Comparative study of the abuse liability of alprazolam, lorazepam, diazepam, methaqualone, and placebo

Int J Addict. 1988 May;23(5):449-67. doi: 10.3109/10826088809039211.


Subjective effects of two benzodiazepines--alprazolam and lorazepam--were compared with two drugs of known abuse potential--diazepam and methaqualone--and placebo. This double-blind, crossover trial tested 30 casual recreational sedative users in a seminaturalistic setting. Methaqualone was more euphoriant and less sedative than the benzodiazepines. Diazepam and lorazepam were more euphoriant than placebo; alprazolam's euphoriant effect did not differ from these treatments. On other measures of abuse liability the benzodiazepines rated similarly, diazepam rating highest.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alprazolam*
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Diazepam*
  • Euphoria / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam*
  • Male
  • Methaqualone*
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / etiology*


  • Methaqualone
  • Lorazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Alprazolam