[Benzodiazepine dependence: addiction potential of the benzodiazepines is greater than previously assumed (author's transl)].

Research paper by N N Kemper, W W Poser, S S Poser

Indexed on: 05 Dec '80Published on: 05 Dec '80Published in: Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946)


The position of benzodiazepine dependence among addiction diseases was studied retrospectively by analysing the case reports of in-patients at the Psychiatric Clinic, Göttingen. Addicts constitute the largest group of patients in this clinic, a situation probably true in general of psychiatric hospitals in the Federal Republic of Germany. Isolated alcoholism is the most frequent addiction, followed by combined alcohol-drug dependence and pure drug dependence. At present, benzodiazepines are the most commonly used addictive drugs. Although most of benzodiazepine dependents have changed to it from another drug, primary benzodiazepine dependence is increasing. Among the benzodiazepines, lorazepam seems to have a particularly high addiction potential. On withdrawal of benzodiazepines, symptoms were less marked than after stopping a combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol, and (or) barbiturates; they generally developed with some time delay.