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As a member of the benzodiazepine family of drugs, Librium use, like Xanax or Ativan, has a high likelihood of leading to dependency. When taken for an extended period of time, individuals who misuse the medication are likely to develop physical dependence on it. While Librium has legitimate uses for the short-term treatment of anxiety disorders or alcohol detox, the drug is often diverted and sold or distributed recreationally.
When Librium addiction or dependency has resulted from long-term misuse the only safe way to stop taking the drug is through a medical detox program. As with other benzodiazepines, stopping Librium ‘cold turkey’ can result in health risks, including death. A medically monitored detox avoids negative Librium withdrawal outcomes by stepping down exposure to the drug incrementally until the individual stabilizes.
Librium (chlordiazepoxide) works as a sedative by stimulating the brain’s inhibitory chemical GABA (gamma-amino-butyric-acid), a neurotransmitter that reduces electrical activity in the central nervous system. This action in the brain results in deep relaxation effects leading to feelings of calm, making it a preferred drug for giving patients just before having a surgical procedure. Librium has a long half-life of 10-30 hours, versus the 11-hour half-life of Xanax.
Some individuals decide to use Librium for a longer duration than is prescribed, either by obtaining refills, finding additional sources by doctor shopping, taking the medication from someone’s medicine cabinet, or procuring them through illicit sources. Because tolerance builds quickly with this class of drugs, it isn’t long before physical dependence forms.
Librium does have some adverse side effects, including:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Reduced libido
- Muscle weakness
When Librium is abused by being taken for an extended period, there can be some much more serious health effects. These include:
- Mood swings
- Low blood pressure
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced physical coordination
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Slowed respiratory rate
- Memory problems
- Suicidal thoughts
People who abuse Librium often combine it with other benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, or Valium, only enhancing the sedative effects and increasing the risk of overdose. Using Librium with alcohol can also increase this risk. Symptoms of Librium overdose include:
- Blacking out
- Slowed reflexes
- Mental confusion
- Extreme drowsiness
- Low blood pressure
Street names for Librium include normies, L, tranqs, blue bombs, libritabs, hi-tran, and poxi.
Librium for Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal
During alcohol detox and withdrawal, benzodiazepines can provide relief for the individual as they progress through the stages of detox, and Librium is one of these options. Librium is the preferred benzodiazepine for alcohol detox because of its long half-life, which allows it to taper naturally. Librium helps ease symptoms of agitation, anxiety, tremors, vomiting, headache, insomnia, and helps prevent seizures from occurring during an alcohol detox.
When used during the detox and withdrawal process, Librium is provided in dosages according to the particular stage of alcohol detox. Initially the dosages may be 100 mg given 3 times during the first day or two, or possibly 50 milligrams 4 times daily. In some cases, a doctor will prescribe a dosing of 300 milligrams prior to detox, until sedation is achieved, then reduce it to 50 milligrams very 4-6 hours as needed. However, for older patients, a much lower dosing of Librium of 20 milligrams per day is the norm, in order to reduce the risk of over-sedation.
Signs of Librium Dependence or Addiction
Librium is a highly habit-forming drug that can rapidly lead to a substance use disorder. Even when Librium is used in accordance with the prescribed dosing, just as other benzodiazepines, dependence can develop in a matter of a few short weeks. The longer the drug is used, the greater the potential that dependence or addiction will be the outcome. This happens because with extended use the brain’s neural pathways will be altered, creating a physical dependency. Signs of drug dependence is revealed when someone then attempts to stop taking Librium or cutting back on the dosage and then experiences harsh withdrawal symptoms.
Recognizing the signs of Librium addiction or dependence can help the individual seek out professional help sooner rather than later. It is never recommended that someone attempt to quit Librium without medical support. The signs of addiction include:
- Obsessing over having adequate supplies of Librium, and going to great lengths to obtain the drug
- Taking higher doses of Librium, or more frequent doses than prescribed as tolerance increases
- Attempting to quit taking Librium but are unable to do it
- Lying about Librium abuse
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Experiencing Librium cravings
- Loss of interest in usual activities or hobbies
- Showing physical signs of Librium addiction like confusion, irritability, and restlessness
- Experiencing Librium withdrawal symptoms when drug is not available
These warning signs of addiction should be acknowledged and acted upon. The longer a benzodiazepine addiction is allowed to continue, the more difficult it is to break free from. Also, the longer it goes on the higher the risk of an overdose happening.
