Last week, The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association held a meeting where they voted in favour of allowing nurse practitioners to be able to prescribe medication for those suffering from opioid addictions.
Right now, doctors are the only people in the province with the ability to prescribe methadone or other opioid substitution therapies, which help with withdrawal symptoms.
Tracy Zambori is the President of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses. She says she is very happy with the move.
"We welcome this bylaw change. We see it as an ability to increase access to methadone and the other alternatives, because we really do have this growing opioid crisis, and we see this as very positive. It will help ensure timely access to care and ultimately save lives."
"Registered nurses go to work every day and give the best care that they can, but it's part of the conversation that registered nurses have about important issues for people of Saskatchewan beyond the bed side. We really feel that this is a step in the right direction."
Zambori goes on to say that this change will speed up the recovery process for those with opioid addictions.
"It can be up to a six month wait for anyone to get any sort of help to try to turn their lives around, or to get them some kind of treatment. We know that there is a demonstrated need for nurse practitioners to manage this ever-growing problem of opioid addiction."
When the bylaw does come into affect, nurse practitioners would have to undergo additional training in order to prescribe the medication.