Correlates of benzodiazepine use among a sample of arrestees surveyed through the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program

Subst Use Misuse. 2003 Jan;38(1):127-39. doi: 10.1081/ja-120016569.


While marijuana and cocaine are the two most prevalent drugs used among arrestee populations, benzodiazepine use has surpassed that of opiates in several jurisdictions across the United States. Despite this proliferation, few scholarly works have focused on benzodiazepine use among individuals under criminal justice supervision. In the present study, chi-square statistics and logistic regression are utilized to identify significant associations between recent benzodiazepine use (as measured by urinalysis), demographic characteristics, and alcohol and other drug (AOD) use among a sample of 862 adult Philadelphia arrestees interviewed in 1997 through the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program. Compared to nonusers, benzodiazepine-positive respondents were more likely to be White, to have used alcohol and barbiturates in the three days preceding the interview, and to have tested positive by urinalysis for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). Moreover, logistic regression identified that if an arrestee reported three-day barbiturate use, the odds ratio (OR) of recent benzodiazepine use was more than nine times higher than an arrestee who reported no three-day barbiturate use. Implications for drug surveillance are assessed in light of the current findings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / urine*
  • Benzodiazepines / urine*
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / urine
  • Philadelphia
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Substance Abuse Detection


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Benzodiazepines