Train healthcare providers and reduce stigma to tackle opioid crisis, says B.C. doctor

published on March 1, 2018 by Anna Dimoff in CBC News

Involving drug users in conversation is key to finding solution, says Dr. Evan Wood

This week, the federal government announced that it would make a $231-million investment to address the opioid crisis nationally, as part of the Liberal government’s budget.

The money would be spread over five years, and includes a $150-million emergency fund to launch treatment programs which will be divided among the provinces and territories based on need.

Here in B.C., the opioid crisis has reached a critical juncture and Dr. Evan Wood, director of the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, says he has faith the money the province receives will be put to good use.

Training healthcare providers in addiction care is at the top of Wood’s list of required actions to address the crisis.

The budget report states that the $150 million in emergency funding is meant to jumpstart “multi-year projects that improve access to evidence-based treatment services.”

Wood criticized the current methods of treating patients with addiction-related issues.

“Even if they’re having a non-fatal overdose and they have to be resuscitated to save their life, once that acute overdose is treated, people are shown the door of the ER,” Wood told On The Coast’s Gloria Macarenko.

“None of those systems that we would expect for any other disease are yet in place.”

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