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Northeast Occupational Exchange · 29 Franklin St. · Bangor · Maine 04401
Fax (207) 561-4725
Website: http://www.benzos.une.edu
Email: gressitt@gmail.com


The Maine Benzodiazepine Group is dedicated to educating healthcare providers and the general public about the risks and benefits of prescription benzodiazepines. We are committed to helping create alternatives to benzodiazepine use when indicated and providing opportunities for a fully informed decision prior to the initiation of benzodiazepines.

Reasons for concern

  1. Patients may become physically and psychologically dependent on benzodiazepines.

  2. This dependence may contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality such as cognitive deficits, an increased motor vehicle accident rate, and increased fall risk particularly in the elderly.

  3. Prescription drug abuse, including benzodiazepines, is a rapidly growing problem in Maine. This is evidenced by a report of the Maine Attorney General's Office especially in the context of combinations of different substances of abuse including prescription medications.

  4. Benzodiazepine prescribers and consumers may not be fully informed of the risks at the time of prescribing.

  5. Use of prescription medication by someone other than the person for whom it was authorized or in a way in which it was not authorized is an increasingly serious problem.

  6. The alarming association between prescription medication and criminal activity may be growing.

  7. Lack of mental health parity and access to specialized providers may lead to less use of more appropriate treatments.

  8. Lack of expertise in withdrawal methods for people dependent on benzodiazepines within the medical profession.


The group is open to anyone interested in studying the risks and benefits of benzodiazepines and exploring the provision of evidenced-based treatments.


  1. Review the medical literature to compile information to advance our understanding of the risk/benefit ratio of benzodiazepines.

  2. Create a process by which this compilation can be added to as knowledge is furthered and updated.

  3. Design and implement a plan to increase access to information regarding the risk/benefit ratio of benzodiazepines for prescribers and consumers.

  4. Give alternatives to chronic benzodiazepine use for prescribers' and consumers' consideration.

  5. Improve the treatment of anxiety disorders and decrease risks associated with benzodiazepines through education regarding alternatives and risks at initiation.

  6. Recognize resources in current existence for the treatment of anxiety disorders and develop ways to increase resources where needed.

  7. Identify prospects for research that will increase recognition of the risks and benefits of benzodiazepines and further education.

  8. Collaborate with associations and agencies regarding benzodiazepine abuse/dependence issues as well as the education of healthcare providers and the general public.

  9. Provide information about benzodiazepine withdrawal methods for people dependent on benzodiazepines and for healthcare practitioners.

• For general information about the group, email to: gressitt@gmail.com or call (207) 262-7920 or fax (207) 262-7921. If you would like to sign up for the mailing list or to attend meetings please email gressitt@gmail.com. For video conferencing technical information call (207) 973-7700.

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