Outpatient benzodiazepine detoxification procedure for methadone patients

David R. McDuff, Robert P. Schwartz, Anthony Tommasello, Stuart Tiegel, Timothy Donovan, Jeannette L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Benzodiazepines are used by a substantial minority of opioid addicts on methadone maintenance. Alprazolam, now the most widely prescribed benzodiazepine in the United States, appears to have supplanted diazepam as the benzodiazepine drug of choice in this population. Its greater addiction liability, shorter half-life, and more intense withdrawal symptoms make addiction to alprazolam more likely and its management in methadone patients more complicated. This article describes a slow outpatient tapered reduction procedure that was utilized to detoxify benzodiazepine dependent methadone patients seen over a two-year period. The reduction procedure was offered to 22 opioid addicts on methadone maintenace who were regularly ingesting low to moderate amounts of benzodiazepines, primarily alprazolam. Of the 22 patients, 4 patients refused out-patient detoxification, and 18 were started on a reduction procedure. Twelve patients completed the detoxification procedure which averaged 7.8 weeks. Comparisons are made between completers and non-completers and essential design features of the procedure are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • alprazolam
  • benzodiazepines
  • detoxification
  • methadone
  • opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Outpatient benzodiazepine detoxification procedure for methadone patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this