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Call for Papers

Benzodiazepines (BZDs) are widely used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Because of their fairly safe therapeutic window, BZDs are among the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medications, often for protracted periods of time. The adverse effects of inadequate use of these drugs have been extensively documented, and their effectiveness is being increasingly questioned. Misuse of BZDs can cause deficits in learning, attention, memory, depression and injurious falls, traffic, and other accidents. Although the risk of dependence after long-term use has been described, withdrawal syndrome can occur even from regular therapeutic doses of BZDs. Withdrawal from high doses can also be severe and has been found to be characterized by the following symptoms: sleep disturbance, irritability, increased tension and anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty in concentration, nausea, palpitations, headache, muscular pain, and a host of perceptual changes. Although many individuals who are legitimately prescribed BZDs to treat anxiety and insomnia disorders go on to misuse them, others initiate BZD misuse deliberately. In this case BZDs can be part of a polydrug use pattern.

We are interested in articles that explore clinical and public health aspects of the use and misuse of BZD. We therefore invite authors to submit original research and review articles on epidemiology, the use, the misuse, and the treatment of patients with BZD dependence. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Epidemiology
  • Health related complications
  • Rates of misuse
  • Motivations for drug misuse
  • Risk factors for misuse
  • Psychiatric treatment and BZD misuse
  • Drug dependence and withdrawal effects
  • Basic neuropsychopharmacology of BZD abuse liability
  • Treatment of patients with BZD dependence
  • BZD regulation and enforcement

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/guidelines/. Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at http://mts.hindawi.com/submit/journals/bmri/public.health/bzd/ according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 11 April 2014
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 4 July 2014
Publication DateFriday, 29 August 2014

Lead Guest Editor

  • Gianluca Quaglio, Science and Technology Option Assessment, European Parliament, 1047 Brussels, Belgium

Guest Editors

  • Cristiano Chiamulera, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
  • Gilberto Gerra, Global Challenges Section, Human Security Branch, Division for Operations, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna, Austria