While the toxic drug crisis rages in B.C., Interior Health (IH) has partnered with local prescribers to launch a new model that seeks to help connect people in the East Kootenay with opioid use disorder to opioid agonist treatments (OAT), including methadone and Suboxone.
“When people bravely reach out for help, we want supports to meet them,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This innovative approach will help more people in the East Kootenays access life-saving treatment, as government continues to build a system of mental health and addictions care across the province.”
Now a centralized East Kootenay-based OAT clinic has opened its doors to help maximize OAT prescribing resources throughout the region. The clinic provides clients with access to OAT prescribers on any weekday at their local Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) centre, utilizing a blend of in-person and virtual appointments.
This service is available in Cranbrook, Creston, Invermere, Golden and Sparwood. The clinic consists of physicians, nurse prescribers and a centralized medical office assistant.
“The provision of OAT medication, and with substance use treatment generally, has unique challenges,” said Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown. “By leveraging technology and through working together we continue to remove barriers to treatment. I’d like to thank the prescribers who have stepped up to participate in this program, while encouraging others to do so as well.”
Interior Health said this new model is a “unique approach to address several challenges presented by the geography of the
region,” while also providing more options for clients whose prescriptions run out, who may then turn to illicit opioids.
The new OAT intake office may be contacted at 250-420-2210.
This follows Interior Health’s project they announced earlier this year, which helps connect people with opioid use disorder with Suboxone in hospital emergency departments.
Learn more at www.interiorhealth.ca