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<< Sedative-Hypnotic Drug Withdrawal Syndrome: Recognition and Treatment (Critical Care Topic and Pharmacology CME)

Introduction

As the prescription drug abuse crisis reaches epidemic proportions in the United States,1,2 so are the numbers of emergency department (ED) patients suffering from sedative-hypnotic drug withdrawal.According to 2011 data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), sedative-hypnotic agents were the second most frequently reported drug class to cause an ED visit. (Opioids were the most frequent cause.) Of drug-related ED visits, benzodiazepines accounted for 28.7%, and sedative-hypnotics in general accounted for 34%.

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