Objective: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of benzodiazepine (BZD) use in Brazil and to investigate the direct and indirect effects of alcohol use, sedentary lifestyle (SL), depressive symptoms (DS), and sleep dissatisfaction (SD) on BZD use.
Methods: The Second Brazilian Alcohol and Drugs Survey (II BNADS) used stratified cluster probabilistic sampling to select 4,607 individuals aged 14 years and older from the Brazilian household population.
Results: The lifetime and 12-month prevalence of BZD use was 9.8 and 6.1%, respectively. Older participants (age 40 and older) and women had higher rates. Alcohol use disorder, DS, and SD were significantly more prevalent in BZD users. The parallel multiple mediator model showed a positive direct effect of AC on BZD use, with significant positive indirect effects of SL, SD, and DS as simultaneous mediators leading to higher BZD intake. Other statistically significant indirect pathways were DS alone, SD alone, and all of the above except SL.
Conclusion: The prevalence of BZD use in Brazil is high compared to that of other countries. Knowledge of the main risk factors and pathways to consumption can guide prevention initiatives and underlie the development of better tailored and effective treatment strategies.