Librium is the brand name for the sedative chlordiazepoxide. It’s usually prescribed to patients with anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and tremors or seizures. It may be used alone or with other medications. depending on the severity and nature of the individual’s symptoms. While it’s generally safe when used as prescribed, there’s also the question of whether Librium is addictive and how it may be misused. If you or someone you know is taking this medication, keep reading to stay informed.
How Does Librium Work?
Librium is part of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which are also referred to as tranquilizers. These drugs are designed to reduce nerve activity in the central nervous system (CNS) to alleviate certain symptoms.
Chlordiazepoxide, or Librium, works in the brain by activating the production and release of GABA, which is an amino acid that functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It functions to reduce neuronal excitability by inhibiting nerve transmission or communication.
This means that nerve activity associated with anxiety and symptoms like fear, increased heart rate, and rapid breathing is reduced. Due to its mechanism of action, chlordiazepoxide is also effective in treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including confusion, reduced appetite, and seizures.
However, as effective as it is, users must also keep in mind common Librium side effects, such as:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Swelling and rash
- Blurred vision
- Irregular menstrual cycles
What Does It Feel Like to Be on Librium?
Librium's ability to act as a benzodiazepine allows it to provide a range of effects and sensations. People typically feel extremely comfortable, and their anxiety levels diminish while taking medication as prescribed for anxiety or alcohol withdrawal. Users may experience a pronounced relaxing effect because Librium increases the brain neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid's (GABA) activity. This has a sedative effect that might make you feel calm and at ease. Some people may also experience slight sleepiness or a sense of slowing down in their bodies and thinking.
But it's important to remember that everyone's response to Librium varies. While others may feel more sleepy or lethargic, others may only experience a decrease in their anxiety symptoms. Another factor that can play a role is when one mixes Librium with other substances, like alcohol. It's crucial to follow the suggested dosage and directions provided by a healthcare practitioner in order to minimize any side effects and ensure safe use.
Is Chlordiazepoxide Addictive?
Like other benzodiazepines, Librium is addictive. The drug works similarly to alcohol, particularly because of how it affects GABA in the brain. The longer a person uses the drug – prescription or not- the more likely they are to develop a physical dependence.
Physical dependence is usually the precursor to addiction. This state refers to a physical need for a drug to feel normal or good. When people who are physically dependent on Librium suddenly stop using the drug, they might experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, hallucinations, nausea, depression, seizures, drug cravings, and more.
Due to the discomfort of these symptoms, users may continue to engage in Librium abuse to avoid them. Over time, this repeated drug-using behavior can lead to an addiction or drug-use disorder.
Librium addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that may cause an individual to prioritize their drug use over their jobs, social life, and loved ones. This disease can also lead to various long-term health problems, including memory problems, mental illness, and suicidal ideation. For this reason, it’s important to only take prescription drugs like Librium with a prescription from a doctor.
Is Librium a Controlled Substance?
According to the Controlled Substances Act, Librium is categorized as Schedule IV, which means that although it has a valid medical purpose, there is also a chance of misuse and dependence. This classification is based on the psychoactive properties of the substance and the potential for tolerance or dependence developing in users who use it regularly or in higher doses. As a result, it is strictly regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ensure that it is prescribed and dispensed in a controlled manner.
While Librium is thought to be a useful drug for treating anxiety and alcohol withdrawal symptoms when used properly under adequate medical supervision, its classification as a prohibited substance protects against abuse or diversion for fun. Before administering Librium, medical professionals must thoroughly evaluate the health and medical history of the patient, and they must keep an eye on the patient's progress to guard against abuse or addiction. Patients are urged to rigorously follow their recommended dosage and contact their doctor if any unexpected side effects occur or if their condition changes.
Signs of Librium Addiction
The main reason some people abuse Librium is to get high. A Librium high may be characterized by symptoms like euphoria, sedation, and emotional numbness, which is why many people with mental health disorders like anxiety might abuse it.
However, as we mentioned, long-term Librium abuse can lead to addiction and affect all areas of a person’s life.
Librium addiction signs can include:
- Going from one doctor to another to get more Librium prescriptions (doctor shopping)
- Taking higher doses than directed
- Lying to family members about Librium use
- Illegally obtaining Librium (i.e., forging prescriptions, buying online without a prescription)
- Making Librium use their priority
- Neglecting normal responsibilities or relationships
- Wanting to quit taking Librium but being unable to do so
- Struggling financially due to the cost of Librium
- A need for higher doses of Librium to feel the same effects (increased tolerance)
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like sweating, rapid heart rate, and tremors when not taking Librium
Quitting Librium without professional help isn’t just difficult, but it’s dangerous, too. When people abuse Librium for long periods, their neural pathways become accustomed to the drug, and the chemical structure in the brain adjusts to this constant influx of Librium. This then leads to physical dependence.
How Long Before You Become Addicted to Librium
The rate at which someone develops chlordiazepoxide addiction can vary greatly based on a number of factors. These include the dosage, how frequently the drug is used, how long the treatment will last, and the patient's propensity for addiction. The danger of becoming addicted is minimal when used as directed by a healthcare professional for a brief duration, such as during alcohol withdrawal or severe anxiety. However, the risk of becoming physically or psychologically dependent on Librium grows if it is used for a longer time or at larger doses.
After a dependence has developed, abruptly quitting Librium – or quitting cold turkey – can lead to several withdrawal symptoms, some of which include potentially fatal effects like seizures. This can fuel the cycle of dependence even further. As a result, those who have been prescribed the drug should carefully adhere to their doctor's recommendations and should be completely honest with them about any worries they may have regarding the potential for Librium addiction. For this reason, our detox in California recommends users looking to quit Librium undergo medical detox at a safe, clean, and comfortable facility like ours.
Librium Addiction Treatment
Our Banyan Palm Springs rehab offers various types of substance-specific treatment, including a benzo rehab program that focuses on treating addictions to drugs like Librium. If you or someone you care about has displayed signs of benzo abuse or addiction to any other substance, our facility is here to help.