Last updated: 04/11/2022
Author: Brittany Tackett
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) is a long-acting benzodiazepine medication prescribed to treat anxiety disorders and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.1, 2, 4 Chlordiazepoxide can be habit-forming; physical dependence can develop after just several days of use.2 Chronic misuse can lead to chlordiazepoxide addiction, but inpatient treatment can help.3
In this article:
- How Addictive is Chlordiazepoxide?
- What is an Inpatient Chlordiazepoxide Rehab?
- Benefits of Inpatient Care
- Do I Need Inpatient Chlordiazepoxide Rehab?
- How to Choose an Inpatient Chlordiazepoxide Rehab Center
How Addictive is Chlordiazepoxide?
Because chlordiazepoxide is long-acting, it is considered one of the safer benzodiazepine medications.4 Owing to this, chlordiazepoxide is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance.2 This means it has less addictive potential than, say, prescription stimulants or opioid painkillers. With that said, it can still be addictive. Chlordiazepoxide addiction occurs especially in those who frequently misuse the drug.4
Misuse is when someone uses a drug or medication contrary to its use instructions or without a prescription entirely. At times, chlordiazepoxide or other benzodiazepines are used illicitly to self-medicate anxiety or induce a high. These improper uses can build tolerance very quickly, which means you will need higher doses to feel the desired effects like euphoria. Using higher and higher doses can speed up the development and onset of dependence, meaning you will experience withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop use.
With chlordiazepoxide, you can develop physical and psychological dependence after several days of use.1,2,4 Once you are dependent, you may continue misusing the drug to avoid unpleasant and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, thus creating a cycle of compulsive misuse known as addiction.
It is possible that you can take this medication as prescribed to treat anxiety but develop dependence.2 Dependence is not addiction because it is not characterized by compulsive use; often, it is a normal physiological response to exposure to the substance. Your physician can speak with you about tapering you off the medication slowly when appropriate. However, dependence can turn into chlordiazepoxide addiction if you ignore your use instructions and begin misusing your prescription. If you have a history of addiction with other substances, your use of chlordiazepoxide must be monitored closely in case of any preexisting tendency toward dependence.1
What is an Inpatient Chlordiazepoxide Rehab?
Inpatient chlordiazepoxide addiction treatment occurs in a residential facility where you can remain for 30 to 90 days. Long-term residential treatment centers also are available and provide treatment programs that last six months to a year or longer in some instances.5
Some inpatient centers specialize in treating substance use disorders among specific demographics. A few of these specialized demographics include:
- Veterans or military families
- Women only
- Men only
- Persons with co-occurring mental health disorders
- Victims of interpersonal partner violence (IPV)
- Court referrals
Each inpatient rehab center is unique in its treatment philosophy, approach, and interventions offered. Some commonly provided therapies and interventions include:3, 5
- Individual therapy: Individual counseling helps you uncover the root cause of your chlordiazepoxide addiction, identify your triggers, and develop alternative coping skills. Some common types of therapy that may be offered include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
- Contingency management (CM)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Family therapy: Some treatment centers may allow family members to visit you for therapy sessions. This way, you can address group dynamics that may contribute to your addiction, helping your family learn ways to support you in your recovery from chlordiazepoxide addiction.
- Group counseling: Group counseling provides you the support of both the counselor and the group. It can be helpful to engage in the therapy process with peers who can relate to your struggle and who want to get sober.
- Medically supported detox: Because the detox process can be painful or potentially life-threatening, it is recommended to detox under medical supervision. You may be given medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms and maximize comfort. Also, you will be monitored for potential complications.
- Peer support groups: Peer support groups such as 12-step programs are offered to develop camaraderie among patients. This way, they support each other throughout the treatment process.
- Holistic treatment options: Some treatment centers provide holistic therapies and interventions, such as:
- Mindfulness-based interventions
- Yoga and meditation
- Religious or spiritual services
- Nutritional counseling
- Massage and spa treatments
- Reiki or energy work
- Equine therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment: Some treatment centers specialize in dual diagnosis treatment. They will focus on treating both chlordiazepoxide addiction and any co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety, simultaneously. For example, alternative medications may be given to treat anxiety as you discontinue the use of chlordiazepoxide.
