Librium Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options
Like all other benzodiazepines, Librium is a habit-forming drug. Librium addiction often starts as an innocent prescription from a doctor to treat insomnia or anxiety and can quickly spiral into a full-blown Librium addiction.
If Librium addiction has gripped your family, you are not alone. Help is available, and you can make a full recovery. Keep reading to learn the details of Librium addiction and withdrawal and how you can seek the treatment your family deserves.
Get help for Librium addiction by contacting Zinnia Healing treatment center today. Our specialists are available 24/7 so you can get the help you need.
What Is Librium?
Librium, the brand name for chlordiazepoxide, is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. The drug is a benzodiazepine that decreases abnormal electrical activity in the brain and produces a sense of calm by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA. Similar to other benzos, Librium can also be used to treat:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Muscle tension
When prescribed Librium by a doctor, patients are advised to take the capsule pill by mouth. However, when used recreationally, users often empty the capsules or crush the pills to snort or inject the substance into their veins to feel the drug’s effects faster than when taken orally.
When Librium is sold on the street, it’s often called:
- Blue bombs
- Nerve pills
What Are the Side Effects of Librium?
The main side effect of Librium is a feeling of intense relaxation. This is also what causes people to become addicted to it and start abusing it. When Librium is taken in large doses, its effects are similar to alcohol intoxication, including:
- Blurred vision
- Dark urine
- Slurred speech
- Skin problems
- Muscle weakness
- Slowed heart rate
- Stomach ache and upper stomach pain
- Loss of motor controls
- Drooping eyelids
- Strange sleep schedule
- Mood swings
- Memory issues
- Difficulty walking
- Sore throat
- Sore mouth
- Red or swollen gums
- Lying about drug use and hiding drugs
When large doses of Librium are taken, the drug can produce the following side effects:
- Memory loss
- Suicidal thoughts
- Uncontrollable muscle movements
- Liver dysfunction
- Blood disorders
If you experience any of these severe side effects of Librium, you should call 9-1-1 immediately.
Librium is especially dangerous when it is mixed with opioids, alcohol, or other substances that make you sleepy because it can cause your breathing to slow or stop, leading to dangerous side effects and even death. Other substances that can affect Librium include prescription drugs, OTC medications, and vitamins.
Signs of Librium Addiction
As we mentioned, a simple trip to the doctor’s office can often lead to a full-blown benzo addiction. Librium is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
When a Librium addiction does develop, the user may display the following common signs of addiction:
- “Doctor shopping” to get access to more medication
- Frequently appearing intoxicated or high
- Lying to loved ones about how often they’re taking Librium and how large the doses are
- 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 problems with relationships and work
Effects of Librium Abuse
Long-term abuse of Librium can lead to the following harmful effects:
- Physical dependence: When the body becomes accustomed to the presence of a drug and suddenly stops receiving said drug, the body will encounter withdrawal symptoms because it has become physically dependent on the drug and can no longer function normally without it.
- Addiction: When compulsive patterns and behaviors around Librium use develop despite negative consequences in the user’s life, they have become addicted to the substance.
- Polydrug use: It’s common for drug users to abuse multiple substances at once, including other prescription drugs, street drugs, and alcohol, which is known as polydrug use. Polydrug use is associated with a higher risk of overdose and dangerous side effects. Estimates show that 80% of benzodiazepine abuse is part of polydrug use. Librium is often taken with alcohol, opioids, and cocaine.
What Are the Symptoms of Librium Overdose?
Librium overdoses happen when someone takes too much Librium or combines it with other benzodiazepines and/or alcohol.
If you start to experience any of the following signs of overdose, contact 9-1-1 as soon as possible:
- Intense drowsiness
- 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
What Are the Symptoms of Librium Withdrawal?
