Views of medical and non-medical prescribers on the prescribing of benzodiazepines to drug misusers within NHS Lanarkshire

Hill, Duncan R. and Van Oostrum, Lisa and Conroy, Stephen and Towle, Ian (2013) Views of medical and non-medical prescribers on the prescribing of benzodiazepines to drug misusers within NHS Lanarkshire. Journal of Substance Use, 20 (2). pp. 113-118. ISSN 1465-9891

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Abstract

The article examines the views of medical and non-medical prescribers within the Addiction Service Community Prescribing Service in NHS Lanarkshire on the prescribing of benzodiazepines to drug misusers in primary care. Both a focus group and a semi-structured questionnaire were utilised to gather the data from the practitioners, with a response rate of 93.8% to the questionnaire. The results were statistically analysed and although determined to be statistically insignificant, respondents demonstrated a positive correlation (p > 0.05) with respect to the initiation of local guidelines when prescribing benzodiazepines to drug misusers. The article demonstrates that, despite benzodiazepine use being highly prevalent among drug users in Scotland, a combination of positive attitudes to prescribing from practitioners and the implementation of local guidelines within NHS Lanarkshire Addictions Services have contributed to a reduction in prescribing benzodiazepine. The article highlights the need for training and support for prescribers which, along with increased compliance with local guidelines, could further enhance the positive attitudes of the prescribers and ultimately further reduce prescribing benzodiazepines.