Module 3: Assessment

Lesson 5

Anxiety: Safety considerations

The assessment of alcohol intake and substance use is essential when considering the prescription of a controlled substance for anxiety. In particular, if there is a history of substance abuse, it is imperative to use caution when prescribing benzodiazepines.

It is important to always assess for risk of self harm or harm to others, particularly when there are comorbid mental health concerns.


  • Clinical practice guidelines. (2006). Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51(Suppl 2), 9S–21S.
  • Loomis, D. M., Griswold, K. S., & Pastore, P. A. (2015). Psychosocial problems. In L. M. Dunphy, J. E. Winland-Brown, B. O. Porter, & D. J. Thomas, (Eds). Primary care. The art and science of advanced practice nursing, 4th ed. (pp. 1028–1037). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.