Safe Alprazolam Prescribing and Benzodiazepine Monitoring Program

Brian S. Taylor, MD, Medical Director, Adult Services and ADP, Ventura County Behavioral Health; Celia Woods, MD, Quality Medical Director, Ventura County Behavioral Health
April 3, 2018
National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit 2018, Atlanta, GA

Deaths resulting in accidental overdoses related to benzodiazepines has been rising in Ventura County. Of all benzodiazepines, alprazolam is the most commonly prescribed, misused and diverted; however, it is no longer the drug of first choice for most conditions. To help reduce morbidity, mortality and drug diversion, VCBH focused on incorporating good practices into its medical decision-making regarding controlled substances. The project dealt with multifaceted challenges: a growing epidemic of Rx drug abuse in the community, consumers’ lack of awareness of the dangers these substances pose, providers’ lack of awareness of evidenced-based practices, and resistance to change on the part of both patient and prescriber.
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