An update on services to combat overdose crisis.

Dear health care providers,

Overdose Surveillance Trends

Surveillance of opioid related deaths, 911 calls and Emergency Room visits in Fraser Health show continued increasing overdose activity across the Fraser region. Efforts continue to focus on reaching out to those most at risk of death from overdose: males, 19-59 years old, and those who are overdosing in a private residence location.

Notifications from overdose Emergency Department visits to health care providers

Excelleris notifications of when your patient has been discharged from the emergency room are being updated so that additional text from the ‘History of Chief Complaint’ will soon be included to provide you with more information about the nature of your patient’s ER visit. We encourage all health care providers to follow-up as soon as possible with patients who have been seen in the ED for an overdose related visit given the risk of repeat overdose event and opportunity for intervention.

Distribution of Naloxone

Free Take Home Naloxone (THN) kits are available to people who use substances, have a history of using substances, and those who are likely to witness and respond to an overdose, including family/friends of people who use substances. All Public Health Units and Emergency Departments can dispense free THN, along with many community organizations and some participating pharmacies. Physicians can receive training to be a distribution site of THN to their patients. The list of all sites and more information on being a distribution site is on Toward the Heart, a project of the Provincial Harm Reduction Program.

Expansion of Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT)

Publicly-funded OAT is currently offered by Fraser Health in Surrey at Creekside, Quibble Creek and at the SHOP Clinic run by Lookout Society on 135A. Expansion of OAT is underway with clinics planned in Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Langley, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission. Emergency Departments are in the process of reviewing and including rapid induction protocols, and referral to community providers for maintenance. Increasing the availability of community family physicians prescribing maintenance Suboxone is critical to this expansion of OAT in the region. Additional information on Mental Health and Substance Use resources are available on the Fraser Health website, Mental Health and Substance Use pages.

Opening of Supervised Consumption Site in Surrey

On May 26, Fraser Health received Health Canada exemption to open two Supervised Consumption Sites in Surrey, which are expected to open in June. ‘SafePoint’ will provide a safe, clean space to consume substances under the supervision of trained staff and provide linkage to health and social services. A number of Overdose Prevention Site services with harm reductions services are currently available across the region and expanding through community organization contracts.

More information on all of these topics is available on the Overdose page of the Fraser Health.

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