Home > Presentations to the emergency department with non-medical use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs: profiling and relation to sales data.

Lyphout, C and Yates, C and Margolin, Z R and Dargan, P I and Dines, A M and Heyerdahl, F and Hovda, K E and Giraudon, I and Bucher-Bartelson, B and Green, J L and Wood, D M (2019) Presentations to the emergency department with non-medical use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs: profiling and relation to sales data. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology , 75 , (1) , pp. 77-81.

BACKGROUND
Non-medical use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs is common; however, there is limited information available on the extent of harm related to this in Europe, as well as the relationship between misuse and availability.

AIM
To describe presentations to the emergency department in Europe related to the recreational use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs and compare regional differences in these presentations with legal drug sales of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs within each country.

METHODS
Emergency department presentations with recreational misuse of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs were obtained from the Euro-DEN dataset for the period from October 2013 to September 2015; data extracted included demographics, clinical features, reported coused drugs, and outcome data. Sales figures obtained by QuintilesIMS™ (Atlanta, Georgia) were used to compare regional differences in the proportion of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs in the emergency department presentations and legal drug sales across Europe.

RESULTS
Over the 2 years, there were 2119 presentations to the Euro-DEN project associated with recreational use of benzodiazepines and/or Z-drugs (19.3% of all Euro-DEN presentations). Presentations with 25 different benzodiazepines and Z-drugs were registered in all countries, most (1809/2340 registered benzodiazepines and Z-drugs, 77.3%) of which were prescription drugs. In 24.9%, the benzodiazepine was not specified. Where the benzodiazepine/Z-drug was known, the most frequently used benzodiazepines and Z-drugs were respectively clonazepam (29.5% of presentations), diazepam (19.9%), alprazolam (11.7%), and zopiclone (9.4%). The proportions of types of benzodiazepines/Z-drugs related to ED-presentations varied between countries. There was a moderate (Spain, UK, Switzerland) to high (France, Ireland, Norway) positive correlation between ED presentations and sales data (Spearman Row's correlation 0.66-0.80, p < 0.005), with higher correlation in countries with higher ED presentation rates.

CONCLUSION
Presentations to the emergency department associated with the non-medical use of benzodiazepines and/or Z-drugs are common, with variation in the benzodiazepines and/or Z-drugs between countries. There was a moderate to high correlation with sales data, with higher correlation in countries with higher ED presentation rates. However, this is not the only explanation for the variation in non-medical use and in the harm associated with the non-medical use of benzodiazepines/Z-drugs.


Item Type:Article
Date:2019
Page Range:pp. 77-81
Publisher:Springer
Volume:75
Number:1
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Sedatives or tranquillisers (CNS depressants)
B Substances > Sedatives or tranquillisers (CNS depressants) > Benzodiazepine
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Care by type of problem > Emergency care
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Hospital
VA Geographic area > Europe

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