Librium and Alcohol Substance Abuse
By: Zinnia Healing Editorial Staff | Edited By: Rebecca Hill
Mixing Alcohol With Librium: What Are The Dangers?
Librium is a powerful prescription benzodiazepine drug most commonly used to treat anxiety and manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms. But when Librium is mixed with alcohol, the results can be deadly. Keep reading to learn more about how Librium and alcohol interact in the body and the side effects they produce, as well as the symptoms of overdose and how to get help today if you are unable to quit using Librium and alcohol together and are experiencing adverse effects in your family, work, and social relationships and life.
If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction or another form of substance abuse, Zinnia Healing is here for you. Read more about our treatment process and treatment services here.
What Is Librium?
Librium is the brand name for the drug chlordiazepoxide. The first benzo to be synthesized, Librium appeared on the market in the 1950s.
The main uses for Librium include treating:
- Anxiety disorders
- Acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Doctors also use it to help patients relax before surgery.
Librium works by impacting the brain and central nervous system (CNS) to produce a sense of calm by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA.
Although there are several legitimate medical reasons why someone would be prescriped Librium, it is still possible to develop an addiction to the drug. This commonly happens when someone starts increasing how much of the drug they take as their body develops a tolerance and they can no longer feel the same effects from the originally prescribed dose.
It’s important to note that the risk of becoming addicted to Librium is higher for those with underlying mental health conditions.
Short-Term Side Effects of Librium
Side effects of Librium use in the short term include:
- Blurred vision
- Skin rash
- Muscle spasms
- Dry mouth
- Decreased libido
- Financial issues stemming from Librium use
- Lying about the frequency and amount of Librium use
- Illegally obtaining Librium
- Using Librium as a coping mechanism
Long-Term Side Effects of Librium
Long-term side effects of Librium include:
- Physical dependence that develops due to changes in the brain caused by prolonged Librium use
- Tolerance that builds up the longer you use Librium
- Addiction can develop in response to the feelings of euphoria and relaxation Librium produces
The signs of Librium and alcohol addiction include:
- Strong urges or cravings for the substances
- Taking the substance in higher and/or more frequent doses than originally intended/prescribed
- Wanting to quit or cut back on using the substances but being unable to do so
- Developing a tolerance and needing more of the substances to feel the same effects
- Continuing to use despite problems the substances cause at home, work, school, etc.
The Dangers of Mixing Librium and Alcohol
Combining multiple drugs at the same time is known as polydrug use. Statistics show that more than 80% of benzodiazepine abuse is part of polydrug use.
Physical dependence and tolerance to Librium may lead individuals to combine the drug with alcohol so they can feel the same effects. They might also take increasingly larger doses of the drug.
Combining alcohol and Librium intensifies the depressive effects of both drugs, which can lead to strong sedative effects, such as:
- Respiratory depression
- Blacking out
- Extreme sedation
Mixing Librium with alcohol increases the chance of fatal overdose. Other side effects of combining alcohol and Librium include:
- Impaired motor control
- Memory problems
- Strange behavior
- Slowed breathing
- Blue-tinged skin and lips
- Shallow breathing
- Liver damage
- Low body temperature
- Inability to stay awake
- Loss of consciousness
The chance of fatal overdose is most common when Librium is mixed with another depressant, like alcohol, opioids, and other benzodiazepines.
The dangers of mixing Librium and alcohol are so prevalent that The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an official warning about combining the two substances.
You should never suddenly stop taking Librium, as this can intensify the side effects and symptoms of withdrawal, leading to a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation. People prescribed Librium to ease their alcohol withdrawal symptoms should never drink alcohol while taking the drug. When you combine Librium and alcohol, it creates a synergistic effect, meaning the interaction of the two drugs causes the total effect of the drugs to be greater than the sum of each drug’s individual effects.
Due to the life-threatening nature of mixing Librium and alcohol, getting help is critically important. What’s more, quitting Librium without professional help is not just hard. It can be extremely dangerous. That’s because when you abuse Librium for an extended period, your neural pathways change as your brain adjusts to constantly having the drug in your system. This process leads to physical dependence. Once you have developed a dependence on Librium, abruptly stopping the drug with lead to nasty symptoms of withdrawal, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Drug cravings
- Memory loss
- Delirium tremens (DT), a potentially deadly cluster of symptoms that includes agitation, fever, and high blood pressure
To counter these difficult withdrawal symptoms, you should seek help from a medical professional. Getting help at a professional treatment center provides a safe environment that supports full recovery. Detox programs help users taper their Librium use while monitoring them to make the withdrawal process safer and much more comfortable, increasing their chances of achieving sobriety.
Learn more about medical detox programs at Zinnia Healing here.
Zinnia Healing Can Help
Mixing Librium and alcohol is dangerous and can be life-threatening. The good news is that help is available with Zinnia Healing. Our team of experienced addiction counselors and medical professionals will work with you to create a specialized treatment program to help you reclaim your life.
Contact our admissions specialists today to learn more about our range of inpatient and outpatient treatment options at (855) 430-9439 or reach out virtually here.