Librium Abuse and Addiction
Librium is a prescription benzodiazepine
that is used as a short-term remedy
for anxiety disorders.
Librium is a prescription benzodiazepine that is used as a short-term remedy for anxiety disorders. It can also be prescribed to help treat the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. This is because benzodiazepines are depressants—meaning they can slow down the central nervous system and relax patients. Sometimes Librium is also used to help relax patients before surgery. Other common uses include treatment of insomnia, muscle tension, seizures and irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.
While it has all the benefits of the typical benzodiazepine, Librium also has the associated risks. In fact, it is a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which means it is regulated by the government because of its high potential for abuse.
The reason people are prone to abusing this substance is due to its calming effect. Like most depressants, Librium can relax and help a person calm down. And while this has its medical uses, the accompanying euphoric effect can get people high. The pleasant effects can cause a person to seek out the drug and become addicted.
A Librium addiction can develop quickly, especially if the person abuses their prescription for an extended period of time.
Librium is actually the brand name for the benzodiazepine known as chlordiazepoxide. It was the first benzodiazepine to be synthesized, hitting the market as early as the 1950s. This habit-forming, psychotropic drug affects the brain and central nervous system, producing a sense of calm in the user. It works by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA.
Librium is a white, crystalline substance that comes in multi-colored capsules. It is available in 5 mg, 10 mg, and 25 mg doses. While it is typically taken orally, some recreational users take it by snorting the contents of the capsule or mixing it with water and injecting it directly into the bloodstream.
Librium is prescribed for its legitimate medical purpose, but because of its potency, many people abuse the drug. More than 50 million prescriptions for various benzodiazepines are written every year. According to the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 11 to 15 percent of Americans have a bottle of benzos in their medicine cabinet. Even when taken as prescribed, it is still possible to develop dependence on this drug, which is why it should only be taken for short term anxiety or insomnia treatment.
Some people get started on abusing Librium by misusing their prescription. They may try to ramp up their dosage because they have started developing tolerance and they are no longer experiencing the desired effect.
Others take Librium on purpose to get high or to enhance the effects of other drugs—the latter of which is very dangerous due to the increased risk of overdose. Those with underlying mental health conditions are at a greater risk of becoming addicted to this benzodiazepine.
Librium Abuse and Effects
Taken in large doses, Librium can easily produce a high that is similar to being intoxicated with alcohol. Taking higher or more frequent doses is considered abuse of Librium, regardless of whether it was prescribed by a doctor or not.
Some recreational users procure Librium from the street or online. A few addicted individuals even go for “doctor shopping” wherein they visit different doctors to try and get the same prescription multiple times.
Because of Librium’s reputation for being comparatively weaker than other benzos, people have the tendency to take it in combination with other drugs to boost its effects. This increases the chance of fatal respiratory failure and overdose.
Symptoms of Librium overdose include blacking out, extreme drowsiness, confusion, low blood pressure, coma, and slowed reflexes. If a person with a Librium prescription exhibits any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
An addicted individual will prioritize the drug over everything else. They will make the drug the primary focus of their day, neglecting normal responsibilities or relationships.
They will exhibit noticeable behavioral changes such as doctor shopping or misusing their prescription by taking higher doses than recommended. They may take Librium more often or run out of their prescription sooner than they are supposed to.
Addicted individuals may try to hide their Librium intake or lie to their family members about it. Some even go as far as resorting to illegal methods to obtain the drug. Even if they want to quit, they may be unable to do so.
Eventually, they may struggle with finances due to the cost of getting Librium and missing work.
Physical signs of Librium abuse include restlessness, irritability, confusion, drug tolerance, drug dependence, sweating, rapid heart rate, tremors, and withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms develop when a person who has been abusing Librium for a long time suddenly decides to quit. These symptoms can range from moderate to life-threatening. This is why quitting Librium should not be done without medical help.
Common Librium Drug Combinations
Polydrug use refers to using multiple drugs at the same time. It is estimated that 80 percent of benzodiazepine abuse is part of a greater polydrug abuse cycle. Librium is most commonly combined with alcohol, opioids, and cocaine.
Users start taking alcohol once they have developed tolerance for Librium and the drug’s effects are no longer as potent. When alcohol and Librium are mixed, the depressive effects of both drugs are intensified, producing deep sedation and stupor. This can lead to severe side effects such as respiratory depression, blackouts, and extreme sedation.
If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.