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Journal of Addiction Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000025
Original Research

Benzodiazepine Use Among Young Attendees of an Irish Substance Treatment Center

Murphy, Kevin Daniel BPharm; Byrne, Stephen PhD; McCarthy, Suzanne PhD; Lambert, Sharon PhD; Sahm, Laura Jane PhD

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the demographic characteristics of those service users attending Matt Talbot Services, and their current and past substance use, and to explore the use of benzodiazepines among this group.

Method:

There were 198 service users who attended a substance misuse treatment center in Cork, Ireland, between January 2005 and August 2011.

Results:

Benzodiazepines had ever been used by 51.0%, and of these, 55.8% were regular benzodiazepine users. The mean age of first use was 14.9 ± 1.4 years. Regular users of benzodiazepines were regular users of significantly more substances (3, interquartile range [IQR] = 2-3) when compared with nonregular benzodiazepine users (1, IQR = 1-2). Regular benzodiazepine users showed more behavioral signs (12, IQR = 10-14) than nonregular users (9, IQR = 7-12). Physical signs were significantly different between regular (8, IQR = 6-11) and nonregular (5, IQR = 3-10) users.

Conclusions:

The effects of benzodiazepine misuse affect the individual, their family, and society as a whole through hospitalization, substance treatment, and crime. Identifying regular benzodiazepine users can help reduce the burden of benzodiazepines.

© 2014 American Society of Addiction Medicine

    

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