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Supports 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.

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.


ODT Education Reference Sheet

ODT (Opioid Dependency Therapy) Virtual Health Learning

Alberta 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


PEER Simplified Guideline: Managing Opioid Use Disorder in Primary Care

Using the best available evidence, this guideline provides a simplified, shared decision-making approach to common questions experienced by primary care clinicians and their patients with opioid use disorder. For a full list of related tools and resources click here.

Tools for Practice

Tools for Assessing Withdrawal

Harm Reduction Module for Primary Care

The Harm Reduction Module for Primary Care includes:

  • Evidence based strategies for supporting a harm reduction approach within primary care settings,
  • Recommended practices for reducing the experience of bias and stigma faced by People Who Use Drugs, their families and other individuals with lived experience of opioid use

AMA’s Section of General Practice Substance Use Disorder Toolbox of fee codes

The Section of General Practice has put together a list of common codes that can be used for the management and treatment of patients with substance use disorders including opioid use disorder. There may be other codes that are relevant depending on the situation but this list will cover the majority of activities.

Best Science (BS) Medicine Podcasts

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


Collaborative Mentorship Networks (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

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 403-944-4486

Virtual Opioid Dependency Program

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

e-Referral Advice

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

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: