Canadian Guidelines on Benzodiazepine Receptor Agonist Use Disorder Among Older Adults

  • David K. Conn Baycrest Health Sciences, University of Toronto
  • David B. Hogan Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
  • Lori Amdam Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health
  • Keri-Leigh Cassidy Dalhousie University
  • Peter Cordell McMaster University
  • Christopher Frank Queen’s University
  • David Gardner Dalhousie University
  • Morris Goldhar
  • Joanne M-W Ho McMaster University
  • Christopher Kitamura Baycrest Health Sciences
  • Nancy Vasil University of Montreal

Abstract

Background

Benzodiazepine receptor agonist (BZRA) use disorder among older adults is a relatively common and challenging clinical condition.

Method

The Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health, with financial support from Health Canada, has produced evidencebased guidelines on the prevention, identification, assessment, and management of this form of substance use disorder.

Results

Inappropriate use of BZRAs should be avoided by considering non-pharmacological approaches to the management of late life insomnia, anxiety, and other common indications for the use of BZRA. Older persons should only be prescribed BZRAs after they are fully informed of alternatives, benefits, and risks associated with their use. Clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for the presence of BZRA use disorders. The full version of these guidelines can be accessed at www.ccsmh.ca

Conclusions

A person-centred, stepped care approach utilizing gradual dose reductions should be used in the management of BZRA use disorder.

Author Biographies

David K. Conn, Baycrest Health Sciences, University of Toronto
Department of Psychiatry
David B. Hogan, Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Department of Medicine
Keri-Leigh Cassidy, Dalhousie University
Department of Psychiatry
Peter Cordell, McMaster University
Department of Psychiatry
Christopher Frank, Queen’s University
Department of Family Medicine
David Gardner, Dalhousie University
Department of Psychiatry
Joanne M-W Ho, McMaster University

Department of Medicine

Nancy Vasil, University of Montreal
Department of Psychiatry
Published
2020-03-13
How to Cite
Conn, D. K., Hogan, D. B., Amdam, L., Cassidy, K.-L., Cordell, P., Frank, C., Gardner, D., Goldhar, M., Ho, J. M.-W., Kitamura, C., & Vasil, N. (2020). Canadian Guidelines on Benzodiazepine Receptor Agonist Use Disorder Among Older Adults . Canadian Geriatrics Journal, 23(1), 116-122. https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.23.419
Section
Clinical Practice Guidelines/Consensus Statements