Signs Of Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) Abuse
Librium is a Benzodiazepine with a high potential for abuse. Because the drug is habit-forming, it’s typically only recommended for short-term use.
Many people who abuse Librium do not realize they’re at risk for developing an addiction.
There are a number of different reasons why people start abusing Librium. A user who is prescribed Librium can develop tolerance, meaning they’ll no longer feel the drug’s full effects when taking their prescribed dosage. In an attempt to make the drug more effective again, the user may begin increasing their dosage without consulting their doctor. Other users may start abusing Librium to get high or to boost the effects of other drugs they’re taking, such as Opioid painkillers or alcohol.
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As with many Benzodiazepine medications, abusing Librium dramatically suppresses the central nervous system. This causes a form of intoxication similar to that caused by alcohol, followed by prolonged sedation.
Common symptoms of Librium abuse include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
- Slowed heartbeat
- Decreased libido
- Impaired coordination
- Muscle spasms
- Mixing Librium with other drugs
- Taking more Librium than prescribed
- Obtaining Librium illegally
- Financial issues
- Lying about Librium use
- Using Librium as a coping mechanism
Librium abuse can often be seen in many aspects of the user’s life. Users may start to neglect obligations at school, work or home. At work and school, the user’s performance may suffer and they may show up late or be absent often. In the home, users may start to neglect their children or household responsibilities.
People who abuse Librium may also engage in risky behavior, like driving a car or operating machinery while under the influence of the drug. Users may also steal or forge prescriptions to obtain Librium.
Legal problems, like getting arrested for driving under the influence or prescription fraud, are also common among those who abuse drugs. A recently developed addiction to drugs of this kind will be especially noticeable in those who had no prior history of substance abuse or legal trouble, but are suddenly found committing crimes of this nature.
Continuing to abuse Librium despite the negative impact it’s having on the user’s interpersonal relationships—as well as their life in general—is also a clear sign of substance abuse.
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The Dangers Of Librium
Librium slows down the user’s central nervous system and as a result, chronic misuse of the drug can have dangerous health consequences. Abuse of Librium can cause impaired cognitive and physical function, including a drastic decrease in blood pressure and heart rate.
At high doses or when combined with other central nervous system depressants, Librium’s sedative effect can also depress lung function to the point of failure, which can be fatal.
Some recreational users who take high doses of Librium have also reported having seizures. Other negative side effects of abusing Librium include:
- Mood swings
- Shallow breath
- Liver dysfunction
Combining Librium with other drugs, such as alcohol or Heroin, increases the odds of fatally overdosing.
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Recognizing A Librium Addiction
Librium abuse differs from Librium addiction in various ways. Substance abuse patterns typically manifest in social, physical, interpersonal and legal problems. Substance addiction is characterized by physical dependence—resulting from increased tolerance and escalating drug use—and behavioral signs, such as wanting to quit but being unable to.
Other behavioral and physiological signs of Librium addiction include:
- Obsessive thoughts and behaviors related to Librium
- Loss of interest in activities which were once enjoyable and important to the user
- Inability to quit using Librium, despite knowledge of the drug’s harmful effects
- Increased tolerance to the drug, resulting in higher and more frequent dosing
- Presence of withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit Librium
Intervention For A Librium Problem
Generally, people with an active addiction have a hard time discussing their problem with loved ones. Many addicts are in denial about their drug use, believing they don’t actually have a problem. If confronted by loved ones, users may react defensively or blow off the issue entirely.
A skilled interventionist can help loved ones get through to the Librium user by guiding an effective intervention.
When staging an intervention, interventionists coach family and friends on how best to appeal to the user about their drug problem. The interventionist also prepares the family for possible outcomes, including what to do if the intervention is unsuccessful. They’ll help the user’s loved ones practice beforehand to ensure their thoughts and feelings are expressed clearly.
The interventionist will be present during the intervention and will step in as needed to help guide the conversation. The user’s loved ones will state that they’ll no longer ignore or enable the addiction. They’ll also offer the user their love and support throughout the treatment and recovery process.
The goal of an intervention is to get the user to enroll in an addiction treatment program.
Withdrawal From Librium And Treatment
When quitting Librium, it is not safe to stop taking the drug “cold turkey”, especially for those with a long history of drug abuse. Abruptly quitting could cause serious withdrawal symptoms, making it difficult to stay the course. Instead, a gradual tapering of the drug is recommended. A medical detox program is the best way to manage this process.
After detox, an outpatient or inpatient treatment program can be very effective in guiding the individual toward a sustained recovery. These programs can help Librium users break their psychological addiction to the drug through the use of various therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy.
If you or your loved one are struggling with Librium addiction, take action now. Contact a treatment provider today for more information on recovering from a Librium addiction.
Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Learn about Dr. Ashish Bhatt
Dr. Bhatt has been Addiction Center's Medical Content Director for more than three years, providing his expertise to ensure quality and accuracy.
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Expert in adult and child psychiatry
Over 20 years of professional experience