Severity of alprazolam dependence and associated features among long-term alprazolam users from psychiatric outpatient clinics in Taiwan

Tzu Ting Chen, Chih Hung Ko, Shao Tsu Chen, Chia Nan Yen, Po Wen Su, Tzung Jeng Hwang, Jin Jia Lin, Cheng Fang Yen

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Background/Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the correlations between the severity of alprazolam dependence and socio-demographic characteristics, the characteristics of alprazolam use, psychiatric comorbidity, and beliefs toward alprazolam use among long-term alprazolam users in Taiwan. Methods: A total of 148 long-term alprazolam users participated in this study. The Chinese version of the Severity of Dependence Scale was used to assess participants' severity of alprazolam dependence in the preceding month. Their socio-demographic characteristics, family function characteristics, dosage of prescribed alprazolam, duration of alprazolam use, alcohol use pattern, pain reliever and cigarette use pattern, severity of depressive symptoms, psychiatric diagnosis, and belief toward alprazolam use were investigated. Results: The results of multiple regression analysis indicated that a longer duration of alprazolam use, severe depressive symptoms, a high level of belief in the necessity of alprazolam treatment, and a high level of concern about the potential adverse consequences of alprazolam use were significantly associated with more severe alprazolam dependence. Conclusion: Doctors should closely monitor the severity of alprazolam dependence among long-term users, especially patients' levels of depression, beliefs in the necessity of alprazolam treatment, and their concerns over the adverse consequences of continued treatment with alprazolam.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1104
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015



  • Alprazolam
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Correlates
  • Drug dependence
  • Psychiatric outpatients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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