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Workshop: Benzodiazepines: Challenges and Solutions

Benzodiazepines have been referred to as the next prescription drug epidemic. Caring for patients who chronically use prescription benzodiazepines present many challenges to clinicians. Profound psychological attachments as well as idiosyncratic aspects of physiologic dependence contribute to these challenges. In this session we will explore the newly described and closely related concepts of “benzodiazepine induced neurological dysfunction” (BIND) and "complex persistent benzodiazepine dependence” (CPBD). BIND describes a constellation of functionally limiting neurologic symptoms aAAnd adverse life consequences that are the result of neuroadaptation and/or neurotoxicity resulting from benzodiazepine exposure. CPBD refers specifically to the significant psychiatric instability and functional decline, with or without new aberrant behaviors, that manifests during attempted benzodiazepine deprescribing and may be misinterpreted as benzodiazepine use disorder (BUD).

These heuristics can help clinicians develop a better understanding of complex often confusing clinical situations in patients with chronic benzodiazepine use. We will also discuss the nuances of benzodiazepine tapers, when they are indicated, when they are not indicated, and options for implementation. Finally we will review how to utilize motivational interviewing skills to engage patients in a discussion about goals of care including possible benzodiazepine deprescribing

Learning Objectives
  • Participants will Develop an understanding of BIND (Benzodiazepine Induced Neurologic Dysfunction).
  • Participants will learn diversified strategies for tapering of benzodiazepines.
  • Develop an understanding of Complex Persistent Benzodiazepine Dependence.
Keywords / Topics
  • Benzodiazepine tapering
  • Benzodiazepine Induced Neurologic Dysfunction
  • Complex Persistent Benzodiazepine dependence
Christopher Blazes, MD, Chairperson
Dr. Blazes is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at OHSU. He is triple board-certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, and emergency medicine and is the director of the OHSU addiction psychiatry Fellowship. 

Alexis Ritvo, MD, Presenter

Alexis Ritvo, MD MPH, is Program Director for the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Colorado (CU) School of Medicine, where she is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. 

Jeffrey Gold, MD, Presenter
Dr. Jeffrey Gold, PharmD, BCPP, is a Psychiatric Clinical Pharmacy Practitioner and Psychopharmacologist with over 15 years of academic and clinical practice experience.
Availability: On-Demand
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
No Credit Offered
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
The content on this site is intended solely to inform and educate medical professionals. This site shall not be used for medical advice and is not a substitute for the advice or treatment of a qualified medical professional.

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