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VICTORIA, B.C. – The first round of registered nurses (RNs) to begin prescribing medications for opioid use treatment is on track, according to the Province.

Around 30 RNs and registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) are set to complete their training this month. Once completed, they’ll be able to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone, most commonly known as Suboxone. This medication is a first-line opioid agonist treatment (OAT).

This is the first step in a phased approach to train RNs and RPNs in prescribing addiction treatment medications. This process represents the B.C. healthcare system’s significant change and supporting those in under-served, rural, and remote areas.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, says, “We are coming up on five years since British Columbia declared overdose a public health emergency, and more than 6,000 people have died because of toxic street drugs since that time”.

According to a release from the Province, the first group of nurses will be representing every health region.

In January, Northern Health and the First Nations Health Authority released a public health alert regarding the use of Benzodiazepines or ‘Benzos’ as they are most commonly known.

 

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