for people ages 18-85 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Kate Taylor (ucla)
Headshot of Kate Taylor
Kate Taylor



The study aims to examine the efficacy of a telehealth-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) + benzodiazepine taper (BZ-TP) program in facilitating reductions in benzodiazepine use among patients who are prescribed opioids for pain.

Official Title

Augmenting the Efficacy of Benzodiazepine Taper With Telehealth-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders in Patients Using Prescription Opioids


This study will examine the efficacy of adding a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program developed and evaluated for patients with anxiety disorders to a benzodiazepine (BZ) taper as an augmentation strategy to improve the success of benzodiazepine reduction among patients taking concurrent opioid prescriptions for pain. There is a high risk of mortality including fatal overdose among patients taking opioids and BZs, yet it remains a prevalent problem. Treating underlying anxiety contributing to BZ use and potentially implicated in pain has the potential to decrease BZ use and possibly reduce opioid use. Thus, the current study moves the field forward in testing the efficacy of a combined CBT + BZ taper compared to the BZ taper plus a health education control condition. All interventions will be delivered via telehealth to patients recruited from a primary care clinic, where BZ and opioid co-prescribing is common and primary care providers may lack the tools and resources to effectively taper their patients off BZs.

Participants who are co-prescribed benzodiazepines and opioids and report elevated anxiety symptoms will be randomized to one of two conditions: (1) BZ taper with telehealth delivered CBT to facilitate taper; (2) BZ taper with health education control. Participants will be assessed on anxiety symptoms, BZ use/dose, opioids use/dose at baseline, post-treatment, and at a 2-month follow-up.


Substance Use Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Chronic Pain, Telehealth, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Benzodiazepine Taper, Anxiety, Opioids, Pain, Substance-Related Disorders, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Health Education, CBT + BZ-TP


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-85

  • Have been taking prescribed BZs for at least 3 months prior to baseline and have a positive UDS for BZs at baseline;
  • Currently experience significant distress or impairment due to their anxiety symptoms (i.e., score ≥ 8 on the OASIS during screening
  • Have been prescribed opioids for at least 3 months for pain management and have a positive UDS for prescribed opioids at baseline
  • Between 18-85 years old
  • Fluent in English
  • Have access to a digital device with internet access for telehealth.
  • Willing to reduce BZ use.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Pregnancy
  • Psychiatric symptoms requiring a higher level of care (i.e., severe suicidality, manic or psychotic symptoms not stabilized on medication, presence of any SUD other than tobacco use disorder, OUD (co-occurring with pain condition) or sedative/hypnotic use disorder)
  • Medical conditions that require ongoing treatment with benzodiazepines (e.g., certain seizure disorders)
  • Use of drugs other than BZs and opioids in the past 30 days (as indicated by UDS and self-report, with the exception of intermittent cannabis use)
  • Use of alcohol above at-risk drinking cutoffs per US Dietary Guidelines
  • Marked cognitive impairment


  • UCLA Health MPTF Toluca Lake Primary Care Clinic accepting new patients
    Burbank California 91505 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Kate Taylor (ucla)
    Associate Professor-in-Residence, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 10 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Los Angeles
Study Type
Expecting 54 study participants
Last Updated