A drug user prepares drugs at theoverdose prevention site in Our Place in Victoria. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

B.C. drug users offered withdrawal medication similar to version yanked in 2014

Nearly 18,000 people were switched from methadone to Methadose in 2014.

Drug users who didn’t respond well to a reformulated methadone treatment introduced in British Columbia four years ago to ward off withdrawal symptoms have won their battle to get a medication equivalent to the original version.

Nearly 18,000 people were switched from methadone to Methadose in 2014, but a doctor who treats substance users in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver says the reformulated drug caused substance users to become ’dope sick’ in about 14 hours, instead of 24 hours.

Dr. Christy Sutherland says that led to withdrawal symptoms including pain, sweats and diarrhea and had many people seeking drugs such as heroin on the streets during an opioid crisis fuelled by potentially deadly fentanyl.

Sutherland says she has now switched many of her patients to Metadol-D, which has been shown to work as well as the original methadone.

The B.C. Centre on Substance Use has been educating doctors about that medication, which physicians must apply for on an “exceptional basis.”

Laura Shaver, who heads the British Columbia Association of People on Methadone, says the province discontinued the original treatment for marginalized people without consultation, which caused misery for drug users, including herself, who experienced withdrawal.

Related: Drug users say methadone switch contributed to B.C.’s opioid crisis

Related: Convicted offenders in B.C. 3x more likely to die without methadone: study

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alpine season delayed at SilverStar

SilverStar Mountain Resort too warm to open Thursday

Armstrong woman leads Clean Water for Haiti

Non-profit organization looks to improve access to clean drinking water

Vernon Magnums capture B.C. football title

Magnums edge Abbotsford Falcons 7-6 in B.C. 9-Man Atom Division championship

Making jokes from Hollywood to Lake Country

Comedian Dino Archie will be performing Saturday night at the Creekside Theatre

Bail hearing put over for two Vernon murder suspects

The bail hearing for Richard Fairgrieve and Jacqueline Nicole Leavins was adjourned to Dec. 17

Weekday weather update

A look at your weather for the week of Nov. 19 in the Okanagan - Shuswap

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

South Okanagan man wielding an axe convicted of break and enter and assault of a police officer

Steve Joseph Godbout was convicted of several charges in Penticton provincial court

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Massage fundraiser already making a difference

Vernon event already raised $500 for family battling throat cancer news

Most Read