Nonmedical Abuse of Benzodiazepines in Opiate-Dependent Patients in Tehran, Iran


Masuade Babakhanian 1 , * , Maliheh Sadeghi 2 , Nader Mansoori 3 , Zahra Alam Mehrjerdi 4 , Mahmood Tabataba1 5

1 Department of Social Work, Baradaran e Rezaee Hospital, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Damghan, Iran

2 Faculty of Management and Information, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Shahid Beheshti University, Family Research Institute, Tehran, Iran

4 Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies (INCAS), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran

How to Cite: Babakhanian M, Sadeghi M, Mansoori N, Alam Mehrjerdi Z, Tabataba1 M. Nonmedical Abuse of Benzodiazepines in Opiate-Dependent Patients in Tehran, Iran, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2012 ; 6(1):62-7.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 6 (1); 62-7
Published Online: June 30, 2012
Article Type: Original Article
Received: April 30, 2011
Revised: December 02, 2011
Accepted: January 23, 2012


Objective: The purpose of the present preliminary study was to explore the prevalence of nonmedical abuse of benzodiazepines in a group of opiate-dependent patients who were on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) program in outpatient clinics in the south-west of Tehran, Iran.

Methods: 114 male and female opiate-dependent clients who met DSM.IV-TR criteria for opiate dependence with mean age 36.5 years participated in the study from 16 clinics and completed a self-report questionnaire on demographics and substance use details. Then the participants were interviewed on the details of nonmedical abuse of benzodiazepines.

Results: The study findings indicated that the current nonmedical abuse of benzodiazepines was commonly prevalent among participants. The most common current benzodiazepines abused were alprazolam (100%) followed by chlordiazepoxide (96.5%), clonazepam (94.7%), diazepam (86.8%), lorazepam (79.8%) and oxazepam (73.7%) respectively. Depression (77%) and anxiety (72.8%) were frequently reported as the most important reasons associated with consuming benzodiazepines followed by problem in anger control (44.7%), suicide thought (12.3%), self-injury (7.9%), and suicide commitment (5.3%) respectively.

Conclusion: Nonmedical abuse of benzodiazepines is an important problem among opiate addicts which should be considered in treatment interventions during MMT program.

Declaration of Interest: None.

Citation: Nonmedical abuse of benzodiazepines in opiate dependents in Tehran, Iran. Babakhanian M, Sadeghi M, Mansoori N, Alam Mehrjerdi Z, Tabatabai M. Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci 2011; 6(1): 62-7.


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