BC Association of People on Opioid Maintenance

The British Columbia Association of People on Opioid Maintenance was formed in 1999 by a handful of methadone clients who saw a need for a support network to relay relevant information to their peers. The organization has since moved with the times, as more prescription options came available for people who were opioid dependent. They were once called the Association for People on Methadone, and have changed their tune to encompass the current maintenance drugs. BCAPOM consists entirely of people who have lived experience with opiate addiction and are currently accessing maintenance pharmaceuticals, they aid opioid addicted peers in accessing these prescriptions and problem solving when access barriers come up. With the help of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) and their community space in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, BCAPOM is able to meet members where they are at. This community effectively shares personal stories of life as an addict and the inevitable daytoday obstacles of people who access opioid maintenance. They also participate in and provide research into users’ rights and legal issues, paving the way for better prescribing policy and more effective solutions to the overdose crisis.