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Policies to Reduce Harms from the Concomitant Use of Opioids and Central Nervous System Depressant Drugs

Published on: December 5, 2017
Project Number: ES0324-000
Product Line: Environmental Scans
Result type: Report

Patients who are prescribed opioids may also be treated for conditions requiring the use of tranquilizing drugs, such as benzodiazepines, that function as central nervous system depressants. Concurrent use of these two types of drugs has been associated with an increased risk of harms including injuries, overdose, and death. To protect patients from these harms, policies and other concerted efforts have been implemented by local and international payers and regulators. This Environmental Scan will summarize publically available information on established harms prevention policies and resulting outcomes, to inform decision- makers across Canada.


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anesthesia, nervous system