Can You Mix Alcohol and Librium?

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Alcohol is one of the most widely used substances throughout the United States. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 219.2 million individuals, over the age of 11, reported they have engaged in alcohol use during some point of their lives. (1) Chronic or daily alcohol use can lead to the development of alcohol use disorder. In the United States, approximately 29.5 million individuals were diagnosed with alcohol use disorder during the year 2021. (2) The amount of individuals experiencing alcohol use disorder increased by over 15 million individuals over a 2 year time frame. (3) With so many people impacted by alcohol use, many individuals may not be aware of whether or not they can mix alcohol with certain medications, such as Librium. Mixing alcohol with other substances can potentially lead to dangerous side effects. 

At Guardian Recovery, we offer psychoeducation and evidence-based treatment options for those experiencing alcohol and other substance use disorders. Providing various psychotherapy modalities, we are dedicated to helping each individual develop the necessary tools needed to reach their sobriety goals. With alcohol specific detoxification services, we can aid those wanting to stop their alcohol use do so in a medically supervised environment. Contact us today to start your recovery journey today.

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What Is Librium?

Librium, also known by his generic name Chlordiazepoxide, is a prescription medication used to help treat anxiety disorders. (4) It can also be used to minimize anxious feelings before a surgical procedure or to help treat symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal. Librium is a part of the drug classification known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines slow down the body and central nervous system, causing feelings of sedation. Librium is typically taken for a total duration of 4 months or less. (5) 

Symptoms & Side Effects That May Be Caused by Librium Use

There are noted side effects that can occur during Librium use. Some side effects are common, while others are rarer and may require medical assistance. It is important that, when taking Librium, you monitor your side effects and discuss with your doctor if they worsen. 

Common side effects associated with Librium use include: (6) 

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Impairments with balance

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following symptoms after Librium use: (7) 

  • Slurred speech
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Slow breathing
  • Memory impairments
  • Impairments in concentration
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior
  • Suicidal or homicidal ideation
  • Impairments in muscle movement 
  • Excitement
  • Paranoia
  • Anger or aggression
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite 

Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol While Taking Librium?

Drinking alcohol while taking Librium is not recommended, as combining these 2 substances can lead to dangerous adverse effects. Alcohol use should be avoided if an individual has been prescribed Librium. Those who continue to engage in the combined use of the two substances risk experiencing an overdose. 

Does Alcohol Counteract the Effects of Librium?

Alcohol does not necessarily counteract the effects of Librium. Librium and alcohol are both depressants, meaning that they both interact with the body in similar ways. Depressants slow down the central nervous system. Combining depressants can increase an individual’s chances of experiencing an overdose.

In 2021, approximately 12,499 individuals died due to experiencing a fatal overdose associated with benzodiazepine use. (8) According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 140,000 individuals die annually related to alcohol use. (9) 

Is Librium Hard on the Liver?

Librium is metabolized in the liver. Liver injury can occur due to Librium use, however, this is a race occurrence. Research has found that those who experience liver injury due to Librium use may be caused by a rarely produced metabolite. Those with previous liver impairments should discuss this with their doctor before they begin Librium use. (10) Alcohol use can cause liver damage. So taking Librium and alcohol simultaneously can increase one’s chances of experiencing liver damage. 

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Possible Side Effects From Consuming Alcohol on Librium

Librium use can cause breathing to slow down or stop if an individual has recently engaged in alcohol use. 

Additional side effects that can occur due to mixing alcohol and Librium together include: (11) 

  • Dizziness
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Extreme tiredness and fatigue 
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Muscle weakness
  • Impairments in movement
  • Loss of consciousness 

Long-Term Risks Associated With Librium & Alcohol

There are some long-term risks related to alcohol and Librium use. Those taking Librium while experiencing alcohol use disorder increase their risk of overdoses or developing psychiatric conditions. An individual could experience addiction to both substances if they continue to engage in them daily. Research has found that those who engage in the misuse of alcohol are 15 percent more likely to begin benzodiazepine use. (12) 

What Should You Not Take While Using Librium?

In addition to alcohol, there are other medications that can also cause dangerous side effects if taken while using Librium. 

Substance that may interact with Librium include: (13)

  • Barbiturates
  • Blood thinners
  • MAO inhibitors
  • Medications used to treat psychiatric disorders
  • Narcotics
  • Antidepressants

If you have been prescribed Librium, it is important to discuss with your doctor whether or not you engage in the use of any of the medications listed above. 

Should Alcohol Be Avoided With Benzodiazepines & Anxiety Medications?

Alcohol use should be avoided when taking benzodiazepines or other anxiety medications. Depending on the medication, alcohol can interfere with its effectiveness. Discuss with your doctor which medications can be taken simultaneously with any medications that you are prescribed. 

How Long Should You Wait After Taking Librium to Consume Alcohol?

There is no exact time frame regarding how long an individual should wait after taking Librium to engage in alcohol use. For those prescribed Librium, it is important to note that it can stay in an individual’s system for 3 to 6 days following last use. (14) 

Dangers of Quitting Alcohol Use Suddenly

Those who have been prescribed Librium may choose to stop their alcohol use, following the advice of their doctor. This may be difficult for those who engage in alcohol use daily. Those who experience chronic alcohol use can experience dangerous effects if they suddenly quit alcohol use. At Guardian Recovery, we offer medical detoxification services to help monitor and minimize withdrawal, and dangerous symptoms, associated with alcohol use. 

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If you suspect that you, or someone you love, are experiencing alcohol use disorder, treatment may be beneficial. At Guardian Recovery, we can provide you with a complimentary psychological assessment to identify the presence of any substance use disorders, and to help develop your individualized treatment plan. Contact us today to speak with one of our Treatment Advisors who can help guide you through our simple admissions process. A free, no obligation insurance benefits check can be provided upon your request. Start your road to recovery today at Guardian Recovery. 

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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohol-topics/alcohol-facts-and-statistics/alcohol-use-disorder-aud-united-states-age-groups-and-demographic-characteristics
  2. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohol-topics/alcohol-facts-and-statistics/alcohol-use-disorder-aud-united-states-age-groups-and-demographic-characteristics
  3. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/NIAAA_Alcohol_FactsandStats_102020_0.pdf
  4. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/librium.html
  5. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/librium.html
  6. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/librium.html
  7. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/librium.html
  8. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse
  9. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/features/excessive-alcohol-deaths.html
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548339/
  11. https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2019/12/416196/problem-drinkers-have-higher-benzo-use-ucsf-kaiser-permanente-study-shows
  12. https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2019/12/416196/problem-drinkers-have-higher-benzo-use-ucsf-kaiser-permanente-study-shows
  13. https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/chlordiazepoxide,librium.html
  14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022354915381375

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

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Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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