Librium Addiction

Prescription medications can be greatly beneficial to the millions of people in the United States that are suffering from treatable diseases and disorders. However, the country is currently going through an addiction crisis and prescription medications have played a significant role. While opioids are at the forefront of the current addiction epidemic, there are other problematic prescriptions that can lead to addiction when they are overused or abused. Benzodiazepines, like the prescription drug Librium, can cause dependence, addiction, and even fatal overdose when abused.

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Benzodiazepines (benzos) are psychoactive prescription drugs that have a variety of uses, including treatment for insomnia, anxiety, seizures, and muscular issues. Librium is primarily used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Like other benzos, Librium works by slowing down the central nervous system to facilitate feelings of relaxation and anti-anxiety, which makes it useful as a treatment for sleep disorders like insomnia.

However, the efficacy of benzodiazepines has caused them to be increasingly prescribed over the last few decades. And, according to some studies, the rates of both benzo prescription and overdose have increased significantly over the past several years. Benzodiazepines were once the most commonly prescribed medication in the world, and today they remain a staple medical intervention. But how dangerous is this drug, and what happens if you become addicted?

Learn more about Librium addiction and how it can be treated.

Are you or a loved one struggling with an addiction to Librium? Let Pathway to Hope guide you on the journey to long-lasting sobriety!

Are you or a loved one struggling with an addiction to Librium? Let Pathway to Hope guide you on the journey to long-lasting sobriety!

Librium

What Is Librium?

Librium is the brand name for a benzodiazepine called chlordiazepoxide that acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Librium is the first drug of its class and was initially discovered by accident when a byproduct substance was found to have hypnotic and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects. It was first discovered in the late 1950s, and it was quickly sold and marketed as a therapeutic, hypnotic drug. Within its first year of use, it was used by more than 20,000 patients.

When it was first received, it was marketed as a safer version of barbiturates, another CNS depressant with similar effects. Barbiturates were known to cause a number of unpleasant and even dangerous side effects, including dependence and addiction. Benzos like Librium were said to offer the same benefits with limited adverse effects. By the 1960s, marketing for prescription anti-anxiety drugs like benzos was aggressively pursued to the point of controversy.

Depressants were marketed to women, especially mothers, that were otherwise in good health. They quickly increased in popularity, and they were the most prescribed drug in the world by the 1970s.

 

Librium is a long-acting benzodiazepine, which makes it more useful as a sleep-aid than some other benzos. Most help you get to sleep but don’t help you maintain sleep through the night. Librium’s long half-life and long duration of action provide longer effects as a sleep aid.

Though Librium is an effective medication for insomnia and anxiety, it has severe side effects, including some that bare a striking resemblance to the problems that caused doctors to abandon barbiturates in the 1960s and 70s. Side effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Fainting
  • Liver problems
  • Lack of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Liver problems

Librium is designated for short-term therapeutic use because long-term use can lead to dependence and the worsening of sleep problems and anxiety. Sometimes, benzos like Librium are used recreationally for their intoxicating effects. When Librium is abused, it can lead to a potentially fatal overdose, especially when mixed with alcohol.

What Are the Signs of Librium Addiction?

Using Librium longer than recommended or using heavier doses than your doctor prescribes can lead to dependence and addiction.

If you abuse Librium or if you’ve become dependent on it, there are a number of symptoms you may experience as a consequence, including many of the above side effects.

Someone who is struggling may also exhibit some visible signs that friends and family may notice, including:

  • Memory loss
  • Aggression
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Changes in appetite
  • Impaired cognitive ability
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Trouble at work or school

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What Is Involved in Librium Addiction Treatment?

Librium addiction is a disease that has no known cure. However, it can be treated, and there are a number of therapy options for people looking to escape from the oppression of active addiction. Since benzodiazepines like Librium, can be potentially deadly during withdrawal, treatment usually starts with medical detox, the highest level of care in addiction treatment.

In medical detox, you will receive 24 hours of care from medical professionals for about a week, give or take a few days depending on your level of need. 

In detox, you may be treated with medication designed to wean you off of the drug or to manage uncomfortable symptoms. The primary goal of treatment is to address your immediate medical needs and ensure your safety through detox. After you complete detox, clinicians can help place you in an addiction treatment program that addresses your specific needs. There are three major levels of care after detox, including:

  • Residential treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Outpatient services

In addiction treatment, you will have the opportunity to formulate a treatment plan with your therapist, learn relapse prevention strategies, and address any co-occurring mental health problems. You may also learn life skills that can help you succeed in a new life of recovery.

How Dangerous is Librium?

As a benzodiazepine, Librium has a number of side effects that can be fatal, especially when it is abused or mixed with other drugs. The first potentially fatal side effect you might encounter while taking Librium is drowsiness and lack of coordination. Benzos can cause intoxication that is similar to alcohol. While these symptoms aren’t necessarily deadly on their own, they can be deadly if you get behind the wheel of a car, or if you get into some other type of accident.

If you abuse Librium, recreationally you risk experiencing a benzo overdose. During an overdose, benzos can suppress your nervous system to the point of slowing your heart rate and breathing. In some cases, your breathing can slow down considerably, or even stop, causing oxygen deprivation, brain damage, coma, and death. This is particularly common when benzos are mixed with other drugs that suppress the nervous system like alcohol, opioids, and barbiturates. This issue is becoming increasingly common and between 2002 and 2015 the benzo overdose death rate increase more than four-fold.

Benzos can also be dangerous during withdrawal. If you develop a dependence on Librium and suddenly stop using it, you increase your risk of experiencing potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms like seizures. CNS depressants have also been known to cause Delirium tremens during withdrawal which is a condition characterized by extreme confusion, seizures, panic, and catatonia. Without medical treatment, Delirium tremens can be fatal.  

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Librium Abuse Statistics

  • Nearly 9,000 people died in overdoses involving benzodiazepines in 2015.
  • In 2011, 30 percent of opioid overdose deaths involved benzos as well.
  • Librium is so common that 11 to 15 percent of American households have a prescription for the drug.

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

Librium can be a helpful therapeutic medication, but it has the potential to lead to the disease of addiction. Though addiction is a disease with no known cure, it can be treated with evidence-based addiction therapies and experienced medical and clinical professionals.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder involving benzodiazepines or another addictive drug, call Pathway to Hope at (844) 311-5781 to learn more about addiction recovery.