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Librium Withdrawal

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Librium is a benzodiazepine drug prescribed for acute anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. Like many other benzos, it can be addictive. Benzodiazepines, also known as tranquilizers, are drugs used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and occasionally, sleeping disorders. 

They possess a similar impact as alcohol as they depress the nervous system. People abuse them for the calming effect they have on the body. 

There are major and minor tranquilizers. The difference between them is their soothing effects. The stronger tranquilizers are psychotic medications for their use in the treatment of mental disorders like schizophrenia.  Major tranquilizers include drugs, such as Haldol, Thorazine, Mellaril, and Navane.

Minor tranquilizers are benzodiazepines. They include Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and Librium. They are more addictive and abused more than major tranquilizers are.

Librium Withdrawal Symptoms

Librium has a calming effect on the body. When that relaxed feeling subsides, the person will usually want more. As more Librium is taken, that person’s tolerance increases and they will want more. When someone stops taking Librium or goes a long time without a dose, they may experience withdrawal symptoms

Among them are:

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness/Irritability
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomachache
  • Faster heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Excessive sweating
  • Drug cravings
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Dysphoria
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations

Longtime users of Librium report they have experienced delirium tremens (the DTs) as a withdrawal symptom. This can leave someone feeling extremely anxious, confused, restless, and experience hallucinations.

The Stages of Librium Withdrawal Timeline

Not everyone experiences all of the withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking Librium. The intensity of symptoms varies depending on different factors.

Librium comes in two forms: short-acting and long-acting. People who become dependent on short-acting Librium might feel withdrawal symptoms surface within one day of the last dose. Those taking the long-acting version might not notice the withdrawal symptoms until a few days to perhaps a week after the last dose. 

Usually, Librium withdrawal symptoms last for about two weeks, with some cravings lasting a month or more for heavier users.

Symptoms will vary depending on factors like:

  • How long someone has been taking Librium
  • Size of the dose taken
  • Their overall health
  • Their mental health
  • How they are detoxing
  • Their social environment
  • Their age 
  • Their dietary habits
  • If other drugs are being abused along with Librium

Stages of Librium Withdrawal

Each person who stops taking Librium might experience a slightly different withdrawal timeline based on the factors mentioned above. Detoxing from Librium is necessary to become free from Librium addiction. The critical thing to remember is that through detoxing, one is taking the necessary steps toward freedom from addiction.

A typical Librium withdrawal timeline may look like this:

1-3 days – Typically, the first three days are the most intense. Withdrawal symptoms are strong as the body works to get the toxins out of it and get back to balance. Common symptoms experienced in the first few days are headaches, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, nausea, insomnia, and paranoia and psychosis in more severe cases.

4-7 days – After the third day, Librium withdrawal symptoms should decrease in intensity, and some may lessen. There may be some cravings and fatigue. One should start feeling a little better each day after that.

Week 2 – The second week without Librium is when most of the physical withdrawal symptoms should have stopped. Regularly heard complaints in the second week include mood swings and difficulty sleeping.

Week 3-4 – By the end of the first month, the body should be completely rid of Librium. The physical symptoms are done. However, some people may have cravings for months or even years, as they become psychologically dependent on the medicine. This is why it is essential to seek and obtain continued substance abuse support for the long-term.

Why Should I Detox?

Quitting Librium cold turkey can be dangerous because of the nature of benzodiazepines.  A taper method that is overseen by substance abuse professionals is recommended. The body gets rid of the drug slowly over time. Detoxing reduces the intensity rebalance gradually. 

Quitting Librium abruptly can result in severe withdrawal symptoms and can be life-threatening. Suddenly stopping can cause seizures and/or delirium tremens. 

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

The first step in addiction treatment is detox. The person in Librium recovery will undergo detox that lasts from three to 10 days.

After that, the individual will choose a drug rehabilitation program that fits their individual needs. A residential drug treatment center is a place where someone resides at the facility for about 28 days. They are monitored 24/7 by substance abuse professionals and given comprehensive care.  If longer treatment is needed, this can be arranged.

Outpatient treatment is administered at a center locally, where one attends a set number of therapy session hours per week at the facility. Most often, the client is recommended to attend three to five sessions per week. As the person becomes stronger in recovery, the number of sessions decreases.

The individual will receive comprehensive care that gets results.

This includes:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Education about addiction and recovery
  • Family counseling
  • Relapse prevention training
  • Support groups
  • After-care planning
  • Dual diagnosis treatment

Sources

RxList. Librium. 10.10.18. from https://www.rxlist.com/librium-drug.htm

Drugs.com. Benzodiazepines. Medically reviewed by C. Fookes, BPharm Feb 5, 2019. from https://www.drugs.com/drug-class/benzodiazepines.html

Verywellmind.com. How Long Does Withdrawal From Benzodiazepines Last?. Osborn, C., Gans, S. MD. August 31, 2019 from https://www.verywellmind.com/benzodiazepine-withdrawal-4588452#signs-and-symptoms

Psychology Today. Alcohol, Benzos, and Opiates—Withdrawal That Might Kill You. January 13, 2010. from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-about-addiction/201001/alcohol-benzos-and-opiates-withdrawal-might-kill-you

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Misuse of Prescription Drugs. How can prescription drug addiction be treated? from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/how-can-prescription-drug-addiction-be-treated

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