Informed Pharmacists Are Key for Drug Users. A New Program Will Train Them

published on July 2, 2021 by Maddi Dellplain in The Tyee

Dean Wilson has visited the same pharmacy every day for the last 20 years. The longtime drug reform activist said he’s stayed with the same pharmacist for decades to get his methadone each morning, because he trusts them.

“It’s become part of my routine,” Wilson said.

Wilson works as a peer-facilitator at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use and says that for people on opioid agonist therapy, or OAT — which uses methadone or Suboxone to treat addiction to drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, hydromorphone and fentanyl — having a good relationship with a pharmacist is critically important.

But it’s something that’s hard to come by.

People who use substances or live with substance use disorder often face stigma and discrimination from health-care providers, Wilson says, which has many times resulted in pharmacists changing dosage amounts or even diluting doses without consulting patients…

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