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Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Print version ISSN 2237-6089On-line version ISSN 2238-0019


SCHALLEMBERGER, Janaína Barden  and  COLET, Christiane de Fátima. Assessment of dependence and anxiety among benzodiazepine users in a provincial municipality in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Trends Psychiatry Psychother. [online]. 2016, vol.38, n.2, pp.63-70.  Epub June 27, 2016. ISSN 2238-0019.


Benzodiazepines are among the most prescribed drugs for anxiety and one of the most used drug classes in the world and have a high potential for addiction. The objective of this study was to assess levels of dependence and anxiety among users of these drugs in the public health system.


This was a cross-sectional, descriptive and quantitative study. Benzodiazepine users treated on the public health system were selected. Anxiety levels were assessed with the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and dependency with the Benzodiazepine Dependence Self-Report Questionnaire.


Benzodiazepine use was higher among women and in older age groups. Duration of benzodiazepine use was greater than 1 year for all respondents. The dependence assessment indicated that more than half of users were dependent on taking benzodiazepines and most had a severe degree of anxiety.


This study found evidence of prolonged and inappropriate use of benzodiazepines. It is necessary to educate users about the risks of these drugs and to develop strategies to rationalize use of these drugs by working with prescribers and dispensers.

Keywords : Benzodiazepines; anxiety; dependency; primary care.

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