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September 2017 - UNODC-SMART: Public health threat by the non-medical use of benzodiazepines discussed in Global SMART Update 18

VIENNA, Austria – September 2017: The Global SMART Update (Volume 18, September 2017) “Non-medical use of benzodiazepines: a growing threat to public health?” focusses on the concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids which has been linked to a number of deaths that occurred in the recent opioid crisis. While both, opioids and benzodiazepines, are widely used to treat various medical conditions, their concomitant, non-medical use poses severe health risks. This situation has been further exacerbated by the ready availability of counterfeited benzodiazepines and the increasing emergence of “designer benzodiazepines”, a common street name for new psychoactive substances (NPS) belonging to the benzodiazepine class.

For more information, please see:

Global SMART Update Volume 18 “Non-medical use of benzodiazepines: a growing threat to public health?” –

Global SMART Update Volume 17 “Fentanyl and its analogues - 50 years on” –

UNODC News Clip “August 2017 – England and Wales: Deaths related to NPS and benzodiazepines continue to rise” –

UNODC News Clip “August 2017 – Scotland: Benzodiazepines account for the majority of NPS related deaths in Scotland in 2016” –

UNODC News Clip “July 2017 – Ireland: Deaths related to benzodiazepines constitute the largest number of drug-related deaths after opiates” –

UNODC News Clip “April 2017 – UNODC: Several countries place benzodiazepine derivatives under national control” –

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