Benzodiazepine use of community-based violent offenders : a preliminary investigation

Albrecht, Bonnie, Staiger, Petra, Best, David, Hall, Kate, Nielsen, Suzanne, Lubman, Dan I and Miller, Peter 2016, Benzodiazepine use of community-based violent offenders : a preliminary investigation, Journal of substance use, In Press, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1080/14659891.2016.1195893.

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Title Benzodiazepine use of community-based violent offenders : a preliminary investigation
Author(s) Albrecht, Bonnie
Staiger, PetraORCID iD for Staiger, Petra
Best, David
Hall, KateORCID iD for Hall, Kate
Nielsen, Suzanne
Lubman, Dan I
Miller, PeterORCID iD for Miller, Peter
Journal name Journal of substance use
Season In Press
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Basingstoke, Eng.
Publication date 2016-07
ISSN 1465-9891
Summary Objective: To explore the relationship between benzodiazepine use and violent crime in a sample of community-based offenders. Methods: Participants were recruited via drug diversion and treatment programs in Melbourne, Australia. Data regarding benzodiazepine and other substance use, mental health, personality characteristics, and crime involvement were collected through semistructured interviews conducted in 2011. Participants (n = 82, 79.3% male) were 21–56 years old, predominantly Australian-born (89%), with 14.6% identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. Eligibility criteria were having been charged with a criminal offence in the previous six months and at least monthly benzodiazepine use. Group differences between violent (n = 11) and nonviolent offenders were assessed via independent samples t-tests (two-tailed) and nonparametric tests. Results: Individuals charged with violent index offences were significantly more likely to use higher average doses of alprazolam (p = 0.040) and exhibit benzodiazepine dependence (p = 0.037) as well as report high levels of sensation seeking, prior violence, and the diagnoses of depression and personality disorder than individuals charged with nonviolent index offences. Conclusions: The findings suggest the existence of a complex dynamic between mental health and violent offending that may be influenced by benzodiazepine use, in particular alprazolam. A core implication of these preliminary findings includes attending to the interpersonal skills and adaptive coping resources of violent offenders.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/14659891.2016.1195893
Field of Research 1701 Psychology
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920414 Substance Abuse
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Taylor & Francis Group
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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