Management of substance use disorder

The College expects registrants, regardless of specialty or discipline, to be aware of the possibility of substance use disorder (SUD) or the risk of overdose in their patients. Being able to identify and manage patients with SUD or risk of overdose is a core competency of all registrants and should form part of their lifelong learning.

Opioid agonist treatment

Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) uses medications such as buprenorphine/naloxone and methadone to treat addiction to opioid drugs such as heroin, oxycodone and fentanyl. The goal of this treatment is to reduce drug-related harms, overdose, and support long-term recovery.

Training pathway for prescribing OAT

Training is required through the Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program (POATSP) for registrants choosing to prescribe OAT to their patients.

Prescribing Treatment medication POATSP training pathway
Partial OAT Suboxone, buprenorphine/naloxone Required, extra training strongly recommended
Full OAT Methadone, slow-release oral morphine, extended-release oral morphine, and injectable OAT drugs Required, extra training mandatory


BCCSU guidelines

The BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) is responsible for the development of clinical care guidance for prescribers of opioid use disorder treatment in BC.  

College practice standard