Guidelines for opioid addiction & treatment

The British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and the Ministry of Health have developed provincial guidelines for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

The guidelines aim to improve knowledge of the various medical and psychosocial treatments available for opioid use disorder in the face of the toxic drug crisis. Toxic drug deaths continue to be the leading cause of unnatural death in BC, surpassing homicides, suicides, and motor vehicle collisions combined. Evidence and clinical experience have continued to evolve and develop, necessitating updated clinical guidance. A Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD Guideline) has been updated and published in November 2023 to provide guidance on the full continuum of opioid use disorder care. 

The guidelines strongly recommend buprenorphine/naloxone as a first-line treatment for opioid addiction but support a diverse array of possible treatments, recognizing that different approaches are necessary for different patients and circumstances.

BC’s Clinical Guideline for Treating People with Opioid Use Disorder

    Topics covered

    • Oral and injectable opioid agonist treatment
    • Strategies for Managing Withdrawal
    • Combination Approaches and Transitions between medications
    • Antagonist pharmacotherapies
    • Psychosocial Interventions including bed-based treatment programs
    • Harm reduction services and programs
    • Peer-based supports


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