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Important notice

doctorportal Learning is on the move as we will be launching a new website very shortly. If you would like to sign up to dp Learning now to register for CPD learning or to use our CPD tracker, please email support@doctorportal.com.au so we can assist you. If you are already signed up to doctorportal Learning, your login will work in the new site so you can continue to enrol for learning, complete an online module, or access your CPD tracker report.

To access and/or sign up for other resources such as Jobs Board, Bookshop or InSight+, please go to www.mja.com.au, or click the relevant menu item and you will be redirected.

All other doctorportal services, such as Find A Doctor, are no longer available.

Recent increase in detection of alprazolam in Victorian heroin-related deaths

The use of benzodiazepines by opioid-dependent people is widespread.14 The 2011 Victorian Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS), a sentinel survey of people who inject drugs (PWID), reported 92% lifetime and 71% recent (in the past 6 months) use among PWID.5 PWID use benzodiazepines for a number of reasons: to enhance the intoxicating effects of heroin or other opioids, manage anxiety, or manage withdrawal symptoms.3

The contribution of benzodiazepines to heroin overdose is well established.6,7 Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine registered in Australia for short-term treatment of anxiety and panic disorder. It is not recommended as first-line treatment because of concerns about risks of dependence and its potential for misuse.4,8

Alprazolam, like other commonly misused drugs, has a rapid onset and offset of action and high potency.8