When it comes to benzodiazepine medications, most people can name some of the heavy hitters, including Valium, Xanax and Klonopin. These are the drugs that make headlines, and they’re the pills that some addicted people ask for by name when they meet their dealers in the hopes of a quick fix. While some people might never consider taking a friend’s Valium pill as they have heard the stories of destruction associated with this drug, they might not hesitate to take a Librium pill, mainly because they’ve never heard of any side effects associated with this drug. Unfortunately for these experimenters, Librium is also a benzodiazepine and it can also be dangerous. Perhaps it’s time for this pill to step into the light, so people will know a little more about how deadly it can really be.
Following Instructions Is Vital
Librium is typically provided to people who have anxiety disorders, sleeping difficulties or seizure risks, and it’s considered safe if people take the pills in exactly the manner their doctors recommend. At the proper dose, the drug can amend chemical imbalances and transform an excitable, out-of-control mind into a mind that’s calm and relaxed. According to FDA information provided by Drugs.com, researchers aren’t quite sure how Librium works, but they do know that the drug is generally considered safe because it’s been tested multiple times among different types of people.
Librium and benzodiazepines like it are considered helpful because they can soothe distress without causing an uptick in drowsiness. People on this medication just feel calm without feeling sedated, and this can be a great gift. However, benzodiazepines have also been linked to a spike in pleasurable chemicals in the brain. People who take Librium may be awash in pleasure signals stemming from the cells of the brain, and they may find this feeling to be intensely intoxicating. In time, they may find that they need a hit of Librium to help soothe the edges of a rough day, and they may come to find that they don’t feel quite right without Librium. People who begin taking the drug recreationally, disregarding doctors’ orders, may find that their use is simply out of their control. When this happens, an addiction has taken hold.
Risk Factors for Addiction
While anyone who takes Librium in a way the doctor never intended might develop an addiction, there are some people who are at higher risk of developing a problem, when compared to the public at large. In one study of the issue, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, researchers found that people with mental illnesses were likely to enter treatment programs for their benzodiazepine abuse.
In this study, common diagnoses were:
- Major depression
- Panic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
Some of these people might have been given Librium in order to help them deal with the mental illnesses they faced, but others might have turned to Librium on their own as they attempted to live with these illnesses without proper medical care. When left to their own devices, these people may have developed their own addictions. In any case, underlying mental illness is considered a risk factor for Librium addiction, as it’s clear that people with mental illnesses have difficulty when asked to control their intake of this powerful drug.
There is also evidence that people who develop addictions to benzodiazepines like Librium sometimes have addictions to other substances. For example, a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that heavy cocaine use was associated with addiction to benzodiazepines. It’s possible that people felt that the mellowing effect of Librium helped them to handle the high of cocaine, and this mixing and matching allowed an addiction to blossom. It’s also possible that some types of addiction seem to prime the brain for future addictions, allowing them to grow and spread just a little bit easier.
Some people develop addictions to Librium when they participate in detoxification programs from other drugs. When they enter detox programs for alcohol, for example, Librium might be given to stave off seizures as the brain adjusts. These people have addictive histories and addictive patterns of thinking, and they could easily transfer an addiction to alcohol to an addiction to Librium, and that move might not take any time at all. While Librium could be a useful component for any treatment program for addiction, people with addictive pasts will need to use caution when they take this drug, as a prior addiction really is a risk factor for a benzodiazepine abuse issue.
People might read through the risks factors for addiction and feel a sense of sweeping calm, as they may not have any of these risk factors at all. Unfortunately, a lack of hallmark risk factors won’t protect a person from developing an addiction. Anyone who takes these drugs could get addicted, if the right circumstances arise. In a study of the issue, published in the journal Psycho-Pharmacology, researchers gave monkeys a choice between water and Librium, hoping to demonstrate that the drug would be preferable to these creatures. In time, the monkeys developed a clear preference for Librium, choosing it consistently. Monkeys aren’t humans, of course, but studies like this do seem to demonstrate that the drug can cause changes in the brain that lead to compulsive use. If a monkey will choose the drug instead of water, it’s clear that this is a drug that isn’t benign.
An article in the journal Genetic Psychology Monographs reports that Librium is one of the most frequently prescribed drug in the world, and it’s likely that many people would live in misery if they didn’t have access to this drug. They need it for very real conditions. However, it’s also true that there are many people who simply cannot take this drug without sliding into addictive behaviors, including:
- Taking very large dosages
- Snorting or injecting the drug
- Buying the drug from street dealers
- Choosing to get high instead of spending time with loved ones
- Planning the day around taking this drug
- Feeling frantic when stores of the drug are low
The problem is serious, and people like this might need therapy in order to heal.
Therapy for a Librium addiction begins with detox. Here, medical staff provides addicted people with a safe way to stop using the drug, tapering down dosages at a slow and steady pace so the person can concentrate on healing and getting better. When detox is done, therapy can help people understand why they lost control of their Librium use, and what they might need to do in the future to keep the problem from coming back. Support groups can help people meet others who have dealt with the same problem, and they can share their stories of success and their hopes for the future. In time, the Librium addiction might become a problem that’s not quite gone, but one that is well under control. It’s something that people with addictions might ardently wish for, and therapy can make it happen.
This is the sort of help we provide at The Orchid. We specialize in providing therapies that have been tailored to meet the needs of women, and our counselors are adept at breaking through denial and helping women see the vibrant future that lies just in front of them. We’ve helped many women overcome an addiction to Librium, and we’d like to help you, too. Just call us to talk to a counselor and learn more about how therapy works and how it might help you.