Alberta approves pilot programs for injectable opioid therapy

published on November 1, 2017 by Keith Gerein in Edmonton Journal

Albertans who have struggled with traditional forms of opioid treatment such as suboxone and methadone could soon have access to an injectable form of therapy.

The provincial government announced Wednesday it has agreed to develop pilot projects in Edmonton and Calgary that will allow patients to inject the opioid drug hydromorphone under the supervision of medical professionals.

Currently, such “injectable opioid agonist therapy” is offered only in Vancouver, though Ottawa is also setting up a program.

The move is among a dozen new recommendations proposed by a provincial commission put together last May to guide the province’s response to the opioid crisis.

“The government has committed to supporting evidence-based treatment programs not yet widely available in Canada,” commission co-chair Elaine Hyshka told a news conference Wednesday. “These new treatments will give patients another option on their path to recovery and to help them stabilize their lives.”

Alberta currently provides medically supervised access to the opioid replacement therapy drugs suboxone and methadone, which are ingested in either pill or liquid form.

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