Home > Co-abuse of opiates and benzodiazepines.

Rooney, S and Kelly, Grainne and Bamford, L and Sloan, D and O'Connor, JJ (1999) Co-abuse of opiates and benzodiazepines. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 168, (1), pp. 36-41.

PDF (Co-abuse of opiates and benzodiazepines) - Published Version

The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and pattern of benzodiazepine dependency in a sample of Irish drug users who used both benzodiazepines and opiates, and to compare these with other drug users who did not take benzodiazepines, in order to identify key differences between them.

A questionnaire was compiled to achieve this aim, and it was administered to 63 patients admitted consecutively to an inpatient drug treatment unit. The prevalence of benzodiazepine dependency was found to be 54%.

In analysing key differences, it was found that patients dependent on both opiates and benzodiazepines were significantly older and had been admitted for methadone stabilisation. They had generally used heroin
longer and benzodiazepines more frequently, and tended to use more drugs in general. They were also found to be more psychologically vulnerable, as in many cases they were significantly more likely to have described a past experience of depression and a past episode of deliberate self-harm.

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