Prescribing Benzodiazepines for Patients With Substance Use Disorders

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Sir: A review of physician prescribing practices for Medicaid beneficiaries in New Hampshire by Clark and colleagues1 uncovered a disturbing trend showing that patients with cooccurring substance use disorders (SUDs) received larger doses of benzodiazepines and had higher rates of benzodiazepine use than those without SUDs. They noted that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) guidelines2 recommend caution when prescribing benzodiazepines to persons with SUDs, and the authors rightly recommended that prescribing physicians reassess their use of these medications.

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(11):1577-1577