Making health care work for people with opioid use disorder

published on March 1, 2022 in UBC Faculty of Medicine

Every morning, BeeLee visits the Molson Overdose Prevention Site on Vancouver’s Downtown East Side to receive injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) for her opioid use disorder. She takes a seat inside the clinic and a nurse practitioner administers a prescription dose of hydromorphone.

Chatting with the staff, BeeLee waits a few minutes for the dose to take effect. She likes the people at the clinic. They are supportive and treat her with respect.

“They’re like family,” she says.

Equipped with a ‘carry’ — a second dose that she will self-inject later in the afternoon — BeeLee leaves the clinic with her dog Sadie, a beautiful lab-husky-shepherd mix. Her days are busy: She might spend time with her grandsons, attend a meeting of one of the advocacy groups she’s involved with, or go to work. BeeLee works 30 hours per week as a support worker at a supervised injection site, offering support and sharing her experiences of the iOAT program…

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