Fraser Health announced that in September & October 2017 it would be opening Opioid Addiction treatment clinics in 5 cities. Burnaby has been included in the list of cities that will be getting a new clinic. These clinics will provide methadone and suboxone to addicts to assist them in minimizing their addiction to illegal substances. Fraser Health has yet to disclose the exact location of the new clinic in Burnaby. Members of the Burnaby Community need to be aware of the statistics and also the programs that become available to addicts alongside these clinics.
Methadone itself is an opioid sold under the brand name “Dolophine”, that is used to treat pain. It is used as a substitute for those who are addicted to drugs like Heroin. Essentially the drug is used in a prescribed “Maintenance Program” to lessen the withdrawal symptoms of addicts.
Suboxone, like Methadone is used to lessen withdrawals and symptoms.
Both of the above drugs are prescribed and often need the support of counselling to be effective paths to sobriety.
Fraser Health saw an increase of 82% between 2015\2016 and 2016\2017 in Suboxone prescriptions. It is clear, as more and more statistics are released that BC has an overwhelming issue of drug addiction and most importantly overdoses leading to death.
In 2011 Tim Blackwell reported for the Financial Post that the Ontario methadone program was a system “system rife with doctor shopping and other abuse…”. He went on to further write that thousands of methadone users were still convincing their doctors to prescribe them other opioids of the same kind that they are supposed to be kicking.
CRC Health states that patients who undergo longer methadone programs have better results and are most likely to better overcome their addictions.
A quick look at Google Search Trends shows that while there has been a slight increase, the keywords “Methadone Clinic” have been searched for quite regularly on google by internet users in British Columbia.
The same Google data shows that in British Columbia the only two cities with substantial google searches relating to Methadone Clinic are Surrey and Vancouver.
A study by Johns Hopkins Magazine of John Hopkins university concluded
“Drug treatment centers are a public health need; they are as necessary as urgent care centers and emergency departments,” says Furr-Holden. “Our research shows that DTCs do not impact communities any more than other commercial businesses. Moving forward, communities should work with researchers, policymakers, and DTCs to have an honest dialogue regarding placement of this needed resource.”
Drug Addiction impacts many including the addicted themselves, but also children, families and the general community. Working together with healthcare professionals, social services, related support programs our government needs to be conscious of the affect on communities that these clinics bring, but also the life changing positives that they can provide to those who face addiction.
On July 20th 2016 the Vancouver Sun reported that Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan told a journalist that some who live in Vancouver’s shelters are the type of drug-addicted, mentally-ill and habitually criminal folks who would steal a dying person’s gold fillings, when speaking about the Vancouver housing crisis and the need for affordable, low income housing and homeless shelters.