The authors studied 50 of 55 patients originally hospitalized for
primary sedative-hypnotic dependence 4-6 years after hospital discharge.
Forty-two (84%) of the patients had resumed using sedative- hypnotics, 26
(52%) were abusing drugs at follow-up, and 21 (42%) had been readmitted for
drug abuse. Three patients experienced delirious states and six experienced
epileptic seizures associated with withdrawal. Physical signs of alcoholism
had developed in 11 (22%); four (8%) had committed suicide. Social
deterioration was noted in 24 patients. CAT scan results did not deviate
from those found in a matched control sample.