Librium Addiction, Abuse, & Treatment Options

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on August 12, 2022

Librium is a type of benzodiazepine that is used to treat both anxiety disorders and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. As a benzo, Librium has the potential to be misused and abused and can be especially dangerous when used with other substances.

Librium Abuse, Addiction, And Treatment Options

Librium is a type of benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety and acute alcohol withdrawal.

It is a brand name for a drug called chlordiazepoxide. Other types of benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.

Benzodiazepines work by acting on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters in the brain and raising the levels of certain chemicals that help a person to feel relaxed and calm.

This is why they can be so beneficial for severe anxiety.

Chlordiazepoxide is, however, a prescription benzodiazepine that can be habit-forming and is generally prescribed only for a short-term period of time.

The longer a person takes this drug, the higher their chances of developing a tolerance or dependence on it become.

Why Librium Is A Controlled Substance

Librium is considered a Schedule IV drug according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

This means that it is considered to have a low risk for abuse and dependence.

It’s important to remember that although Librium is considered to have a low risk, this is in comparison to drugs in lower Schedules.

Effects Of Librium Use

People who abuse Librium tend to be attracted to its sedative effects and the mild euphoria it can cause. Taking Librium can be relaxing for a person, even if they previously did not struggle with anxiety.

Librium also has a variety of adverse side effects.

Common side effects of Librium use include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • weakness
  • changes in appetite
  • frequent urination

Can You Develop A Tolerance To Librium?

A person can start to develop a drug tolerance to Librium after a short period of use, which is why it is only prescribed for short-term periods.

When a tolerance develops, a person will need to take more and more of the drug in order to feel its desired effects.

They may start to struggle with anxiety again, as the same dose of Librium no longer effectively treats them.

Ways People Abuse Librium

In addition to taking pills orally, one way a person may abuse Librium is by crushing up the pills and snorting them.

Snorting drugs allows them to bypass the digestive system and go straight to the central nervous system, resulting in a much faster high.

A Librium pill that has been crushed up into powder can also be dissolved into liquid and inserted rectally in a method of use called plugging.

This method presents additional dangers and also has the highest risk for overdose.

Signs And Symptoms Of Librium Addiction

Librium abuse can eventually turn into a Librium addiction.

When someone has developed a substance use disorder involving an addiction to Librium or other benzos, it can affect their health, behavior, job, and personal relationships.

Signs of Librium addiction include:

  • physical dependence
  • cravings
  • irritability
  • drowsiness
  • neglecting obligations
  • drug tolerance
  • doctor shopping
  • withdrawing from family and friends

How Much Does Librium Cost On The Street?

On the street, Librium can cost anywhere from about $3 per pill to around $15 per pill.

Price will depend on a few factors, such as the size of the dosage and whether it is the generic or brand name form.

The price of benzos on the street will also depend on the local demand and local availability of the drug.

Can Librium Misuse Lead To Overdose?

It is rare for someone to overdose on Librium alone.

It is much more common for a person to overdose on Librium in combination with other drug use, usually other central nervous system depressants like alcohol or opioids.

When Librium is used in combination with other CNS depressants, they amplify each other’s effects, making these effects even stronger.

Signs of Librium overdose include:

  • confusion
  • coma
  • excessive sleepiness
  • seizures
  • tremors
  • low body temperature
  • loss of coordination
  • low blood pressure and heart rate

Detoxing From Librium

The safest way for a person to undergo detoxification from Librium is under the supervision of medical professionals at a healthcare center for addiction treatment.

Withdrawal can be lethal if a person tries to do it on their own.

Medical supervision at a treatment center allows a person to experience minimal withdrawal symptoms — often one of the biggest obstacles a person faces during addiction recovery.

Further, detoxing at an addiction treatment center will give a person access to medications that can assist them through the withdrawal process and make them much more comfortable.

Learn more about Librium detox.

Is It Safe To Quit Librium Cold Turkey?

It is not safe to quit Librium or any benzodiazepines cold turkey after an extended period of heavy use.

Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and dangerous and even lethal if left untreated. It is best to end Librium use through medically guided tapering.

With tapering, a person can slowly stop using Librium at a rate that is both safe and comfortable for them, without the dangers of stopping use too suddenly.

Librium withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • depression
  • tremors
  • muscle spasms
  • insomnia
  • agitation
  • seizures
  • psychosis
  • delirium tremens

Treatment Options For Librium Addiction

After medical detox, treatment options for Librium addiction will continue with inpatient or outpatient treatment and a variety of therapy and counseling options.

It is always important to address a person’s mental health at the same time as their drug addiction.

For example, your healthcare provider may need to find alternative medications for your anxiety disorder or other mental health condition that Librium was being used to treat.

Relapse is always a possibility but will be much less of a risk after completing a treatment plan at a specialized facility for addiction.

Recovery is an ongoing journey that continues long after a treatment program is finished.

Find A Drug Rehab Program Today

If you or a loved one is facing substance abuse and specifically an addiction to a benzodiazepine like Librium, consider seeking professional addiction treatment.

Give our helpline a call if you need help getting started or would like recommendations for a drug abuse treatment facility in your area.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on August 12, 2022


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