Librium Addiction and Abuse

Librium is a prescription medication with a high potential for abuse due to its swift addictive features.

Chlordiazepoxide addiction | Table of Contents

Understanding Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)

Librium, the brand name of Chlordiazepoxide, is the first benzodiazepine to be synthesized in the 1950s. Librium is classified by the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule IV regulated drug and is used primarily as a short-term remedy for anxiety disorders. It is also used extensively to treat symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal and to calm patients before surgeries. Like most benzos, Librium can also be used to treat insomnia, muscle tension, seizures, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Librium is a white, crystalline substance that is available in multi-colored capsules of strengths 5mg, 10mg, and 25mg. The capsules are typically swallowed, although some users may snort the contents of the capsule or mix it in water and inject it.

The half-life of Librium is around 5-30 hours, making it fall in between intermediate to long-acting benzos. It usually takes several hours to feel the full effects of Librium.

Some of the street names of Librium are Bennies, Benzos, L, Tranqs, Blue bombs, Normies, and Downers.


How does Librium work?

Belonging to a category of drugs called benzodiazepines, Librium operates on the brain and nerves to promote a calming effect. It works by stimulating the effects of a certain natural chemical on the body named GABA.

Where does Librium come from?

Regarded as the original chlordiazepoxide HCI and benzodiazepine prototype, Librium was formulated and developed at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.

What is the generic name for Librium?

The generic name of Librium is chlordiazepoxide.

When was Librium invented?

Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), was first introduced in the year 1960.

How Long Do Benzos Stay in the Body?

Brands Halcoin Xanax Librium
Length of Action Short-Acting Immediate Long-Acting
Time 2-4 Hours 6-12 Hours 5-30 Hours

Librium Effects, Abuse, and Addiction

Due to the high potential of abuse and addiction for Librium, doctors only prescribe it for short-term use.

When taken in higher doses, Librium can produce a high that is equivalent to alcohol intoxication. Taking Librium in higher or more frequent doses than prescribed or consuming it without a prescription are all considered as Librium abuse.

Librium is generally abused due to its calming and relaxing sensation when consumed. Individuals who are suffering from insomnia or anxiety disorders, abuse Librium to enjoy its calming effects. Individuals who take Librium for recreational purposes do so with the intent of enjoying euphoric highs. These individuals usually procure Librium from the streets, online, or through doctor shopping.

Misusing Librium for extended periods increases the chance of addiction to a greater extent. Since Librium is a habit-forming, psychotropic drug, like most benzos, even patients who consume this medication under prescription for health conditions such as anxiety and insomnia can develop a dependence upon it. Patients with other underlying mental health disorders are also at a higher risk of developing addictions to Librium.

The typical behavioral Signs of Librium addiction are:

  • Abusing the medicine by taking higher doses than recommended
  • Resorting to illegal means to obtain the drug, such as forging prescriptions
  • Neglecting day-to-day responsibilities or relationships
  • Lying to family and friends about Librium use
  • Struggling financially due to the costs of Librium abuse
  • Confusion
  • Making Librium use their priority
  • Restlessness
  • Wanting to quit taking Librium, but being unable to do so
  • Irritability
  • Requiring higher doses due to the development of tolerance
  • Experiencing profuse sweating, tremors, rapid heart rate, and other symptoms when trying to quit the drug (withdrawal)
  • Doctor shopping to obtain more and more Librium prescriptions


Is Librium addictive?

Librium is a prescription benzodiazepine that is often abused for its incredibly calming effects. Librium addiction can develop quickly, especially if the drug was abused over a prolonged period.

Can Librium be taken as needed?

If the drug is to be taken orally, the recommended initial dose is 50 to 100 mg, followed by repeated doses as needed until the agitation is managed – up to 300 mg per day. The dosage should then be restricted to maintenance levels.

Is Librium a sleeping pill?

Chlordiazepoxide, also known as Librium, is a sedative and hypnotic drug belonging to the benzodiazepine class; it is generally employed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs.

Is Librium expensive?

Chlordiazepoxide is a benzodiazepine generally used for the treatment of anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. The lowest price of GoodRx for the most basic version of Generic Librium is around $5.67, which is approximately 61 percent off the average retail price of $14.70.

How long can you take chlordiazepoxide?

It is advised against taking chlordiazepoxide for more than four months or stopping the medicine abruptly without talking to a doctor. Discontinuing the medicine without the guidance of a doctor can worsen your condition and generate withdrawal symptoms such as anxiousness, sleeplessness, and irritability. To mitigate this, your doctor might probably decrease your dose gradually.

Signs of Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) Abuse

The majority of users who take Librium are genuinely unaware of its addictive nature and misuse the drug in hopes of attaining the desired effects. However, excessive and prolonged use of any drug is detrimental to one’s health in the long-run.

