How To Detox From Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 4, 2021

Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is a prescription drug that may require detox for those who have been taking it regularly for more than a few weeks. Detoxing from Librium may cause symptoms of withdrawal, some of which can become severe.

Detoxing From Librium

Librium, a brand name for chlordiazepoxide, is a habit-forming prescription drug that should not be stopped very suddenly or without first seeking medical advice.

Taking Librium for more than a few weeks can cause physical dependence, which can lead to physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal if you stop it too quickly.

Here you’ll find information on how to detox from Librium, side effects of Librium detox, and how to find drug abuse and addiction treatment options at a rehab center near you.

Find out more about how to detox from benzodiazepines

Librium Detox Programs

Librium belongs to a class of sedative drugs known as benzodiazepines. Detoxing from benzodiazepines like Librium is notoriously difficult, and can become dangerous for some.

Drug detox centers, and some addiction treatment centers, offer detox services for people who’ve become physically dependent on Librium through chronic use or misuse.

Ideally, Librium detox will occur in an inpatient setting. Detoxing on an outpatient level can be risky, and should not be attempted without the support of a medical professional.

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How Medical Detox For Librium Works

Medical detox is a type of inpatient detox program that offers 24-hour medical supervision and treatment for moderate to severe drug withdrawal.

Medical detox programs can offer treatment to help prevent and manage side effects of Librium detox, including severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and hallucinations.

Tapering off Librium, rather than stopping all at once, or “cold turkey,” is typically recommended for the withdrawal process—particularly for those taking high doses of Librium.

Outpatient Detox For Librium

Outpatient detox is not usually recommended for managing benzodiazepine withdrawal, due to the potential for developing serious side effects such as seizures.

Outpatient detox can offer regular check-ins with a doctor and may offer counseling for substance use issues or rebound anxiety that develops during the detox process.

Outpatient detox may be suitable for people without a substance use disorder who have mild drug dependence and a robust support system at home.

Dangers Of Librium Detox: What To Know

Benzodiazepines like Librium can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if they are taken chronically and then stopped very suddenly, either all at once or by tapering too fast.

Dangers of cold-turkey detox include:

  • withdrawal seizures
  • thoughts of suicide
  • thoughts of hurting others
  • risk of relapse to drug use
  • psychosis (e.g. hallucinations, paranoia, delusions)

Risk factors for severe withdrawal include taking high doses of Librium, taking Librium for an extended period of time, older age, and having a history of Librium abuse.

Side Effects Of Librium Detox

Librium, like Valium, is a long-acting benzodiazepine drug. For this reason, side effects of detox and withdrawal may take anywhere from one to seven days to develop.

Side effects of detoxing from Librium can be physical, emotional, psychological, and may be mild to severe in nature.

Common Librium withdrawal symptoms include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • tremors (shakiness)
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • overexcitement
  • irritability
  • jerky movements
  • fast heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • difficulty concentrating
  • memory troubles
  • ringing in the ears
  • burning or prickling sensations

Severe symptoms of withdrawal can also occur. If the following do occur, seek out medical attention by contacting your healthcare provider or call 911 for emergency medical assistance.

Severe Librium withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • seizures
  • panic attacks
  • heart palpitations
  • loss of touch with reality
  • hallucinations
  • thoughts of harming oneself or others

Timeline For Librium Detox And Withdrawal

Detoxing from Librium may take several weeks, due to the extended length of time it stays in the body. If you’re tapering off a high dose, this may take longer.

Acute withdrawal, or the first stage of withdrawal, can last two to eight weeks. After this, most symptoms should decline in their intensity or go away completely.

Long-lasting symptoms can be a sign of protracted withdrawal, or post-acute withdrawal syndrome. This can sometimes develop as a result of chronic drug use or drug abuse.

Protracted Withdrawal From Librium

Some people may experience certain physical side effects of Librium dependence and rebound symptoms for months or potentially years after they stop taking Librium.

Protracted withdrawal symptoms from Librium can include:

  • rebound anxiety
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • cognitive issues
  • muscle twitches
  • drug cravings
  • loss of interest

Although difficult to manage alone, this long-lasting form of withdrawal can be treated with mental health treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Furthermore, those with a history of Librium abuse, polysubstance abuse, or Librium addiction may be recommended a drug rehab program following detox for additional support.

Librium Detox FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Librium detoxification, withdrawal, and addiction treatment options.

❓ What Does Librium Do?

✔️ Librium is a central nervous system depressant that is used as a short-term treatment for anxiety disorders and to help relieve acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms (i.e. delirium tremens).

It works in the body by enhancing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which can consequently slow down activity in the brain.

❓ How Long Does Librium Stay In Your System?

✔️ Librium has a half-life of five to 30 hours. While the amount of time it takes to fully clear the body can vary, it may take several half-lives before it’s out of your system.

Librium will typically remain detectable in the urine for one to seven days, and can be detected in a hair sample for up to 90 days.

Read more about how long drugs stay in your system

❓ Who Needs Librium Detox?

✔️ Some form of Librium detox, or tapering process, may be needed for anyone who takes Librium regularly for at least a few weeks.

This is because physical dependency can develop fairly quickly with regular use of Librium, including among individuals who misuse it with other drugs (e.g. opioids).

Find A Librium Detox Program Today

Millions of people in the U.S. misuse prescription drugs and struggle with substance addiction. If this describes you or a loved one, such as a family member, you’re not alone.

Detoxing from Librium can be dangerous without the help of a professional drug treatment team. Let us help you find a detox option that’s right for you.

For more information about Librium detox, and how to find treatment options near you, call our helpline to connect with one of our representatives today.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 4, 2021
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