Signs, Symptoms, & Side Effects of Librium Abuse

Librium is the brand name of a benzodiazepine called chlordiazepoxide. Benzodiazepines or benzos are a class of medicines that are used to treat anxiety, as they are sedatives. Librium also has applications as a treatment for the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and as with other benzos, Librium is a controlled substance. Librium has a high potential for abuse and addiction, and it has to be under the supervision of a doctor to be considered safe.

Signs, Symptoms, & Side Effects of Librium Abuse
When you take Librium in the short-term, it acts on the central nervous system and slows down brain activity. Short-term signs of Librium use include:

  • Relief from anxiety
  • A sense of calm and relaxation
  • A feeling of well-being
  • Drowsiness

Benzos work relatively quickly, unlike other anxiety drugs such as SSRI that take weeks to build up in the system of a user and create an effect. Generally, when drugs work quickly and create good feelings, they have a potential for abuse.

People may abuse Librium because they want a fast way to relieve stress in their life, or they just want to escape their everyday life. In some cases, people consider the sedative effects of Librium as a high that they want to achieve.

Other reasons people may abuse Librium include the desire to self-medicate during alcohol or opioid withdrawal, to manage their feelings when they come down from cocaine, to increase the high from opioids, or to amplify the effects of alcohol.

Whether you abuse Librium or take it as instructed for short-term anxiety or alcohol withdrawal, there are potential side effects. Some of the physical Librium side effects can include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Coordination problems
  • Weakness
  • Uncontrolled movements of the eyes
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Slowed breathing
  • Low blood pressure

There are also psychological side effects of Librium which can include blunting of emotions, concentration problems, depression, confusion, memory loss or suicidal thoughts.

Another Librium side effect is something called paradoxical disinhibition. This is when people essentially react to using Librium in the opposite way of what would be expected. For example, they may become hostile or aggressive instead of calm and relaxed.

Librium is intended only for the short-term treatment of anxiety symptoms, and if people use it longer than this, they’re at a higher risk of developing a Librium addiction and a Librium dependence.

A physical dependence happens when your brain and body become used to the presence of Librium, and if you stop taking it suddenly, you experience withdrawal symptoms. Dependence can occur with or without addiction. You may also start to develop a tolerance, and you may need more Librium to achieve the same effect. Addiction occurs when people use Librium to achieve euphoria and relaxation, and often with benzos, people are abusing multiple substances simultaneously, such as pairing benzos with alcohol.

People can become addicted to Librium after just a few weeks of use.

Some of the signs of Librium addiction include using it every day, focusing on acquiring it and continuing to use it even when negative consequences occur. It can also be a sign of Librium addiction if you seem to have lost control over your use of the drug, or you try to stop and can’t.

Other side effects of Librium addiction and warning signs include:

  • Combining Librium with alcohol or other drugs to maximize the effects
  • Experiencing cravings
  • Letting responsibilities suffer
  • Feeling like you can’t live your life normally without Librium
  • Doing risky things while using Librium, like driving
  • Taking larger doses of Librium than you’re prescribed

While Librium is often used to treat alcohol withdrawal, if you’re dependent on it, it can also lead to its own withdrawal symptoms. Some of these include sweating, tremors, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to stimuli.

With Librium, there may also be longer-term withdrawal side effects that can often include rebound anxiety and insomnia, as well as depression.

Withdrawal from Librium can be very dangerous, similar to alcohol and can even include seizures, so it’s important that if you do have a problem with Librium, you seek professional guidance to detox safely. Most detox programs for Librium addiction uses a tapering method.

It’s important to understand the potential Librium side effects which can be dangerous and deadly. Anytime you use Librium in any way other than what’s directed by a doctor this is considered abuse, and if you think may have a Librium addiction or physical dependence, you should seek professional help. Librium also has the potential to alter the chemistry of your brain over the long-term, so the sooner you can seek help for a Librium addiction, the better.

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.