More support for Nova Scotians with opioid use disorder

An agreement between the federal and provincial governments aims to offer more support for Nova Scotians living with opioid use disorder.

The provincial government says the four-year deal will help stabilize programs and services and improve wait times for those who need treatment.

The bilateral agreement includes $3.1 million from Health Canada that will be added to $4 million from Nova Scotia.

The province says investments will be made to enhance existing treatment programs to help further reduce wait lists and wait times for treatment, and to build capacity in primary care for treatment by offering counselling by telephone with addictions specialists.

Training and education on opioid use disorder will also be made a priority for emergency room staff to ensure rapid referral for treatment.

Health Canada Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says 123 people in Nova Scotia lost their lives to opioid-related overdoses over a two-year period.

She says this agreement will make treatment services more accessible to those in need, including people living in remote areas of the province.