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Datapoints: Regional Variation in Benzodiazepine Prescribing for Patients on Opioid Agonist Therapy
Tae Woo Park, M.D.; Amy S. Bohnert, Ph.D.; Karen L. Austin, M.P.H.; Richard Saitz, M.D., M.P.H.; Steven D. Pizer, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300419
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Dr. Park and Dr. Pizer are with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System (e-mail: taewoo.park@bmc.org). Dr. Bohnert and Ms. Austin are with the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Dr. Saitz is with Boston University School of Medicine. Amy M. Kilbourne, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Tami L. Mark, Ph.D., are editors of this column.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

Extract

Prescribing benzodiazepines (BZDs) for patients receiving opioid agonist therapies is controversial (1). Little has been reported on the regional variation of this practice, a possible marker of clinical uncertainty. We examined regional variation in BZD prescribing for opioid agonist therapy patients in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for fiscal year 2010.

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Figure 1 Percentages of patients on opioid agonist therapy in the Veterans Health Administration who were prescribed benzodiazepines, fiscal year 2010
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References

McCowan  C;  Kidd  B;  Fahey  T:  Factors associated with mortality in Scottish patients receiving methadone in primary care: retrospective cohort study.  BMJ (Clinical Research Ed) 338:b2225, 2009
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