We provide a range of services that can help those struggling with substance use or addiction, including detox, group therapy, counselling and medication. Treatment can help people cope with the anger, frustration, sadness, and disappointment that often happen when a person tries to stop using drugs.
All of our treatment programs are free and supply medications and services like counselling, specialized treatment planning, aftercare, and follow-up. We have many different options so all of your medical, psychological, social and spiritual needs can be taken care of.
Withdrawal management, or detox, is the process of removing toxins (drugs) from the body. There is no set timeframe for detox to be completed. For some, the process will take a few hours or days. For others, it may take weeks to completely clear the body of the drug.
Generally, people with opioid addiction can go through detox as an outpatient (during the day, patients don’t have to stay overnight). Example programs include the START program, Vancouver Daytox, St Paul’s Rapid Access Addiction clinic, and Downtown Eastside Connections clinic. Treatment and medications are available after withdrawal is finished.
Overnight stays for withdrawal are available at Vancouver Detox. Everyone is offered follow-up treatment.
There are risks with “detoxing” from opioids too quickly. When people go through withdrawal management alone with no other treatment, research shows they are at a higher risk for overdose (since they have less tolerance to opioids), HIV and Hepatitis C infection and relapse to opioid use. For most people, it is safest to have a period of stabilization with medication rather than a “rapid detox”.
Addiction to opioids, also known as opioid use disorder (OUD), like heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone, is one of the most challenging forms of substance use disorder to overcome.
Medications that treat opioid addiction are sometimes referred to as opioid agonist treatment (OAT), opioid substitution treatment (OST), or opioid replacement therapy (ORT). These include buprenorphine/naloxone (brand name Suboxone), methadone, sustained release oral morphine (brand name Kadian), and injectable OAT (iOAT) using hydromorphone (brand name Dilaudid) and diacetylmorphine (heroin).
iOAT is prescribed to people who have tried oral OAT but found that it didn’t work for them. iOAT requires daily supervised injections with hydromorphone or diacetylmorphine (heroin), like at a pharmacy or medical clinic.
All of these medications have been scientifically proven to decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms, reduce the use of illicit opioids, prevent overdoses and death, and improve overall health and wellness.
Supervising patients taking medication ensures the safety of patients and people in the community, and provides an opportunity for patients to receive other types of health care they may need. Did you know? Buprenorphine/naloxone document - BC Centre on Substance Use
Services may have restrictions related to age or residency.
These services are free of charge.
For information and to be connected to services near you, call the Access Central-Detox Referral Line at 1 (866) 658-1221. Or read more about services below: