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New opioid treatment method made available in East Kootenay

Interior Health is working with local prescribers to get help to people with opioid use disorder in the East Kootenay.

IH officials said the East Kootenay region will now have access to a new model of care to help connect people with opioid agonist treatments (OAT), such as methadone and Suboxone.

Interior Health has opened a centralized East Kootenay-wide OAT clinic, which officials said should maximize prescribing resources in the region.

“This new model is a unique approach to address several challenges presented by the geography of the region. It also provides more options for clients whose prescriptions run out, who may otherwise rely on illicit opioids,” said IH officials.

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The service will be available in Cranbrook, Creston, Invermere, Golden, and Sparwood.

The clinic will provide clients with an OAT prescriber at their local Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) centre on weekdays, using both in-person and virtual appointments.

Physicians, nurse prescribers and a centralized medical office assistant will work at this clinic.

“When people bravely reach out for help, we want supports to meet them,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This innovative approach will help more people in the East Kootenays access life-saving treatment, as government continues to build a system of mental health and addiction care across the province.”

“The provision of OAT medication, and with substance use treatment generally, has unique challenges. By leveraging technology and through working together we continue to remove barriers to treatment. I’d like to thank the prescribers who have stepped up to participate in this program, while encouraging others to do so as well,” said Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown.

Details on how to contact the OAT clinic can be found below.

More: Interior Health OAT clinic information

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