BC Updates Its Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Guidelines

published on November 24, 2023 by Michelle Gamage in The Tyee

Doctors in British Columbia have a new set of clinical guidelines for treating opioid use disorder.

On Wednesday, the BC Centre on Substance Use published a new set of guidelines, replacing the previous clinical guidelines from 2017. The 2017 guidelines were published around a year after a public health emergency was declared in 2016 in response to a sharp increase in toxic drug deaths.

A lot has changed since then, including an increase in research on opioid agonist treatment, or OAT, and what does and doesn’t work for patients, said Dr. Paxton Bach, an addiction medicine physician and co-chair of the guideline writing committee.

The toxicity and unpredictability of the toxic drug supply has also increased. According to the BC Coroners Service, 1,495 people died from unregulated drugs in 2017. As of just September, 1,836 people have died so far this year.

This update will hopefully make more people interested in starting opioid agonist therapy, Bach said…

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