The Danger of Mixing Librium and Alcohol

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mixing librium and alcohol

Both Librium and alcohol are central nervous system depressants. Read on to learn about the dangers of mixing Librium and alcohol.

Librium is a moderate to long-acting sedative in the benzo family of drugs. Someone may be prescribed Librium in the treatment of an anxiety disorder. With long-term use, the person is likely to develop a physical dependence on Librium. If someone is taking Librium, whether prescribed or recreationally, and then consumes alcohol, there is a risk of respiratory distress.

What is Librium?

Librium is the brand name of the first benzo to go to market, chlordiazepoxide. Like all benzos, Librium acts by slowing activity in the central nervous system. Librium has a longer half-life than other benzos, staying in the system for 24-48 hours.

Librium is used for a variety of medical purposes. It helps manage an anxiety disorder, to calm a patient before a procedure, and to prevent seizures during alcohol detox. Librium is also an abused substance, known by street names blue bombs, ruffles, tranks, L, and bennies.

When the drug is abused recreationally, it is often combined with other substances. For instance, Librium may be taken to temper the effects of cocaine or to enhance the effects of heroin.

Why Librium and Alcohol Should Not be Used Together

Librium poses a risk of dependency when taken for too long a period, or in larger doses than prescribed. When Librium users mix this drug with another powerful depressant like alcohol, it can slow breathing and heart rate.

This happens because alcohol is also a depressant. When the person mixes Librium and alcohol the effects of both substances can overwhelm the central nervous system. This can cause a life-threatening event.

Risks of Alcohol and Librium Poisoning

When mixing Librium and alcohol, a person puts him or herself at a higher risk of overdose. This happens because both these compounds depress the nerve activity in the central nervous system, which can disrupt life functions. The heart rate and breathing rate becomes so slow that it can lead to death.

Symptoms of alcohol and Librium overdose include:

  • Mental confusion.
  • Slowed breathing; shallow breathing; irregular breathing.
  • Blue-tinged skin and lips.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Vomiting
  • Stupor
  • Low body temperature.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Poly-substance Addiction

Someone who takes Librium for anxiety may develop a problem with alcohol when tolerance increases. This means that they are no longer getting adequate relief from the anxiety symptoms from the Librium. The body builds up a tolerance over time, and that may lead the person to mix Librium with alcohol. This is done in order for the alcohol to enhance the effects of the drug.

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When someone develops both an addiction to Librium and alcoholism they have what is termed a poly-substance addiction. This is a serious condition that increases the risks of addiction that are already present when just one substance is involved. Not only is there an increased risk for overdose, but the addiction becomes more complex and harder to treat.

Withdrawal Management

When someone decides they want to stop taking Librium and/or drinking alcohol, they must first enroll in a medical detox program. Both these substances have a high-risk profile during detox and must be closely managed. An expert detox team is equipped to guide the person through the process safely.

Breaking a Librium habit is not easy and should be closely monitored and assisted by qualified professionals. Someone who has been using the drug for a long time should never attempt to stop ‘cold turkey.” Instead, a doctor creates a tapering schedule to slowly wean the person off the benzo over two weeks. This helps reduce the severe rebound symptoms that can occur during detox.

Alcohol detox is also risky. The withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe, based on the length of time engaged in heavy drinking. There is a risk of a serious health event called DTs. The DTs can arise out of nowhere on the third or fourth day of detox.

Throughout the detox process, a team of experts will closely observe symptoms and provide needed interventions. This includes mental health support.

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder or Polysubstance Use Disorder

If you are struggling with a Librium and alcohol use disorder, you will need to complete a rehab program after detox. This involves a multi-modal treatment plan within a secure, safe setting. The rehab settings provide structure, 24-hour support, and a range of classes and therapy sessions each day.

Here is what you can expect in rehab:

  • Psychotherapy. You will meet with a licensed therapist during the week to discuss any emotional issues that are connected to the addiction. Therapy also teaches you how to shift to healthy responses when you encounter triggers.
  • Group therapy. A small group of peers is assembled to discuss topics related to the recovery process. These sessions become a source of social support.
  • Family therapy. Many times, the family is included in the recovery process of their loved one. This can help the family members work through issues and also learn how to support their loved ones.
  • Relapse prevention planning. Learning how to prevent a relapse is a core goal during rehab. Each person designs his or her own unique relapse prevention plan.
  • 12-step. The basic elements of A.A.’s 12-step program are often woven into rehab programming.
  • Life skills classes. Rehabs offer life skills classes to help improve recovery success. These teach new coping skills, job hunting skills, and better communication techniques.
  • Holistic. Learning how to relax will enhance the rehab experience, such as by using mindfulness training and taking yoga classes.
  • Nutrition and fitness. Restoring health and wellness through a healthy diet and regular exercise is emphasized during rehab and beyond.

Mixing Librium and alcohol can have devastating effects. If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol, reach out for help today.

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LifeSync Malibu is a leading recovery program that combines evidence-based treatment with holistic methods. Call us with any questions about our program at (866) 491-4426.