Benzodiazepine and "Z-Drug" Dependence: Data From a Tertiary Care Center

Article Abstract

Objective: To examine the clinical characteristics and course of benzodiazepine and "Z-drug" dependence in patients presenting to a tertiary deaddiction center in southern India.

Methods: Case files of 950 inpatients admitted between January 2007 and January 2014 who reported benzodiazepine or Z-drug use were reviewed. Patients (n = 170) with an ICD-10 diagnosis of mental and behavioral disorders due to the use of sedatives or hypnotics-dependence syndrome currently using substance (F13.24) were included in this study.

Results: Alprazolam (n = 86, 50.6%), nitrazepam (n = 40, 23.5%), and zolpidem (n = 19, 11.2%) were the most commonly reported drugs of abuse. Alcohol dependence was present in 37 subjects (21.8%) and opioid dependence in 41 subjects (24.1%). Comorbid psychiatric illness was diagnosed in 67 patients (39.0%). Only 28 patients (16.5%) had sedative dependence with no other substance use disorder.

Conclusion: High comorbidity occurs in this group of patients. Outcome varies significantly (P < .05) between sedative-dependent only and multiple-substance-dependent patients. High attrition should be addressed through follow-up and tracking mechanisms.

Volume: 19

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