Canadian Guidelines on Benzodiazepine Receptor Agonist Use Disorder Among Older Adults Academic Article uri icon

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


  • Conn, David K
  • Hogan, David B
  • Amdam, Lori
  • Cassidy, Keri-Leigh
  • Cordell, Peter
  • Frank, Christopher
  • Gardner, David
  • Goldhar, Morris
  • Ho, Joanne
  • Kitamura, Christopher
  • Vasil, Nancy

publication date

  • March 2020