The Doctor will C U now

We know primary care alone can’t fix the problem but what is the secret weapon?

If you ask Katie, someone who struggled to receive care when she was dependent on opioids, she would say it starts with compassion and understanding. Katie’s experiences highlight the importance of an open door and a helpful hand.

Today, Katie is happy, healthy and free of opiod dependency.  She has a great relationship with her family doctor and the health care system, but this was not always the case.  When she was using opioids and seeking help, her experiences were far less than ideal.

The opioid crisis exists in every community across Alberta.  Is your door open for patients using opioids?

  • If any of your patients have been prescribed opioids, could you or your clinic team identify those that are at risk of opioid dependency?
  • Are you comfortable/confident having an opioid dependency discussion with your patient?
  • Are you prescribing OATs?
  • Is your clinic open to receiving patients who are looking for help with their opioid use?
  • Have you made connections with local ODT clinics to take on stable patients?

Katie’s experience is not an isolated one.  Support is available in your area so that you and your team can answer YES to all of the above.

Support for Primary Care

The Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative (PHC ORI) is a grant funded partnership between the ACFP,
Alberta Medical Association (AMA), Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) enabling
primary care’s response to the opioid crisis in Alberta.

ODT Education Reference Sheet

ODT (Opioid Dependency Therapy) Virtual Health Learning

  • monthly sessions available (choose the most relevant to you)
  • ischeduler account required to register
    • Click here for step-by-step instructions to create an account and register
    • Click here for FAQ’s about the ODT Virtual Health Learning
  • slides available in advance
  • contact concurrent.disorders@ahs.ca
  • sessions will be recorded and available via YouTube

ODT Virtual Training Program

Pre-recorded ODT Training

  • AHS Concurrent Disorders Learning Series YouTube Channel
  • includes 9 webinars from the Feb/March ODT Learning Sessions
  • CME credits may be available

Opioid Addiction Training Program

  • from the British Columbia Centre on Substance Abuse (BCCSU)
  • includes 5-7 hours of CME credited material on buprenorphine/naloxone
  • free of charge

OUD – Telephone Consultation

  • for physicians and teams seeking advice prescribing opioid agonist therapy (OAT) such as buprenorphine/naloxone and methadone
  • from 8-5 p.m. daily
    • NORTH of Red Deer – call 1-800-282-9911 or 1-780-735-0811
    • SOUTH of Red Deer – call 1-800-661-1700 or 403-944-4488
  • Click here for more information

Collaborative Mentorship Network (CMN)

  • provides an environment to establish long term, trusted professional relationships
  • mentors and mentees will meet informally by phone or email or online forum, and formally through small group, geographic based meetings, provincial conferences, and online meetings coordinated by the CMN.
  • now recruiting mentors and mentees
  • mentorship@acfp.ca/780-701-9718

eRerral Advice

  • Addiction, Medicine, and Mental Health – Opioid Agonist Therapy
  • Non-urgent, physician to physician advice (response within 5 days)
  • Click here for more information

Tools for Practice

Quick Reference Guide to In-Office Induction of Buprenorphine/Naloxone

Tools for Assessing Withdrawal

Rural Opioid Dependency Program

  • Medication Management, Addiction Counseling and more via Telehealth
  • Toll Free: 1-844-383-7688

CAMH – Buprenorphine/Naloxone for Opioid Dependence Clinical Practice Guideline

  • The objective of this guideline is to provide clinical recommendations for the initiation, maintenance and discontinuation of buprenorphine/naloxone
    maintenance treatment in the ambulatory treatment of adults and adolescents with opioid dependence in Ontario.
  • The guideline intends to contribute to education of practitioners regarding opioid prescribing, improved patient access to treatment for opioid dependence, and safe prescribing and dispensing of buprenorphine/naloxone.
  • This evidence-based clinical practice guideline was developed by a multidisciplinary committee, and included specialists in the field of addiction medicine, family medicine and pharmacy.

CFPC Best Advice Guide on Recovery-Oriented Mental Health and Addictions Care in Patient’s Medical Home

Patients Collaborating with Teams (PaCT)

  • Proactive approach that enables patients with complex needs to manage their care
  • Builds on existing panel and screening work underway
  • Click here for more information

Local Supports for Zone PCNs

PHC ORI funded opioid response supports and activities are underway in each Zone PCN. Contact your Zone PCNs to find out what is available locally:

Is your practice ready to support Katie?

Katie was an opioid user who couldn’t get the medical help she needed, even when she went looking for it. She found it was easier to get high than get help and it took getting arrested for Katie to get the support she needed to start her journey to sobriety.

  • If someone like Katie arrived at your practice today, seeking help from opioid dependency, are you ready to provide it?
  • Do you and your team feel confident in supporting a patient like Katie?
  • Could you and your team identify who, amongst your existing panel, is at risk of opioid use disorder (OUD)?

Now is the time to actively identify and seek out patients like Katie who need help.
Resources are available to you and your team to provide the support and care patients like Katie need.

(Video courtesy of City of Leduc)

Is your practice ready to battle the opioid crisis?

Primary care alone is not responsible for solving the opioid crisis, it will require a multi-pronged attack plan before we see success. Primary care does play a significant role in identifying and supporting patients with opioid dependency. Addiction is a problem that needs to be managed before it can be effectively treated, and family practice is where management starts.

The continuity provided at family practice is essential for a smooth transition into treatment by integrated supports.

Have you and your team:

  • Assessed your capacity and confidence in prescribing OATs like buprenorphine/ naloxone or methadone?
  • Accessed training and mentorship to increase capacity and build confidence?
  • Reviewed your panels to identify patients at risk of OUD?
  • Actively prescribed and administered OATs?
  • Connected with local ODT clinics to support stable patients without a family physician?

Resources are available to you and your team to so you can join the battle today.

Is your practice ready to take the first step?

The opioid crisis is a complex problem with no simple solution but we all have to take the first step. For primary care, the solution starts with prescribing Opioid Agonist Therapy (OATs) like buprenorphine/naloxone and methadone.OATs will not solve the opioid crisis but for patients in your community, it may be their first step to managing their addiction.

Katie explains how OATs allows patients an opportunity to redirect their focus from getting high to getting well.

What change can my practice make?

  • Actively prescribe OATs
  • Access training and mentorship to help you become an OAT prescriber
  • Communicate with your patients that your clinic offers OAT
  • Connect with local ODT clinics to treat patients at risk of relapse?

Tools and resources are available to help you and your team take the first step.

Katie’s message is simple, don’t give up on opioid users – help them recover.
(Video courtesy of City of Leduc)