Methadone, Buprenorphine and the Community

Tags: Live, Medication therapy management, DrugTrading, Addictions

*** Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, the OPA has decided to cancel our Methadone, Buprenorphine and the Community program scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2020 in Windsor. 

Instead, we are offering an online webinar. For more information and to register, please see the course page here. 


As a pharmacy professional, you ensure that Ontarians receive long-term methadone treatment in a safe community environment.

Methadone, Buprenorphine and the Community is a complimentary one-day live program on opioid addiction and its treatment using alternative opioid substitution therapies.

This program meets the training requirements pharmacy professionals dispensing methadone must have a minimum of every five years (post-mandatory training from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s [CAMH’s] Opioid Dependence [ODT] Treatment Program).

The program covers an overview of opioid use disorders and introduces opioid agonist treatment (e.g., methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone). It explores special situations such as pain management and benzodiazepines use while on opioid agonist treatment and clarifies the special role pharmacy professionals play in harm reduction strategies. The program also covers details and clarifications concerning the latest policies from the Ontario College of Pharmacists on dispensing methadone. You will learn how you can contribute to the broader goals of destigmatizing the use of MMT and engage with patients who use MMT, so they are more comfortable asking for guidance and counsel in pharmacy. The program includes a case study workshop, where participants will have a chance to put their knowledge to work in their specific practice settings.

How to Register: To register, please scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Program Date; a drop-down menu will provide pricing information for members and non-members*. Select the option that applies to you, then click on Add to Cart to start the registration process.

*Not a member? OPA members receive significant discounts on professional development. Find out about becoming a member here.

If you’re a pharmacist, you may be eligible for funding from the Allied Health Professional Development Fund (AHPDF). Click here for more information, and to apply.

Class Dates

The program runs from approximately 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. A detailed program agenda and confirmation of the program venue will be emailed to attendees one week before the program date.

Program Outline

I. Live Sessions

  • Opioid Use Disorder and Agonist Therapy
  • Opioid Agonist Therapy: Special Topics
  • Policies Guiding Methadone Dispensing in Ontario
  • Strategies for Engaging the Patient at the Pharmacy
  • Destigmatizing Opioid Substitution Therapy
  • Case Discussion

II. Post-Program Requirements

  • Post-program multiple-choice exam


Number of Continuing Education Units

Accreditation #

Accreditation Expiry

Learning Format

  • Live presentations
  • Case study analysis and discussion
  • Q&A sessions

Online multiple-choice exam

This complimentary program is made available through funding from the Ministry of Health.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

Opioid Use Disorder and Agonist Therapy

  • Identify risk factors for opioid use disorder (OUD) and criteria for opioid agonist therapy (OAT).
  • Review the role and components of OAT.
  • Understand safe initiation, titration and maintenance of OAT.
  • Discuss the role of the pharmacist in OAT.

Opioid Agonist Therapy: Special Topics

  • Identify options for pain management for patients on OAT.
  • Discuss co-prescriptions of benzodiazepines.
  • Review management of OUD in pregnancy.
  • Describe the role of the pharmacist in harm reduction.

Policies Guiding Methadone Dispensing in Ontario

  • Identify the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) and Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) policies that pharmacists should refer to when dispensing methadone in Ontario.
  • Review current OCP Opioid Policy formerly Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) and Dispensing Policy.
  • Review labelling, documentation, and staff training requirements for dispensing methadone.
  • List required and additional references, as well as resources for dispensing methadone.
  • Review buprenorphine/naloxone dispensing briefly.
  • List references and resources for dispensing buprenorphine/naloxone.

Strategies for Engaging the Patient at the Pharmacy

  • Identify the pharmacist role in harm reduction.
  • Recognize the impact of cultural views on the use of methadone and buprenorphine.
  • Understand cultural differences and communicate effectively with patients.

Destigmatizing Opioid Substitution Therapy

  • Discuss public or community perception and the impact of stigma on patient care.
  • Discuss effective communication when facing sensitive or discreet issues.

Case Discussion

During this program, participants will:

  • Explore several cases that arise with OAT.
  • Discuss the pharmacist’s role in dealing with these scenarios

Prerequisites and Target Audience

Successful completion of this program qualifies as an approved training course for pharmacists who dispense methadone as part of their training update. Updates are required every five years at minimum, as indicated in the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ Opioid Policy

Note: this program does not replace the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH’s) Opioid Dependence (ODT) Treatment Program) that Designated Managers and pharmacists are required to complete to dispense methadone, as outlined in the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ Opioid Policy.

Program Completion

To receive a letter of completion for this program, participants must complete the following requirements within four weeks of the live-session date:

  1. Attend and participate in the live program.
  2. Complete the multiple-choice exam achieving a score of 70 per cent or higher within a maximum two attempts.
  3. Complete a program evaluation.

Subject Matter Experts

This program has been developed using contributions from the following subject matter experts:

  • Mary Nelson, RPh (BScPhm)
  • Rose Fitzgerald, RPh (BScPhm)

Last updated: July 18, 2019

Inquiries: Please contact OPA’s professional development team by phone at 416-441-0788, option 3 (toll-free in Ontario at 1-877-341-0788, option 3), or by email at

Cancellation policy: Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing to no later than 4:30 p.m.10 business days prior to the program date. A $75 (+HST) cancellation fee will apply. Cancellation requests after that date will not be considered and fees will not be refunded.

Food service disclaimer: Most live programs provide refreshments and meals. OPA encourages participants who have health-related dietary needs or food allergies to include the relevant details on their registration forms. OPA works with the program venue to accommodate these dietary requests but cannot guarantee the venue will meet all of them. While every effort is made to notify the venue catering staff about participants’ food allergies, there is always a risk of contamination. The venue’s food supply manufacturers may change ingredient formulations without notice. Participants with food allergies must be aware of this risk. OPA assumes no liability for any adverse reactions to the food or items participants encounter while eating at program venues. OPA encourages participants concerned about their dietary needs to contact them for additional information.

Protecting your privacy: Your privacy is important to us. Some information you provide in program registration forms and exercises may be considered personal information. OPA collects, uses, and shares the information contained in program registration forms and exercises to process your registration; issue certificates of completion; award continuing education credits; and deliver OPA services, programs, and publications to you.

Disclaimer: This program may be recorded—including audio, video and photography—for educational purposes. By attending this program, you acknowledge that your image or voice may be captured by these means and used for advertising, delivering and reproducing this OPA education program. You hereby waive any right to remuneration from such advertising, delivery, and/or reproduction and any control thereof.

Learners’ code of conduct: By registering for an OPA education program, you agree to follow OPA’s Learners’ Code of Conduct. For further details, click here

Event Date: 27 Oct 2019 | City: Toronto | Venue:

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