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.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Chilliwack Chiefs sit atop BCHL standings

No one expected the young Chiefs to be this good this fast, but can it last?

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

On Oct. 19, gospel musician, Rob Berg, hosts first concert in Chilliwack in 25 years

Held at the Sardis Community Church, the concert celebrates his career and new album release

Outgoing Chilliwack board chair says anti-SOGI trustees won’t be allowed in schools

Candidates’ anti-LGBTQ rhetoric makes for awkward situations with students, teachers, administrators

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

B.C. man who abducted and assaulted 11-year-old girl has parole rules tightened

Brian Abrosimo made ‘inappropriate and sexualized’ comments to female staff

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read