Interior Health Expands Opioid Addiction Treatment

Kelowna's Opioid Agonist Treatment Clinic has expanded.

That means Interior Health can now treat twice as many people recovering from opioid addictions.

“Expanding access to this life-saving treatment means that more people can get the help they need when they need it.” said Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy.

The clinic uses prescribed medications to provide relief from cravings.

There were 232 illicit drug overdose deaths in the Interior last year.

"I honestly feel that it's very beneficial for guys like me" said Kelowna resident Andrew Leeking. 

He's been receiving treatment from the clinic since July.

The news comes the day after the province's Chief Coroner reported more people fatally overdosed last year than those who died in motor vehicle accidents, homicides and suicides combined. 

“Particularly in light of the ongoing overdose emergency, we need to remove as many barriers to service as possible” said Interior Health Board Chair Doug Cochrane. "In addition to addressing their symptoms, time and again we hear this treatment gives people hope.”