The Improving Treatment Together (ITT) Project

The Improving Treatment Together (ITT) Project aims to improve the experiences and outcomes of community-based services for young people who use opioids, their families, and service providers, using co-design methods.

Nine stakeholder specific workshops were held in four partnering communities (Kelowna, Prince George, Vancouver, Victoria), where participants explored their experiences and defined specific needs for improving opioid treatment services. They then brainstormed and prototyped solutions to address these needs. Three of these prototyped solutions were chosen for development and co-designed with relevant stakeholder groups.

This project is co-led by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA)Foundry Central Office, Foundry Kelowna, Foundry Prince George, Foundry Vancouver-Granville and Foundry Victoria. Each community has developed their own resource to support and improve the experiences of young people who use opioids, their families, and/or service providers.

To learn more about these resources, click the sections below.

The Parent Handbook - Foundry Victoria

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A group of twelve parents living in Victoria, British Columbia came together to create a Parent Handbook. These parents all have one thing in common: they parent a young person who has a substance use disorder.  

What is this handbook about?

This handbook is a collection of shared experiences and stories to help other parents and caregivers find refuge, support and courage to reach out for help. Whether your young person is experimenting with substances or has developed a substance use disorder, this handbook may help you feel connected with other parents and caregivers going through similar experiences. This journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and knowing that there are others who understand what you are going through can be a lifesaver. 

Click the image to read Parents like us. The unofficial survival guide to parenting a young person with a substance use disorder.

 

For more information about the ITT project, contact: 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the parent handbook! Please fill out a short survey here.

Youth Service Assessment Tool - Foundry Prince George

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This tool has been developed with 12 youth who have lived and/or living experience of substance use living in Prince George, British Columbia, to support service environments that are accessible, inclusive, safe, and appropriate for youth who use substances.

Who can use the assessment tool

This assessment tool can be used by any health and social services and programs that serve young people, including substance use services, mental health services, youth treatment services, harm reduction services, youth shelters, community health centres, social services, hospitals, emergency departments, etc.

What the assessment tool can provide

This tool can help your organization or program identify:

  • strengths and opportunities for improvement
  • youth-informed recommendations to improve youth service experiences, including
    • relevant training opportunities and toolkits,
    • resources,
    • opportunities to collaborate with youth and other service organizations and,
    • considerations when working with youth who use substances.

The tool consists of 4 main areas of assessment to improve youth service experiences:

 

What to expect from the assessment tool

  • Instructions for completing the assessment
  • An assessment form to identify your organizations strengths and weaknesses
  • A worksheet to support the development of an action plan
  • Youth-informed recommendations for each assessment questions

Click the boxes to access the following links:

*We’ve also developed a list of Youth Services in Prince George to better support youth and young adults who use substances.

For more information about the ITT project, contact:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the assessment tool! Please fill out a short survey here.

Virtual Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Guide - Foundry Kelowna & Foundry Vancouver-Granville

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“Step by step – A youth informed guide to OAT” is an animated, short, lived-experience video series about real youth’s everyday experience with opioid agonist treatment (OAT) as part of a treatment program. The animated series showcases podcasts hosts, Sam and Sasha, as they interview youth experts from Kelowna and Vancouver to explore what OAT was like for them, how OAT can help in treating opioid use disorder (OUD), common side effects to expect, and ultimately, what else besides OAT medications helped each of them in their journey to wellness. The videos hope to demystify and destigmatize OAT by providing authentic and relatable information for those seeking treatment for opioid use and to increase confidence for youth considering or starting OAT.

The series features 4 short episodes:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these videos! Please fill out a short survey HERE.

“You’re worth it”: Defines what OAT is and its potential life-saving benefit within the context of the drug toxicity emergency.

“The Daily Routine”: Provides descriptions of the different types of medications available for youth in British Columbia. Youth describe what being on OAT looks like in day-to-day life.

“Side Effects”: Explains common side effects youth experienced while on OAT.

“The Big Picture”: Explores the idea that OAT is only one tool that supports one’s wellness journey, and everyone’s treatment pathway is different. Youth share what other elements helped them while on OAT, including staying connected through support groups, friends, and peers.

It’s important to note that access to OAT highly depends on what’s available to you in your community. Please check out this resource listing below which includes youth services available for youth in Vancouver and Kelowna to access OAT or to learn more. It also includes provincial and national resources and links for service providers and families.

In addition to the videos above, a one-page infographic has also been developed to complement the series. It provides information on each OAT option available in BC, including its route of administration and pros and cons for each.

Click the boxes to access the following links:

For more information about the ITT project, contact:

Publications and Reports

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Publications

  • Marchand, K., Tallon, C., Katan, C., Fairbank, J., Fogarty, O., Pellatt, K. M., Turuba, R., Mathias, S., & Barbic, S. (2021). Improving Treatment Together: A protocol for a multi-phase, community-based participatory, and co-design project to improve youth opioid treatment service experiences in British Columbia. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 16(1), 53. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13722-021-00261-7
  • Marchand, K., Fogarty, O., Pellatt, K.M. et al. “We need to build a better bridge”: findings from a multi-site qualitative analysis of opportunities for improving opioid treatment services for youth. Harm Reduct J 19, 37 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-022-00623-7
  • Marchand, K., Turuba, R., Katan, C., Brasset, C., Fogarty, O., Tallon, C., Fairbank, J., Mathias, S., & Barbic, S. (2022). Becoming our young people’s case managers: caregivers’ experiences, needs, and ideas for improving opioid use treatments for young people using opioids. Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy, 17(1), 34. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13011-022-00466-2

Community Workshop Reports

Stories

The Improving Treatment Together (ITT) Project aims to improve the experiences and outcomes of community-based services for young people who use opioids, their families, and service providers, using co-design methods.

The Improving Treatment Together (ITT) Project aims to improve the experiences and outcomes of community-based services for young people who use opioids, their families, and service providers, using co-design methods.

 


Keywords: Foundry BC, foundry, Victoria BC, Victoria, parents like us, guide, parent handbook, substance use disorder, ITT, improving treatment together, parents, caregivers, Foundry Victoria, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and AddictionCCSA