Fraser Health is now offering treatment for opioid addicts at three new clinics in White Rock, Langley and Port Moody, providing first-line treatment through medications like methadone and Suboxone.
It’s called OAT, or opioid agonist treatment. An agonist is a term used in biochemistry for a drug that causes a physiological response, activating specific receptors in the brain. Essentially this treatment helps opioid addicts manage the symptoms of cravings and withdrawal, with a doctor’s referral.
The White Rock Opioid Agonist Treatment Clinic is at 15521 Russell Avenue. There are already three such clinics in Surrey: The Creekside Withdrawal Management Centre at 13740 94A Ave., Lookout Society at 10667 135A St., and the Quibble Creek Sobering and Assessment Centre at 13670 94A Ave.
“We are ensuring more people have access to treatment and supports when they need it and where they need it and where they need it,” said Judy Darcy, provincial minister of mental health and addictions. “Access to OAT stabilizes and saves people’s lives while connecting people to supports that help them on their pathway to hope and healing.”
The three new clinics add to the eight already operating in Surrey, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Chilliwack and Mission. According to Fraser Health, between October 2017 and September 2018 the eight clinics have provided treatment to patients more that 1,300 times.
Dr. Sharon Vipler, Fraser Health’s incoming division lead for addiction medicine, said the clinics “help people access evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder. On therapy, as their opioid use disorder stabilizes, people are better able to manage their health and access counselling and other supports.”