B.C. families say they’re often prevented from being involved in addiction treatment

published on April 11, 2018 by Camille Bains The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail

Families with loved ones addicted to illicit drugs struggle to navigate British Columbia’s health-care system and are often prohibited from being involved in care because of privacy and confidentiality policies, says a woman who tried to help her daughter before she died.

Deb Bailey said her 21-year-old daughter, Ola Bailey, was found dead in the stairwell of a building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 2015, after overdosing on heroin laced with fentanyl.

Bailey said her daughter had been prescribed suboxone to treat an addiction but a doctor refused to allow her and her husband to pick it up at a pharmacy. Instead, “Izzy,” as she was known, was forced to make daily trips there so someone could witness her taking the medication.

“Where there’s a family that’s acting like as a team like we were with my daughter, we need to be included instead of shut out,” Bailey said Wednesday. “My daughter said to the addictions physician: ‘But I do much better with my parents’ help.’ He wouldn’t let us help.

“I said, ‘Look, I’m just trying to save my kid’s life.’ He looked at me and shrugged.”

Bailey said when she offered the doctor a specialist’s report about her daughter’s challenges he wouldn’t take it, saying his patient needed to provide written consent, which she later gave him. However, she said the physician refused to take it unless he saw his patient sign it.
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