Some of the symptoms of Librium abuse are:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Impaired co-ordination
  • Nausea
  • Decreased libido
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mixing Librium with other drugs
  • Taking more Librium than prescribed
  • Obtaining Librium illegally
  • Running into financial issues due to Librium use
  • Lying about Librium use
  • Using Librium as a coping mechanism
  • Engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence of the drug

Taking Librium despite its negative outcomes, such as issues at work and home, is a strong indicator of a growing dependence on the drug.


What are the side effects of chlordiazepoxide?

Some of the side effects of chlordiazepoxide are drowsiness, impaired muscle control, dizziness, confusion, edema, skin problems, nausea, and minor menstrual irregularities.

What does Librium metabolize into?

Chlordiazepoxide is metabolized into long-acting metabolites in the liver to the active metabolite nordiazepam (desmethyldiazepam), and the drug clearance is reduced significantly in the elderly and patients with hepatic disease.

How long does it take Librium to work?

Librium is usually well-absorbed, with plasma levels achieving its peak in about one or two hours after administration. Steady-state levels are usually achieved within three days.

The Dangers of Librium

Librium is a central nervous system depressant. Long-term use of Librium can result in severe health complications such as impaired physical and cognitive functions, including a substantial drop in heart rate and blood pressure. Certain Librium users had also experienced seizures when Librium was consumed in high doses.

Some of the other dangerous side effects of Librium include:

  • Mood swings
  • Shallow breath
  • Jaundice
  • Blackouts
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Anxiety

Common Librium Drug Combinations

Polydrug use is the simultaneous use of various drugs. Statistics show that over 80 percent of benzodiazepine abuse is part of a dangerous polydrug abuse cycle.

Librium is generally combined with alcohol, cocaine, and opioids. Individuals tend to mix alcohol with Librium during the build-up of tolerance. However, when both alcohol and Librium are combined, the depressive effects of both the substances intensify, resulting in deep sedation, stupor, and in worse cases, overdose.

Many consume benzos with opioids, such as heroin, to enhance the euphoric effects of opioids. Some may even consume Librium with cocaine to suppress the effects of the stimulant, whereas others consume Librium to sober up from the cocaine high.

However, combining Librium with multiple substances in this manner can cause severe side effects, such as extreme sedation, blackouts, respiratory depression, and fatal overdose.

Some of the symptoms of Librium overdose are:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Coma
  • Blackouts

What is Librium Withdrawal?

Librium is a highly addictive benzo that can shape our addiction and dependence within a few weeks of continued use. Similar to most benzos, Librium increases the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA in our brain, resulting in extreme relaxation and calmness. With prolonged use, the brain becomes dependent on Libriums effects.

Abrupt cessation of Librium after the development of dependence, tolerance, or addiction will lead to the appearance of withdrawal as the brain struggles to balance and cope with the deprivation. The longer the use of Librium, the more intense the withdrawal symptoms may be.

Librium withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sensory hypersensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Psychosis
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety

Librium withdrawal symptoms can range from moderate to severe, depending on factors such as the amount taken, length of use, and the method of administration. If left untreated, seizures caused by Librium withdrawal may worsen and potentially turn lethal.

Rebound Symptoms

Librium withdrawal usually comprises of an intense rebound effect. This refers to the re-emergence of symptoms that were being controlled by Librium intakes, such as anxiety and insomnia. The rebound symptoms during this period tend to be much severe than they were before Librium treatment.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Patients may sometimes experience psychological symptoms of Librium withdrawal even months after cessation. This is referred to as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).

PAWS is generally experienced by those with severe addiction and tend to last about 18-24 months. Addiction treatment programs and ongoing therapy can help users overcome PAWS successfully.

Duration of Withdrawal

The duration of withdrawal depends on various factors, such as:

  • The amount of Librium consumed.
  • Length or duration of Librium abuse.
  • The method of administration.

Since the half-life of Librium is between 5-30 hours, the onset of acute withdrawal will be delayed by several days to weeks. The withdrawal timeline for elderly users may increase as it takes much longer to eliminate the drug from their body during detoxification.

Individuals who consume a short-acting version of Librium may experience withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of discontinuation. However, their withdrawal symptoms tend to be much severe than others. Acute withdrawal symptoms for Librium addiction may typically remain for a couple of weeks to months, whereas PAWS may last for several months or years.

Librium Withdrawal Timeline

Week 1

Some users experience withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours since the last dose, whereas others may take over a week to face the initial symptoms of withdrawal. The initial symptoms of withdrawal experienced by users may include anxiety, sweating, loss of appetite, and a noticeable increase in heart rate.

Weeks 2-3

Withdrawal symptoms begin to intensify during this time. Insomnia and depression usually set in, while some users have also reported experiencing seizures and psychosis.

Weeks 4-6

Withdrawal symptoms will slowly disappear over the next several weeks and become more and more manageable.

Weeks 7+

Some patients may experience psychological symptoms, such as cravings, depression, and anxiety, during this period. They may also experience protracted withdrawal, where symptoms such as anxiety suddenly emerge after a considerable period of absence. However, with prolonged abstinence from Librium, these protracted symptoms will also fade away.

