Benzodiazepine Use in the USA Is Driven by Long-term Users: a Repeated Cross-sectional Study of MEPS 2002–2016
Benzodiazepines can be an effective short-term adjunct for psychiatric conditions managed in the outpatient setting.1 Recent studies on benzodiazepine prescribing reveal increases in concurrent opioid prescribing2 and prescribing in the ambulatory setting.3 Other reports document increase overdose mortality from benzodiazepines over the past decade secondary to concurrent opioid use.4 Despite this, less is known about how individuals use benzodiazepines over time. Without knowing how individuals use this medication, the abovementioned measures may overestimate benzodiazepine use. We thus sought to describe benzodiazepine use among the adult population using longitudinal cohort data.
A repeated cross-sectional study was conducted using the 2002–2016 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).5MEPS is an annual survey that is nationally representative of the noninstitutionalized US population and collects demographics, self-reported medical conditions, health...
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The OhioHealth Institutional Review Board ruled the study to be exempt.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.
- 4.National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse. Overdose Death Rates. Revised January 2019. Available at https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates. Accessed April 4, 2019.
- 5.Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends MEPS HC-181: 2016 Full Year Consolidated Data File. https://meps.ahrq.gov/data_stats/download_data/pufs/h192/h192doc.pdf. Published August 2018. Accessed January 2019.