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Treating anxiety while minimizing abuse and dependence.

Author(s): Sussman N

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center, N.Y.

Publication date & source: 1993-05, J Clin Psychiatry., 54 Suppl:44-51.

Publication type: Review

Anxiety is common and often disabling. Although effective treatments are available, the use of antianxiety medication remains controversial. Some of the controversy involves the relative benefits of psychological versus pharmacologic interventions. Much of the expressed concern, however, relates to the risks of abuse and dependence associated with standard antianxiety drugs. In some instances, concern about these risks prevents patients from receiving potentially effective treatment. In other instances, failure to recognize possible abuse and dependence results in a clinical dilemma. This presentation will address the factors involved in anxiolytic drug dependence and abuse, including patient characteristics and the pharmacologic profiles of anxiolytic drugs. Specific recommendations about how to minimize abuse and dependence through such measures as diagnostic assessment, patient education, drug selection, and treatment planning will be offered.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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