Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs are commonly prescribed for insomnia and anxiety syndromes and there is increasing concern regarding their misuse. Using an internet-based questionnaire we found that of 1500 respondents 7.7% (n = 116) had misused one or more of these medications. Almost 15% of those misusing at least one of these drugs did so once weekly or more often. The main reasons reported for their use were to help sleep (66.4%), to cope with stress (37.1%) and/or to get high (31.0%). A total of 31% obtained the medications from multiple sources; healthcare professionals (55.2%) and friends/family (39.7%) most commonly. Our study can be used to inform prevention measures for their misuse.
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