The absence of benzodiazepine craving in a general practice benzodiazepine discontinuation trial

A. J.J. Mol*, R. C.Oude Voshaar, W. J.M.J. Gorgels, M. H.M. Breteler, A. J.L.M. Van Balkom, E. H. Van De Lisdonk, C. C. Kan, J. Mulder, F. G. Zitman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study aimed to assess benzodiazepine craving longitudinally and to describe its time course by means of the Benzodiazepine Craving Questionnaire (BCQ). Subjects were long-term benzodiazepine users participating in a two-part treatment intervention aimed to reduce long-term benzodiazepine use in general practice in the Netherlands. Four repeated measurements of benzodiazepine craving were taken over a 21-month follow-up period. Results indicated that (1) benzodiazepine craving severity decreased over time, (2) patients still using benzodiazepines experienced significantly more severe craving than patients who had quit their use after one of the two interventions, and (3) the way in which patients had attempted to quit did not influence the experienced craving severity over time, however, (4) patients who had received additional tapering off, on average, reported significantly more severe craving than patients who had only received a letter as an incentive to quit. Although benzodiazepine craving is prevalent among (former) long-term benzodiazepine users during and after discontinuation, craving severity decreases over time to negligible proportions. Self-reported craving can be longitudinally monitored and quantified by means of the BCQ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-222
Number of pages12
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

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