Misuse of benzodiazepines

Sarah Welch and Michael Farrell

in New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696758
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743221 | DOI:
Misuse of benzodiazepines

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There is a valuable role for benzodiazepines, and a need for vigilance and care in their use, as well as active recognition and management of those who are dependent. However, there is a need for greater awareness of the risks of polydrug dependence with misuse of high doses of benzodiazepines in conjunction with both alcohol dependence and opiate dependence. Caution needs to be used in assessing patients, and benzodiazepine prescribing should be restricted to those where there is clear evidence of dependence. The risk of synergistic effects with other drugs and consequent overdose should be explained to all patients who are identified as being involved in such behaviour. Community detoxification or inpatient detoxification is the best option based on the evidence of available research and evaluation of current interventions.

Chapter.  3598 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Addiction Medicine

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