On March 26, 2020, the Province of British Columbia announced new interim clinical guidance for health care providers to support people who use drugs during COVID-19 and the ongoing overdose emergency.
The new clinical guidance Risk Mitigation in the Context of Dual Public Health Emergencies can be found here: www.bccsu.ca/covid-19/.
Download this overview here.
- Overdose and other harms related to an increasingly toxic illicit drug supply
- COVID-19 infection risk and spreading the infection from going outside multiple times per day to acquire drugs or alcohol
- Withdrawal that may occur with physical distancing or self-isolation
- Treatment with medication may be best for people diagnosed with a substance use disorder (for example, Suboxone for opioid use disorder or naltrexone for alcohol use disorder)
- For individuals already taking medication, their prescriber may offer carries or a longer prescription duration to help reduce their risk of COVID-19 exposure
- For people who are currently—or were recently—on medication but continue to experience cravings or withdrawal symptoms, their prescriber may discuss different options. This could include changing medication (for example, switching from Methadose to Metadol-D or Kadian), increasing doses, or splitting doses
- For people who have tried treatment in the past and it hasn’t worked, other medications, as outlined in the new clinical guidance, may be trialled (for example, hydromorphone, M-Eslon). These medications can be used in addition to an individual’s baseline opioid agonist treatment
- Other medications (for example, opioids, benzos, stimulants) may be prescribed for people who use illicit drugs
- Connecting with other resources (for example, a managed alcohol program)
- Creating a plan to avoid withdrawal (for example, self-managing alcohol intake)
Vancouver Coastal Health Vancouver Rapid Access Addiction Clinic
St. Paul’s Mental Health Wellness Clinic
1081 Burrard Street, Second Floor
Overdose Outreach Team (OOT)
(8:00 am to 8:00 pm)
Creekside Rapid Access Addiction Clinic
13740 94A Avenue
Northern Health Substance Use Resource Nurse
Call Shawn at: 250-565-5435
If no answer, leave a message and someone will return your call
Interior Health Kamloops Rapid Access Addiction Clinic
103-220 3rd Ave
Kamloops, BC V2C 3M3
Kelowna OAT Clinic
505 Doyle Ave
Canada V1Y 6V8
Island Health Victoria Rapid Access Addiction Clinic
1119 Pembroke St
Monday to Friday: 9 am to 12:00 pm
- Access the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool here.
- Call 811 to talk to someone about symptoms or get medical advice. They will provide further information and instructions on what to do next.
- Call 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or text 604-630-0300 from 7:00 am to 8:30 pm every day to get information about physical distancing and what kinds of support, resources, and assistance are available from the provincial and federal governments.
- Access general information about COVID-19 including symptoms and prevention strategies here.