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.

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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