The Dangers of Mixing Librium and Alcohol

librium and alcohol
Recovery Unplugged Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Written By

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu -

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

Last Medically Reviewed on January 31, 2024

A powerful prescription benzodiazepine medication, Librium, helps manage anxiety. The brand name for chlordiazepoxide, Librium, can, in some cases, help individuals manage alcohol withdrawals. However, the scary truth is that mixing Librium and alcohol can be fatal.

After opioids, benzodiazepines like Librium are the second most abused prescription drugs across the globe. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 12,499 people died from overdoses related to benzos in 2021. Many of these deaths involved the use of alcohol.

Like other benzos, such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium, Librium is known for its calming properties. Librium has been proven to improve the quality of life for a number of people. It can help those struggling with anxiety, sleep disorders, and other related mental illnesses.

When taken properly and as directed, Librium can help bring peace and calm to the patient’s life. However, for those who struggle with the disease of addiction and substance use disorders (SUD), benzos can be deadly.

The Deadliness Of Benzodiazepines

Librium works by depressing the Central Nervous System (CNS). This can slow the heart rate down and bring in a sense of peace and detachment.

Benzos first became popular because of their rapid symptom relief. On top of producing unnatural amounts of dopamine, benzos slows down nerve cell activity, bringing relaxation, calmness, and euphoric feelings.

Because of how potent they are, however, benzos are easily some of the deadliest prescriptions available. On top of easily building dependence on the drug, benzodiazepine withdrawals can be fatal for users.

Another issue with benzos is that when taken in excess, they can impair breathing and heart functions. When paired with alcohol, another depressant known for impacting the CNS, benzos like Librium can cause death.

Due to their potency and high possibility for fatality, benzos have been involved in a number of high-profile celebrity deaths. Legendary vocalist Whitney Houston and trap artist Lil Peep had benzodiazepines among the substances found in their systems at the time of death.

Contact us if you think you or someone you love is struggling with benzodiazepine addiction.

Mixing Librium And Alcohol

Potentially fatal outcomes most often occur when Librium is mixed with any other kind of depressant. This includes opioids and opiates, cough medicines, other benzos, or any other CNS depressant. The additive effects of mixing Librium with other CNS depressants can cause drowsiness, breathing issues, and comas.

Alcohol, however, is the drug most often linked to benzodiazepine overdoses and deaths in the United States every year. When the two drugs are mixed, users can feel dizzy and drowsy and can find it difficult to concentrate. Mixing alcohol and Librium can stop the user from breathing and can increase the potency of the side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an official warning about the additive effects of alcohol and Librium. Several studies by the FDA have shown the dangers associated with co-occurring use of benzodiazepines and other CNS depressants.

Because of how closely fatal overdose and mixed depressants are linked, getting treatment is a matter of life and death. Those mixing benzodiazepines with other CNS depressants who experience extreme sleepiness and breathing issues should seek treatment immediately.

The Relationship Between Benzos And Alcohol

If the warnings against mixing these two drugs are everywhere, why do overdoses continue to happen so frequently? The truth is that these overdoses are a symptom of a much bigger, multi-layered prescription drug issue across the nation.

Excessive drinking and binge drinking are increasingly common across the country and have become a significant health burden. According to one study, excessive alcohol consumption is very common among populations struggling with prescription drug abuse.

Binge drinking has steadily increased in our society, and more often goes hand-in-hand with opioid or benzodiazepine abuse. Findings have shown that alcohol plays a significant role in the abuse of benzos like Librium.

How Long After Taking Librium Can You Drink Alcohol?

There are cases when someone prescribed a benzodiazepine chooses to consume alcohol. While not an ideal choice for optimal health, we can’t ignore this fact.

A person with a Librium prescription should be mindful when drinking alcohol due to the sedative effects of both substances. Though Librium is considered a safer benzodiazepine option compared to others, it has an extended half-life of 24-48 hours.[1]

In other words, this substance remains in the body at half-strength or more for at least a day. Adding alcohol would compound the continued sedative effect and carry potential health risks.

Avoiding Overdose At Recovery Unplugged

Here at Recovery Unplugged, we’ve helped treat people struggling with benzo and alcohol addictions alike. We regularly treat patients who struggle with abusing alcohol and Librium simultaneously.

The terrifying truth is that both alcohol and Librium cause potentially fatal withdrawals. At Recovery Unplugged, our goal is to make sure you detox from these drugs in a safe and supportive environment.

Addiction and overdose are time-sensitive issues that have to be handled with care. Like with any drug addiction, there are two outcomes to abusing alcohol and Librium: recovery, or death. Because of how easy it is to overdose when mixing the two, this holds especially true.

If you’ve been gambling with life and death while mixing alcohol with benzos, we’re here to help you stop. There’s a better life without alcohol or Librium waiting for you in recovery. Reach out to us today to see what we can do to help you.

We take our music-focused treatment for addiction very seriously, so we are going to hold our content to the same precision standards. Recovery Unplugged’s editorial process involves our editing safeguard and our ideals. Read our Editorial Process.


[1] Ahwazi, H. H., & Abdijadid, S. (2020). Chlordiazepoxide. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing.


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