Answers to Common Concerns

What are Opioids?

Also known as “opiates,” opioids are drugs with powerful pain-relieving properties. When prescribed by a doctor and used responsibly, opioids can reduce pain and treat other symptoms. If they are over-used, opioids can change the way the brain works, causing the dependence and strong cravings that lead to opioid use disorder. Natural opioids (Morphine, Codeine, Opium, etc.) are substances that are derived from the opium poppy while semi-synthetic opioids (OxyContin, Hydromorph Contin, Dilaudid, Percocet, Heroin, Fentanyl, etc.) are produced in a laboratory from natural opioids. Synthetic opioids (Fentanyl, Methadone, Demerol, etc.) are manufactured in a laboratory. The following are some of the opioids being used now:

  • OxyContin: OxyContin is a time-released, 12 hour pain medication for people who need around-the-clock pain relief.

  • OxyNeo: OxyNeo is the new form of OxyContin that was brought in to curb abuse of the original drug. It can still be broken down and used to get high fairly easily.

  • Percocet: Percocet is similar to OxyContin, but only lasts about five hours. It contains Oxycodone and Acetaminophen (the drug in Tylenol), which makes people sick if they take too much.

  • Fentanyl: Fentanyl is most commonly available as a skin patch, but can appear in the form of lozenges, pills, shots and even a film that dissolves in your mouth. Used to treat extreme pain, and often for cancer, Fentanyl patches are often chopped up and put inside the mouth, or smoked and injected.

  • Morphine: Morphine is a common medium to strong painkiller, often used after surgery.

  • Hydromorphone: Hydromorphone or Hydromorphs are more often abused because Oxycodone is harder to obtain.

  • Carfentanyl:  Carfentanyl is an analog of Fentanyl.  It is 10,000 times more potent than Morphine, making it one of the most potent and dangerous opioids.

What is opioid use disorder? 

Addiction is a term used to describe a range of compulsive behaviours and is characterized by behaviours that include one of more of the following four C's:

  • Compulsion to use

  • Control - a loss of control over drug use

  • Cravings - a preoccupation with use

  • Consequences - continued use despite knowledge of harmful consequences

People with addictions are not weak and it is often not their fault, there are many genetic and environmental factors that play a huge role in deciding who will and will not become an addict. At Segue Clinic, we believe that opioid addiction is a chronic disease much like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease with a 40% relapse rate. It’s best treated by facilitating change, committing to abstinence and encouraging recovery. The majority of people we help choose this approach.

We also understand that some people are not yet ready to completely stop their drug use. If this is your situation, we will suggest the “harm-reduction” approach, focusing on helping you be healthier by preventing or reducing opioid-related harm rather than trying to prevent you from using opioids at all.

What if i need medication for pain ?

If a medical, dental or surgical procedure makes treatment with opioids necessary, we will work with your physician or other health care providers. Together, we will ensure that your Suboxone/Methadone doses are appropriate in combination with medications for pain relief.

what are services are provided

  • An initial intake interview to decide if this approach is the best treatment for you.

  • An initial medical examination and laboratory tests.

  • Drug testing of your urine so we can monitor your progress and your compliance with our program.

  • Addiction counselling and ongoing medical assessments.

  • Connection to appropriate community resources.

where can harm reduction locations be found ?

We proudly offer harm reduction at the Caledonia clinic supported through the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. 

- We also offer harm reduction in our Brantford Location

Are there any hidden costs?

The Methadone/Suboxone program is 100% funded by the government, meaning residents of Ontario with a valid health card are not required to pay upon any clinic visit.