Blog: Benzos at the Opioid Treatment Program

“Should patients in opioid treatment programs ever be approved to take benzodiazepines? Even addiction medicine doctors hold widely varying opinions on this issue. In my state (North Carolina), all of the doctors who work in opioid treatment programs are invited to participate in a conference call once per month. The people who head the state’s methadone authority and the Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse are also usually on the call. We discuss difficult issues we’re facing, and discuss difficult cases. Last month, the question was asked pointedly by one of the doctors: “Is zero-tolerance for benzodiazepines now the standard of care for opioid treatment programs in our state?” For the people on this call, the consensus was that the ideal was zero tolerance or at least a restricted policy regarding benzodiazepine use.”

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Source: Janaburson’s Blog – November 3, 2012


  1. Rodger Rhone says

    Benzos are still some of the most effective drugs for anxiety and panic attacks,etc. Its just a matter of using them properly and at the right dosage. For methadone patients, they do present a real hazard if not used correctly. Other powerful opiates like morphine,demerol,dilaudid, etc have been used concurrently with benzos for over 30+ years. Methadone is a potentially dangerous drug if not used properly , just like many other drugs are. There is definately a problem with using high dosages of benzos and methadone. That makes sense doesn’t it? It doesn’t require a medical degree to figure that out. But the key here is ‘proper use’. They can be used together if precautions are taken such as patient education and limiting amounts of RX’s for benzos. If you have a patient on methadone , then if they do need a benzo RX, write it for 30 pills instead of 60,90, or more. Lets use common sense, folks. That’s what is needed here, in my opinion.

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