New B.C. guidelines unveiled for prescription heroin

published on October 12, 2017 by Isabella Zavarise in Global News

The BC Centre on Substance Abuse Use (BCCSU) has announced B.C.’s first ever guidelines for injectable opioid treatments.

B.C. addictions expert, Dr. Seonaid Nolan says this is a step in the right direction.

Dr. Nolan, addiction medicine physician at St. Paul’s Hospital and a clinical researcher at the BC Centre on Substance Use spoke with CKNW’s Jon McComb on Thursday about using prescription heroin to treat opioid addiction.

According to the latest numbers from the BC Coroners Service, more than 1,000 people have died of an overdose this year across the province.

“I think it’s natural for people to be hesitant about prescribing this form of therapy. I think what we need to keep in mind is the context with regards to our current public health crisis. Four British Columbians are dying every single day from an overdose,” she said.

Dr. Nolan said there are many reasons for this type of treatment to be successful.

“These injectable treatments, both injectable Hydromorphone and prescribed Heroin have been studied very rigorously and have been shown to be very effective in retaining individuals in addiction care and receiving addiction treatment. They’ve been shown to reduce intersection with both the criminal justice system and the health care system.”

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