Welcome to our META:PHI blog, which aims to provide insight into the evolving issues of substance use and treatment in Ontario.

META:PHI is excited to be able to shine a light into the important matters that practitioners across Ontario face when caring for patients in RAAM clinics and other settings.

We hope that in sharing this information among our healthcare community, we can provide more sustainable direction and support for our patients as they move along their path to recovery.

We will discuss these topics with a lens into the implications these issues may have on direct practice and patient care.

We also welcome any suggestions for topics or issues related to substance use and treatment.

Cannabis and Older Adults

Feb 7, 2019

Despite Statistics Canada reporting that a small portion of older Canadians used cannabis in 2015 (1.6 % of adults over the age of 50)1, with the recent legalization of cannabis and the transition of a…

Tagged cannabis, medicinal cannabis, mental health, older adults, seniors

META:PHI Recap for 2018

Jan 11, 2019

When the first Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinics opened throughout Ontario in 2016 – in Sudbury, Owen Sound, Sarnia, St. Catharines, Newmarket, Ottawa, and London - it was the beginning of…

Tagged 2018, addiction medicine, clinics, RAAM, recap

Keeping safe during the holidays...

Dec 19, 2018

The holidays can be a joyful time full of family, friends, gift-giving and cheer. But for those who are struggling with substance use and other mental health issues, this time of year can be particularly…

Tagged holidays, implications for practice, relapse, safety, safety planning, substance use disorder, trauma, triggers

Cannabis and Youth

Nov 2, 2018

With the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada, the question of its impact on youth is very much uncertain. According to the 2015 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, the rate of cannabis use…

Tagged cannabis, implications for practice, youth

Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines for Canada

Sep 28, 2018

Currently, Canada has among the highest rates of cannabis use in the world. It remains unclear how the upcoming legalization of cannabis will impact the current rates of use, but clinicians will likely…

Tagged cannabis, implications for practice, RAAM

Legalization of Cannabis: Background and Considerations for Practitioners

Aug 30, 2018

The October 17, 2018 date is soon approaching for the legalization of cannabis in Canada, and while there is still much current debate among government, private enterprise, community and health agencies,…

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day

Aug 30, 2018

Begun as an initiative in 2001 by Sally J. Finn of the Salvation Army in St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia, International Overdose Awareness Day is a not-for-profit movement across the world to raise awareness…

Tagged overdose, substance use disorder

Limited Use Status for Acamprosate and Naltrexone

Aug 30, 2018

As of June 29, 2018, acamprosate and naltrexone can be prescribed under Limited Use Status in Ontario. Prescribers will no longer be required to obtain approval through the Exceptional Access Program.…

Tagged alcohol use disorder, implications for practice, MOHLTC, pharmacotherapy

New Mandatory and Discretionary Reporting of Substance Use to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Aug 16, 2018

Recently, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) issued new amendments to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) that include both mandatory and discretionary reporting guidelines for certain healthcare professionals.…

Tagged implications for practice, MTO, reporting