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Opioid Crisis British Columbia

Opioid Crisis in British Columbia

The current opioid crisis in British Columbia has resulted in catastrophic strains on the health care system and a devastating surge in  drug overdose deaths in the province. A recent report from the BC Coroners Service revealed that so far this year, there were on average approximately 128 drug overdose deaths per month, a number which five years ago was only 22. In May 2017 alone, there were roughly 4.2 deaths per day due to drug overdose deaths, a 158 percent increase from May 2016.

In response to this tragic epidemic, the provincial government recently announced the creation of a brand-new Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction. While full details have yet to be unveiled, according to the NDP election platform, this new department will work towards improving the current mental health system by providing access to a wide range of evidence-based treatment, investing in early prevention and enhancing supports post-detox, among other initiatives.

Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioids are a powerful class of drugs, which includes illicit drugs like heroin or pharmaceutical medication like fentanyl, which come with serious risks. Fighting the opioid crisis will take much more than simply providing treatment or withdrawal management, but rather it calls for programs based on evidence-based practices that aim to address both the physical and psychological dependency of an addicted individual, as well as the underlying causes of the addiction.

Harm reduction strategies such as needle exchange programs, methadone maintenance treatment and supervised consumption facilities, are designed to keep people safe and minimize the risks associated with drug use. In responding to the Opioid Crisis in British Columbia it is important also to utilize and develop Recovery Oriented Systems of Care to provide further support to those individuals suffering from addiction, as well as their loved ones and communities, to enact a lasting change. It is possible to maintain, and thrive, in recovery from addiction.

Recovery Oriented Systems of Care are a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that are person-centered and builds on the strengths and resilience of individuals, families, and communities to achieve abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life for those with or at risk of alcohol and drug problems.

An effective treatment plan should be individualized and cover the full continuum of recovery addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of an individual which may include: 

  • detox and withdrawal management
  • residential or intensive outpatient addiction treatment
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • peer support groups
  • recovery coaching
  • individual and group counselling
  • tools for self-management
  • healthy lifestyle education
  • recovery resilience and emotional sobriety strategies
  • healthy relationship building
  • safe or sober living environments
  • relapse prevention
  • holistic activities that support sobriety
  • medical monitoring
  • accountability platforms
  • continuing care and support
  • community resources

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid or fentanyl addiction, you are not alone, and help is available. 

There are a number of treatment services and resources across the province that provide support for mental health and substance abuse:

Cedars at Cobble Hill is a residential addiction treatment centre that offers a full continuum of care, including detox, for those suffering from opioid addiction, as well as a range of other substance abuse disorders.

As a nationally recognized centre of excellence, the primary goal at Cedars for all patients is a full recovery. The team at Cedars at Cobble Hill residential addiction treatment centre recognizes that patients are our partners and together we form a treatment plan built on partnership to both rehabilitate and lay the foundation for sustainable long-term recovery. Call toll free 1-866-716-2006 to begin your journey of recovery from addiction, today.

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