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Top Canadian Drug Rehab

How To Find Medical Addiction Treatment

Canadadrugrehab.ca is a free online directory listing of alcohol and drug rehab programs and other addiction-related services located in Canada.

Canadian Medical & Alcohol Addiction Programs

Medical services associated with problematic alcohol and drug use are arranged geographically by city, province or territory:

What are Medical Alcohol and Drug Rehab Programs?

Medical alcohol and drug programs are designed primarily to treat the physical aspects drug abuse or addiction. This can include medication management, detoxification and harm reduction programs such as methadone maintenance.

An Addiction Medicine Specialist (or addictionologist) is a physician with knowledge of pharmacology, psychiatry, general medicine, and psychology, as well as an understanding of the interaction of these disciplines.

There are two routes to specialization in the addiction field: one via a psychiatric pathway and one outside of psychiatry. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) notes that approximately 40% of its members are psychiatrists while the remainder has received medical training in other fields (Source: American Society of Addiction Medicine }.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD), who, after completing medical school, receive an additional five years of clinical training in mental health specialties. As is the case with all medical specialists, psychiatrists need to be certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Psychiatrists treat emotional and mental disorders and are licensed to prescribe medication. These professionals may treat psychiatric disorders with therapy in conjunction with psychotropic medications.

Your family doctor will need to make a referral before making an appointment with a psychiatrist.

Detoxification (detox) is a medical alcohol and drug rehab program designed to stabilize individuals who have consumed mood-altering substances to toxic levels. Going "coldturkey" from alcohol or drugs in people who have consumed on a daily basis can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. Since withdrawal can result in potentially life-threatening medical complications, around the clock supervision by medical staff is recommended.

The length of stay in an alcohol and drug detox program varies but is typically less than 3 days. Longer stays in detox may be required if opioids or alcohol are involved or if there are other medical conditions. During detox, little or no counselling is provided to the client.

Detox programs can be one of five varieties:

  1. home detox (or daytox) - detoxification done at home which may include a visit from a nurse
  2. social detox - detoxification provided in a residential setting but without the assistance of a nurse or physician (*)
  3. medical detox - detoxification provided in a residential setting with the assistance of a nurse and physician. May be combined with residential treatment or as a separate service.
  4. hospital detox - medical detoxification provided in an inpatient (hospital) setting
  5. rapid detox - detox performed under anaesthesia by an addiction medicine specialist on an outpatient basis. Performed on individuals requiring opiate detoxification. This program is not covered by provincial insurance.

(*) Note: canadadrugrehab.ca recognizes social detox is not actually a medical service since medical personnel do not monitor the patient.

Some residential treatment centers (particularly private centers) provide detox as a means of facilitating an admission to their residential program. Patients may not be able to access these detox beds without agreeing to stay for residential treatment (typically 4 to 7 weeks). See the Residential Drug Rehab Program section located in each province page for residential programs that have detoxification services (descriptor will show "Detox - Medical" or "Detox - Social").

Most of the remaining medical programs listed in the Medical Drug Rehab Program section are harm-reduction programs designed to minimize the spread of disease associated with drug injection. These include methadone maintenance programs, needle exchanges and supervised injection sites.

To locate the appropriate service provider look for the following descriptors included with listings found in the Medical Alcohol and Drug Rehab Program section (listed alphabetically):

  • Addiction Medicine
  • Detox - Home
  • Detox - Hospital
  • Detox - Rapid
  • Detox - Medical
  • Detox - Social
  • General Practice
  • Methadone Maintenance
  • Needle Exchange
  • Psychiatry
  • Supervised Injection

Disclaimer: Inclusion or omission of an organization or agency in this database does not imply endorsement or non-endorsement by canadadrugrehab.ca. In no event shall canadadrugrehab.ca be liable for any decision or action taken in reliance on information provided by this referral service. Any questions regarding an alcohol and drug rehab program listing should be directed to that organization. If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call 911 or your local crisis hotline.

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