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Benzodiazepine Use Among Heroin Users: Baseline Use, Current Use and Clinical Outcome

NCJ Number
Drug and Alcohol Review Volume: 29 Issue: 3 Dated: May 2010 Pages: 250-255
Shane Darke; Joanne Ross; Katherine Mills; Maree Teesson; Anna Williamson; Alys Havard
Date Published
May 2010
6 pages
Benzodiazepine use is associated with elevated levels of harm. The current study aimed to ascertain the long-term nature of the relationship between benzodiazepine use and clinical profile among heroin users.
At baseline, current benzodiazepine users were more likely to be committing crime, had poorer psychological health and poorer physical health. Baseline benzodiazepine use was not associated with the likelihood across follow-up of heroin use (P = 0.44), committing crime (P = 0.17), poorer psychological health (P = 0.31) or poorer physical health (P = 0.48). Current benzodiazepine use was, however, associated with a greater likelihood of concurrent heroin use (OR 2.77), crime (OR 2.04), poorer psychological health (beta = -4.47) and poorer physical health (beta = -2.33). Clinicians should be aware that reductions in benzodiazepine use are associated with reductions in harm, and that baseline benzodiazepine status does not equate to poor long-term outcome. The study used a longitudinal cohort, with follow-up at 3, 12, 24 and 36 months. Participants were 615 heroin users recruited for the Australian Treatment Outcome Study. (Published Abstract)


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