Librium Addiction

Like most other benzodiazepines, Librium is a potentially habit-forming, addictive drug. Even people who are prescribed Librium for legitimate medical purposes can develop a Librium use disorder if they use more of the drug than what was recommended, or take it for an extended period of time. While addiction is a real risk for both medical and recreational consumers, the good news is that help is available.

If you or someone you love struggles with Librium addiction or abuse, The Recovery Village is here to help. With centers located across the country and a full continuum of care, The Recovery Village can help you take the first step toward a better life. Reach out to a representative today for more information, or to get started.

Librium Addiction | What is Librium and is it Addictive?
Also known by the generic name chlordiazepoxide, Librium is part of a class called benzodiazepines. As a substance with sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant properties, it has a broad variety of medical uses. These include treating insomnia, anxiety, acute alcohol withdrawal and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, in the case of anxiety, Librium is intended only for the short-term treatment of severe, debilitating anxiety. As such, this medication is often administered to calm a patient’s anxiety before undergoing surgery.

Librium works in the body as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. When someone takes Librium, the drug releases a neurotransmitter called GABA. This neurotransmitter has a naturally calming effect on the nerves and keeps nerve activity balanced in the brain. GABA also plays a role in calming anxiety, inducing sleepiness and relaxing the muscles — this is why Librium is so well-suited to treating insomnia and short-term anxiety. As Librium increases the brain’s GABA activity, the person who took it feels serene and at ease.

While Librium has a number of medical benefits, people who take it over a long period of time, or in higher doses than medically recommended, may develop a dependence on the drug. Like all benzodiazepines, Librium is physically and psychologically addictive when misused. Once this level of dependence is present, those struggling with Librium addiction may experience intense withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing use, including anxiety, nausea, vomiting, irritability, drug cravings and seizures.

While some people begin taking Librium after being prescribed the drug by a licensed medical professional, others obtain it exclusively for the purpose of achieving a high. Swallowing or snorting large amounts of the drug elicits feelings of relaxation and euphoria. In cases of deliberate abuse, people can use Librium with other substances, such as alcohol, cocaine or opioids. While this temporarily enhances the intensity of an individual’s experience, it also dramatically increases the chances of overdose and addiction.

If you meet any of the following criteria, you may be struggling with a Librium addiction:

  • Requiring larger amounts of Librium to achieve the same effect
  • Consistently failing to cut down or quit using Librium
  • Feeling strong cravings or urges to use Librium
  • Failing to keep up with personal or professional obligations because of Librium use
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after cutting down or stopping Librium use
  • Forfeiting once enjoyed activities to use Librium

Librium Drug Combinations

In many cases, Librium is used in combination with a variety of other substances. This is known as polydrug use. While it’s difficult to determine exactly how many people dependent on Librium engage in polydrug use, experts estimate that 80 percent of all benzodiazepine abuse involves multiple drug combinations.

Once someone develops a tolerance to Librium, they may use it in conjunction with substances like alcohol, opioids and cocaine in an effort to enhance its effects. Consuming alcohol after taking Librium is known to produce intensified sedation, often causing people to go into a stupor. Opioids are mixed with Librium for similar reasons — because both produce relaxing, euphoric effects, they intensify each other when taken together. Cocaine and Librium are often used together for the opposite reason — as a stimulant, cocaine can raise energy levels and increase feelings of well-being. While the effects of polydrug use may be pleasurable in the short-term, they dramatically increase the risk of addiction and negative side effects, including blackouts, extreme sedation and respiratory depression. Polydrug use also raises the chances of overdose, which can be fatal. Because of this, Librium should never be mixed with other substances.

Librium use can be safe and even medically beneficial when used as directed by a medical professional. But when Librium is abused, it can cause a broad range of physical and psychological side effects in both the short and long-term.

Physical Side Effects

The physical side effects of Librium use may include:

  • Physical dependence
  • Dry mouth
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Coordination problems
  • Unsteady gait
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Changes in appetite
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing
  • Stupor
  • Coma

Psychological Side Effects

The psychological side effects of Librium use may include:

  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Impaired memory
  • Cognitive deterioration in the elderly
  • Poor judgment
  • Diminished emotional reactions
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation

Short-Term Effects of Librium Addiction

Because Librium is a CNS depressant, it slows down the activity of the brain. This causes a number of short-term effects, including:

  • Relaxation
  • Decrease in anxiety
  • Feelings of well-being
  • Drowsiness

Long-Term Effects of Librium Addiction

Librium is not recommended for use over extended periods of time. This is because long-term use comes with a broad range of adverse side effects, including:

  • Physical dependence
  • Tolerance
  • Addiction
  • Polydrug abuse
Librium addiction can be difficult to overcome, but recovery is possible with the right professional intervention. At The Recovery Village, we offer treatment for addiction that’s comprehensive, compassionate and complete. Each client receives an individualized treatment plan that begins with medical detox and progresses through several stages, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment. While each client’s treatment plan is unique, the goal is the same — to investigate the roots of substance use disorder, address any co-occurring conditions and help clients live a fulfilling life in recovery. Once formal treatment is complete, clients can stay connected to supportive resources with aftercare planning.
Overdose deaths from benzodiazepines have increased dramatically in recent years, with a five-fold increase between 2001 and 2014, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. While survey data has shown that the average age of initial benzodiazepine use is 23, people of all ages can become addicted to these substances.  

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • In 2011, an estimated 425,000 emergency department visits were associated with benzodiazepine abuse.
  • About 0.7% of the American population (1.9 million people) aged 12 or older reported using benzodiazepines in the past month.
  • Polydrug abuse is present in approximately 95% of those seeking treatment for benzodiazepine addiction.

Librium addiction can be difficult to overcome, but recovery is possible. You or a loved one don’t have to become a statistic. If you’re ready to take the first step toward a better life, reach out to a representative at The Recovery Village today.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.