Librium is a brand name for the drug chlordiazepoxide. It is used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms, anxiety disorders, and to reduce fear before surgery.
As Librium can be habit-forming, it must always be taken according to your doctor’s instructions. Taking a larger dose, or taking Librium more frequently or for a longer period of time than prescribed, can easily lead to addiction.
Understanding Librium Treatment
Librium is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, and is most often prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or alcohol withdrawal. It can be a wonderful aid to coping with panic attacks, or for getting sober if you are struggling with alcoholism.
Like other benzos, Librium depresses the over-activity in your central nervous system, which can relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety, and induce sleep. It will also relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms in those first, crucial days of sobriety.
Understanding Librium Abuse
When taken as directed, Librium is unlikely to produce dependence, but larger doses easily can. High doses of Librium will produce euphoria and intense calm. Users first become hooked psychologically, and with repeated use, physical addiction follows.
Some users take the drug to self-medicate instead of to get high. You may suffer from an undiagnosed anxiety disorder, or depression, and Librium helps you cope with it. Because you take the drug just to feel normal, you might believe that you don’t have a problem, which may cause you to ignore the warning signs of an addiction that endangers your mental and physical health.
Signs and Symptoms of Librium Abuse
Some signs and symptoms of Librium addiction may include:
- seeing multiple doctors or clinics for prescriptions
- changes in appearance or hygiene
- changes in eating habits
- financial problems
- isolation from family and friends
- mood swings
- secretive behavior
- lack of interest in activities the user previously enjoyed
- neglecting school or work responsibilities
Risks of Taking Librium
Even when you take Librium as prescribed by a doctor for anxiety or alcohol withdrawal, the medication can cause a number of side effects. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you should tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- upset stomach
- changes in appetite
- restlessness or excitement
- difficulty urinating
- frequent urination
- blurred vision
- changes in sex drive or ability
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- shuffling walk
- persistent, fine tremor
- inability to sit still
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- severe skin rash
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- irregular heartbeat
Never take Librium with opiate drugs such as hydrocodone, as the drug interaction can cause your breathing to stop completely.
Benefits of Librium
You should not let these potential side effects scare you off of taking Librium if you are undergoing treatment for alcoholism. As long as you take Librium under medical guidance, the benefits of the medication will almost certainly outweigh the risks, and a doctor can always switch you to a different drug if you have trouble with this one.
Who Benefits From Treatment with Librium?
When used as directed, Librium can help keep you from relapsing in the early days of your recovery from alcoholism by easing your transition into sobriety. You may benefit from treatment with Librium if you have found yourself unable to give up alcohol in the past due to unbearable withdrawal symptoms.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal “can be severe enough to impair your ability to function at work or in social situations.”
- rapid heartbeat
- hand tremors
- problems sleeping
- nausea and vomiting
- occasionally seizures
Who Abuses Librium?
Anyone could become addicted to Librium, but according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, “abuse is frequently associated with adolescents and young adults who take the drug orally or crush it up and snort it to get high. Abuse is particularly high among heroin and cocaine abusers.”
Being addicted to benzodiazepines actually alters your brain chemistry, resulting in unpleasant and dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as severe anxiety and seizures when you try to quit. For many people addiction to Librium boils down to this: you began taking it to feel good, but are forced to keep taking it just to keep from feeling bad.
If you are an alcoholic in treatment, Librium can help you succeed in your recovery plan, while overuse and abuse will lead to serious mental and physical consequences.
Any drug, no matter how beneficial, can become dangerous when misused, and misuse of Librium is especially dangerous due to how physically addictive it is.
But alcohol can also cause terrible withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to get sober, and Librium treatment can counteract those symptoms.
Am I Addicted to Alcohol?
You might be seeking out information about treatment with Librium, because you already know you have a problem with alcohol. If, however, you aren’t quite sure, consider the following statements from the University of Maryland Medical Center.
You may be an alcoholic if you:
- Have little or no control over the amount you drink, when you drink, or how often you drink.
- Tried to limit or stop your drinking but found you couldn’t.
- Had withdrawal symptoms when you tried to stop drinking. (These symptoms include tremors, anxiety, irritability, racing heart, nausea, sweating, trouble sleeping, and seizures.)
- Have put yourself in a dangerous situation (such as driving, swimming, and unsafe sex) on one or more occasions while drinking.
- Have become tolerant to the effects of drinking and require more alcohol to become intoxicated.
- Have continued to drink despite having memory blackouts after drinking or having frequent hangovers that cause you to miss work and other normal activities.
- Have continued to drink despite having a medical condition that you know is worsened by alcohol consumption.
- Have continued to drink despite knowing it is causing problems at home, school, or work.
- Drink alone or start your drinking early in the day.
If any of this sounds like you, then you are probably in need of professional substance abuse treatment.
Librium Addiction Treatment
There are a variety of affordable treatment options available for drug and alcohol addiction, but all of them begin with sobriety.
Detoxification with Librium can help you start off your recovery on the right foot. Overcoming alcoholism isn’t easy, but there is no need for your withdrawal to be cold-turkey difficult.
If, however, you are or have been addicted to Librium in the past, you may have to go through withdrawal without medication to counteract the symptoms. You will, though, need medical supervision if you are getting off of Librium, because the process can be dangerous, and must be done gradually.
Many people worry that they can’t afford substance abuse treatment, or that they won’t be able to find a program that can fit into their life in a practical way.
In addition to the use of medications like Librium, alcohol treatment centers have a number of classic tools that they use for all patients, as they have been proven effective for any type of addict.
Some of these tools are:
- Support Groups: AA meetings and other kinds of support groups are a wonderful resource that you can continue to turn to even after you are discharged from a treatment program.
- Talk Therapy: In addition to group work, talking out your problems one on one with a therapist, and with your loved ones in couples or family therapy, is an essential part of recovery.
- Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders: The source of your alcoholism may lie in an undiagnosed mental health condition that continues to fuel your drinking. To overcome addiction, you need to discover and treat these conditions.
- Quality sleep, food and fitness: Most treatment programs will pay careful attention to how you are sleeping and eating, and if you are getting the appropriate amount of physical exercise. You can’t achieve a healthy mental and emotional state without a healthy body.