Current British National Formulary (BNF) guidelines state that benzodiazepines and
zolpidem, zopiclone, and zaleplon, commonly known as Z-drugs (BZD), be prescribed
for no more than 4 weeks, although anecdotal data suggest that many patients are prescribed
BZDs for much longer. As there are no recent, evidence-based estimates of long-term
(>12 months) BZD use in the UK, the scale of this potential problem is unknown.