Chilliwack is getting a clinic inside CGH this fall to provide Suboxone and methadone treatment to help with addicts struggling with opioid use disorder. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress file)

Chilliwack to see new clinic opening this fall to treat opioid use disorder

New clinic will complement existing treatment services offering Suboxone and methadone

An out-patient clinic is opening this fall in Chilliwack General Hospital to provide Suboxone and methadone treatments for those struggling with opioid addiction.

Coun. Ken Popove, who chairs the Housing First subcommittee of Chilliwack Healthier Community, said the new initiative was “clear recognition” of the urgent need to address opioid-related crisis in Chilliwack.

“I am cautiously optimistic about this,” Popove said. “I am a full supporter of harm reduction and the science behind it, so if this helps people get on the road to getting better, I’m for it.”

READ: New clinics to combat crisis

Statistically, Chilliwack is sixth of seven Fraser Health communities in terms of recent overdose deaths. It was 11th of 14 across B.C. with the highest number of deaths due to illicit drug overdoses, according to the June data from BC Coroners Service, the most recent numbers available.

The announcement by Fraser Health, about the new out-patient clinic in CGH, and the eight others across the region, was delivered on Thursday, International Overdose Day .

Coun. Popove said he hopes the new clinic will quickly “start helping people who actually want help” when they are ready to access it. But he says Chilliwack still needs a fully-funded Intensive Case Management (ICM) team.

The new clinic will be opening within CGH, complementing existing services in the same corridor as the Riverstone Clinic, which offers daytox, and mobile medical detox services.

Dr. Victoria Lee, chief medical officer for Fraser Health, said when Chilliwack made the BC Coroners’ list of 14 cities with the highest number of OD deaths province-wide, it was decided it would be included in the expansion of treatment services they are rolling out region-wide.

Chilliwack’s new clinic will be one of nine opening in September and October, along with those in Surrey, Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, Mission, and Langley.

READ: Fraser Health criticized by Chilliwack voices

But there is an area of confusion Dr. Lee wants to clear up for the public. Critics always frame the problem as a need for more “detox beds” when discussing addiction treatment.

But there is more to it, the health official said.

“It is absolutely important to emphasize that for opioid use disorder (OUD) the first-line treatments, meaning the most highly recommended, are Suboxone or methadone.”

She went further, adding the science shows that detoxing without these medications “increases a patient’s risk of death, or elevated rates of relapse” and other health conditions like HIV infection.

Also, according research by the B.C. Centre for Substance Use, most with OUD should be offered community-based, out-patient treatment as opposed to “rapid in-patient treatment.”

So while it may seem counterintuitive to some, since most people think of treatment “beds” specifically as the ultimate solution to people getting their lives back on track.

“But the recommendations are clear that this does not work on its own.”

Suboxone, is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, in tablet form. Suboxone acts in much the same way as methadone, a synthetic opioid that blocks opioid receptors, but produces even less of a high. Methadone and Suboxone are both classified in the opioid family of drugs used to manage opioid dependence.


 

@chwkjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Downtown Chilliwack homeless shelter gets a reprieve

Extension to August is geared to getting people into supportive housing this summer

Three different Chilliwack pubs hit by banking machine thieves

RCMP investigating thefts of ABMs during late night, early morning break-ins

B.C. Wildfire crews respond to Sts’ailes, Morris Valley fires

A fire at the First Nation and a grass fire in Abbotsford sent smoke across the valley Wednesday

Top Canadian curlers clash at 2019 Everest senior men’s and women’s championships

It’s the first big event at the just-opened Chilliwack Curling Club, and features an exciting field.

Chilliwack mayor takes taxi transfer topic to Vancouver

Meeting with the mayor, health minister and Fraser Health CEO confirmed that taxi transfers happen

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Assault charge against Curtis Sagmoen dropped

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will still stand trial on one count of assault causing bodily harm in December.

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

UPDATE: Two avalanches confirmed at Okanagan ski resort, one in hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

5 to start your day

Chilliwack mayor sits down with health minister, phone scam tricks seniors out of $3.1 million and more

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Most Read