Injectable opioid agonist treatment, or OAT, is now available through a clinic in Kelowna’s Community Health Services Centre on Doyle Avenue.
Oral OAT is an evidence-based treatment that uses medications like methadone and suboxone to manage withdrawal symptoms.
It helps with cravings and prevents overdoses. It also provides a regular connection with a health-care team, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and social program officers, which can help with overall stabilization.
While oral OAT is an effective treatment for many people with opioid use disorder, it does not work for everyone, according to IH.
Injectable OAT offers an alternative that has been recognized as a successful second line of treatment. It has been available in Vancouver since 2012 and from Fraser Health since 2018.
“Everyone deserves to be supported in finding their own unique pathway to hope and a pathway to healing says Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy.
“Adding this life-saving treatment option in Kelowna, means more people will be able to find the help they need when they need it.”
One client who has attended the clinic every day since it opened says that after one month, he has discovered “hope for the future.”
“I am able to walk down the street with less anxiety, and what is bigger is that I look back at my life and have empathy for the people that have struggled and experienced pain.