Dr Ritchie is Lead Clinician for Alcohol and Drug Services in Glasgow. She has been a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners since 2001 and worked as a GP in areas of deprivation in Glasgow before moving to work in specialist drug and alcohol services. Her clinical work includes heroin assisted treatment and benzodiazepine harm reduction prescribing. She currently chairs the board’s Medication Assisted Treatment group. Research interests include innovative integration of blood borne virus and drug treatment service delivery, interventions for novel benzodiazepine use and exploring all-cause mortality in drug treatment services.
Experiences of non-prescribed benzodiazepine use by people on opioid agonist therapy in a city centre treatment service
Although increasingly represented in Scottish drug related deaths, little information exists to describe novel benzodiazepine drug use among people in opioid substitution therapy (OST) in Scotland.
Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Recovery Service (GADRS) service evaluation describes self-reported benzodiazepine use including numbers and patterns of ingestion of tablets and compares near patient drug screening with laboratory toxicology including gabapentinoids and benzodiazepine breakdown in a cohort of 377 individuals in OST.
The evaluation also relates service user perspectives on their benzodiazepine use, associated harms, attempts at self-management and experiences of benzodiazepine harm reduction prescribing.