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Open Access The Use of Tranquillizers Among Women Undergoing Substance-Abuse Treatment

L'usage des tranquillisants chez les femmes suivant un programme de traitement de la toxicomanie

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Abstract:

Overuse of tranquillizers (e.g., Valium, Ativan, Xanax) is frequently overlooked in substance-abuse treatment.This paper presents findings on the prevalence and frequency of tranquillizer use and concurrent substance use in women undergoing substance-abuse treatment. Ninety-eight women in 9 short-term, residential, women-only treatment centres in the province of Ontario, Canada, completed questionnaires assessing their pre-treatment substance use. Forty-three percent reported that they used tranquillizers in the 6 months preceding their treatment, and 70% of these reported using tranquillizers at least 2 to 4 times per week. Duration of use ranged from 1 month to 20 years, with an average of 4 years.The majority of participants (86%) reported using at least 1 other substance in addition to tranquillizers.The findings suggest that a significant proportion of women in substance-abuse treatment may be dependent on tranquillizers in addition to other substances. Implications for the intervention of tranquillizer overuse in substance-abuse treatment settings are discussed.

La surconsommation des tranquillisants (p.ex.Valium, Ativan, Xanax) est une question souvent oubliée dans le traitement de la toxicomanie. Cet article présente des données sur la prévalence et la fréquence de l'usage des tranquillisants et de la consommation simultanée de substances intoxicantes chez les femmes toxicomanes suivant un traitement. Quatre-vingt-dix-huit femmes réparties dans neuf centres de traitement de courte durée en établissement pour femmes seulement, situés dans la province de l'Ontario, au Canada, ont répondu à un questionnaire visant à évaluer leur consommation avant le début du traitement. Quarante-trois répondantes ont rapporté qu'elles avaient consommé des tranquillisants pendant les six mois précédant le début du traitement, 70% d'entre elles y ayant eu recours au moins deux à quatre fois par semaine. La durée de la consommation variait de un mois à 20 ans, avec une moyenne de quatre ans. La majorité des participantes (86%) ont rapporté qu'elles prenaient au moins une substance autre que les tranquillisants. Les données obtenues indiquent qu'une proportion significative des femmes toxicomanes en traitement pourraient aussi avoir développé une dépendance à l'égard des tranquillisants. L'article se termine sur une discussion des conséquences de la surconsommation des tranquillisants en milieu de traitement.

Keywords: ADDICTION; BENZODIAZEPINES; DEPENDANCE; DEPENDENCY; FEMMES; SUBSTANCE ABUSE; SUBSTANCE USE; TOXICOMANIE; TRAITEMENT; TRANQUILLISANTS; TRANQUILLIZERS; TREATMENT; WOMEN

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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