Librium is among a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, prescribed mainly to treat acute anxiety or withdrawal symptoms from alcoholism. Otherwise known as a tranquilizer, Librium is well known for treating those who struggle with anxiety, panic, or sleep disorders. As a benzo, Librium works by depressing the central nervous system, helping the body to calm down.
Because Librium is a benzodiazepine, it has the potential for misuse or addiction. Just because it is prescribed by doctors doesn’t mean that it’s not addictive. Some people will take more of the drug than prescribed in an attempt to feel a euphoric and ultra-relaxed feeling. This can lead to an increased dependence, and ultimately addiction. Still, others may increase their dosage because they’re not getting the same effects, which can result in dependence, as well.
Librium can be a great relief to those who struggle with high anxiety. However, the potential for becoming addicted to the drug is there. As tolerance levels increase, there’s more of a chance that the body will become addicted to the drug. This can make it challenging to stop using Librium because when the body no longer receives the drug, it can produce withdrawal symptoms.
Common withdrawal symptoms include:
The more severe withdrawal effects are more likely to be experienced by those who are considered heavy Librium users. Or, those who try to stop using the drug cold turkey, which can be very dangerous.
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The pace at which you get through the stages of Librium withdrawal will vary from person to person. The severity of symptoms will vary too, as heavy users tend to experience more intense symptoms and perhaps for a longer time.
Librium tends to be long-acting, making the effects last longer than the short-acting benzos like Xanax. Those that are taking the short-acting type may begin feeling withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours from the last dose. For those taking the long-acting type like Librium, it might be two to three days after the last dose before feeling any withdrawal symptoms.
Typically, Librium withdrawal lasts between a week and a half to two weeks, but some end up struggling for weeks or months after. The length of time and severity of symptoms will vary depending on:
Because the half-life of Librium is between 5 and 30 hours, you might begin feeling a bit of restlessness or anxiety within 24 hours of your last dose. Typically, because it’s a long-acting benzo, withdrawal symptoms aren’t usually felt until the second or third day.
You may begin feeling withdrawal symptoms during days two and three. Some of the symptoms may be quite uncomfortable, peaking during this time. Common symptoms include stomach cramping, anxiety, insomnia, feeling tired, nausea, and sweating. For heavy users, on the more severe end, seizures, hallucinations, or tremors could be experienced.
By the time you reach day four, many of the uncomfortable symptoms may have subsided. You may still have some symptoms and cravings, but the intensity should be decreasing.
After the first week, most all of the symptoms may subside, with some psychological ones lingering for some people. This includes cravings, depression, and anxiety. Continued treatment and support are recommended to prevent relapse.
Quitting Librium or any benzodiazepine cold turkey or abruptly is very dangerous. It is always recommended to consult with a physician or an addiction specialist before attempting to come off Librium. The reason for this is that it is essential to taper or wean off of the medication to keep serious withdrawal effects at bay. By gradually reducing the dose of Librium, you can reduce the intensity of some of the withdrawal symptoms and prevent more severe symptoms from occurring.
Undergoing a medical detox where you are supervised by a physician or substance abuse professional is the best way to come off of Librium.
When you’re ready just stop taking Librium, going through the detox process is the first step toward a full recovery.
Since you will probably be weaning off of the drug, your detox length of time may be weeks or months.
At the same time that you’re detoxing from Librium, you should also commit to a longer-term recovery program to address any underlying factors concerning the addiction and/or mental health issues like depression, PTSD, etc.
Oftentimes, someone will commit to treatment at a residential treatment center for 30, 60, or 90 days. Being able to leave home and actually live at the residential rehab can offer valuable benefits, especially if your home environment is not all that supportive. While you’re at treatment, you’ll have access to a physician, therapist, and peers that are trying to get free from drug addiction as well.
You’ll be able to be monitored around the clock and given medication that may help curb withdrawal symptoms. You’ll learn a great deal about addiction recovery, including tips and techniques to prevent relapse. Also, if you do have co-occurring disorders, you’ll be able to receive dual-diagnosis treatment.
If you’re unable to live at the treatment center, you may choose to continue treatment at an outpatient treatment center or intensive outpatient program (IOP). These treatment options allow you to live at home and commute to a facility for a certain number of sessions per week. You’ll still have access to a therapist and classes where you learn about addiction recovery. You may also attend group counseling or a 12 Step support group. This is a great option for those who cannot take a leave of absence from their work or family responsibilities.
Web MD. Librium Capsule. Retrieved from from https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-5263/librium-oral/details
Center For Substance Abuse Research. Benzodiazepines. Retrieved from from http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/benzos.asp
National Institute On Drug Abuse. How can prescription drug addiction be treated? Retrieved from from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/how-can-prescription-drug-addiction-be-treated
Adi, Jeff. Psychology Today. Alcohol, Benzos, and Opiates—Withdrawal That Might Kill You. Retrieved from from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-about-addiction/201001/alcohol-benzos-and-opiates-withdrawal-might-kill-you