Benzodiazepines and Opioids: An Update

  • Yngvild Olsen, MD, Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc, Baltimore, MD
  • Christopher Welsh, MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Anika Alvanzo, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

There is growing epidemiologic data on overdose fatalities associated with opioids and benzodiazepines. Clinicians caring for patients taking methadone or buprenorphine often struggle with what to do when patients also use illicit or prescribed benzodiazepines. Using a case based format, this workshop will review contextual data and survey results for how opioid treatment programs deal with concurrent benzodiazepine use. Presenters will focus on recent clinical guidelines, practical ways to reduce safety risks, including the use of technological tools, and discuss broader policy initiatives such as the Food and Drug Administration petition for black box warnings on all prescription opioids and benzodiazepines.


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