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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Sep 1;142:105-9. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.06.020. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

Quality of life in a cohort of high-dose benzodiazepine dependent patients.

Author information

1
Addiction Unit, Department of Medicine, Verona University Hospital, Verona, Italy.
2
Alcohol Addiction Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
3
Department of Economics, Statistics and Finance, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy.
4
Alcohol Addiction Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Rome, Rome, Italy. Electronic address: g.addolorato@rm.unicatt.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Benzodiazepines (BZD) are among the most widely prescribed drugs in developed countries. Since BZD can produce tolerance and dependence even in a short time, their use is recommended for a very limited time. However, these recommendations have been largely disregarded. The chronic use of BZD causes a number of serious side effects, i.e., cognitive impairment, falls, traffic accidents, dependence and tolerance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate quality of life (QoL) in a cohort of 62 consecutive high-dose BZD-dependent patients seeking a BZD detoxification.

METHODS:

Patients seeking BZD detoxification were evaluated using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and the short form-36 questionnaire (SF-36).

RESULTS:

Patients showed a significant reduction of QoL as measured by either SF-36 or GHQ-12. In particular, the greater impairment was observed in the items exploring physical and emotional status. Physical functioning was the item more influenced by the length of BZD abuse. Female patients showed a greater reduction of QoL compared to male, at least in some of the explored items. Social functioning scores were greatly reduced.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present study shows for the first time that high-doses BZD dependent patients have a reduced QoL and a reduced social functioning, along with high levels of psychological distress.

KEYWORDS:

BZD; Benzodiazepines; Dependence; GHQ12; Megadose; QoL; SF36; Tolerance

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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