Health Care Professionals

Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy


The information in this section has been compiled from external sources to promote awareness and support health care professionals (including physicians, dentists, pharmacists and nurses) to appropriately prescribe and dispense prescription opioids as well as methadone and buprenorphine treatment to patients.

Interactive Support and Learning

Addiction Clinical Consultation Service (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
The Addiction Clinical Consultation Service (ACCS) is designed to serve health and social service professionals including physicians, nurses, psychologists, occupational health staff, social workers, correctional staff, addiction workers and others who care for clients who have alcohol and drug problems. Addiction Clinical Consultation team includes experienced clinicians from medical, psychosocial and pharmacy areas. The ACCS is not designed to deal with health emergencies or respond to inquiries from the general public. If your client's health is in immediate danger, he or she should be referred to the nearest available hospital emergency department.

Contact: 1-888-720-ACCS (2227), or (416) 595-6968 in the Toronto area.

Online Workshop: Safer Prescribing, Dispensing and Administering of Opioids to Patients Suffering from Non-Malignant Chronic Pain
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health offers a workshop that provides physicians, pharmacists and community nurses with a set of evidence-based strategies for the safer prescribing, dispensing and administering of opioids. More information on the workshop and how to register can be found on their website.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Medical Mentoring for Addictions and Pain (MMAP)
This initiative is intended to support physicians with expertise in pain management and addictions, including methadone prescribers, to mentor family physicians interested in chronic pain and or addictions. The project is currently available in Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Chatham-Kent and Halton.
Ontario College of Family Physicians

Resources for Prescribing and Dispensing Prescription Opioids

Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain
The regulating bodies for physicians in each province established the National Opioid Use Guideline Group to produce and implement a national consensus guideline on opioid use. The Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain was published in May 2010.
McMaster University, National Pain Centre

The Opioid Manager
The National Opioid Use Guideline Group (NOUGG) has developed a clinical support tool to assist health care providers to safely and effectively prescribe opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.

The Canadian Guidelines for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: Practice Toolkit
This is an online toolkit that assists health care providers to integrate the Canadian Guidelines for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non Cancer Pain into their practice.

Assessment and Management of Pain – Best Practices Guidelines
This is an online guideline developed by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) that includes practice recommendations on pain assessment and management. It was developed in 2002 and revised in 2007.

Pain Management Without Psychological Dependence: A Guide for Healthcare Providers  [PDF]
This publication assists health care providers to understand pain management; distinguish between physical and psychological dependence on opioids; and reduce their patients’ risk of psychological dependence on opioids during pain management.
US Department of Health and Human Services

Opioids in Chronic Non-Malignant Pain: Troubleshooting Drug Therapy Issues  [PDF]
This link provides tips and troubleshooting tools for physicians in prescribing opioids for chronic non-malignant pain.
The RxFiles Academic Detailing Program - Saskatoon City Hospital

Beyond the ABCs: Opioids
This is a brief fact sheet on opioids for health care professionals.
Alberta Health Services

Resources for Patients Taking Opioids

Messages for Patients Taking Prescription Opioids
The National Pain Centre has created some key messages for patients on safely using opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.
McMaster University, National Pain Centre

What About Pain Medications?
An informational pamphlet on prescription pain medications, which include prescription opioids.
The Canadian Pain Coalition

Canadian Pain Coalition
The Canadian Pain Coalition is a partnership of pain consumer groups, health professionals who care for people in pain, and scientists studying better ways of treating pain.

**Patients can also be referred to the General Public section of this website for more general links on prescription opioids, including: how to use them responsibly; dispose of them properly; and the dangers of using them when they are not prescribed by a health care professional for medical purposes.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program Standards and Clinical Guidelines
This is a publication from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario intended for methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) physicians.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Clinic Toolkit for Methadone and Buprenorphine Providers
This toolkit comprises a number of documents frequently used in the treatment of opioid dependence in an outpatient setting in Ontario. It was compiled by CAMH as part of the OpiATE Project, an initiative funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care with the objective of enhancing training and professional supports for methadone providers. The toolkit includes various forms, letter templates and quick references that will be useful to practitioners involved in methadone and/or buprenorphine maintenance treatment.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Methadone Maintenance Treatment and Dispensing Policy
This policy on Methadone Maintenance Treatment provides guidance to members of the Ontario College of Pharmacists who dispense methadone for the treatment of opioid dependence, and outlines the College’s expectation in this regard.
Ontario College of Pharmacists

Methadone Maintenance Saves Lives
A pamphlet for health professionals about methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). It contains some quick facts and frequently asked questions about the prescribing and dispensing of MMT.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Buprenorphine for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s policy and other recommended resources on the use of buprenorphine for treatment of opioid dependence.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Supporting Clients on Methadone Maintenance Treatment – Best Practices Guidelines
This guideline produced by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) focuses on recommendations for nurses dealing with youth, adults or older adults either already on MMT or those who are potential candidates for MMT, with particular attention on priority populations.

Primary Care Addiction Toolkit: Opioid Misuse and Addiction
This section provides a comprehensive overview of what primary care providers need to know about opioid misuse and addiction.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Resources for Patients about Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Methadone Saves Lives
A pamphlet for the general public about prescription painkillers and methadone maintenance treatment (MMT).

Technical Resources

Important Notices
The Resources section is intended to provide general information on prescription narcotics, and should be used for informational purposes only. The Resources section does not provide any medical diagnoses, symptom assessments or medical opinions for individual users.

For More Information

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