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Practice Management Program
Primary Care Networks Program Management Office
Toward Optimized Practice

Grant Toolkit and Resources

This content page has been created in partnership with the Alberta College of Family Physicians. For more information email or call 780-901-7454. This section includes resources and references materials to support the Zone PCN Committees in their primary care opioid response.



Project Planning and Management




Education, Knowledge Translation and Decision Support

Integrated Care Partnerships

Additional Resources

Alberta Government Opioid Reports

The Alberta government has been formally responding to the increase in opioid-related deaths since March 2015. In response to surveillance data indicating a further increase in the number of fentanyl-related deaths, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health began leading the urgent opioid response in October 2016 and implemented a range of new tools to address overdoses and deaths related to fentanyl and other opioids.

Collecting and sharing the information helps government and the Minister's Opioid Emergency Response Commission tailor their actions and plans to continue addressing the opioid crisis in the most effective manner.

The Alberta Government Opioid Reports webpage includes the prescribing patterns, use/misuse, drug overdoses and deaths related to fentanyl and opioids in Alberta.

CRISM National Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder

The CRISM national network initiated the development of the CRISM National Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder in 2017. The guideline represents the opinion of the National Guidelines Review Committee following careful consideration of available scientific evidence and external expert peer review, and articulates the full-range of therapeutic options for the optimal treatment of adults and youth with varying presentations of opioid use disorder. With the release of the guideline, we aim to contribute to the development of a comprehensive and sustainable strategy for addressing opioid use disorder.

National Pain Centre – The 2017 Draft Recommendations for Use of Opioids in Chronic Non-Cancer Pain

  • The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), as part of the Pan-Canadian Collaborative on Education for Improved Opioid Prescribing, and in response to Health Canada’s 2016 Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis, is partnering to provide educational resources for opioid prescribers. The Collaborative aims to address the harms associated with prescription opioids—including addiction, overdose, and death—while ensuring Canadians have timely and appropriate access to optimal treatments for acute and chronic pain.
  • The 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, developed by the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre at McMaster University, will assist health care providers in making practice decisions about the safe and effective use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain management.
  • This guideline will assist family physicians in making practice decisions regarding the safe and effective use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain management. It aims to keep patients safe from the potential harms of opioids while recognizing the therapeutic benefits of these medications.
CPSA Standards of Practice - Prescribing: Drugs With Potential For Misuse Or Diversion

Approved April 1, 2017 by the CPSA Council after extensive consultation with physicians, patients and stakeholder organizations, the new Prescribing: Drugs with Potential for Misuse or Diversion standard of practice puts more checks and balances in place to improve prescribing and enhance patient safety.

Being cautious in initiating patients on these drugs, making sure the patient understands the significant risks of the medication, checking the patient’s medication history before writing the prescription and being able to justify prescribing decisions with documented patient assessments are some of the general requirements.

There are also specific safeguards for prescribing long-term opioid treatment for patients with chronic pain.

The standard does not prevent physicians from prescribing opioids when appropriate, or continuing opioid treatment for patients who are dependent. 

CAMH – Buprenorphine/Naloxone for Opioid Dependence Clinical Practice Guideline
ACFP Opioid Task Force Recommendations

  • The objective of this guideline is to provide clinical recommendations for the initiation, maintenance and discontinuation of buprenorphine/naloxone maintenance treatment in the ambulatory treatment of adults and adolescents with opioid dependence in Ontario.
  • The guideline intends to contribute to education of practitioners regarding opioid prescribing, improved patient access to treatment for opioid dependence, and safe prescribing and dispensing of buprenorphine/naloxone.
  • This evidence-based clinical practice guideline was developed by a multidisciplinary committee, and included specialists in the field of addiction medicine, family medicine and pharmacy.
  • A systematic review of the literature formed the evidence base for this guideline, and recommendations were assigned levels of evidence and grades of recommendations based on those developed by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
ACFP Opioid Crisis Response Task Force Recommendations

The Task Force is comprised of a variety of family physicians working in high risk communities, chronic pain management, palliative care, comprehensive family practice and emergency rooms. It is the vision of the Task Force to advocate and develop strategies for minor adjustments in provision of services to drastic systemic changes that will support better and more comprehensive care for their patients and, ultimately, reverse the trajectory of the opioid crisis.

The Opioid Recommendations document comments on eight areas that can influence the care of patients with chronic pain, on opioid treatment, with opioid dependency, or opioid use disorder. On each page, there are five patient profiles representing an increase in risk, complexity, and level of care needed. We ask that you please consider the following recommendations based on evidence, experience, and dedication of family physicians who serve patients in this realm.