Benzodiazepines are additive to opioids in depressing the central nervous system. Safe Prescribing must include opioid stewardship, benzodiazepine stewardship and consideration that opioids, anxiety medications, stimulant medications, sleep aids, and marijuana have additive effects. The Veterans Administration have been innovators in safe prescribing with education to their prescribers and patients.
Ilse Wiechers, MD MPP, MHS
Dr. Wiechers is a geriatric psychiatrist with additional expertise in health policy and health services research. She works in the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in VA Central Office leading several national mental health programs that focus on evidence-based psychopharmacology, quality improvement, and geriatric mental health. Dr. Wiechers specializes in providing clinical care for Veterans with late-life mood, anxiety and trauma-related disorders. She teaches extensively to interprofessional healthcare audiences at all levels of training and experience. She is a collaborator on several grants focused on improving the quality of psychotropic prescribing and also serves as an operational partner for several VA-funded studies. She is also deeply engaged in advocacy and policy work through her service to professional organizations (American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and American Psychiatric Association).
Dr. Wiechers earned her MD and MPP at Duke, did her psychiatry residency at MGH and McLean Hospitals, and her geriatric psychiatry fellowship at Yale. She is an alumna of the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment, the Yale RWJF/VA Clinical Scholars Program, and the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Geriatric Psychiatry Training Program.
VA Clinical Tools
Public webpage with all of the VA Academic Detailing educational materials
(free for public use)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Insomnia Coach webpage
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