How to Treat Librium Addiction
- Table of ContentsPrint
- How to Approach a Librium Addict
- Librium Addiction Treatment
- Why Is Librium Addictive?
Librium, the trade name for the benzodiazepine chlordiazepoxide, is a tranquilizer that, when misused, may become addictive and cause increasing negative side effects that 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 through the impact of Librium addiction 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.
Worried someone you love is abusing Librium? Listen for these street names:
- Chill pills.
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 intervention should be led by an intervention professional, 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 the 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 specifically for the loved ones of addicts, such as Al-Anon or 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 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
The course of Librium 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:
- Detoxification, where the drug is allowed to clear from the body, and the withdrawal process can be monitored in a safe, comfortable environment.
- Inpatient and outpatient programs, in which trained professionals utilize behavioral therapy techniques to help create lasting change.
- Aftercare programs, such as sober living homes, that help the person to maintain sobriety after treatment ends.
An important early step in recovering from Librium addiction is 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 seizure and agitation can be minimized and the entire detox experience made more comfortable and easier to handle. Medically assisted detox is most effective when followed up with treatment in either an inpatient or outpatient setting 5.
Treatment in an inpatient facility generally lasts about 28 days to 90 days, or longer if necessary, and involves counseling in both individual and group settings, 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 support groups is often recommended, as it helps to forge a strong sober support network.
Why Is Librium Addictive?
Librium may be addictive, especially if taken for longer than prescribed, more often than prescribed, and/or in 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 it without help 1. For help quitting Librium and other drugs like it, many people attend detox and formal substance abuse treatment, such as that offered from a residential rehab, outpatient treatment program, 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 met, with mild displaying 2-3 criteria, moderate showing 4-5 criteria, and 6 or more indicating a severe diagnosis 9. These signs and symptoms include 9:
Am I Addicted to Librium?
You may be addicted to Librium if you:
- Spend a lot of time thinking about Librium.
- Feel strong urges to use Librium.
- Feel like you can’t get through your day without using it.
- Are increasing your dose consistently to feel the same effects, or get high.
- Have experienced withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop.
- Have cut out hobbies or social events in favor of using Librium.
- Mix Librium with other drugs or alcohol to achieve the desired effects.
- Are afraid of running out of the drug.
- Experiencing strong cravings or urges to use Librium.
- Continuing to use Librium, even after experiencing negative consequences.
- Using more Librium than intended, or using it for longer than planned.
- Being unable to control or stop using Librium.
- Difficulty functioning at work, school or home due to Librium use.
- Using Librium 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 Librium.
- Needing continuously higher amounts to feel the effects (tolerance).
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal support groups if use is stopped abruptly or intake is decreased.
- Spending a great deal of time getting, using, or recovering from using Librium.
- Reducing or ceasing important actions, such as occupational, social, or recreational activities due to Librium use.
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- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). What to do if your adult friend or loved one has a problem with drugs.
- Mayo Clinic. (2014). Drug addiction.
- Dutcher, L. W., Anderson, R., Moore, M., Luna-Anderson, C., Meyers, R. J., Delaney, H. D., & Smith, J. E. (2009). Community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT): an effectiveness study.
- Miller, W.R., Meyers, R.J., & Hiller-Sturmhöfel, S. (1999). The community reinforcement approach.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (2012). Types of treatment programs.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Behavioral health treatments and services .
- S. National Library of Medicine. (2012). Chlordiazepoxide.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Well-known mechanism underlies benzodiazepines' addictive properties.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 national survey on drug use and health. (HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50).