Opioid Problems, Treatment Solutions​

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Opioid Problems, Treatment Solutions

An online course for health care providers in Ontario

Opioid Problems, Treatment solutions is a 7-week online course intended primarily for mental health/addiction counsellors, nurses and allied service providers who work with people with opioid issues. The course presents information on treatment strategies for people who are experiencing problematic opioid use.

What are the objectives of this training?

The training aims to:

• reduce stigma towards opioid use and people who experience problems related to opioids.

• reinforce that recovery is highly individualized and can incorporate a wide range of strategies, including pharmaceutical, non-pharmaceutical and harm reduction approaches.

Who is this training intended for?

This course is an intermediate-level course. It is intended for healthcare providers in Ontario who assist people with problematic opioid use, but who are not experts in the field.

This may include counsellors, peer workers, therapists, social workers, case managers, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, public health professionals and long-term care workers.

What is the format of the course?

The course uses case studies, videos, interactive discussion forums and other resources to provide participants with opportunities to apply new knowledge and explore the course themes. One clinical expert and one lived experience expert will facilitate the course and participate in the weekly online discussions.

How can you apply this training into practice?

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

• Respond to opioid use as a complex issue that involves many factors.

• Use harm reduction approaches with clients.

• Reduce stigma toward people with opioid dependence and problematic substance use.

• Assist all clients in a holistic and trauma-informed way.

• Empower clients to make informed decisions about their care and treatment.

• Support the recovery process in a unique way for each client.

• Co-ordinate with other providers to ensure the best care and support for each client.

Is the course accredited?

OPTS is accredited for 20 Continuing Education hours by the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF).



Course Modules Include

Course Facilitators 

Click here to read about the course facilitators

Betty-Lou Kristy

Betty-Lou Kristy is a bereaved mother, in recovery for 17 years from co-occurring alcohol/multi-drug addictions, trauma and mental health issues.  She lost her 25 year old concurrent disordered son to an accidental overdose of Oxycontin mixed with psychiatric medication on December 23, 2001.   As a result of Pete’s death, Betty-Lou dedicates her time as a provincial systems level, lived experience/family adviser, educator  & advocate – helping to frame policy, governance, programming and funding.  She additionally provides peer support and outreach at community level. Betty-Lou is the recipient of the 2009 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Transforming Lives Award and the 2012/13 Ministry of Health ACE Award- Partner Relations category for her work with Expert Advisory Narcotics.

Lori Naylor

Lori Naylor is a Registered Social Worker and Clinical Lead at Breakaway Satellite Opiate Addiction Treatment program, where she has worked since 1999.  She has a passionate interest in the connection between trauma and addiction, and has provided clinical education on this topic to agencies and conferences across Canada.

Lori is a facilitator for the CAMH Opioid Resource Hub, having created and presented a variety of webinars and trainings including  Opioid Problems, Treatment Solutions , MMT and chronic pain, and MMT and trauma.  She is an author in the CAMH text "Highs and Lows: Canadian Perspectives on Women and Substance Abuse" (2007), on the topic of "Creating Comprehensive Methadone Treatment for Women".  In addition, she is a member of the University of Toronto/CAMH faculty which trains physicians, pharmacists and counsellors in the Opiate Dependency Treatment Certificate Program and is on faculty at Centennial College and York University School of Social Work.  Lori also runs a private psychotherapy practice, since 1996.

Sean LeBlanc

Sean LeBlanc grew up on a series of Air Force bases to a very abusive father and left home at age 13.  Despite his early struggles, he got through high school and went to university, where a tragic loss started him on his addiction to opioids.  Homelessness, jail and a series of personal losses gave him the impetus for change and he founded the Drug Users Advocacy League (DUAL), an advocacy group for drug consumers, in 2010.  He was able to combine advocacy with recovery and now lives a very happy life in Ottawa with his partner Catherine.  He is a CAMH consultant, a trainer for the CAMH Strengthening Your Voice and Opioid Problems, Treatment Solutions courses, and an outreach worker for a local health organization.  Sean has done a lot of various research, advocacy, and service provision .

Niall Tamayo

Niall Tamayo grew up in Rexdale, Etobicoke and experienced how education, immigration, and low income can impact ones health.  After studying Nursing at the University of New Brunswick/Humber College, Niall focused in the area of mental health and addiction.  Niall is currently working as a registered nurse at the Addiction Medicine Service at CAMH, and in the past, worked at Rexdale Community Health Centre, and St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.  In his spare time, Niall loves to travel the globe with his partner Francisco, make ice cream with wild flavors, appreciate art, food, and music, swim, cycle, and enjoy Toronto!

Sam Gruszecki

In addition to his work with  Opioid Problems, Treatment Solutions , Sam Gruszecki is a Peer Support Specialist with the STAR (Supporting Transitions and Recovery) Learning Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital where he develops and facilitates classes that support individuals from vulnerable populations in developing life skills. His professional background includes working abroad on cruise ships and resorts, managing successful singles events and travel company, business development, and much more. Through his international travels, he has learned that oranges can change your life, monks actually use weed-whackers, and there’s nowhere on earth you can go to get away from yourself.

After coming to terms with addictions, substance abuse, depression, and ADD, he dedicated his life to personal growth and self-improvement. He now focuses on helping others develop their lives in their own way, as he did for himself.

Paul Koniec

Paul has worked as a Registered Nurse at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health since 2012. He is currently working for Addiction Medicine Service focusing on intake, triage and assessment. Previously he has worked as a Client Program Facilitator at the Peel Halton Dufferin Acquired Brain Injury Services and as a Residential Counselor at the Central West Specialized Developmental Services.

Carol Batstone

Carol has worked as a Registered Nurse for over 30 years in Canada and the U.S. in Medical-Surgical units and Intensive Care Units.  For the last 15 years, she has worked with individuals with substance use disorders in the Addiction Medicine Service at CAMH.


Opioid Resource Hub is funded by the Provincial Programs Branch,  Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.  


For more information