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Community Care Supports Best Practice Guidelines for the Management of Benzodiazepines in Medication-Assisted Treatment Released by Philadelphia DBHIDS
Date:12/10/2013

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With support from Community Care Behavioral Health Organization (Community Care) and the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA), the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS)  has released guidelines for management of benzodiazepines in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) focusing on methadone treatment.

The guidelines – titled, "Management of Benzodiazepines in Medication-Assisted Treatment" – are designed as a resource to clinicians. The best practices are divided into seven categories: general guidelines, assessment for MAT, addressing benzodiazepine use, MAT for patients with concurrent benzodiazepine use, noncompliance with treatment agreement, risk management/impairment assessment, and special circumstances.

"These best practices provide physicians and other clinicians with a resource guide," said James M. Schuster, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer for Community Care. "Community Care hopes that the best practices will promote effective treatment practices that very carefully manage and monitor the use of benzodiazepines by individuals who use benzodiazepines while in MAT." 

General guidelines include the following:

  • CNS depressant use is not an absolute contraindication for the use of either methadone or buprenorphine in MAT, but is a reason for caution because of potential respiratory depression. Serious overdose and death may occur if MAT is administered in conjunction with benzodiazepines, sedatives, tranquilizers, antidepressants, or alcohol.
  • Many people presenting to services have an extensive history of multiple substance dependence and all substance abuse, including benzodiazepines, should be actively addressed in treatment.
  • MAT should not always be discontinued f
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SOURCE Community Care Behavioral Health Organization
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