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Librium Detox - Treating Anxiety and Acute Alcohol Withdrawal.

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

There are multiple ways to detox from alcohol, depending on a person's circumstances and his or her tolerance for withdrawal symptoms. One of the more common methods is known as Librium detox. This kind of detox makes use of a specific type of drug known as a benzodiazepine. Librium is simply a brand name of this drug.

Librium was originally developed as an anti-anxiety medication for people suffering from certain mental disorders. It works by altering the balance of select neurotransmitters in the brain known to cause feelings of anxiety and restlessness. Doctors discovered that it could work to relieve acute withdrawal symptoms in some people undergoing alcohol detox. Librium does not completely alleviate withdrawal symptoms, but can take the edge off – especially where anxiety is concerned.

If you have a drinking problem that requires professional intervention, you can make an appointment to see a GP. Your doctor may prescribe Librium along with the secondary medication to help control alcohol cravings. Combining these drugs with appropriate counselling and support may be all you need to overcome an alcohol problem.

If you have a more serious problem clinically determined to be alcoholism, it is unlikely that Librium detox alone is going to be successful. Detox is just the first step in the process of overcoming confirmed alcoholism. You will also need counselling and other rehabilitative therapies in order to get well.

The Dangers of Benzodiazepines

Librium detox is still somewhat controversial because of the known dangers of benzodiazepines. Also known as benzos, these drugs are highly addictive and come with their own set of very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Those who oppose this kind of detox make a compelling case to say that long-term benzo use is simply substituting one addiction for another. For this reason, doctors typically prescribe Librium only for short periods.

Your doctor might prescribe the drug to be taken in gradually reduced doses over 7 to 10 days. In such a case, you would be required to revisit your doctor every other day to track your progress. There would be no need for continued prescriptions as long as you were showing adequate progress with no warning signs of potential complications. The tricky part is determining what to do if your progress is not optimal.

Some recovering alcoholics are inclined to ask for more Librium to get through a prolonged detox. This is always risky. Extending the use of benzodiazepines for more than a couple of weeks can quickly result in a new addiction. By the way, patients prescribed Librium for the purposes of alcohol detox must continually fight the urge to exceed the doctor recommended dosage. As difficult as those feelings of anxiety might be, one must resist the urge to take more Librium to alleviate them.

What You Could Expect from Librium Detox

Assuming your doctor determined that Librium detox is right for you, you would follow a very rigorous process designed to get you off alcohol completely. It would begin with a very high dosage of Librium on the very first day you stopped drinking. You would notice within 3 to 8 hours of your last drink that withdrawal symptoms begin to appear. You may experience:

  • rapid heartbeat
  • higher body temperature
  • feelings of restlessness and anxiety
  • difficulty sleeping
  • alcohol cravings.

In order for Librium detox to be successful, you must commit to not drinking a single drop of alcohol throughout the entire process. If your doctor or registered nurse suspects you might be drinking anyway, a breathalyser test will be required before you can get your next dose of the drug. Expect your doctor or nurse to stop the detox process if you fail the breathalyser test.

Beginning on the second day of detox, your Librium dosage should gradually be decreased. The idea is to take less of the drug in direct proportion to the gradual reduction of withdrawal symptoms. You should no longer be feeling any withdrawal symptoms or taking Librium somewhere around the 7- to 10-day mark.

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Family Support Is Critical

Detox is not easy, whether Librium is used or not. That said, Librium detox is more successful when the person in recovery has the help and support of a family member or close friend. That family member or friend will be enlisted by the person's doctor or nurse to administer the correct dosage of medication during withdrawal. In light of that, the person you enlist to help you needs to be strong enough to resist your pleas for more Librium during intense periods of anxiety.

The good news is that alcohol detox only lasts for a limited amount of time. As long as the person in recovery is willing to commit to following instructions, there is no reason withdrawal symptoms should not begin subsiding around 48 hours in – continuing to subside until they are gone altogether.

Please bear in mind that you may not be eligible for Librium detox if your doctor determines your home environment is not conducive to the process. For example, let us assume you share a home with four or five other people who also drink heavily. It is unlikely you would be able to get a Librium prescription due to the high likelihood that you will be tempted to drink anyway. Giving you Librium would only increase your chances of developing a brand-new addiction alongside alcoholism.

Contact Us for Further Assistance

You now know the basics of Librium detox. The next step is to figure out whether or not you truly have an alcohol problem requiring medical intervention. This is where we can help. We are an independent organisation providing clients with free addiction assessments and treatment referrals. We can walk you through a series of questions designed to identify symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. If our assessment determines you are likely to be an alcoholic, we can refer you to a private rehab clinic or other service provider. In other cases, we can refer you to a private counsellor or support group through which you can find appropriate support for overcoming alcohol abuse.

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