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

Cloverdale Toastmasters celebrate 25 years of learning and laughter

Cloverdale club is a high achieving, yet laid-back Toastmasters group

McCallum’s canal pitch took Surrey councillors by surprise

City government has more important issues pressing than building a canal, councillors say

Crime Stoppers urges Lower Mainland residents to check these 9 safety items every night

Home security tips demonstrated at Cloverdale house on Wednesday

Surrey RCMP conducting drug-related search warrant

Traffic closed in both directions on 128th Street, between 64th and 66th Avenue

Queen Elizabeth students hit $100K in donations to Surrey Hospital Foundation

Secondary students have been raising funds for a decade through the Roots & Rhythms event

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Most Read