Methadone, Buprenorphine and the Community (Feb 2021)

This course provides participants the knowledge to support and manage patients taking methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone.




This course consists of 2 live Zoom webinars. You will receive email about the Zoom links upon registration.

  • February 17 from 6:45 pm – 9 pm
  • February 21 from 9:30 am – 1 pm

For those who cannot attend the sessions, the recordings will be posted in the course after the live sessions.

This professional development program includes an overview of addiction and treatment strategies and a review of the latest Ontario College of Pharmacists’ (OCP) policy on dispensing methadone. This program also focuses on destigmatizing methadone maintenance treatment and addresses the effect of methadone clinics and programs on the community. A session on pain management explores situations in which patients on methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone maintenance treatment may require analgesics and what options are available to them. The program also includes a case study workshop, where participants will be provided with useful and applicable knowledge.

Successful completion of this program qualifies as an approved training course for methadone dispensing pharmacists as part of OCP’s training update. Updates are required at a minimum of every five years as indicated in the OCP’s Opioid Policy.

Please note that this course does not replace the CAMH Opioid Use Disorder Treatment (OUDT) course, which Designated Managers and pharmacists are required to complete in order to dispense methadone as outlined in the OCP’s Opioid Policy.

Learning objectives:

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
  • Learn safe initiation, titration and maintenance of OAT
  • Discuss the role of a pharmacist in OAT

Opioid Agonist Therapy: Special Topics
  • Identify options for pain management for patients on OAT
  • Discuss co-prescriptions of benzodiazepines
  • Review the management of OUD during pregnancy
  • Describe the role of pharmacists in harm reduction

Policies Guiding Methadone Dispensing in Ontario
  • Identify 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
  • Briefly review buprenorphine/naloxone dispensing
  • List references and resources for dispensing buprenorphine/naloxone

Strategies for Engaging the Patient at the Pharmacy
  • Identify a pharmacist’s role in harm reduction
  • Recognize the impact of cultural views on the use of methadone and buprenorphine
  • Understand cultural differences and how to communicate effectively with patients

Destigmatizing Opioid Substitution Therapy
  • Discuss public or community perception and impact of stigma on patient care
  • Discuss effective communication when facing sensitive or discreet issues

Case Discussion
  • Explore several cases that arise with opioid assisted therapy
  • Discuss a pharmacist’s role in dealing with these scenarios

Course outline:

  • Opioid Use Disorder and Agonist Therapy (1.25 hour)
  • Opioid Agonist Therapy: Special Topics (1.25 hour)
  • Policies Guiding Methadone Dispensing in Ontario (1 hour)
  • Strategies for Engaging the Patient at the Pharmacy (1 hour)
  • Destigmatizing Opioid Substitution Therapy (1 hour)
  • Case Discussion (0.5 hour)
  • Final Exam (1 hour)

Course at a glance:

  • 7+ Hours to complete
  • 7 CEUs
  • Available until 08/09/2021
  • Online
  • Accreditation: 003-2018-2551-L-P
  • Completion requirement: Attend and participate in the Zoom live sessions. Achieve a score of 70% or higher on the multiple-choice exam (maximum of two attempts)

Who should take this course:

This course is open and applicable to all pharmacy professionals including students and pharmacy technicians. Here are a few testimonials from real participants:

“The course is very helpful for pharmacists especially when they start to deal with methadone prescriptions and patients”

“This course is wonderful for pharmacy technicians. The setting and format is not intimidating and allows participants to fully engage with the learning experience. I enjoyed it completely”

Development Team:

  • Juno Kim, RPh (PharmD)
  • Rose Fitzgerald, RPh (BScPhm)