Librium Addiction and Abuse

Modified: 22nd Jul 2019

Last updated on July 22nd, 2019 at 02:48 pm

Librium is a member of the benzodiazepines drug family.  Other drugs in this class include Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.

These are prescription drugs which are commonly prescribed by medical doctors to treat conditions such as anxiety and insomnia. However, like other types of benzodiazepines, Librium carries a risk of addiction and abuse.

Librium Addiction Statistics

When misused by patients or on the street, people may become addicted to Librium. Librium was the first drug of its’ kind to be prescribed in the U.S. It became available to American patients in the 1950’s.

Many of the statistics available for Librium addiction include addiction to other drugs within the benzodiazepine drug family, as well. There are few resources available that isolate addiction statistics related to Librium alone. Most of the studies and statistics for Librium addiction and abuse group its use together with other types of benzodiazepines.

General Statistics On Addiction to Librium

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the United States, there are over 14,500 addiction treatment centers that specialize in providing services to people with substance abuse disorders.

Over the past 15 years, there has been an increase in the number of emergency room visits and overdose deaths resulting from misusing prescription medications in the U.S.

Every year, physicians write more than 50 million prescriptions for benzodiazepines medications, including Librium.

Up to 15% of Americans have a bottle of this type of prescription drugs in their household’s medicine supply.

Between 1996 and 2011 the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67%, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. During this period the average potency of these prescriptions increased as well.

In 2015, 23% of the people who died from opioid overdoses also had benzodiazepines in their system at the time of their death.

Demographics

In 2013, 2% of the population of U.S. citizens 12 years of age and older had used benzodiazepines. Given the increase in the number of prescriptions for this class of drug, it is likely that that percentage has risen since it was recorded for 2013.

According to a study published in 2016 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the average age that a person first uses benzodiazepine drugs is 23 years old.

Substance abuse treatment centers found that the number of patients admitted citing benzodiazepines as their sole drug of choice rose 109% between 2009 and 2013.

Signs of Librium Abuse

Signs of Librum abuse may include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Tremors
  • Changes in appetite
  • Unsteady gait
  • Upset stomach
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Reduced energy level

In addition to the above list, you might also notice the following in people who abuse Librium:

  • Loss of interest in school, work, social activities, relationships or in similar areas
  • Drug-seeking behavior, such as visiting many doctors to get medication or attempting to get the drug illegally
  • Failing to maintain daily routine or responsibilities
  • Decreased hygiene or housekeeping habits
  • Changes in appearance
  • Mood swings, especially at times when the drug is wearing off or is unavailable 
  • Preoccupation with the prescription, including counting and recounting pills, worry that they may run out before they can refill their prescription, and accusatory or defensive behavior surrounding their drug use

These lists are not all-inclusive. Users may exhibit additional signs that are obvious to family and friends which are not included on the lists above.

Taking higher than the recommended amounts, or increasing the amount of Librium which they are taking without a doctor’s consent

Am I Addicted?

If you are exhibiting behaviors described above, then you may be addicted to Librium. 

Patients that become concerned about overusing or abusing Librium or other prescription medications are urged to discuss their concerns with a doctor or addiction specialist as soon as possible.

Addiction to Librium can be dangerous, and may even cause consequences that lead to death.

If you continue to use the drug despite warnings and risks, there is a good possibility that you may be developing a dependency that could result in addiction, or that you may already be addicted to Librium.

You should note an increased tolerance, or if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Librium.

Should either of these become apparent, you should call or make an appointment to speak with a professional. They can help you determine the best course of action to take to avoid further repercussions relating to your prescription drug use.

Dangers of Librium Abuse

Librium directly affects the central nervous system of users, producing a calming effect. When taken in high doses, the prescription medication can have an effect that is similar to alcohol intoxication.

Overuse may result in respiratory depression, loss of consciousness, coma, or even death.

Patients who abuse Librium may experience an altered mental state which may impair their ability to drive or make rational decisions.

Combining Librium with other drugs, including opioids, alcohol, or other types of illicit drugs or medications can increase associated dangers. These users are also at a higher risk for experiencing an overdose.

Overdosing on Librium can be fatal. If you notice signs of overdose, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.

These signs may include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shallow breaths
  • Bluish fingernails, lips, or extremities
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lowered blood pressure

Are you or someone you love struggling with an addiction to Librium? It’s imperative that you seek professional help when dealing with substance abuse.

Addiction is a serious problem. But, there are effective treatment options available for people who are abusing this or other types of drugs.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Keerthy Sunder, MD, DFAPA

Dr. Keerthy Sunder, MD, DFAPADr. Keerthy Sunder, MD is an accomplished and internationally recognized expert in the field of addiction. He has earned diplomates from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.