Many use sleeping pills after hospital stay

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Half of elderly Canadian patients who are prescribed the type of sleeping pills called benzodiazepines after being sent home from the hospital are still chronic users of the drugs six months later, finds a new study.

Doctors say the trend is worrisome because benzodiazepines can be addictive. They have also been linked to falls and related injuries such as hip fractures, motor vehicle collisions, as well as cognitive impairment -- particularly when combined with other drugs or alcohol.

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