Substance Use News September 2017

Hope for Healing: Treatment Close to Home

Residents of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, had to travel hundreds of miles from home to enter treatment programs for substance use problems, and being so far from home posed challenges for people. There are no plans to develop a permanent program in the near future, so what’s the answer? Start a mobile treatment program nearby.


The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS will be using the Treatment as Prevention model for an addictions pilot project. The BOOST Collaborative is designed “to bridge gaps in care and improve treatment outcomes of people living with opioid use disorder (OUD).” The BOOST Collaborative will bring twenty teams from across primary care, substance use, mental health, withdrawal management and outreach settings in Vancouver to work together from September 2017 to July 2018.



Thoughts from doctors working in pain management

Dr. Scott Weiner writes about the stories he hears from colleagues and friends and their loved ones who either struggle with opioid addiction. When he asks how it started, it’s usually the same answer: the individual experienced acute pain either from a trauma or surgery, was started on opioids by a doctor, and then couldn’t quit.

In another piece on opioid prescribing, Dr. Dana Corriel talks about doctors being cast as villains in this public health crisis. She writes, “What strikes me to the core is the fact that the general public has stopped seeing us as the healers, and started viewing us as the drug dealers. We are now the enemy.” She says this all happened “Because we tried to help.”

In an article aimed at doctors and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, authors Max Deschner and Maaike de Vries write about the importance of patient-provider communication and health literacy. People being prescribed any medication, but especially opioids, must have an understanding of how the medication is used, for how long, and what risks and benefits to consider. it’s the responsibility of doctors to ensure this understanding is in place.


These Numbers are Hard

A BC Government News release dated September 7, 2017, declares that fentanyl has been found in over 80% of the illicit drug-related deaths in BC from January 1- July 31.  The total number of deaths has increased 143% over the same period of time in 2016.

What we don’t have enough information about is how opioids and other substances are affecting Indigenous communities, says a CBC piece from last week. BC’s First Nations Health Authority published the preliminary findings of Overdose Data and First Nations in BC this summer; a national picture is needed too.


Learn More:

Drug Use and Overdose Response

BC Overdose Action Exchange II Report

Overdose Data and First Nations in BC



Questions? Feedback? Get in touch! 
Janet Madsen, Capacity Building and Knowledge Translation Coordinator,
[email protected]
Image: Focus by Andrew, Flickr (Creative Commons)