07 Nov Alberta Approves Injectable Opioid Therapy To Fight Overdoses
The province of Alberta has approved and will be developing pilot projects in Edmonton and Calgary for drug addicts.
The projects will allow patients to inject the opioid drug hydromorphone under the supervision of medical professionals.
Hydromorphone is an extremely strong pain medication that is made from morphine.
Alberta isn’t the first province to set up this program that helps fight drug addiction and the number of overdoses. Ottawa is also setting up a program, and it’s currently offered in Vancouver.
In Vancouver, this program is currently available through the Providence Crosstown Clinic, located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In October, the B.C. Centre on Substance Use released a set of guidelines for prescribing injectable opioid treatments.
These guidelines provide a recommendation for how injectable opioid agonist treatments can be introduced into clinical practice in order to prevent premature death from overdoses.
“In the midst of an epidemic of opioid overdoses, we need to give people who are struggling with addiction as many treatment options as we can so we can reduce the tragic number of deaths in communities across our province,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“Expanding access to additional treatments for opioid addiction like hydromorphone will help provide a wider range of supports for people with addiction across the continuum of care, from harm reduction through to recovery.”
In October, Alberta approved six supervised drug consumption sites to help also eliminate the number of drug overdoses in the province. You can read our blog post about those, here.
Andy Bhatti, Professional Drug & Alcohol Interventionist in Alberta, has seen the number of addicted Albertans go up faster than he can count in the past year. As of mid-August, Alberta had recorded 315 deaths from fentanyl-related overdoses, which wasn’t far from the 368 total deaths recorded in all of 2016.
This newly approved project will allow addicts to avoid the temptation for dangerous street opioids such as fentanyl or heroin by getting regular doses of safer alternative drugs while receiving care to control their addictions.
While this is aimed to lower the number of overdoses, Andy Bhatti knows that an intervention is the real answer for addicts.
“Interventions are an extremely effective way to demonstrate to someone you love the depth and severity of their addictions. It is a drastic yet necessary effort to help them get the help they need before it’s too late,” Andy explains.
“Interventions are direct: involving a pre-planned meeting with the family to finds ways to encourage effective results in helping the individual see the benefits of treatment and to book a treatment facility or program for the individual to attend directly after the intervention.”
With the support of those who care for the addict and the addict’s approval, an intervention will remove drugs from that person’s life for good, while they recover. The addict will be given coping tools and will be shown how to live a happy life, clean and sober without needing any drugs to get through the day.
If your loved one is facing addiction in Alberta and you’re worried that safe injection sites and approved injections of an alternative drug are not the overall answer needed, call Andy Bhatti today.
Andy Bhatti used to be an addict himself in Vancouver and has changed his life around through sobriety and helping others open their eyes to living a clean life. He’s been providing a way out of addiction for addicts for the past five years. An intervention is the answer and it’s only a phone call away.