B.C. allows nurses to prescribe opioid substitutes, lowering barriers to treatment and clean alternative to street drugs (BCCSU)
A large group of B.C. nurses can now prescribe a range of opioid substitutes that are used to treat addictions to drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
Today (April 4), the provincial government announced that nurse practitioners can write prescriptions for methadone and Suboxone, as well as for hydromorphone.
Some 70 of them receive the drug via a program operated by the nonprofit Portland Hotel Society and Pier Health Resource Centre, a pharmacy in the Downtown Eastside. Another 25 or so receive hydromorphone at Crosstown Clinic, the only location in North America where prescription heroin is available (to a select group of patients who were previously part of a clinical trial). There is also a small hydromorphone program that recently launched in Ottawa.
Travis Lupick reports