New clinical guideline supports health care practitioners in treating opioid use disorder

Canada is in the midst of an opioid crisis, making it important to disseminate standardized approaches and evidence-based recommendations for managing opioid use disorder. In response to this need, CAMH has released Opioid Agonist Treatment: A Synthesis of Canadian Guidelines for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, a national clinical guideline that harmonizes existing provincial and national guidelines, evidence-based practices and expert opinions into one document aimed at providing consistent and high-quality care to people with opioid use disorder.

Opioid agonist therapy is the most effective treatment option for opioid use disorder, ideally combined with behavioural and social supports. It can stabilize the cycle of intoxication and withdrawal, reduce opioid cravings and block the intoxicating effects of other short-acting opioids, including fentanyl. People who are maintained on opioid agonist therapy typically experience improved health and social functioning and reduced risk of overdose.

Opioid Agonist Therapy Guide from CAMH, covid pageCAMH worked with subject matter experts and medical regulatory authorities across Canada to reach consensus on recommendations from existing guidelines, with support from published literature. People with lived experience also provided feedback. This collaborative effort has culminated in a clinical guideline that will support health care practitioners with best practices and evidence in treating opioid use disorder across the diverse settings and regions in which they practise.

Access the guideline, as well as other opioid agonist therapy resources and resources to support OAT during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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