Reducing diazepam prescribing for illicit drug users: a randomised control study.

Elliott, Lawrie, Glenday, John, Freeman, Laura, Ajeda, Dina, Johnston, Brian, Christie, Morag and Ogston, Simon (2005) Reducing diazepam prescribing for illicit drug users: a randomised control study. Drug and Alcohol Review, 24 (1). pp. 25-31. ISSN 0959-5236

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Illicit drug users undergoing mandatory reductions in prescribed diazepam were randomly allocated to one of two methods of delivering psychological support to help reduce their prescription: a) an enhanced intervention consisting of skills training and reinforcement, and b) a limited intervention where patients initially received skills training and thereafter only advice. Outcome measures at baseline and six-months consisted of daily diazepam dose; reported illicit drug use; Severity of Dependence Scale;
Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS); Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Fifty-three of 119 eligible patients agreed to be randomly allocated to the interventions. Those in the enhanced intervention reduced their daily dose of prescribed diazepam from a mean of 27.8mgs to 19.9mgs at six months (5.3% per month) compared with 29.8 mgs to 17.6mgs at six months (7.5%) among those in the limited intervention group. However, there was no statistically significant difference in the reduction
rate between the intervention groups. Approximately 75% of patients in each group suspended their reduction programme. The enhanced intervention group reported a statistically and clinically greater reduction in the mean HADS depression score (10.6 at baseline and 7.7 at follow-up), compared with a rise from 8.9 to 11.2 in the limited intervention group. In conclusion, it is possible to reduce prescribed diazepam among illicit drug users but not at the rate of 10% per month set by the study. The
difficulties of working with this population necessitate a flexible and possibly long-term approach to reducing prescribed benzodiazepines.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 0959-5236
Electronic ISSN: 1465-3362
Uncontrolled Keywords: Benzodiazepine prescribing, Illicit drug users; Drug addicts
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences > School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health > 615 Pharmacology & therapeutics
300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & social services > 363 Other social problems & services
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health > 610 Medicine & health
Library of Congress Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Item ID: 1571
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2008 10:29
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2013 10:10

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