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Government funding announced to help Islanders with opioid addiction

Opioid addiction and opioid usage disorder continue to be a difficult medical issue in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2017 there were 33 opioid-related deaths in the province.
Opioid addiction and opioid usage disorder continue to be a difficult medical issue in Canada. - -File photo

A new $1.1 million initiative will aim to improve treatments for Islanders who are battling drug addiction.

The bilateral agreement, which was announced Friday as part of the federal emergency treatment fund, will see $518,506 in funding from the federal government and $566,000 from the provincial government.

The funding will enhance the province’s opioid replacement therapy program by increasing access to buprenorphine/naloxone. It will also increase client support networks by training individuals with lived and living experience to support peers currently received treatment for problematic opioid-related substance use.

The funding agreement will also enhance P.E.I.’s telehealth capacity through implementing a secure video connection between community outreach nurses and physicians located in central areas of the province.

Public Safety Minister Jordan Brown said the initiatives will build on P.E.I.’s existing action plan to prevent and mitigate opioid overdoses and death.

“As a province, we have been taking action in the fight against opioid misuse. This new agreement will help us reduce the barriers for accessing opioid replacement therapy,” said Brown.

Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay, who announced the fund on behalf of Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, said the bilateral agreement will increase access to essential treatment services.

Opioid-related overdoses continue to devastate communities across Canada,” said MacAulay. “We must continue to work in a comprehensive and collaborative way to help Canadians access the treatments and supports they want and need.

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