The benzodiazepines as drugs of abuse
by
Cole JO, Chiarello RJ
Department of Psychopharmacology,
McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts 02178.
J Psychiatr Res 1990; 24 Suppl 2: 135-44


ABSTRACT

Benzodiazepines are rarely used as "party" or "good time" drugs. Recent studies of drug abuse liability have found that benzodiazepines are minor euphoriants: they are neither sought nor valued on the same level as cocaine, methaqualone, or even alcohol. Although they do have mild to moderate euphoriant effects in recreational drug users, detoxified chronic alcoholics and, at very high dosages, detoxified sedative "addicts", only a small proportion of patients entering drug abuse treatment programs cite benzodiazepine use as their primary drug problem. However, it is difficult to estimate the extent to which benzodiazepines are primary drugs of abuse, i.e. the extent of their ability to induce euphoria with psychic dependence and active drug-seeking behavior. This may be due in part to inconsistent or ambiguous reporting terminology and reliance on laboratory studies without comparisons with actual street use. In addition, it is unclear if patients admitted to emergency rooms for non-medical use of benzodiazepines are typical of all patients who abuse these drugs. This article will examine the current data available on benzodiazepine abuse and will assess the extent to which benzodiazepines are used as primary drugs of abuse.
Alcohol
Reward
Cocaine
Cannabis
Dopamine
Sedatives
Midazolam
Lorazepam
Temazepam
Benzo choices
Dopaminergics
Benzodiazepines
Drugs for alcoholics
Diazepam v oxazepam
Benzodiazepine antagonists
The neural basis of addiction
'The Drug That Tames Tigers'
Benzodiazepines and opioid binding
Longterm benzo use doesn't promote dosage escalation
Diazepam (Valium) and the potato: the natural origin of benzodiazepines


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