Injectable Opioid Agonist Therapy (iOAT) in qathet
iOAT is coming to the qathet region! This life saving program came out of support from the Powell River Community Action Team, lead by Lift Community Services, with funding from Vancouver Coastal Health to reduce individual and community harms, including toxic drug poisoning deaths.
iOAT is an evidenced based therapy for people living with opioid use disorder, on the spectrum of opioid agonist therapy (OAT). One can think of it similarly to other types of OAT, like methadone, suboxone, or slow release oral morphine (SROM) though instead of being provided strictly orally, the route of administration is by injection. For now, the medication for iOAT here in Powell River will be hydromorphone. After assessment by an iOAT nurse and physicians, and dependent on space in the program, participants will begin a titration from a low dose of injectable hydromorphone to a maintenance dose of which they can receive up to two times /day at the iOAT clinic with a minimum of 3 hours between doses. Participants will be assessed for safety concerns pre and post dose, with emergency intervention provided if needed. In the clinic individuals may self-administer by intravenous injection, or intramuscular, or request the nurse to administer the injection intramuscularly.
The clinic will be open at the Community Resource Centre, in a shared space co located with the Overdose Prevention Site.
Starting now! At this time, the clinic will be open 7 days/ week from 9:00am – 4pm.
Referrals to the program are considered open.
- active opioid use disorder
- current opioid use by injection route (IV or IM)
- may or may not have had prior history with oral OAT
- > 18 years old * this is not an absolute criterion, though further assessment needed
- can provide consent to participate in program (voluntary
Please feel free to contact the iOAT clinic at:
Cell: 604 208 9993
Phone: 604 485 7134
Fax: 236 327 8072
Interested individuals may self refer, be referred by anyone on their healthcare team, or by other supports. Referrals can be done by phone, email, fax or in person at the Community Resources Centre. Referrals will then be triaged collaboratively by the iOAT community partners team.
Feel free to contact the clinic and we can try to answer any questions, and/or other resources!
In the meantime, for further information feel free to check out the iOAT Guidelines through the BC Centre for Substance Use.
If you or someone else is interested in the program please leave your name and email and we will send you a referral form!
Current drug policy and criminalization of people who use substances continues to harm individuals, their families and communities. Drug toxicity is now the leading cause of death for BC residents between 19 and 39 years old with approximately 6 people dying in BC every day from this cause. A safer supply of substances could reduce these staggering numbers. People who use substances also deserve improved access to healthcare services that meet their needs and improve their safety. iOAT is part of a medicalized model of treatment and harm reduction with understanding that some people find more stability with a combination of injectable and oral OAT rather than just oral. The iOAT clinic serves as an access point to other resources, services and care with an opportunity for the healthcare system to try rebuild our relationship with those who have been harmed.