Librium Addiction Treatment

Overcoming Librium addiction can be a difficult process, but seeking help from treatment specialists can make the process much easier and safer. Medical detox and inpatient or outpatient rehab programs can help Librium users overcome their physical and psychological addiction to the drug. After the completion of inpatient or outpatient treatment, patients can receive further treatment through ongoing recovery programs such as therapy, relapse prevention education, and support groups.

Librium Detox

The tapering down method is the most preferred treatment approach for controlling benzo withdrawal. This process involves gradually lowering Librium doses over a certain period to help minimize withdrawal symptoms while gradually giving the body time to get accustomed to the changes. This process can take several weeks to complete.

During the detox process, doctors may swap Librium with another benzo with a longer half-life, such as Diazepam (Valium), to suppress rebound symptoms. This medication is also a great alternative to manage severe acute withdrawal symptoms such as psychosis.

Other non-benzodiazepine medications, such as Clonidine, Propanolol, Melatonin, Vistaril, and Eszopiclone, can also be utilized during the detox process to curb rebound symptoms and insomnia.

Inpatient Rehab for Librium Addiction

Inpatient rehabs typically last between 28-90 days. However, some patients may stay longer, depending on the severity of their addiction. Inpatient treatment centers are an ideal choice for those diagnosed with a severe addiction as they offer the most comprehensive treatment programs. The controlled environment of inpatient rehabs keeps patients safe and secure at all times.

Most rehabs are well-structured with robust treatment components, such as:

Detox and withdrawal

Most rehab centers offer medically-supervised detox programs that permit medical professionals to intervene when withdrawal symptoms get unmanageable or life-threatening. It is vital that patients with a Librium addiction seek help from a medically assisted treatment center.

Inpatient program

Residential treatment programs are usually formed around scheduled meal times, 12-step meetings, group therapy sessions, and individual clinical therapy sessions. Most rehabs also provide yoga, meditation, and therapies involving music, art, or pets.

Treatment is focused primarily on learning new positive habits, behaviors, and attitudes, as well as stress management, relapse prevention, and addressing any underlying mental health disorders.


After the completion of inpatient treatment, patients are advised to attend outpatient treatment to help them smoothly transition back to the outside world. Attending support groups with 12-step programs is also highly advised, as they provide former users with a sense of accountability and fellowship.

Outpatient Rehab and Ongoing Treatment for Librium Addiction

Outpatient treatment is usually provided through hospitals, clinics, or private doctors’ offices. Most treatment centers also provide outpatient treatment as part of their aftercare programs.

Outpatient treatment is the best choice for individuals with a mild addiction to Librium as they require minimal supervision during detox and withdrawal. Outpatient rehabs are also the only option available for individuals with unavoidable obligations and responsibilities at home and work. However, it is vital to be accessed by an addiction specialist to help determine the best course of treatment for your addiction.

Outpatient treatment requires patients to meet up with treatment professionals for several hours a day. Patients are encouraged to participate in individual and group therapy sessions and attend classes on meditation, relaxation, relapse prevention, and coping skills. The patient is then allowed to return back home or to sober living homes after receiving treatment. Certain outpatient rehabs also offer medically-assisted detox and withdrawal services.

Relapse Prevention Strategies

Continuing to meet a therapist after the completion of inpatient or outpatient treatment seed a sense of accountability in newly sober individuals while providing the support they require. A reliable support system is vital to preventing relapses in the initial weeks and months after treatment.

Other tips on preventing relapses are:

Find new ways to manage anxiety

Anxiety is one of the main causes of Librium abuse. Thus, learning new coping skills and stress reduction techniques to minimize anxiety will decrease the chances of relapse drastically. Massages, yoga, deep-breathing techniques, prayers, regular exercise, and journaling are a few excellent ways to achieve this.

Notify local pharmacies and doctors of your addiction history

This may sound odd, but notifying local pharmacies and doctors of your addiction problems will aid you immensely, as you will be less likely to obtain Librium from them.

Exercise to improve muscle co-ordination

Exercising is one of the best options for managing stress and regaining bodily functions that were impaired by Librium abuse. Jogging, walking, swimming, lifting weights, and playing catch will help rebuild muscle strength and coordination.

Unwind before bed

Insomnia is a common issue faced by individuals recovering from Librium addiction, as benzos alter the bodys ability to regulate sleep on its own. However, you can readjust your body to sleeping on its own by relaxing or meditating before going to bed. Reading a book or having chamomile tea two hours before hitting the bed can also be helpful. Make sure to avoid watching television or surfing the internet, as this stimulates the mind. Achieving the ability to fall asleep naturally and sleeping through the night soundly will accustom your body and prevent relapses.

Keep busy

Boredom may become your biggest enemy during recovery. Keep your mind occupied with healthy and enjoyable activities such as exercising, hiking, finding a hobby, or adopting a pet.

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