapering, the dose is reduced by 10 to 25 percent every one to two weeks.
During medical detox, medical staff may substitute the Librium with a different benzodiazepine that has a longer half-life, such as Valium. This is intended to help mitigate rebound systems.
Other medications that are often used during the detox process include:
What Are Rebound Symptoms?
Rebound symptoms refer to the symptoms that occur during Librium withdrawal, generally about two to three days after detox begins. These symptoms mimic the symptoms the drug is intended to treat, i.e., anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia.
Rebound symptoms usually only last two to three days, and their severity varies from person to person. Managing these symptoms is a crucial part of recovery, and when people fail to do so, they often relapse.
Types of Librium Addiction Treatment
The good news is that there are several treatment options if you are experiencing addiction to Librium and other benzos. These treatments include:
This type of rehab involves staying at a facility for around-the-clock monitoring, care, and support. People undergoing inpatient rehab stay in a safe and controlled environment without access to benzos.
Outpatient rehab programs offer treatment on a daily or weekly basis. The patient is free to live at home and continue to meet their work, school, and familial obligations while seeking treatment in their “off time.”
In individual therapy, patients work one-on-one with an addiction counselor to get to the root of what’s causing their addiction. They learn healthy coping skills to manage their cravings and live a drug-free life.
Group therapy allows patients to meet other people going through the same thing. This group setting helps them explore their addiction and learn healthy coping skills that have worked for others while feeling supported.
Sometimes your treatment center team will decide that medication needs to be a part of your recovery. These medications are used to curb cravings and ease the side effects of benzo withdrawal.
Learn more about Zinnia Health’s treatment programs here.
Finding a Treatment Center for Chlordiazepoxide Addiction
Finding a treatment provider is vital if you struggle with substance abuse and/or related mental health issues for chlordiazepoxide or benzodiazepine addiction. At Zinnia Health, we are deeply committed to the sustainable healing of lives, families, and communities. We offer a personalized approach to drug abuse treatment to ensure you get the exact course of treatment you need to make a full recovery.