In a Dec. 23 community update, the Sunshine Coast’s Overdose Prevention Task Force said hospital emergency room health-care professionals will be prescribing blister packs of the opioid replacement drug suboxone starting in 2021.
“This time of year has our minds on those who are less fortunate and those who have been impacted the most by COVID-19 and the opioid crisis,” said the update.
The task force was launched in late June through the Division of Family Practice, partly inspired by the division’s COVID-19 task force.
The update also said an overdose outreach team has been launched, which can be reached directly at: 604-314-9116.
The Sunshine Coast has seen one COVID-19-related death this year. From Jan. 1 2018 to Oct. 31, 2020 there have been 16 overdose deaths.
The Dec. 23 update can be read in full, below:
Dear Fellow Sunshine Coast Residents:
This time of year has our minds on those who are less fortunate and those who have been impacted the most by COVID-19 and The Opioid Crisis. Even though the Sunshine Coast fatal overdose statistics from 2020 are like those of 2017, every death is one too many. Together, we are working towards a community that recognizes opioid use disorder as a chronic health condition triggered by circumstance and trauma.
There are measures that have been put in place on the Sunshine Coast in the past six months to directly support those who are impacted by opioid use disorder.
• Prescribing of suboxone blister packs in the Emergency Room at Sechelt Hospital in early 2021. This practice lowers barriers to receiving comprehensive care from the addictions medicine team and is paired with a timely follow up once the patient leaves the hospital.
• Implementation of an Overdose Outreach Team, they can be reached at 604-314-9116.
We look forward to keeping you updated as more services become available across The Coast. In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out to the Addictions Team in Sechelt if you have any questions. You can connect with them at 604-885-8678
Wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season.
The Sunshine Coast Overdose Prevention Task Force
on behalf of the Sunshine Coast Division of Family Practice