Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Benzodiazepines have been in clinical use since the 1960s. Benzodiazepines act through allosteric modulation of the GABAA receptor to enhance the activity of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, resulting in a slowing of neurotransmission and sedative and anxiolytic effects. Initially benzodiazepines were thought to have low dependence liability, though over time there has been increasing evidence of benzodiazepine dependence. Benzodiazepines are commonly used to treat anxiety and insomnia, though increasingly they are considered second line treatments for most indications. Concerns about the effects of benzodiazepines on cognition, falls and their implication in opioid related mortality have emerged. Few pharmacological treatments for benzodiazepine dependence have been shown to be effective with gradual taper the most common treatment strategy for benzodiazepine dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNon-medical and Illicit Use of Psychoactive Drugs
EditorsSuzanne Nielson, Raimondo Bruno, Susan Schenk
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-60016-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-60014-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
ISSN (Print)1866-3370


  • Benzodiazepine
  • Dependence
  • Misuse
  • Non-medical use

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