Benzodiazepine dependence among multidrug users in the club scene

Steven P. Kurtz, Hilary L. Surratt, Maria A. Levi-Minzi, Angela Mooss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Benzodiazepines (BZs) are among the most frequently prescribed drugs with the potential for abuse. Young adults ages 18-29 report the highest rates of BZ misuse in the United States. The majority of club drug users are also in this age group, and BZ misuse is prevalent in the nightclub scene. BZ dependence, however, is not well documented. This paper examines BZ dependence and its correlates among multidrug users in South Florida's nightclub scene. Methods: Data were drawn from structured interviews with men and women (N= 521) who reported regular attendance at large dance clubs and recent use of both club drugs and BZs. Results: Prevalences of BZ-related problems were 7.9% for BZ dependence, 22.6% BZ abuse, and 25% BZ abuse and/or dependence. In bivariate logistic regression models, heavy cocaine use (OR 2.27; 95% CI 1.18, 4.38), severe mental distress (OR 2.63; 95% CI 1.33, 5.21), and childhood victimization history (OR 2.43; 95% CI 1.10, 5.38) were associated with BZ dependence. Heavy cocaine use (OR 2.14; 95% CI 1.10, 4.18) and severe mental distress (OR 2.16; 95% CI 1.07, 4.37) survived as predictors in the multivariate model. Discussion: BZ misuse is widespread among multidrug users in the club scene, who also exhibit high levels of other health and social problems. BZ dependence appears to be more prevalent in this sample than in other populations described in the literature. Recommendations for intervention and additional research are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Grant Number R01DA019048 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the NIDA had no further role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.


  • Benzodiazepine
  • Club drugs
  • Drug dependence
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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