Once your body builds up a tolerance to Librium and becomes dependent on it to function, 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
The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on a number of factors, such as:
- Current dose
- How long you’ve been taking Librium
- Whether you’re taking other benzos or sedatives with the Librium
- Other substance abuse issues or history
- Whether you are quitting other substances at the same time
Medical Detox for Librium Addiction
Because of the severity of the symptoms of Librium withdrawal, it is highly encouraged to attend a medically-supervised detox program to help you deal with the effects of withdrawal and reduce your chances of relapse.
Medically-supervised detox programs often use the “taper method” to slowly wean patients off drugs. This tapering process allows the body to adjust to reductions in the drug dosage and eventually get used to not having the drug in the system at all. This is an important step to prevent the body from going into shock when it no longer receives a substance it has become dependent on.
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 up to a year. During tapering, the dose is reduced by 10-25% every one to two weeks.
Here are some tips to follow to help the detox process go as smoothly as possible:
- Avoid caffeine, MSG, Aspartame, and glutamate: Caffeine is not well-tolerated during the benzodiazepine tapering process as it can increase anxiety. MSG and glutamate are also highly stimulating, and glutamate is considered the most excitatory neurochemical of the central nervous system (CNS), which can also cause it to contribute to severe anxiety. So, it’s important to avoid these ingredients in food and drink when detoxing from Librium and other benzos.
- Balance your blood sugar: Blood sugar spikes and crashes can lead to anxiety and other uncomfortable symptoms. Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast that’s rich in protein to avoid these crashes and make the tapering process a lot easier. Another tip for balancing your blood sugar is to consume several snack-like meals throughout the course of the day.
- Get active: Getting your body in motion is an excellent way to help the entire detox process by strengthening your immune system, kidney, liver, and respiratory system. Getting up and moving is also a great way to fight anxiety and intrusive thoughts while giving you something productive to focus on and fight cravings for the drug.
During medical detox, it is common to substitute Librium, or whatever substance you are detoxing from, with a different benzodiazepine that has a longer half-life, such as Valium. This process helps mitigate rebound systems, such as heightened anxiety and nausea.
Other medications that are often used during the detox process include:
Rebound symptoms are common during Librium withdrawal and usually happen after two to three days of detox. These symptoms mimic the symptoms the drug is intended to treat, which is what makes attempting to quit Librium on your own or “cold turkey” so dangerous. Rebound symptoms of Librium include:
- Enhanced insomnia
- Muscle pain
- Muscle stiffness
- Panic attacks
- Increased tension
Managing rebound systems is one of the most critically important parts of recovering from Librium addiction. Failing to properly manage these symptoms is a leading cause of relapse. So, finding an addiction treatment center to detox is of the utmost importance. Learn more about detox with Zinnia Healing by clicking here.
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 treatment involves staying at a rehab center for around-the-clock monitoring, care, and support. People undergoing inpatient rehab stay in a safe and controlled environment without access to benzos or any other types of prescription drugs or alcohol, allowing them to break their addictive patterns and habits while being supported by professionals and peers.
Outpatient rehab programs offer treatment on a daily or weekly basis. This allows the patient to live at home and continue to meet their work, school, and familial obligations while seeking treatment a few times per week at a rehab center.
In individual therapy, patients work one-on-one with a medical professional 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. Different types of behavioral therapy are available in the individual therapy setting, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
Group therapy allows patients to meet other people going through the same difficulties. This group setting helps them explore their addiction and learn healthy coping skills that have worked for others while feeling supported.
Families play a key role in recovery and mitigating the risk of overdose. During family therapy, a therapist will lead productive conversations about what led to the use of Librium and talk about any triggers that may be in the home or that the family may be contributing to. This type of therapy will teach family members important warning signs of relapse to look out for while also teaching family members important coping skills.
Sometimes your treatment center team will decide that medication needs to be a part of your recovery. These medications are intended to curb cravings and ease the side effects of benzo withdrawal.
Learn more about Zinnia Healing’s treatment programs.
Finding a Treatment Center for Librium 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 Healing, 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.
Contact us today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more. We believe in your ability to live a happier, healthier life, and we look forward to helping you get there.