Medications for Co-Occurring Anxiety and Chlordiazepoxide Addiction
Chlordiazepoxide addiction and anxiety often co-occur. Many people have been prescribed chlordiazepoxide for panic attacks and end up developing an addiction. Others may take the drug illegally as a form of self-medication and become addicted.6
You may be given an alternative medication to treat your anxiety or panic attacks. Your treatment team likely will avoid benzodiazepines and prescribe you a medication that is not addictive, such as buspirone (Buspar), paroxetine (Paxil), or another selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).6
Benefits of Inpatient Care
There are many benefits to receiving inpatient care and treatment for chlordiazepoxide addiction. These include, but are not limited to:3, 5
- Peaceful and serene recovery environment
- Room and board
- Routine and stability throughout the treatment process
- Highly structured care
- 24-7 support
- Medical monitoring and support
- Comprehensive treatment team
- Being separated from your usual environment and away from your typical stressors and triggers to use
- Variety of treatment options and interventions
- Peer support
- Opportunity to focus exclusively on your recovery for an extended period
Do I Need Inpatient Chlordiazepoxide Rehab?
Not everyone needs inpatient rehab for chlordiazepoxide addiction. Some people may be able to recover with outpatient care and treatment. However, inpatient rehab may be best suited for those with the following:3, 5, 6
- Severe or chronic addiction
- Polysubstance misuse
- History of relapse
- History of withdrawal seizures
- History of mental illness
- Co-occurring mental or medical conditions
- Lack of psychosocial support outside of rehab
- Preference for routine and structure
- Insurance or financial ability to cover treatment costs
- Ability to reside in the facility full-time for an extended period
How to Choose an Inpatient Chlordiazepoxide Rehab Center
Because there are so many different inpatient treatment programs available, it can sometimes be challenging to decide which rehab center is right for you. Therefore, finding a treatment center that meets your unique needs and preferences is crucial.
Some factors to consider when choosing your inpatient rehab center include:
- Treatment center philosophy: Each treatment center has its own philosophy and approach. To get the most out of your rehab experience, finding a treatment center that aligns with your personal beliefs and values is best.
- Program accreditations: Accreditations can give you added trust in the facility, knowing that they have committed to a certain standard of care and treatment.
- Staff credentials: Ideally, a treatment center will have a wide range of providers available to you to provide you with a more holistic approach to treatment. This may include doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, psychologists, nutritionists, yoga and meditation teachers, massage therapists, and more.
- Treatment modalities: Every treatment center is unique and may offer a different combination of therapies and interventions. Take some time to research available therapies to see which interventions resonate most for you.
- Amenities and features: Each rehab facility may provide a unique set of room accommodations and services. Decide which are important to you and seek a treatment center that meets those needs.
- Treatment center distance: Think about the location of the treatment center. Are you looking for a place close to home, or are you okay with traveling longer distances to the rehab center if it meets your other needs and preferences?
- Environment: Consider the treatment setting. Some facilities are located on the beach. Others have forest or mountain vistas, while some are more urban. Think about which environment would be most conducive to your healing journey.
- Rules and regulations: Each rehab center will have its own rules and regulations. Read through them carefully and ensure that you are willing and able to follow them. For example, some centers may allow visitors while others may not. If having visitors is important to you, you should choose a facility that allows you to have visitors.
If you or someone you love is struggling with chlordiazepoxide addiction, call (800) 662-HELP (4357). There, you will speak with an addiction treatment specialist about your treatment options.
- S. Food and Drug Administration. (2005). Librium C-IV (chlordiazepoxide HCl) Capsules.
- S. National Library of Medicine. (2022). Chlordiazepoxide.
- Brett, J., & Murnion, B. (2015). Management of benzodiazepine misuse and dependence. Australian Prescriber, 38(5): 152-155.
- Ahwazi, H., & Abdijadid, S. (2021). Chlordiazepoxide.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).
- McHugh, R. (2016). Treatment of Co-occurring Anxiety Disorders and Substance Use Disorders. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 23(2): 99-111.