Using Librium For Alcohol Detox & Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and can be uncomfortable, unpleasant, and even dangerous, especially for people who experience severe and complicated withdrawal.1,10 People who enter medical detox for alcohol withdrawal may receive Librium to manage their symptoms, keep them safe, and prevent complications.1

Librium is the brand name for chlordiazepoxide, a benzodiazepine medication that is approved to treat acute alcohol withdrawal.2, 3 If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol misuse or withdrawal, you can benefit from learning more about Librium for alcohol withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and how to find help for alcohol addiction.

Librium for Alcohol Withdrawal

Librium is a long-acting benzodiazepine that has anti-anxiety and sedative properties.3 Librium for detox is prescribed by medical professionals and is often used in a medical detox setting to help people in treatment for alcohol addiction who are at risk for or have alcohol withdrawal syndrome.1, 4

How Does Librium Help with Alcohol Withdrawal?

Studies have shown that Librium’s long-acting properties make it helpful for alcohol withdrawal because it may prevent the emergence of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, alleviate intense withdrawal symptoms, and reduce the risk of rebound symptoms (such as seizures).1, 5 

Benzodiazepines like Librium are considered to be the first-line treatment for people suffering from alcohol withdrawal.6 What Librium does for alcohol withdrawal is help you stay safer and more comfortable by minimizing moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms as your body withdraws from alcohol and returns to a stable state.6

During alcohol withdrawal, levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, in your body), decrease to below normal levels, which causes hyperactivity in the nervous system and is believed to be responsible for many withdrawal symptoms, including severe symptoms like seizures.5, 6, 7  Like other medications in the benzodiazepine class, Librium works by calming an over-excited nervous system.3 This may help reduce withdrawal symptoms and seizures.

Librium can not only help reduce withdrawal symptoms, but it may also help control agitation and decrease the likelihood of seizures, morbidity, and mortality.9 People may receive Librium as a part of their pharmacological withdrawal management plan at a medical detox facility.

Depending on your needs, Librium alcohol detox may be used on a fixed dose schedule (meaning you receive doses at regular intervals) or a symptom-triggered schedule (meaning you receive the medication only when you meet certain criteria/physiological symptoms).6

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal can be accompanied by intense withdrawal symptoms that can cause discomfort and be potentially life-threatening.6 Cravings and withdrawal effects can be difficult to withstand, and people may relapse as a way of avoiding these symptoms.8

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include:8

  • Autonomic hyperactivity (such as sweating or pulse rate greater than 100 bpm).
  • Increased hand tremor.
  • Insomnia.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Transient visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations or illusions.
  • Psychomotor agitation.
  • Anxiety.
  • Generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures.

People can experience a range of other symptoms as well, such as lack of appetite, increased sensitivity to light or sound, poor concentration, impaired memory, hyperthermia (fever), or delirium tremens.

Is Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?

Alcohol withdrawal can not only be uncomfortable, but in severe cases can also be dangerous and life-threatening. Severe and dangerous symptoms can include delirium tremens (DTs), seizures, and dysregulation of body temperature, pulse, and blood pressure, which can all potentially lead to fatal consequences, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).5

Grand mal seizures can cause loss of consciousness, temporary cessation of breathing, and muscle rigidity followed by muscle jerking, and can be fatal.5 DTs typically involve visual hallucinations, profound confusion, tachycardia, hypertension, hyperthermia, agitation, and diaphoresis (sweating), and can also lead to death if left untreated.9

Finding an Alcohol Detox Facility in Florida

If you’re struggling with addiction to alcohol and are concerned about withdrawal, or you know someone who is, you should know that help is available. Recovery First’s medical detox provides medically-supervised alcohol detoxification at our alcohol rehab in Miami metro so you can safely and comfortably manage withdrawal. Our medical team will perform an evaluation to assess the expected severity of your withdrawal to help decide how best to stabilize you during the process.

After detox, people often continue their recovery journey with treatment at our inpatient rehab near Miami or our outpatient facility.

If you want to know more about Librium and alcohol withdrawal, detox, or treatment options, please contact our caring admissions navigators at Recovery First at . They can walk you through the ins and outs of our alcohol and drug detox in Florida, how to start treatment, and help you learn more about types of addiction treatment, using insurance to pay for rehab, and other rehab payment options.

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