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Benzodiazepines: Their role in aggression and why GPs should prescribe with caution


Jones, KA and Nielsen, S and Bruno, R and Frei, M and Lubman, DI, Benzodiazepines: Their role in aggression and why GPs should prescribe with caution, Australian Family Physician, 40, (11) pp. 862-865. ISSN 0300-8495 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

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Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed in Australia, despite concerns about their potential for abuse and dependence. Paradoxical reactions, disinhibition and amnesia are all associated with benzodiazepine use, misuse and intoxication. While violent and aggressive behaviour may be a consequence of such disinhibition, there is limited information available regarding the links between benzodiazepine use and violence.


This article aims to examine the existing evidence on the relationship between benzodiazepines, violence and aggression.


While current evidence suggests that benzodiazepines rarely induce violence, it is important to note that the available literature is limited in its scope and that benzodiazepine related violence is often severe and of potential concern to frontline workers. Mediating risk factors for benzodiazepine related violence include concurrent alcohol use, benzodiazepine dose, a history of aggression and underlying impulsivity. Comprehensive assessment and alternate nonpharmacological treatment options should be considered before prescribing benzodiazepines within primary care.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:substance related disorder, benzodiazepines, prescriptions, drugs
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:74824
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2011-12-14
Last Modified:2017-11-07
Downloads:18 View Download Statistics

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