Relative abuse of diazepam and oxazepam: Prescription forgeries and theft/loss reports in Sweden

Ulf Bergman, Roland R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Results of previous laboratory studies in humans suggest that the benzodiazepine diazepam has greater abuse liability than the benzodiazepine oxazepam. The validity of these laboratory-based experimental data were examined by analyzing Swedish data on drug abuse. Sales and prescription data showed that use of diazepam was somewhat lower than oxazepam, but of the same general order of magnitude (0.8:1). Prescription data showed that the drugs were prescribed for the same diagnostic indications. After adjustment for differences in use, 'prescription forgeries' and 'mentions in theft and loss reports' were found to be more frequent for diazepam than for oxazepam (2.3:1 and 2.5:1 for forgeries and theft/loss reports, respectively). This effect was consistent for each year examined (1982, 1983, 1984) and occurred when the data were recalculated to exclude Valium®, the original and most widely known brand of diazepam. Finally, this pattern with prescription forgeries occurred across different geographical regions in Sweden (1982, 1983).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1986


  • Abuse liabilityl
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Diazepam
  • Drug abuse
  • Drug utilization
  • Oxazepam
  • Prescription forgeries
  • Theft and loss reports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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