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Vancouver hospital to test pilot project aimed at helping OD patients

(Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

The emergency department at St. Paul's Hospital is testing out a new approach to getting overdose patients off opioids

The hospital will be handing out free Suboxone to overdose patients on their way out the door

The first-of-its-kind project is aimed at eliminating as many barriers to treatment as possible

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The emergency department at St. Paul’s Hospital is testing out a whole new approach to getting overdose patients off opioids — just give them Suboxone.

This comes as the B.C. opioid crisis continues to claim more lives around the province.

Suboxone is used as a stepping stone for those with opioid use disorder to help wean them off of heroin or fentanyl.

Under this new two-year pilot project, those who come into St. Paul’s following an overdose will get a three day supply of the drug from a specially-trained addiction nurse.

The kit will come with easy-to-use instructions and a follow-up care plan as Suboxone has its own risks and side-effects.

The first-of-its-kind project is aimed at eliminating as many barriers to treatment as possible.

If effective, this pilot project could be expanded to every emergency department in the province.