What Is Librium?
The main brand name for Chlordiazepoxide, Librium is a Benzodiazepine often used to help people who are going through the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. or who suffer from anxiety disorders. Librium was the first Benzodiazepine, or Benzo, introduced to the market in 1960 after being discovered by Leo Sternbach in 1955. The drug quickly surpassed the popularity of Barbiturates as a sedative, because those drugs have a much higher risk of abuse and overdose.
The mechanism by which Librium works was unknown at the time it was released, but it has since been determined that Benzos such as Librium enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter, GABA. This causes sedative, hypnotic (sleep-inducing), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant effects. Librium is defined as a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant. Although these effects can be positive when used in treatment, they are highly addictive and make it popular to abuse.
Popular street names for Librium are:
- Blue bombs
- Nerve pills
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The Effects of Librium
Because of how Librium works in the body, it produces many side effects. These commonly include:
- Impaired muscle control
- Skin problems
- Mood changes
- Menstrual irregularities
- Movement disorders like Ataxia
- Change in libido
In rarer cases, someone using Librium can express more severe side effects, like:
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Uncontrollable muscle movements in eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck
- Agitation and/or hostility
- Liver dysfunction
- Blood disorders
- Jaundice (the yellowing of the skin or eyes)
If anyone using Librium has expressed these symptoms, they should seek out a doctor immediately.
Librium Dependence and Withdrawal
It is frequently prescribed for people recovering from alcohol addiction and anxiety; however, the addictiveness of Librium is something that the recoveree and prescribing doctor should always be aware of, as a dependence can form in just a couple weeks of regular use. Because of the calming effects Librium has on the body, many won’t realize they’ve developed a dependence until they experience symptoms of withdrawal. These can include:
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Sensory hypersensitivity
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Drug cravings
- Delirium Tremens
- Memory loss
The person recovering will also find it is harder to calm down, as they have grown dependent on the drug that was producing calming chemicals in the brain and are now suddenly without it. This causes what are known as “rebound symptoms,” which are perhaps the most troubling for many people to experience.
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Rebound symptoms (also called rebound effect) can occur during withdrawal from Librium, usually after 2 to 3 days of detox. Rebound symptoms mimic the very symptoms for which the drug is intended to treat. They include enhanced insomnia, anxiety, muscle pain and stiffness, panic attacks, agitation and increased tension. They typically only last 2 to 3 days. As is the case with all withdrawal symptoms, the severity and duration of the rebound effect can vary widely from one person to another.
Managing rebound symptoms can be the most important part of recovering from addiction to Librium, and failure to do so is a leading cause of relapse. Checking into a clinic and seeking medically-assisted detox can help someone get over the greatest hurdles of recovery.
Treatment for Librium Addiction
As Librium is often encountered when someone is recovering from alcohol addiction, it is likely they have already struggled with recovery before and may feel ashamed about getting hooked onto another substance. Know that Benzos can be much more addictive than alcohol, and someone in recovery can easily latch onto something new as their body is trying to cope with the absence of their original addiction.
Considering how similar the effects of Benzos are to alcohol and the time frame of replacing one with the other, it can be very easy for someone to develop a Librium addiction. If you or someone you know has developed an addiction to Librium, know that there is no shame in coming forward. Battling addiction isn’t something that is handled at one stage of your life, but a road that twists and turns. You’ll run into obstacles, get lost, and occasionally fall. However, recovery is a journey, and all it takes is to get back up. If you don’t know how to get back up, reach out to a dedicated treatment specialist today who can help you map out your next steps.
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