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Requirements in Seeking Methadone Treatment

In Canada, there is a prevailing policy on how methadone maintenance treatment should be implemented by those participating in the program. The policy has been in place since 2014 with the introduction of the product that is indicated for use with opioid dependence treatment. Each province is responsible for implementing their respective guidelines for the treatment of opioid addiction using methadone. So what are the things that you should know?

Getting Treatment

It is common knowledge that methadone treatment in Canada is handled either by private practitioners or treatment centers. There are methadone treatment requirements that must be satisfied before an addict can become part of the program.

You need to present proof, like a notarized letter from a physician attesting to the fact that you are receiving methadone. The letter should be written either in English or in French. The name and address that will be used by the patient while seeking treatment in Canada should be specified in the letter. It should also include the travel dates, daily methadone dosage, and other important medical information about the patient.

Aside from this the patient must present a proof of identity like a passport as well as the name of the Canadian physician that will administer the treatment. What if you don’t have the name and address of the Canadian physician who will handle the treatment? It is highly recommended that you visit the SAM website to get consultation, referral, and other information about general practitioners and clinics that are involved in the methadone maintenance treatment program.

This self-help website is very useful because the information is in English and French. You may also browse the Internet for treatment services in Canada, which is a database maintained by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Why do you need the information of the administering physician? Because you will need to send a request for travel to Canada to him. Further arrangements should be handled directly by the foreign physician and the chosen Canadian methadone treatment practitioner.

Dispensing Requirements

Despite being widely regarded as a safe medication, the prescription, dispensing, and consumption of methadone should be done in accordance with existing guidelines. This is because inappropriate or unsupervised use can result in dangerous consequences.

What are some of the key requirements for dispensing methadone that you should know about?

  • The pharmacy should notify the OCP when dispensing methadone. It is the responsibility of the pharmacist to ensure that the College is notified within 7 days that they are dispensing methadone.
  • The treatment and dispensing policy of OCP should be followed strictly. This means that pharmacists/physicians will be responsible for ensuring that there is adequate collaboration or communication between the pharmacist and the physician. Health Canada will be informed by the physician to ensure that there is a current and valid exemption. The exemptions for methadone treatment and chronic pain treatment are separate.
  • All staff member should be adequately trained based on existing requirements. Prevailing policy is that the DM should be adequately trained in the first 6 months of the methadone treatment practice. There should also be at least one pharmacist employed as a staff within one year. The trainings of the pharmacists should be updated every 5 years at the very least.

To be able to prescribe methadone the exemption of the physician should be in accordance with section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The College is mandated not only to oversee the program, but also ensure that its quality is improved and that methadone maintenance treatment remains accessible in Ontario.

The profile of the treatment program has been enhanced using outreach activities and through the recruitment of physicians qualified to prescribe methadone as an opioid dependence treatment drug.

Towards Recovery Clinics should be able to provide you with more information on methadone treatment requirements. Give them a call today.