Context: The anxiety epidemic and its corollary, the widespread prescription of anxiolytics, present a public health problem in view of the risk of addiction to these drugs.
Objective: To assess the level of anxiety and addiction in the borderline population at risk of addiction.
Design: The study analyzed a series of patients in the third month of their first prescription for anxiolytics. It used two validated scales: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), and a French scale measuring addiction (the "Echelle Cognitive d'Attachement aux Benzodiazepines" or ECAB).
Result: 83% of patients were still anxious at the third month of treatment. 23% had become addicted.
Discussion: There is a contradiction between the prolonged prescription and use of anxiolytics, which are associated with a risk of addiction, and professional guidelines that recommend short treatment for outpatients using these drugs for the first time.