What to Expect During Librium Withdrawal
Getting help for Librium use disorder will begin with the detox and withdrawal step. Detox allows the individual to rid the body of the residual effects of the drug under medical supervision. Librium withdrawal symptoms can be intense, so without a detox specialist guiding the process the individual is likely to give up and return to the drug.
Librium detox and withdrawal symptoms will be influenced by the duration and frequency of the Librium use, whether there is a co-occurring mental health disorder, and the general health status. On average, a Librium detox takes about 2 weeks, which allows the person to stabilize and prepare for addiction treatment. A tapering schedule will allow the process to move forward with the least discomfort possible while reducing the risk of seizure.
The Librium detox timeline is as follows:
- Week one: The withdrawal symptoms will slowly emerge, starting with anxiety, increased heart rate, agitation, and loss of appetite.
- Week two: Symptoms peak, including elevated blood pressure, irritability, nausea, sweating, tremors, cravings, insomnia, psychosis, depression, and seizures.
- Week 3: Symptoms begin to fade for the next week or so. Psychological symptoms may persist for months after detox.
Librium Addiction Treatment and Recovery
Now that the Librium withdrawal phase is over and the body and mind are beginning to stabilize it is time for the active treatment phase of addiction recovery. This is a necessary component in the continuum of recovery as it offers individuals desiring to live free from a benzodiazepine dependency to learn methods that help them accomplish this. Addiction thought patterns and behaviors are very hard to break without this kind of therapeutic support.
When considering which rehab format, outpatient or residential, is the best option will be based on the length of the Librium use disorder and the severity of the addiction. In general, for mild or emerging benzo dependency an outpatient program will probably suffice. For a moderate to severe Librium dependency the residential option is appropriate.
Outpatient programs generally last for 3 months and involve about 9 hours per week of counseling and other support services. An outpatient program allows the flexibility to be able to continue to participate at work and fulfill family obligations.
Residential programs can last 1-6 months, and the individual will be provided on-site housing for the duration of their stay. The residential program is more intensive and multi-modal, providing all-day support and oversight. Treatment elements at a residential setting include:
Individual psychotherapy: Therapy is an essential core element for treating Librium addiction. The therapist guides the individual in exploring unresolved issues that might be a factor in the benzo abuse. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy helps shift addiction responses toward positive, productive behavioral responses, as well as teaching recovery coping skills.
Group counseling. Group therapy supports peer interaction and is a source for sharing and accountability. A clinician will provide topics related to sobriety and recovery and encourage discussion.
Medication management. Medications for a co-occurring mental health disorder may be included in a dual diagnosis treatment plan.
Relapse Prevention: Individuals create a detailed relapse prevention strategy by identifying specific triggers or situations that could lead to relapse, and strategies for responding to them.
Complementary activities. Rounding out rehabilitation are several activities that augment the evidence-based therapies, including learning how to relax. Individuals will learn how to practice mindfulness meditation, and will participate in yoga, art therapy, therapeutic massage, and journaling.
Nutrition and exercise. Addiction can take a toll on the body and the mind, so engaging in restorative activities is key in recovery. A quality rehab will place importance on clients getting regular exercise, as well as consuming a nutritious diet.
Continuing care services: Following completion of the program, sober living housing, 12-step group participation, and outpatient counseling are strongly encouraged.
Librium dependency or addiction is something that can be overcome with the right mix of psychological support and holistic methods to help reduce anxiety.
Solutions 4 Recovery Offers Librium Addiction Treatment Orange County
Solutions 4 Recovery provides leading recovery services for individuals struggling with Librium dependence or addiction. Located in a stunning coastal community in South Orange County, CA, Solutions 4 Recovery offers a medically supervised Librium withdrawal process, followed by an evidence-based treatment approach to changing addiction behaviors. Solutions 4 Recovery also treats dual diagnosis, for those with both a Librium addiction and co-occurring mental health condition. Our full spectrum program also provides continuing care services post-rehab. For more information about the program, please contact us today at (888) 417-1874.