Librium is the name of a sedative drug from the benzodiazepine class, in fact, the very first benzodiazepine ever developed, and which has been on the market in the US since 1960. The rise in popularity of Librium was colossal as the drug was seen as a new miracle pill for “almost anything that ails ya”. It enjoyed an unbridled success until reports began to accumulate concerning its highly addictive properties and side effects. Now it is broadly known that gradually stopping Librium is the safest method for how to get off Librium without suffering the now legendary harsh symptoms with which withdrawal from Librium is associated.
Because of its sedative/hypnotic effects, and because the drug has anti-convulsive properties, Librium is often chosen for use during acute alcohol, barbiturate or other drug cessation to avoid seizures. The drug has also been used in many other situations to ease anxiety, as a muscle relaxant, to quiet a patient in psychosis, to treat insomnia, and in some patients suffering from acute symptoms commonly associated with withdrawal from antipsychotic medications.
The FDA originally approved the drug for the treatment of anxiety disorders ranging from mild to severe, as well as a preoperative sedative and as an anticonvulsive medication during alcohol withdrawal. (1) As medical restrictions have been placed on prescribing benzodiazepines for long-term use, stopping Librium is generally going to be needed after a short time frame. Nonetheless, getting off Librium or any similar drug should be done gradually, not all at once, and not too fast.
Many medical researchers have been busy studying a number of precursors that seem to shed light on otherwise unexplainable anxiety, that is, anxiety that seems unrelated to real-world trauma, threat, or other situational reasons. As an example, living in a neighborhood where 2 shootings a week occur could easily cause a person to feel anxiety, even daily. This person might have also developed trouble falling or staying asleep because of fear of their safety. But there are also patients whose symptoms are not so easy to trace. A student, living in a safe university dorm where security cameras are always on, and many support systems are in place for everyone, even 24/7, is one of many such students who have yet been “diagnosed” after a 5 minute interview, with anxiety disorders, insomnia or some other mental illness and been prescribed a sedative as “treatment”.
Unfortunately, many of these prescriptions end up failing to fix the problem, and continuing on a benzodiazepine for more than a couple of weeks is a recipe for disaster. Benzodiazepines are well-documented for their harsh side effects, and even the injuries they can give rise to. (2) So a student may end up having to take time away from school at some point to get through a Librium tapering program or treatment program for stopping whatever medication had been prescribed.
Dr. William Walsh, a holistic psychiatrist and Founder of the Walsh Research Institute has said that discovering a connection between common psychiatric conditions and a patient’s nutrition as well as their toxicity levels has changed the way he practices. Now he routinely does preliminary lab tests to determine whether such factors are present, and prefers to treat patients with nutritional therapy as a first-line of treatment over psychiatric drugs. Dr. Walsh says in his book, “Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry, Heal Your Brain”, (3)
“Psychiatry has made impressive advances in the past 50 years but needs a new direction. Today’s emphasis on drug medications will not stand the test of time.”
– Dr. William Walsh, PhD, FACN, Founder Walsh Research Institute
Besides nutritional deficits and unbalanced ratios of certain minerals and vitamins, another common culprit leading to anxiety is heavy metal toxicity. For example, too much copper in the body can occur from taking oral contraceptives, exposure to chemicals and plastics and coming in contact with other common sources of toxicity in today’s world. Copper overload is a precursor leading to many unwanted conditions, such as anxiety, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue, hair loss, and many others. (4) There are countless other medical researchers and practicing holistic psychiatrists who have chosen to treat their patients not with numbing drugs, which fix nothing and can be injurious, but with vigorous testing that can lead to holistic correction of the actual root cause of their patients’ symptoms.
Clearly, to continue on with the prescription-drug-as-the-only-treatment model could almost be seen as willful negligence, when we have so much superior technology and so many safer, more effective modes of treatment available in modern medicine. But we cannot always blame the doctors, for they were all trained at similar universities, where their curriculum contained very little of this research data nor likely hinted at other approaches to treating symptoms of mental distress besides the glut of pharmaceutical-derived ones.
WARNING: LIBRIUM TAPERING MUST BE GRADUAL – A person who chooses Librium tapering should not abruptly stop the drug but seek guidance and oversight from a trusted medical practitioner who is familiar with benzodiazepine withdrawals. (1)
A benzodiazepine can produce many unwanted side effects, besides not handling a person’s original symptoms. Some of these symptoms can be quite severe, necessitating the need for Librium tapering. Though withdrawal from Librium must be done gradually, there is far more that can be known about how to get off Librium safely than simply cutting the dosage over a week or two as mentioned in the FDA label information. (1)
Did you ever have your zinc and copper ratios tested, or other nutritional and toxicity tests done prior to your being prescribed Librium? Were food allergies tested? Other types of allergies? Were nutritional deficiencies tested for and remedied before the prescription for Librium or other drug or drugs?
So now, we take a step back before rushing headlong into trying to quit Librium while ignoring these potentially still active problems. Before starting on tapering Librium, our clients receive a battery of these tests, and others, to determine what the most efficient treatment plan will be. With the administration and correction of nutrients, removal of toxicity from the body, providing a clean toxin-free and nutrient-dense diet, and other important preliminary actions, clients often respond very quickly with improvements in quality of sleep, a calmer and brighter mood, better appetite, etc. When these changes have become stable, then Librium tapering can begin, always at a gradual pace that is monitored and can be adjusted on a daily basis or as needed to accomplish getting off Librium without worsening insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and other potentially harsh side effects.
There is much to understand about how Alternative to Meds Center’s drug cessation programs are administered in our beautiful, well-staffed inpatient facility. We very much welcome your call to discuss your situation in detail, and so you can get all your questions answered by one of our friendly and knowledgable staff about the many benefits of correctly tapering Librium.
Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente. He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.