Relationship Between Benzodiazepine Prescription, Aggressive Behavior, and Behavioral Disinhibition: A Case-control Study in a Swiss Prison

Baggio, Stéphanie; Starcevic, Vladan; Heller, Patrick; Brändle, Karen; Franke, Irina; Schneeberger, Andreas; Buadze, Anna; Schleifer, Roman; Gamma, Alex; Gétaz, Laurent; Wolff, Hans; Liebrenz, Michael (2020). Relationship Between Benzodiazepine Prescription, Aggressive Behavior, and Behavioral Disinhibition: A Case-control Study in a Swiss Prison Research Square 10.21203/rs.3.rs-53312/v1

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Background.
Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed in prisons amidst the controversies surrounding their potential role in causing behavioral disinhibition and aggressive behavior and their association with use and trafficking of illicit and addictive substances. The present study aimed to 1) ascertain the relationship between benzodiazepine prescription (including their dosage and duration of use) and aggressive behavior and behavioral disinhibition in prison, and 2) investigate whether there was an association between benzodiazepine prescription, (including their dosage and duration of use) and using and trafficking illicit and addictive substances during imprisonment.

Methods.
Data were extracted from the electronic database of an “open” Swiss prison (n = 1,379) over a five-year period (2010–2015). Measures included benzodiazepine prescription (yes/no), duration of benzodiazepine use and mean dosage, and punishable behaviors (physical and verbal aggression, disinhibited but not directly aggressive behaviors, property damage or theft, substance-related offenses, and rule transgression). Propensity score matching was used to assess the relationship between benzodiazepine prescription and punishable behaviors. Logistic regressions were used to test the relationship of benzodiazepine duration and dosage with punishable behaviors.

Results.
Benzodiazepine prescription (yes/no) was not significantly associated with punishable behaviors. Detained persons taking benzodiazepines were not more likely to commit offenses involving illicit or addictive substance use or trafficking, even when taking these medications in higher dosage and over a longer period of time.

Conclusions.
Our findings suggest that access to benzodiazepines in the prison setting should be subject to the same regulations as in the community and that prescribing benzodiazepines to detained persons is just as safe as prescribing these medications to those who are not detained.

Item Type:

Working Paper

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Psychiatric Services

UniBE Contributor:

Brändle, Karen; Schleifer, Roman; Gamma, Alex and Liebrenz, Michael

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2693-5015

Publisher:

Research Square

Language:

English

Submitter:

Antoinette Angehrn

Date Deposited:

04 Dec 2020 10:46

Last Modified:

04 Dec 2020 10:56

Publisher DOI:

10.21203/rs.3.rs-53312/v1

Additional Information:

This is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports that have not undergone peer review. They should not be considered conclusive, used to inform clinical practice, or referenced by the media as validated information.

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.147801

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/147801

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