Opioid Addiction Treatment
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Information on treatment of opioid addiction for both physicians and patients

In April 2016, BC’s provincial health officer declared a public health emergency in response to the rapid rise in drug overdoses and overdose deaths in BC.

This resource was created to provide up-to-date information on treatment of opioid addiction within Interior Health for both physicians and patients.

The BC Centre on Substance Use and the Ministry of Health have developed provincial guidelines for the treatment of opioid addiction.

Two key points from these guidelines:

  1. Withdrawal management (i.e. detox) as standalone approach, is not recommended, as this approach has been associated with increased risk of HIV and hepatitis C transmission, elevated rates of overdose deaths in comparison to providing no treatment, and nearly universal relapse when implemented without plans to transition to long-term evidence based addiction treatment. 
  2. The guidelines strongly recommend buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) as the preferred first-line treatment for opioid use disorder, when feasible, given its safety profile. Other treatment options, including methadone, should be used when buprenorphine/naloxone is contraindicated or not feasible, or if buprenorphine/naloxone has been tried and is not effective.

Read the full BCCSU guidelines on the clinical management of opioid use disorder.

Links for Physicians


MoH     PCQO