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The sources of pharmaceuticals for problematic users of benzodiazepines and prescription opioids

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There are growing concerns in Australia and overseas about the increasing misuse of a range of pharmaceuticals, and associated harms.14 This includes the problematic use of benzodiazepines and prescription opioids in Australia.

Clients of drug treatment services are commonly reported to use a range of pharmaceuticals.57 For example, self-reported prevalence of benzodiazepine use among clients undergoing treatment for opioid use ranges from 66% to 100%,5,7,8 and use confirmed by urine drug testing ranges from 51% to 70%.8 Moreover, benzodiazepine use is associated with poorer treatment and health outcomes among opioid users.9,10 In North America, prescription opioid-dependent clients outnumber heroin-dependent clients among those presenting for methadone maintenance treatment.