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Clinical tools



The CAGE-AID is a four-item screening tool. It was adapted from the original CAGE, which was designed to detect problem drinking. It asks about lifetime use and is appropriate for use with adults and adolescents (over 16 years old).

Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS)

An 11-item scale designed to be administered by a clinician. This tool can be used in both inpatient and outpatient settings to reproducibly rate common signs and symptoms of opiate withdrawal and monitor these symptoms over time. The summed score for the complete scale can be used to help clinicians determine the stage or severity of opiate withdrawal and assess the level of physical dependence on opioids

Opioid Risk Tool

A brief, self-report screening tool designed for use with adult patients in primary care settings to assess risk for opioid abuse among individuals prescribed opioids for treatment of chronic pain. Patients categorized as high-risk are at increased likelihood of future abusive drug-related behavior. The ORT can be administered and scored in less than 1 minute and has been validated in both male and female patients, but not in non-pain populations.

Forms and checklists 

Sample pharmacist-patient agreement forms

Sample methadone and buprenorphine treatment and take-home dose agreement forms that help pharmacists to communicate with patients.

Take-home naloxone kits

In 2016 naloxone became a Schedule II medication (available without a prescription) in Canada. 

In Ontario

Ontario residents can procure a free take-home naloxone kit from community pharmacists following a short training session. For details see Ontario Naloxone Pharmacy Program.

In addition to following the Ontario College of Pharmacists' Guidance Document and viewing the Ontario Pharmacists' Association"s free webinar, pharmacists can use the following resources when providing take-home naloxone kit training.

Pharmacist's checklist for naloxone training

Outlines the topics to be covered when training on take-home naloxone kits. Can also serve as clinical documentation.

5 Steps to save a life handout

Outlines the steps to take when responding to an opioid overdose. Can be used as an insert in a naloxone kit and as a client handout.

Get a naloxone kit and save a life

Sample poster.