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Medical services use by patients before and after detoxification from benzodiazepine dependence
Psychiatric Services 1995; doi:
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The authors examined use of medical and mental health services before and after detoxification among a group of patients detoxified from benzodiazepines to see if the data suggested a reduction in service use and costs after detoxification, the so-called offset effect observed for treatment of alcohol and mental disorders. METHODS: Through a medical record review, information was collected about medical service use for patients aged 40 and older who were detoxified from benzodiazepines at Scott and White Clinic and Hospital between 1987 and 1991. RESULTS: Among the 76 patients, medical and mental health outpatient visits fell from an average rate of 25.4 visits per year before detoxification to 4.4 per year after detoxification. For the 44 patients with at least one inpatient stay besides the admission for detoxification, the mean number of inpatient days remained constant at three days per year before and after detoxification. CONCLUSIONS: Although a retrospective record review suffers from a range of limitations, the findings suggest that detoxification from benzodiazepines may be effective in reducing use of outpatient medical and mental health services and presumably in reducing costs of care.

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