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How to Treat Librium Addiction

Librium—the trade name for the benzodiazepine chlordiazepoxide—is a tranquilizer that, when misused, may become addictive and cause increasing negative effects as a result of usage, which only worsen with time.

Going through benzodiazepine addiction yourself or watching someone you love struggle can take a huge toll. However, there are many ways to get help, from utilizing family therapy to seeking the assistance of professionals through a community reinforcement approach. You and your loved ones don’t have to suffer the impact of Librium addiction for one more day.

How to Approach a Librium Addict

There are several effective ways to approach and support your loved one. Sharing that you care and are concerned is a good way to start the conversation. Quitting Librium is a difficult and scary process for the user; your loved one will need genuine assistance, encouragement, and support to get help.1

Rather than making threats, which can lead to your loved one becoming defensive, try to develop incentives to boost his or her willingness to speak to a professional, such as a therapist or doctor.1

Interventions for Librium Misuse

If someone you care about is addicted to Librium, you may need to try new approaches to encourage them to seek help, such as holding an intervention. Loved ones of addicts often feel worried, afraid, angry or resentful. These feelings can lead to heated, threatening, or confrontational communication, which can undermine the intention of providing help. Worse, such feelings can lead to an argument or even a violent outburst.1

Ideally, an experienced professional should lead an intervention, in consultation with a substance abuse counselor, doctor or therapist.2 This protocol allows the tone to remain neutral while allowing the loved ones of the addicted individual to have a heart-to-heart conversation about the impact the drug use has had on all of them.2

An intervention should only involve those who can express care, concern, and support without judgment.

Family Therapy and Support Groups

Addiction is often called a family disease, not simply because of its hereditary component, but because it so often severely affects family members and other loved ones.

Family members may consider going to therapy or attending support groups—such as 12-step programs—specifically for the loved ones of addicts, such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. Therapy or self-help groups can give you space to manage your feelings of anger, fear, resentment, frustration and confusion, as well as help you learn how to set boundaries and help your loved one stay sober.


Another technique, known as Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), educates family members about skills they can practice to motivate the Librium addict to seek treatment.3

Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CRAFT.3,4 This technique is especially useful when a loved one is resistant to seeking treatment. A CRAFT therapist meets with the family without the addict present and collaboratively works to eliminate any reinforcement of Librium use, replacing these behaviors with positive reinforcement of the individual’s abstinence.4

This goal is accomplished using various cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to teach family members how to:3

  • Support a sober way of life.
  • Encourage the Librium user to enter treatment.
  • Improve their own lives regardless of whether their loved one accepts treatment.

Librium Addiction Treatment Options

The course of addiction is unique to each individual, and treatment does not follow one set course, but rather may be individualized to fit the person’s unique needs.

Various types of treatment are available to Librium addicts who are on the road to recovery, including:

An important early step in recovering from Librium addiction is medical or another type of detoxification. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines like Librium may safely proceed under the care and supervision of a formal detox program, where medical staff can alleviate the uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. As part of a medication-assisted treatment approach, a safe withdrawal will often begin with a slow tapering of Librium rather than abrupt discontinuation of the drug. In this manner, and with the use of other medications, if needed, the risk of severe withdrawal effects such as seizures and agitation can be minimized and the entire detox experience made more comfortable and easier to handle. Medically assisted detox is most effective when it is followed up with treatment in either an inpatient or outpatient setting.5

Man in therapy for Librium addiction treatment

Treatment in an inpatient facility containing other recovering addicts generally lasts for about 28 days to 90 days, or longer if necessary, and it involves counseling in both individual and group settings, drug education, and relapse prevention skills development. Self-help meetings (e.g. Narcotics Anonymous) are also often made available.5 Professional staff members assist recovering individuals in learning about the dynamics of addiction and recovery, while helping them to develop and practice skills to manage stress, prevent relapse, and communicate effectively. Vocational support is also provided in many cases.6

Individuals with milder addictions, or those who have already gone through a detox and inpatient facility, may benefit from treatment in an outpatient setting. Outpatient treatment approaches will be similar to those offered in inpatient settings, but not quite as immersive and time-intensive. Rather than being required to live on-site for a few days per week, the recovering person will attend several hours of individual and group counseling sessions that are tailored to their specific needs and time constraints.

Strong sober support is extremely helpful at this stage and participation in sober groups or other types of support groups is often recommended, as this helps to forge a strong sober support network.

Why Is Librium Addictive?

Librium may be addictive, especially if it is taken for longer than prescribed, more often than prescribed, and/or at higher doses than prescribed.7

Librium works in the brain to change the level of activity of certain neurotransmitters. Librium’s effects are accompanied by a surge of dopamine—a chemical that makes you feel good and which normally is strongly associated with life-sustaining activities such as eating and having sex.8 Amplified dopaminergic activity in the pleasure and reward areas of the brain can lead to euphoric sensations when a drug is used, which can reinforce the desire to continue using the drug.8

Continued substance abuse can ultimately impair functioning in certain areas of the brain, including the area involved in self-control—making it especially difficult to stop using a drug without help.1 For help quitting Librium and other drugs like it, many people attend detox and formal substance abuse treatment, such as that which is offered by residential rehabs, outpatient treatment programs, private therapy, or support groups.

What Are the Signs of Librium Addiction?

Librium addiction is diagnosed by treatment professionals as a sedative, hypnotic and anxiolytic use disorder. The severity of any substance use disorder is based on the number of diagnostic criteria the patient meets, with mild disorders displaying 2-3 criteria, moderate disorders showing 4-5 criteria, and 6 or more criteria indicating a severe diagnosis.9 These signs and symptoms include:9

  • Experiencing strong cravings or urges to use Librium.
  • Continuing to use the drug, even after experiencing negative consequences.
  • Using more Librium than intended, or using it for longer than planned.
  • Being unable to control or stop using it.
  • Difficulty functioning at work, school or home due to Librium use.
  • Using it in physically dangerous situations, such as while driving.
  • Continuing to use Librium after facing recurrent or persistent problems with social relationships due to or exacerbated by using it.
  • Needing continuously higher amounts to feel the effects (tolerance).
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal if use is stopped abruptly or intake is decreased.
  • Spending a great deal of time getting, using, or recovering from using the drug.
  • Reducing or ceasing important actions—such as occupational, social, or recreational activities—due to Librium use.

Find Treatment for Librium Addiction

Professional treatment can start anyone battling addiction on the path to a happier and healthier life. American Addiction Centers (AAC) runs trusted facilities across the country. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to Librium, please call us for free at to learn more about rehab programs and treatment options. It’s never too late to begin again.

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