Prescribed Safer Supply Protocols

Fentanyl Patch

In July 2021, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, Ministry of Health, and Office of the Provincial Health Officer released Access to Prescribed Safer Supply in British Columbia: Policy Direction, which enables individuals to access a range of medications through prescription to reduce the risk of drug toxicity death due to accessing the illicit drug supply.

The first phase of implementation of this policy allows for the prescribing of certain opioids including fentanyl patches through regional health authority-run programs and federally funded programs (e.g., SAFER). Prescribed pharmaceutical alternatives is not intended for treatment of substance use disorders, but is primarily a harm reduction approach for reducing the risks of illicit drug toxicity events and deaths.

About these resources

These resources provide a standardized protocol for the provision of fentanyl patches to reduce reliance on the illicit drug supply and associated harms.

Provision of other medications for harm reduction is outside the scope of this protocol. See the BCCSU’s Risk Mitigation in Dual Health Crises: Interim Clinical Guidance for guidance on supporting individuals who use drugs to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19; the BCCSU’s Opioid Use Disorder Practice Update for information on prescribing hydromorphone and/or M-Eslon to help reduce individuals’ reliance on the illicit drug supply and, thus, overdose risk; and the BCCSU’s Stimulant Use Disorder Practice Update for information on trialing stimulant prescribing to help reduce individuals’ reliance on the illicit drug supply and related harms.

This protocol is adapted from PHS Community Services Society’s Fentanyl Patch Policy and Vancouver Coastal Health’s Fentanyl Patch Clinical Operational Manual.

Prescribed Safer Supply Protocols: Fentanyl Patch
Fentanyl Patch Clinical Summary
Fentanyl Patch General Information
Fentanyl Patch Patient Information
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