Getting Started

At CATC, our goal is to help our patients and communities overcome opioid addiction. If you or someone you know struggles with opioid dependency, we’re here for you. We offer a variety of treatment options, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone. Our caring and experienced team will help you determine which treatment is right for you. Call us at 1-877-937-2282 or email us at info@canatc.ca to schedule an appointment or learn more about starting recovery in Canada.  You can also walk into any CATC centre across Ontario to get started right away.

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Following your decision to start the recovery journey, an intake specialist will help you through our comprehensive intake assessment with the goal of getting you started on the program immediately.

What You Need to Get Started What to Expect at Intake
When you choose one of our recovery programs, you’ll need the following:

  • A valid provincial health card and photo ID
  • Meet diagnostic criteria of Opioid Use Disorder (DSM-5)
  • Agreement to follow program policy

 

During intake, one of our specialists will walk you through the following:

  • Discussion to understand current challenges, history with opioids, and other substances
  • Physical examination and medical history
  • Screening and health assessment
  • Review of program guidelines and expectations
  • Referrals for additional medical and psychological services as needed

Is OAT right for me?

Opioid agonist therapy (OAT) is an effective medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program for people who are dependent on prescription or illicit opioid drugs. Treatment duration depends on the patient and how much time they might need to deal with the emotional, physical and social issues underlying their opioid use disorder. Like all recovery based-programs, success with OAT requires a personal commitment to work with your CARE (Compassionate, Accessible, Respectful, Expert) team to achieve success.

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What are the differences between Methadone and Buprenorphine/Naloxone?

Methadone and Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone®) are both health Canada approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Both medications help to alleviate the debilitating withdrawal symptoms and cravings experienced when trying to stop using opioids. While both medications are classified as opioids, have similar side effects, and are long acting medications, key differences distinguish them from one another.

Methadone is a full opioid agonist and as the dose increases, so will the therapeutic effects. Once the right dosage is achieved, methadone can provide full relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings. 

Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone®) is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it does not fully activate the opioid receptors in the brain; because it is a partial opioid agonist, it does have a ceiling effect.

  • Methadone typically provides better withdrawal symptom management for those who have been taking high doses of potent opioids (i.e. fentanyl) and/or have developed a very high tolerance for opioids.
  • Small dose adjustments are easier to make with methadone given it is a liquid.
  • Buprenorphine/Naloxone is in tablet form, which is preferred by some patients.
  • Buprenorphine/Naloxone has a better safety profile than methadone, however, reports of diversion and injection of Buprenorphine/Naloxone is increasing.
  • Buprenorphine/Naloxone requires that a patient be in full withdrawal before starting this medication (i.e. having not used any opioids for 24+ hours).

What should I expect during OAT?

During the first weeks of treatment, our Care Team will provide you with the support you need to start your recovery journey.  You’ll see our expert pharmacist daily and work with your physician to adjust your medication until an effective dose is reached and withdrawal symptoms are fully resolved. In addition to medication, CATC patients can expect:

  • A friendly and judgment-free treatment environment where patients feel safe and welcome.
  • Medical supervision and ongoing assessment with referrals for medical treatment and physician collaboration as needed.
  • Education on addiction and relapse prevention, as well as other medical issues commonly associated with opioid use.
  • Access to Hepatitis C screening and treatment

How is my OAT program paid for?

All medical services are covered by Provincial Health Care Plans and are offered at no cost to our patients.

The cost of your medications may be covered by the pan-provincial drug benefit program or by your private health insurance. In some cases, patients may be required to pay out of pocket, but we work closely with our patients to help get the costs of their medications covered through grant programs, etc.

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Canadian Opioid Treatment Programs

At Canadian Addiction Treatment Centres, we’re dedicated to helping our patients overcome Opioid use disorder in Canada. Our care model provides comprehensive treatment for people suffering from opioid use disorder across the country. We currently operate across three provinces, serving over 16,000 patients a month. If you’re ready to get help, find a treatment centre near you. Reach out to us online or call a CATC representative at 1-877-937-2282 to learn more about our treatment programs and get started on your recovery.

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