Facilitating medical withdrawal from opiates in rural Ontario

Rural Remote Health. 2012:12:2193. Epub 2012 Oct 23.


Context: The abuse of oxycodone in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, has escalated at alarming rates raising concerns that opiate use has reached epidemic proportions, particularly among the First Nations communities. The authors were involved in establishing Ontario's first rural inpatient medical withdrawal unit to serve patients seeking abstinence.

Issues: The development of the medical withdrawal support services (MWSS) required creative and adaptive strategies to respond to the geographical, cultural and institutional circumstances.

Lessons learned: Key factors to support program efficacy and successful outcomes for clients during the inaugural eight months of operation are interprofessional and collaborative approaches with a cultural awareness.Key words: addiction, Canada, First Nation, medical withdrawal.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Counseling
  • Cultural Competency
  • Female
  • Health Services, Indigenous / standards
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Ontario
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / methods*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / ethnology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Rural Health Services*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / ethnology
  • Urban Population


  • Narcotic Antagonists