B.C. Centre on Substance Use recommends Suboxone over methadone

published on December 9, 2016 by Brady Strachan in CBC News

Health experts sharing key findings of new provincial opioid guidelines ahead of the papers’ publish date

In the face of the growing fentanyl crisis in B.C., opioid researchers are sharing the key findings of the provincial opioid addiction guidelines with front-line health care workers, a month before they’re due to be published.

Cheyenne Johnson, the research leader with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, was in Kelowna on Thursday to present the best practices to health-care workers from across the Interior Health Authority.

In an interview with CBC Radio One’s Daybreak South, Johnson said, although the provincial guidelines are not expected to be published until early 2017, researchers want to get the information to front-line workers now.

“We are close to 700 deaths in the province, up to the end of October, and who knows what the numbers are going to look like for November,” she said.

Suboxone over methadone

“It’s definitely a crisis “” two people dying on average in the province per day.”

The key highlights are a shift to the drug Suboxone over methadone as the first line of treatment for opioid addiction and a recommendation that detox not be used as a stand alone treatment option.

“If somebody just goes into a withdrawal management facility and isn’t connected into treatment afterwards, we know that they are at very high risk of an overdose and transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C, if they inject drugs,”

According to Johnson, Suboxone is a better option for treating addiction because it has a six-times better safety profile compared to methadone.

View the full article