Is Librium Addictive?
Chlordiazepoxide or Librium is a benzodiazepine medication that works as a sedative. It is frequently prescribed to relieve anxiety.1
Where is Librium on the Drug Schedule?
It’s a Schedule IV drug. This means that it has the potential for abuse, but not as much as other drugs, such as painkillers.
Is It Safe?
Librium is a long-acting benzodiazepine, which can sometimes impact its safety. The half-life lasts between 24 and 48 hours.1 Because the medicine is long-lasting, taking too much of it can cause it to build up in the body. Also, if it is taken with other opioids or alcohol, significant side effects can occur, including problems breathing, coma, and death.2
Drug manufacturers also recommend avoiding taking Librium in the first trimester of pregnancy as it can cause birth defects.
Most of the street names for it are general references for benzodiazepines. These include:
- Blue Bombs
- Nerve pills
How is Librium Used?
Doctors prescribe it to treat anxiety and to reduce the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. It can reduce the likelihood a person will have a seizure due to alcohol withdrawals.
Physical Effects of Librium
It produces a temporary anxiety-relieving effect and may cause drowsiness in some cases.
It’s intended to be a short-term solution to anxiety relief. When taken long-term, the medication may be less effective. If the drug builds up to excess in a person’s system, symptoms such as amnesia, restlessness, amnesia, depression, and poor motor coordination may occur. This may increase the risk for injury and accidents in some individuals.3
Can You Overdose on Librium?
Yes, overdosing is possible. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 74,000 cases of benzodiazepine poisonings were reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers in 2016.3 Of these, an estimated fourteen deaths were reported from benzodiazepines alone. However, benzodiazepines can also cause an overdose when used in combination with other medications, such as painkillers or alcohol.
What is Withdrawal Like?
It is possible for Librium withdrawal to occur even if taken for only a few weeks.3 Doctors will usually recommend a slow, controlled approach to ending use because suddenly stopping increases the risk for seizure. Other symptoms that may be experienced during withdrawal include:3
- Appetite loss
- High blood pressure
- Memory loss
- Rapid heart rate
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome may cause some to feel fatigued, anxious, and sometimes depressed for many months after cessation of the drug.3
Treatment for Librium Abuse
One of the most common approaches for treatment is to taper the dosages gradually until the drug is no longer taken. This reduces the likelihood of adverse side effects, such as seizures.1 After the detox process; a doctor may recommend therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help overcome the mental pull that Librium can produce.
This is a therapy approach that involves learning more about addiction and strategies that helps resist cravings to return to Librium abuse. Also, long-term sobriety may be maintained with participation in support groups or family therapy.