Reply to "Prescribing Benzodiazepines for Patients With Substance Use Disorders"

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Sir: We agree with Dr. Lieberman’s concern that precipitate intervention by policymakers might restrict appropriate use of benzodiazepines. That concern is clearly identified in our conclusions, in which we state, “It would be a mistake to adopt overly restrictive prescription policies.” The larger question is, what, if any, role should government play in addressing the apparent discrepancy between guidelines developed by physicians and actual prescribing practice? Dr. Lieberman suggests that physicians can do better without policymakers’ involvement.

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(11):1577-1578