B.C. now has a roadmap for how to prescribe drugs like heroin, for opioid addiction

Global News / File

Researchers have long considered the possibility that drugs like prescription heroin and hydromorphone could be used to treat opioid addiction.

Now, the BC Centre on Substance Abuse Use (BCCSU) has issued guidelines for how to prescribe them in the province.

READ MORE: Former B.C. health minister says Ottawa still not getting seriousness of overdose crisis

The BCCSU said the treatments could help people who “have not benefited from other forms of treatment.”

Cheyenne Johnson with the BCCSU said the purpose of the guidelines is to provide a foundation so that access to such treatments can be expanded across the province.

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The guidelines contain information on patient eligibility, dosing and anything you might need to offer these treatments, Johnson said.

Each community should be involved in what the treatment looks like, with input from people such as care providers, drug users and their loved ones, as well as recovery experts.

“In the midst of an epidemic of opioid overdoses, we need to give people who are struggling with addiction as many treatment options as we can so we can reduce the tragic number of deaths in communities across our province,” Judy Darcy, minister of mental health and addictions, said in a news release.

READ MORE: $322M of new opioid crisis spending in B.C., and much of it is going to the cops for now

The guidelines were created by a team assembled by the BCCSU, which included regional and provincial health authorities, drug users and the B.C. Ministry of Health.

Drugs killed almost 900 people from January to July of this yaer, according to the latest numbers from the BC Coroners Service.

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