Recreational Librium Use | Effects & Risks

When abused, it’s likely taken orally as a pill or crushed up and snorted. But as with abuse of most drugs, there are significant effects and risks.

Librium is the former brand name of chlordiazepoxide. Chlordiazepoxide is a benzodiazepine drug (benzo) and central nervous system depressant.

It’s typically prescribed as a short-term treatment for mental health disorders like anxiety but can also treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms, muscle tension, and irritable bowel syndrome.

As for recreational use and abuse of Librium, it can be taken by itself or mixed with a combination of other drugs. Because the drug can lead to euphoria and sedation in those who take it, some people abuse it to achieve that pleasurable “high” feeling.

When abused, it’s likely taken orally as a pill or crushed up and snorted. But as with abuse of most drugs, there are significant effects and risks.

Effects Of Recreational Librium Use

Librium works by binding to the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. This increases the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA and slows down brain activity while easing the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

But beyond easing the symptoms of anxiety, taking Librium recreationally can also lead to side effects that can range in intensity from mild to severe.

How intense the effects are can depend on how much you take, how long you’ve used the prescription drug, and the state of your overall health.

The side effects of Librium can include:

  • impaired motor skills
  • tremors
  • vertigo
  • blurred vision
  • drowsiness
  • slurred speech
  • impaired cognitive function
  • depression
  • slowed breathing
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • mood swings

When Librium is mixed with other drugs like alcohol, marijuana, or opioids, the high can be more intense but so can the side effects.

Those who use cocaine or amphetamines may take Librium to reduce the stimulating effects of those drugs but it can also lead to severe issues that may be life-threatening.

Risks Of Recreational Librium Use

The risks of using Librium recreationally include building up a physical dependence, overdosing on the drug, mixing it with other drugs, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit after long-term drug use.

Polysubstance Use

There are certain drugs that Librium should not be mixed with. If they are mixed, the combination can create very serious side effects and can even be deadly.

Some of the drugs that shouldn’t be taken with Librium include:

  • antihistamines
  • antidepressants
  • barbiturates
  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • opioids
  • seizure medication
  • cold and allergy medicine
  • other muscle relaxants
  • oral contraceptives
  • sedatives
  • sleeping pills
  • tranquilizers


Librium overdoses typically occur when other drugs have been taken with Librium, but an overdose with only Librium can happen too.

If you take too much of the drug for your body to handle, an overdose can occur and lead to symptoms such as:

  • slowed or stopped breathing
  • low blood pressure
  • irregular heartbeat
  • blurred vision
  • loss of control of motor functions
  • unconsciousness
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • loss of balance
  • low body temperature
  • memory loss
  • seizures
  • coma

Librium Withdrawal & Dependence

Librium is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is the same schedule classification as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. Schedule IV indicates that the drug can be habit-forming and lead to dependence and addiction.

If you abuse Librium or take high doses over a long period of time, your body will likely become dependent on it.

If your body does build up a dependence on Librium (or any benzodiazepine) and you try to quit, benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are likely to show up.

The withdrawal symptoms can be serious which is why a detoxification program is usually recommended.

The symptoms of Librium withdrawal can include:

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • problems with concentration
  • memory loss
  • muscle tension
  • seizures
  • increased heart rate
  • elevated blood pressure
  • nausea and vomiting
  • psychosis
  • loss of appetite
  • hallucinations
  • drug cravings

Treatment For Librium Abuse

When treating Librium addiction or abuse, a detox program may be the first step to help ease people into the withdrawal process and make sure that healthcare professionals are available to treat symptoms immediately.

After detox, an inpatient or outpatient treatment program is the next step. Both treatment settings include addiction education, group therapy, medical care, and support groups.

If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, you don’t have to struggle alone. Northeast Addiction Treatment Center is here to help. We offer outpatient addiction treatment options including behavioral therapy, peer support, and aftercare.

To learn more, please call our helpline today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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