Methadone Program

Patients Seeking Information or Access to
Methadone Treatment in Alberta

Please contact an Alberta methadone clinic directly. The College cannot provide a list of physicians who prescribe specific medications.

The CPSA supports Alberta physicians in providing safe, accessible, effective and consistent clinical care to patients who may benefit from treatment with methadone.

This includes patients who are diagnosed with an addiction disorder, have chronic pain, are in a palliative care setting or have been admitted to hospital when already on methadone.

Physicians who wish to prescribe methadone must have a Methadone Exemption.

Methadone Exemption

To prescribe methadone for the treatment of opioid dependence or for analgesia in Alberta, physicians must apply to the CPSA for a methadone exemption under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and meet specific requirements for initiating or maintaining methadone treatment.

Methadone Exemptions are issued directly to physicians by Health Canada.

To INITIATE methadone treatment you must have appropriate education and experience in a multi-disciplinary setting or postgraduate training.

To MAINTAIN methadone treatment for a patient stabilized by a specialist you must submit with your application a letter of support from the pain, addiction or palliative physician who initiated the methadone treatment for the patient.

Apply for a Methadone Exemption

Can I prescribe methadone to only one patient?

Yes, if continuing treatment for a stabilized patient who started on a methadone program with a specialist (chronic pain, addiction or palliative care) and you are able to consult with the specialist if problems arise.
Note: Physicians must have considerable experience with the use of methadone if they wish to initiate a patient on methadone (see above).

If I have a methadone exemption for chronic pain patients, can I also prescribe methadone for patients with opioid dependence?

No. Exemptions from Health Canada are specific to dependence, pain associated with malignancy or chronic non-malignant pain.

Is there a limit to the number of opioid dependent patients I can treat?

Once you have received a methadone exemption, you may determine the number of patient caseloads you wish to handle. The College must be notified of all patients you wish to prescribe for and which clinic stabilized the patient initially on methadone.

  1. Complete the Health Canada application form.
    Note: Please provide your CPSA registration number in the Licence(s)/ License(s) field.
  2. Mail or fax a copy of signed Health Canada application form* to:
    Methadone Program
    College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
    Suite 2700 – 10020 100 Street
    Edmonton AB T5J 0N3
    Fax (780) 420-0651
    *Include a letter outlining your practice requirements, evidence of your education and training with methadone, if applicable.
    Attach a letter of referral from the specialist or program who initiated and stabilized the patient(s) on methadone.
  3. The College will review your application and file and prepare a letter of support to Health Canada which the College will send to Health Canada on your behalf – the College will notify you when this occurs.
  4. You may begin prescribing methadone only upon receipt of formal approval from Health Canada.
Write a letter providing the name of the patient to add or delete. If adding a patient, attach a copy of a letter from the physician supporting your methadone prescribing for that patient. Mail the letter to:

Methadone Program
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
Suite 2700 – 10020 100 Street
Edmonton AB T5J 0N3
Fax (780) 420-0651


Methadone Program
1-800-561-3899 (in Canada)