Fraser Health is opening new clinics across the region in a bid to make medication for opioid addiction more available.
The clinics – in Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission, and Langley – will open in September and October and offer Suboxone and methadone.
“By opening new clinics and connecting people to treatment while they are still in the emergency department, we can initiate treatment sooner and help them begin the road to recovery,” said Fraser Health chief medical health officer Dr. Victoria Lee.
The announcement was made Thursday, on International Overdose Awareness Day.
The new clinics are in addition to existing facilities in Surrey at Health Solutions on 135A Street, Quibble Creek Sobering and Assessment Centre, and Creekside Withdrawal Management Centre.
The health authority is also introducing a program to allow people coming to some emergency departments to start taking Suboxone and methadone.
The number of patients with Suboxone prescriptions in 2016/2017 went up 82 per cent, from 1,362 people in the previous period to 2,476 in Fraser Health.
Illicit drug overdoses killed a record 914 people in B.C. last year.