- Sit down conversation with one of our physicians
- Assessment of substance use condition and related health concerns
- Discussion of options that may be helpful including medication therapy
- Same day medication start
- No user fees
- No judgment. You decide what is most important to you about treatment, and we work to help you achieve your goals as safely and effectively as possible
- We'll discuss how the program generally works
- Protection of privacy
- photo ID
- cell phone (if possible)
- Alberta Health Care or out of province health care
If you do not have a health care card, please call anyway. We can often verify your health care number without a physical card, and guide you on obtaining your health care coverage documents immediately after.
Yes, please! The people you care about and who care about you can be very important in your recovery. We would be pleased to hear their concerns and observations, and to answer their questions. Please let us know when you book your appointment that you will be bringing someone with you. That way we can dedicate a bit more time for a conversation. The doctor will ask to spend a short while just with the patient at the beginning, though, so you have a chance to tell us if there are any topics you do not wish to discuss with a loved one in the room.
We do not discuss any of your health or personal information with anyone outside of your care team without your consent. This is your private information. You decide who to share it with. We often receive calls from outside agencies seeking information about patients. Unless they have either a consent form that is signed by you and meets all of the requirements of the Health Information Act, we do not disclose any information. When you have provided your consent to release health information, we like to discuss with you what documents will be provided. The only times when we may have an obligation to share some health information without your consent is when there is a court order to disclose certain information or when we are concerned that your life or someone else's is in danger.
No. Seeing a doctor for treatment of a health condition is an insured service in Canada. It is free to you. Metro City does not charge any additional "counseling fee" or any such costs that may be charged by other clinics.
All of the medications used to treat opioid use disorder (opioid addiction) are covered for patients on public medical insurance plans (e.g., Alberta Works). If you have coverage through an employer or family member's plan, we can help to determine which options are free or least costly to you. If you do not have coverage for medications and would find this difficult, we help patients to obtain some assistance with medication coverage.
You will have a chance to discuss this thoroughly with the doctor you see at Metro City. All your options will be discussed with you, and the doctor will make recommendations about what, in their opinion, is safest and most effective in your specific case. If you feel your opioid use has become an addiction, generally, medication treatment will have a role.
This depends on the patient's substance use condition, other health issues, and other factors that your doctor will discuss with you. Metro City treats opioid use disorder (opioid addiction) with all medication options endorsed by the Canadian Guideline on the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone), methadone, and slow release oral morphine (SROM or Kadian).
Opioid use disorder is an urgent medical problem. People can get hurt while waiting for treatment. So, we will try to see you the same day you contact us if possible. If it isn't possible to see you that day, we will try to see you very soon thereafter. We are usually able to start medication therapy the day of your initial assessment. Only safety reasons may delay the start of medication. Rarely, patients may need to wait a day after their first assessment.
Attaining flexibility in treatment so that patients can engage in productive activities like working, parenting, enjoying their relationships, volunteering, or doing other things that they enjoy is a high priority. Doctors at Metro City work with patients to balance benefits and risks depending on specific factors in their treatment to provide treatment flexibility as soon as it's possible and safe.
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to continue working (or go back to work, or find employment for the first time). We will support your situation to make this possible. It is important to know, though, that some medication treatments make certain safety sensitive tasks more risky while we adjust doses and assess stability. This means that some patients, depending on their treatment, take a short time away from work to stabilize on treatment. We advise that patients not drive until they are on a consistent and effective dose of their medication.
Have a look at the types of other care that we provide at Metro City with our team or with visiting care providers.
Urine toxicology testing is one small part of treatment. These tests are just a piece of information to help you and the doctor to understand your substance use and discuss it. Doctors at Metro City believe the most important information comes from getting to know you and listening to how you describe your health and quality of life. We do our best to make sure urine tests don't intrude on your life as you try to get on with recovery.
We will work with you to keep you as safe as possible while helping you to achieve your goals. Stopping your treatment (by 'kicking you off') is usually not the best way to do this. We know that some patients have difficulty quitting substance use altogether, and we know that some don't want to quit completely. We will do our best in partnership with you to make treatment effective. We don't believe in abandoning our patients.
Yes. Many of our patients live away from Calgary and Edmonton. Metro City is on a secure telemedicine network with Alberta Health Services and Health Canada so that we can assess patients close to their city or town or First Nation using technology. We have patients in Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, the Slave Lake region, Cold Lake, and arrangements can also be made in other locations. Generally, patients start therapy in person at one of our clinics, and they are back in their home location as soon as possible. Metro City also has a program in partnership with Alberta Health Services in the Lethbridge area.
Yes. Treatment of opioid addiction is safe during pregnancy. Your doctor will talk to you about how the benefits of each treatment compare to each other, and will help you decide which treatment will give you the most healthy pregnancy and outcomes you are hoping for. Because it is so important to treat opioid addiction during pregnancy, please let us know if you are pregnant (or if you think you are) when you call for an appointment. It will be a priority to have your substance use assessed as soon as possible.
Yes. Metro City in Calgary and Edmonton both have women doctors. We understand that many patients have past experiences or other reasons that make them more comfortable with a doctor of a particular gender. If you have a strong preference, please let us know when you call for an appointment, and we will accommodate your preference. While there may be times that a different physician provides coverage for your main doctor, patients receive most of their care from a particular doctor.
As our clinics in Calgary and Edmonton are both in the downtown area, there is City street parking that patients are able to pay for. We selected locations that are very accessible by public transit as well. You can plan your public transit route using the tool linked at the bottom of our Contact Page for Calgary. You can plan your public transit route using the tool linked at the bottom of our Contact Page for Edmonton.
Opioid use disorder (opioid addiction) is a serious condition no matter how old you are. We can discuss treatment (including medication treatment) with young adults, and do offer medication therapy when it will be beneficial. We encourage young patients engaged in medication treatment to take advantage of counseling, behavioural therapies, and other addiction recovery services that are offered. Please let us know your age when you call for your appointment. If it is possible, bring a parent with you for your assessment. We are happy to discuss health issues and treatments with your family.
In Edmonton, we have doctors fluent in English, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, and Pashtun. In Calgary, we have doctors fluent in English, French, Romanian, Punjabi, and Mandarin. We can also provide some service in German and Italian. You are welcome to receive care in any of these languages.