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Debate: Are Benzodiazepines Appropriate Treatments for Patients with Substance Use Disorders? Yes

Park, Tae Woo MD, MSc

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000292

Benzodiazepines are a controversial treatment for anxiety in patients with substance use disorders. Concerns include risk of addiction, overdose, and diversion. But benzodiazepines are among the most effective and well-tolerated treatments for anxiety, and are safe for the majority of patients who take them. Though not appropriate for all cases, particularly in those with an active opioid use disorder, benzodiazepines should be considered as a treatment for patients with substance use disorders after careful weighing of benefits and harms.

Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Tae Woo Park, MD, MSc, Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, 720 Harrison Avenue, Doctors Office Building, Boston, MA 02118. E-mail:

Received 12 December, 2016

Accepted 19 December, 2016

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2017 American Society of Addiction Medicine