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Ir J Med Sci. 1999 Jan-Mar;168(1):36-41.

Co-abuse of opiates and benzodiazepines.

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  • 1National Drug Treatment Centre, Dublin 2.


The objective of the study was to assess what differences exist between individuals who are dependent on opiates and benzodiazepines and compare to those who are dependent on opiates. A questionnaire was compiled and administered to patients who had been consecutively admitted to an inpatient drug treatment unit. The prevalence of benzodiazepine dependency was 54 per cent [n = 34]. Patients dependent on benzodiazepines and opiates were significantly older, had been admitted for methadone stabilisation and were more likely to have been prescribed a methadone maintenance programme prior to admission. They had used heroin longer, benzodiazepines more frequently, at larger doses for a longer duration of time and tended to use more drugs in general. They were found to be more psychologically vulnerable than those not dependent on benzodiazepines as they were significantly more likely to have described a past experience of depression and a past episode of deliberate self harm.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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