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Reasons for non-prescribed benzodiazepine use among people who regularly use ecstasy and/or other illicit stimulants in Australia

Jun 3, 2022

The Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) recently published a report titled “Reasons for non-prescribed benzodiazepine use among a sample of people who regularly use ecstasy and/or other illicit stimulants in Australia”. The report comes after a noticeable rise in the use of illicit benzodiazepines in Australia which is concerning given it’s the second most common drug type involved in drug induced deaths. This study aimed to understand the reasons why regular stimulant users also use benzodiazepines. As the authors expected, they found a proportion of people used benzodiazepines to ease the “comedown” from other drugs (41.9%), but they also found there were people who used to have fun or relax (39.5%), and others that were potentially using to self medicate mental health conditions such as anxiety (35.3) or to aid sleep (31%). The study highlights the need for early intervention for young people to raise awareness of the danger of mixing stimulant drugs and benzodiazepines as well as providing opportunities to explore alternative methods for managing anxiety and sleep. 

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