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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:28 pm 
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Only recently had this medication been available in BC, where I live in a city which has a population of about 50k in winter and rises to about 80k during the summer months. There is only one prescribing Doctor in our area and no other that is less than an hour and a half drive from here. They are NEVER prescribed for carries, even with a good track record of passing urine or blood tests for the use of other drugs. The Doctors who have family practices or are GP's know absolutely nothing about this medication and instead of exercising due diligence in finding more information with regard to how this medication should be used and administered. They openly tell patients they don't have any information and don't know about the medication and send them to the only prescribing Doctor in our city. As the only option for people here in our area, this Doctor pretty much has any addicts at his mercy. He does not have a very good reputation for his patient care, or for treating his patients with dignity and respect.
The way the medication is distributed in BC seems a lot different than other areas of our country, and definitely in an entirely different manner than is taken in the USA or UK. The medication is treated like methadone without the option of ever having carries. Even the methadone Doctors here do not really know a lot about this medication. The Doctor here told me that he only had to take a two week course to be licensed to prescribe Suboxone. He too believes that all addicts are "junkies" and he does not treat anyone with respect or dignity. I know those people who are dependent on him prescribing for them are afraid of his cutting them from treatment entirely, in spite of the CMA Code of Ethics. Those addicts I know do not feel that they are able to make a complaint and be taken seriously, or they will experience punishment and potentially be cut loose to hang in the wind, good health care be damned, for filing complaints to the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
I know it is prescribed in jails, but is only given for three to four days and then stopped. The people I have spoken to which have been in that situation have all said that it worked for them when it came to cravings. Most of those people have relapsed, more than likely due to not dealing with why they became dependent in the first place. Whether it was medical and they became dependent, or they are dependent on narcotics through their own choices. The most conscientious treatment I have found seems to be in the states and in the UK, where counselling is offered as part of the treatment.
Our federal government is up for an election this October and hopefully we will be ousting Harper and is criminal cronies. His views on those who need help for any sort of addiction issues it to treat them as criminals who should be jailed rather than rehabilitated.
I don't know of any lobby groups or other organizations trying to have the laws changed and as far as Harper's government is concerned, addicts are all skid row street junkies.
Suboxone has only been available outside out jails in our area for less than a year. It is new ad because of that it is prescribed more often than methadone now. That makes no difference to the people who are stuck trying to figure out how they are going to get to work, drop their kids at daycare or school and get to the pharmacy, which generally are not open until 10am. Not every pharmacy in our area dispenses either methadone or Suboxone, there are only three or four that I know of. All the others have used the reason/excuse that it interferes with their personal beliefs or value system.
There has really been very little done in this area to provide care to those who need it, especially continuing follow up care to ensure that people are less likely to relapse.
I don't know what is needed to make a change in how these people, who have a definite medical issue, are viewed and treated. There is a running thread throughout the area that addiction is a choice, not a medical condition which requires compassion and proper treatment. Hopefully this will change. Are there any Canadians east of Vancouver or the Interior of BC who have experienced anything different than I have described here?
I am not sure how old this thread is, but I do know that this problem is growing in the area where I live. I would love to hear of the experiences of other Canadians regarding this form of treatment and especially if they are from BC.
I also have not heard of anyone being prescribed this medication for any length of time, compared to what seems to be the 'norm' in the USA. If there are any other Canadians who have had a different experience than I have described. I would love to hear your stories, or be directed to a link containing those stories.
Thanks, Viv


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:42 pm 
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I know a Canadian from Ontario who purchases buprenorphine in the US. She says that there is a long wait for buprenorphine treatment under the National Health Service-- 5 years or more-- so she travels long distance to the US for treatment.

One would think that Canada-- a country viewed as 'progressive' compared to the US-- would have a better plan for treating addiction. But from what I've heard, it really is not on the country's radar-- at least not in terms of having a National strategy to deal with the illness.


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