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  • Prescription drug abuse is on the rise. According to the Philadelphia Department of Health data in 2017, up to 26% of adults may be using benzodiazepines and/or opioids (Table 1).
  • 12% or 1/8 Philadelphians are estimated to be current benzodiazepine users and have taken one in the last 7 days. Benzodiazepine use is most common among people with household incomes below $25,000 and among the 45-54 years old age group (17.7%) [1].
  • Most current users (84%) obtain benzodiazepines from health care providers [1]. However, with new policies to closely monitor controlled substances, those with dependence on benzodiazepines may turn to alternative sources (such as black market vendors) to obtain the drug.
  • Street-obtained versions may be substituted or mixed with alternative products to maximize profits for vendors. Unsuspecting users can be subject to life-threatening side effects.
  • •To clinicians caring for these patients, the composition of benzodiazepines obtained outside of a pharmacy may not easily be identifiable, making treating intoxications a challenge.

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medicine, drug abuse, Philadelphia, benzodiazepine, public health, hypoglycemia


Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health


Presented at the 2018 American College of Physicians (ACP) National Abstract Competition

Drug Abuse Manifesting as Persistent Hypoglycemia: A Case Report of Hidden Sulfonylurea Poisoning

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