We support physicians in providing safe, accessible, effective and consistent clinical care to Albertans who may benefit from opioid agonist treatment (OAT).

Our goal is to ensure Albertans with a substance use disorder receive good medical care.

OAT Clinics in Alberta

Methadone Prescribing

Methadone is a long acting opioid agonist used for the treatment of opioid use disorder and, less frequently, chronic pain. There is strong evidence for benefits from methadone therapy such as reduced cravings, treatment retention and lower mortality rates.

However, prescribing methadone can be challenging because of its unique pharmacological profile and serious risks such as the potential for drug interactions, dose-related poisoning and cardiac arrhythmias.

Alberta physicians are required to have specific education and training in order to prescribe methadone safely for their patients. For initiating or maintaining methadone treatment, physicians must apply to the CPSA for OAT approval.

NOTE: In-hospital prescribers do not require CPSA approval to maintain patients on methadone. However, any changes to the methadone dose must be done in consultation with the initiating prescriber or their delegate.

General (initiate) Opioid Use Disorder (OUD):

  • Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Course
  • Experience in an OAT setting or evidence of appropriate postgraduate training

Patient Specific (maintain single or multiple patients):

  • Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Course
  • Letter of support from OAT clinic for each patient
Register for Opioid Agonist Treatment Training

Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone®) Prescribing

Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone®) is as effective as methadone for treatment of opioid use disorder but with an improved safety profile. The agonist/antagonist action of Suboxone® creates a “ceiling effect” which makes it less likely to result in overdose. Overall, buprenorphine/naloxone has an improved safety profile compared to methadone.

As of July 15, 2019, physicians who wish to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone for patients with an opioid use disorder in Alberta will NOT be required to register with TPP Alberta.

Completion of an online buprenorphine/naloxone prescribing course is strongly encouraged.

We recommend the following courses:



Opioid Agonist Treatment Program

1-800-561-3899 (in Canada)