Learn the facts about Librium addiction, abuse, and treatment options
Are you concerned that you or a loved one is showing signs of Librium abuse or addiction? Librium is one of a class of prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines (or benzos for short) that are typically prescribed to relieve feelings of anxiety and panic. These medicines produce feelings of sedation and relaxation, and carry a high potential for abuse. Librium is considered one of the least addictive benzodiazepines, but Librium addiction does occur in a significant number of patients who take this medication. Understanding how Librium addiction, abuse, and treatment progresses may enable you to spot a developing problem with Librium abuse before full-fledged addiction occurs.
How Librium works
Librium, which is the brand name of chlordiazepoxide, was the first benzodiazepine ever discovered. It was approved for use by the FDA in 1960 and within two years, thousands of Americans were taking the drug. Today, benzodiazepines are among the most widely prescribed, and most commonly abused, medications in the United States. Chlordiazepoxide and other benzodiazepines affect the GABA neurotransmitters in the body, reducing the rate at which brain neurons fire. This produces a sedative-hypnotic effect, reducing anxiety, relaxing muscles, and sedating users, sometimes with amnestic effects as well. Librium is often used in addiction treatment programs to ease the suffering of patients who are experiencing the effects of alcohol withdrawal.
Warning signs of Librium addiction
Librium is categorized as a Schedule IV drug, which means that it is considered to have a low potential for abuse. Because of this designation, oversight and prescribing guidelines are virtually non-existent. The lack of regulatory oversight and accountability makes it likely that Librium symptoms and warning signs that could reveal a growing addiction to this drug may not be noticed by a medical professional. The best way to protect yourself or a loved one from the dangers of Librium addiction is to be alert and watch for the following indicators that a problem is developing.
- Memory impairment
- Loss of coordination
- Mental confusion
- Lack of interest in activities a person once enjoyed
- Loss of sex drive
- Rebound of anxieties, including social phobias
Librium withdrawal symptoms
When Librium is abused, taken for a long period of time or at a high dose, the efficacy of GABA-A receptors decrease as tolerance develops. This can create physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms if Librium abuse is abruptly stopped or reduced. Physical symptoms of Librium withdrawal include seizures, muscle spasms, tremors, and stomach upset or nausea. Emotional Librium withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, depression, insomnia, restlessness, suicidal thoughts, and even psychosis can occur with cessation of use. Because of the severity of these withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended that treatment for Librium addiction begin with detox under medical supervision.
Approximately ten percent of Librium users will experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms as a result of abusing the drug. Known as “benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome,” this can last for up to several months and there is no known way to speed up the process.
Treatment for Librium addiction
Recovery from Librium addiction can be difficult, particularly because the medication is often abused in combination with opioids, alcohol, and recreational drugs. To be effective, chlordiazepoxide addiction treatment needs to identify and address any co-occurring addictions. Outpatient drug addiction programs are available that can help if you prefer to stay at home for your addiction treatment, but in cases with a complex addiction profile like Librium, entering a 30, 60, or 90-day inpatient addiction rehab center is generally considered to offer the best prognosis for long term recovery success.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.