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Benzodiazepine Use and Misuse Among Patients in a Methadone Program

Kevin W Chen*, Christine C Berger, Darlene P Forde, Christopher D'Adamo, Eric Weintraub and Devang Gandhi

BMC Psychiatry 2011, 11:90  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-90

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Common sense: Benzo-free MMTP

Donald McDonald   (2011-08-19 17:45)  MMTP

it puts patients at higher risk of life-threatening multiple drug overdoses.

----Ours is a benzo-free clinic. We will outpatient taper the client from BZD's while together we pursue FDA approved options for anxiety relief. If the client remains in non-compliance we will taper him off methadone and release him from the program.

47% of the respondents had a history of BZD use, and 39.8% used BZD without a prescription. Half of the BZD users (54%) started using BZD after entering the methadone program, and 61% of previous BZD users reported increased or resumed use after entering methadone program

---Because they ARE addicts, not EX-addicts. They no longer feel the same euphoria and escape of their drug of choice, so they turn to alternatives. BZD's and methadone feel good together.

have prescribed medication for mental problems, have preexistent anxiety problems before opiate use, and had anxiety problems before entering methadone program.

----These are probably drug seeking behaviors on the part of the addicts before and during MMT, falsely representing themselves as anxious after a simple Google search. If they are not misusing BZD's, they are selling them in the parking lot. I understand we have to trust the client and treat the symptoms, but we do not have to trust the statistics in a study. That's a choice our oath will allow.

most methadone programs do not address co-occurring anxiety problems, and methadone treatment may trigger onset or worsening of BZD misuse.

----BZD's and methadone are a deadly combination, which unfortunately rewards the addict with an intense euphoria. We DO address anxiety problems but we simply will not be complicit in preventable death. Our psychiatrists offer FDA approved alternatives to BZD's. If the client truly wishes to recover from their opioid addiction, they will make an attempt. Frequent urine drug screens will tell the tale.

If the clients wish to continue treating their anxiety disorder with BZD's, they should do so with that prescribing physician. Together they can explore FDA approved alternatives to treating opioid addiction other than methadone. It's a matter of priorities I suppose.

Competing interests

None declared


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