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Librium and Librium Abuse

Librium Statistics

There has been a sustained increase in benzodiazepine subscriptions in the past three decades, with the National Institute of Drug Abuse estimating a 400% increase in deaths associated with Librium overdoses. The drug is generally used to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome and catatonia, a behavioral syndrome causing unusual movements.


Doctors issue Librium prescriptions, but other people use the drug nonmedically to reduce anxiety or cope with stressful circumstances. Even when Librium effectively treats anxiety under a doctor’s prescription, a nonmedical use poses the risks of severe psychological and physical side effects.

What is Librium?

Librium is a schedule IV of benzodiazepine drugs, which isn’t as abused as other painkillers. It is also long-acting, lasting between 24 and 48 hours. Since Librium is long-lasting, taking more significant amounts causes it to build up in your body.


Combining the drug with other substances like alcohol or opioids, extreme side effects such as coma, breathing problems, and death are possible. In addition, medical examiners recommend not using Librium during your first trimester of pregnancy to avoid congenital disabilities. In other circumstances, doctors prescribe Librium to treat several severe conditions, including ongoing extreme anxiety disorders, reducing a patient’s panic before surgery, and withdrawal symptoms.

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Librium Addiction

All benzodiazepine drugs are potentially habit-forming, psychotic drugs, and Librium is no less. Like all benzos, Librium affects the neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing activity and anxiety or stress levels. It has a euphoric and calming effect on users who may want to use it over time to have the same calming feeling. Their bodies are dependent on Librium and cannot function otherwise.


Even when a doctor legitimately prescribes Librium, you risk developing an addiction to the drug. You may begin by ramping up your dosage because you do not feel the desired effects, or you might want to get high or enhance the impact of the drug; you have developed a Librium addiction. People with underlying mental issues are also at a greater risk of Librium addiction once they develop its taste.


A prolonged abuse increases the chances of addiction with a user exhibiting behavioral signs such as:


  • Focusing too much on Librium to function.

  • Neglecting your relationships or everyday activities.

  • Using Librium, even if you have the desire to quit.

  • Getting more Librium prescriptions.

  • Lying about Librium use to your loved ones.

  • Taking a higher dosage than recommended.

  • Confusion.

  • Restlessness.

  • Irritability.

  • Withdrawal symptoms such as tremors or rapid heartbeat when trying to quit Librium.

Medically Reviewed:


Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Side Effects of Abusing Librium

Prescription or no prescription, you will develop some side effects associated with Librium use. However, the following are common side effects occurring in people who abuse Librium for nonmedical reasons.


People without a doctor’s knowledge of Librium are likely to escalate Librium intake, develop physical dependence and use it compulsively. If you fail to take the drug, you might experience withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and panic. Some side effects stemming from Librium abuse include:


  • Drowsiness

  • Dizziness

  • Exhaustion

  • Loss of balance

  • Dry mouth

  • Constipation

  • Weakness

  • Restlessness

  • Upset stomach

  • Appetite changes

  • Trouble urinating

  • Changes to vision- blurry vision

  • Headaches

  • Diarrhea


While severe side effects include:


  • Shuffling gait

  • Tremors

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Fever

  • Skin rash

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing

  • Jaundice- yellowing of the whites of the skin and eyes

  • The trouble with sitting still


If you see the following signs of a Librium overdose, contact 911:


  • Trouble breathing

  • Extreme confusion

  • Shallow, slow, or irregular breaths

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Double or blurred vision

  • Lightheadedness

  • Rapid side-to-side eyes movement (nystagmus)

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Stupor or drowsiness

  • Fainting

  • Depression

  • Bluish tint to the skin; oxygen deprivation

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of balance or stumbling

  • Low body temperature

  • Blackouts

  • Seizures or tremors

  • Muscles weakness

  • Coma

  • Irregular heart rhythm


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The Bottom Line

Seek medical attention once you notice you have developed an uncontrolled need to use Librium. If trying to quit Librium, do it in a safe detoxification setting where professional doctors have medications for managing withdrawal symptoms. It is not easy; you will feel like giving up at some point and quitting. However, that should not deter you from pursuing a much happier and healthier self. So pick yourself up and continue the journey; you can do it!

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Librium Stats
What is Librium?
Librium addiction
Side effects of abusing Librium
The bottom line
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