Librium Addiction

Librium addiction can be helped by knowing the signs, symptoms, and treatment methods.

Understanding Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)

Librium is a benzodiazepine—prescription medication doctors often prescribe to people with anxiety disorders. Although it has many medical uses, Librium use can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Read on to find out more about Librium addiction and treatment options.

Librium Addiction


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Medical Use

Librium is the brand name of the medication chlordiazepoxide. It is a long-acting benzodiazepine approved by the FDA to treat mild-moderate to severe anxiety, preoperative anxiety, and alcohol withdrawal. It may also be used to treat muscle tension, insomnia, seizures, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Due to its recognized risk of dependence and abuse, Librium is a Schedule IV controlled substance.

Recreational Use

Although many people take Librium to help alleviate anxiety symptoms, some use the drug recreationally due to its calming effects. If taken in large doses, Librium can even produce a “high” similar to alcohol intoxication.
Librium for recreational use could commonly be purchased through drug dealers, the internet, or doctor shopping. This type of use tends to be taken in higher doses than doctors usually prescribe and is combined with other substances to boost its effects.
According to the 2017 to 2018 National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA):1

How It Works

Librium is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that enhances the effect of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter. This action produces sedative, hypnotic, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant effects. By binding to GABAa receptors in the central nervous system, Librium decreases overall neural activity in the brain and produces feelings of calmness and relaxation.

Librium Addiction and Abuse

Librium abuse happens when a person takes higher and more frequent doses than their doctor prescribed or consumes the medication without a doctor’s prescription. Unfortunately, many people who abuse Librium for its calming effects are not informed that misuse can quickly progress into an addiction. In fact, any prolonged abuse of Librium can develop into an addiction.

What Are the Signs of Librium Addiction?

Here are some signs that a person may be developing a chlordiazepoxide addiction:

How Common Is Librium Addiction and Abuse?

According to the National Health Statistics Report, prescriptions for benzodiazepines increased from 4.1% in 1996 to 5.5% in 2013. Overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines jumped from 0.58 per one hundred thousand adults in 1996 to 3.07 in 2010. In 2017, there were eleven thousand five hundred thirty-seven overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines.2
Another report found in 2018 found that 5.4 million people aged twelve and older (2% of the population) were past-year misusers of prescription benzodiazepines.3

Side Effects of Librium Addiction and Abuse

Librium abuse often causes intense physical and psychological symptoms, such as drowsiness and skin problems. In addition, heavy abuse increases the risk of experiencing more long-term consequences, such as impaired cognitive and physical function.

Physical and Psychological Side Effects

Short-Term Effects

Long-Term Consequences

Librium is a central nervous system depressant, so prolonged use can lead to life-threatening consequences. For example, chronic misuse can result in impaired cognitive and physical function, including decreased heart rate and blood pressure.

A meta-analysis of studies discovered that prolonged benzodiazepine use led to substantial cognitive decline that did not resolve three months after discontinuation.4

Librium Dependence and Withdrawal

When a person abuses Librium for an extended period, their body becomes physically dependent on the drug to function properly. Once dependence develops, they will experience uncomfortable Librium withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug. In fact, even taking the medication for six to eight weeks can lead to experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Many Librium withdrawal symptoms are severe and include anxiety, panic attacks, and delirium.

Symptoms of Librium withdrawal

Rebound Symptoms

A person withdrawing from Librium may also experience rebound symptoms, called a “rebound effect.” Rebound symptoms mimic the symptoms for which Librium was designed to treat, including anxiety and insomnia. These symptoms may be more severe than before treatment and usually appear two to three days after stopping use.

Treatment for Librium Addiction

Treatment for Librium Addiction

The safest way to treat Librium addiction and obtain sobriety is through medical detox followed by an inpatient or outpatient program, depending on the severity of the addiction. Patients can maintain sobriety after treatment with the help of ongoing therapy, relapse prevention education, and support groups.

Medical Detox

When trying to recover from Librium addiction, going “cold turkey” is not the recommended method. Instead, doctors recommend medically-supervised Librium detox where the patient is gradually tapered off the substance, allowing their body to readjust slowly. Once the patient’s system is free of the Librium medication, they can progress to inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Inpatient Treatment Program

Inpatient programs offer a safe environment for those struggling with a more severe addiction, reducing the risk of relapse and improving chances of recovery. Inpatient programs provide twenty-four-hour supervision, care, and rehabilitation services to help people overcome addiction. Patients attend daily activities, such as scheduled meal times, group therapy sessions, and individual therapy sessions.

Outpatient Treatment Program

Outpatient treatment programs are more suitable for patients with a milder form of addiction. They are also a good option for patients who want to continue living at their homes and attend activities several times per week. They participate in individual and group therapy sessions and attend meditation, relaxation, and relapse prevention.

Ongoing Treatment and Relapse Prevention

Ongoing treatment, or aftercare, is often considered an essential component of successful addiction recovery. Patients enter aftercare following their initial treatment and are ready to transition back into their family and work lives. It can help them cope with any triggers that may arise and avoid relapse during this vulnerable time. Patients may attend activities, such as group therapy, individual therapy, and 12-step meetings.

In addition to aftercare, newly recovering patients can also benefit from relapse prevention strategies. Breaking old habits takes time, and knowing how to resist cravings will help patients maintain long-term sobriety.

Get Treatment Today for Librium Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with Librium addiction, it is not too late to get treatment today. Treatment for Librium addiction can greatly improve one’s quality of life and help create a happier and more fulfilling lifestyle. Contact a treatment provider today for help finding treatment.