Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment
Medically reviewed byIsaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC
February 1, 2019
Librium is a benzodiazepine drug used to treat anxiety and withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol abuse. Librium is preferred to other benzodiazepines like Valium, Ativan, and Serax, because of its long half-life. This drug may also be used to treat people suffering from severe anxiety disorders as well as those experiencing anxiety prior to surgery.
How Librium Works
Despite alcohol abuse contributing to an overwhelming number of deaths annually, fewer than 5 percent of Americans suffering with alcoholism seek help. Withdrawal symptoms following years of abuse can not only be difficult to cope with; they can, when unmanaged, result in death.
Alcohol, like librium, is a central nervous system depressant, affecting gamma Aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the body. These receptors are normally activated when the body is stressed to reduce neuronal excitability. Alcohol targets these receptors, flooding the body with GABA neurotransmitters, which stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters. The user enjoys the resulting euphoria and complete relaxation associated with all three neurotransmitters.
When someone who has abused alcohol for a long time, their body becomes dependent on alcohol for the GABA response. When a person stops taking alcohol, because GABA functioning is impaired, they experience symptoms opposite of those suppressed by GABA, including severe anxiety, insomnia, upset stomach, headache, and heart arrhythmias. In some cases, seizures may follow.
Librium mimics the effects of alcohol to a lesser degree, allowing for a reduction in the severity of withdrawal symptoms experienced by the alcohol-addicted individual. Due to activation of GABA receptors, it also treats anxiety relating to withdrawals.
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Despite its popularity as a drug used to help those addicted to alcohol, Librium can become addictive, even at regular dosages. For the same reasons alcohol is addictive, Librium is addictive. It binds with GABA receptors and initiates a similar dopamine response as alcohol, but in a controlled fashion. However, if someone begins abusing Librium, they may take the drug for an extended period of time, or in higher doses. This can lead to significant dependency on the drug as the body begins associating Librium with the positive dopamine response mentioned earlier.
Obviously, someone who is taking Librium to combat one addiction is at a far greater risk of developing Librium dependency. Other risk factors include a history of exposure to illicit drug use, and a history of physical or sexual abuse. The drug’s sedative effects are enticing to someone unable to cope with the realities they face in life day to day.
Withdrawal from Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is also similar to alcohol and someone seeking to avoid withdrawal symptoms, may continue to abuse Librium to feel “normal.”
Unfortunately, because Librium is one of the least potent benzodiazepine drugs, it is often abused in conjunction with alcohol or other “bennies.” This can trigger severe and even fatal respiratory depression. Other street names for benzodiazepines include “downers,” “tranks,” “blue bombs,” “nerve pills,” “roofies,” and “normies.”
Withdrawal Symptoms From Librium
Withdrawal from Librium abuse will mimic withdrawal symptoms from alcohol dependency. Tolerance to the drug occurs over a short duration of use, and abuse triggers severe withdrawal symptoms that range from anxiety and panic attacks to irregular heart beats, convulsions, and significant changes in weight. Drugs like Librium should be tapered and withdrawal symptoms managed or supervised by a medical professional.
Adverse Health Effects Of Librium
Any central nervous system depressant can put someone at higher risk for respiratory distress, which can become life threatening at higher dosages or when taken in conjunction with other central nervous system depressants. Common side effects from taking Librium include gastrointestinal upset and headache, dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision. Long-term abuse of Librium may lead to deterioration of mental function and mood disorders including agoraphobia and depression. Long-term exposure can reduce frequency of urination, leading to chronic conditions affecting overall renal function and increasing liver toxicity.
Serious Side Effects Of Librium Include:
- Mood changes
- Poor coordination
- Sexual dysfunction
- Tremors and muscle twitching
- Urinary troubles
- Severe edema
- Serious depression
Signs of overdose from Librium will include loss of consciousness, decreased breath and heart rate, coma, and death. In the event of any combination of the serious side effects or overdose symptoms listed, please seek immediate medical.
Treatment For Librium Addiction
Treatment for Librium addiction will include medically supervised and managed detoxification. A comprehensive treatment plan will include counseling to resolve any underlying issues that resulted in abuse of the drug.
Help For Librium Addiction
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to Librium, RehabCenter.net is a first stop resource on your way to recovery. RehabCenter.net connects people with the resources they need to better understand their addiction and the treatment types and options available to them. Contact us today to see what options are available in your area to meet your individual needs, and to begin the first next step toward your recovery from Librium dependency.