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Led by the Member Interest Groups Section (MIGS), and in collaboration with provincial Chapters and partners, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) provides chronic non-cancer pain management and opioid resources that include continuing professional development (CPD) programs and relevant resources for family practitioners.

The CFPC is committed to providing its members with timely educational resources that promote safer prescribing and high-quality patient care.

Questions about these resources? Contact CFPC’s Programs and Practice Support Department.

What’s new

Health Canada has launched five new episodes as part of the In Plain Sight audio series that explores the personal stories of people affected by the opioid crisis in Canada. The series is available on Please take time to listen to these stories and share them with your network. If you have any questions about the In Plain Sight audio series, please contact us at [email protected].

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) completed an environmental scan of training programs available to health care providers across Canada to meet their learning needs for supporting people who use opioids. The details of the training programs are current as of March 31, 2019. The Opioid Training for Healthcare Providers Course Catalogue can be found on the MHCC’s website at

Changing the narrative:

Opioid Use Disorder Guideline published in Canadian Family Physician

The PEER group Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Guideline which was published in the May 2019 issue of Canadian Family Physician meets the Institute of Medicine’s criteria for “Guidelines We Can Trust” and was specifically developed to support family physicians and their patients. Furthermore, the guideline is supported by a rigorous systematic review of the evidence also published in the same issue of the journal, along with four original research articles about OUD and outcomes in primary care.

Updated family medicine recommendations


Opioids for short-term pain: Your questions answered

University of Calgary Wise Prescribing and Deprescribing: Opioid Skills for the Frontline Clinician: provides opportunities for you to review the principles and guidelines for opioid tapering, reflect on your own practices, and discuss enablers and barriers with the facilitator and with your peers.

Bevel Up: A groundbreaking professional learning resource: Bevel Up, a documentary and learning resource designed to help healthcare workers deliver compassionate care to people who use drugs, is accessible as free online harm-reduction content. Created by the outreach nursing team from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Bevel Up combines art and science to inspire social change.
Opioids Clinical Primer: This program provides an overview of key concepts and skills for clinicians facing common challenges in the management of patients with chronic pain, including reducing the risks of opioids and addressing opioid use disorder.

Opioid Tapering Template: This template supports primary care providers with reducing opioid dosages safely and effectively; the Centre for Effective Practice developed the template with the clinical leadership of CFPC member Dr. Arun Radhakrishnan. The project recognizes that opioid tapering is a complex process that requires individualized tapering plans and prioritizing patient safety and self-efficacy. The template provides helpful talking points, fillable forms, and links to relevant resources to guide approaches.

Chronic pain and opioid resources: A list of resources compiled by the CFPC's Addiction Medicine and Chronic Pain committees, to assist family physicians in their daily practices.

The Centre for Effective Practice updates the Opioid Manager tool to reflect the 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain

The 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: This guideline, developed by the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre at McMaster University, assists health care providers in making practice decisions about the safe and effective use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain management.

2017 Canadian Opioid Prescribing Guideline

Letter from Dr. Francine Lemire regarding the CIHR review of the opioid guideline

Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: Using the Canadian Guideline in Your Practice (course)

The 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: An interactive, dynamic app that features decision aids and facilitates decision making between patients and providers.

Opioid guideline for management of chronic non-cancer pain (podcast): Dr. Jason Busse, Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at McMaster University, researcher with the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, and co-author of the guideline, speaks with Dr. Diane Kelsall, interim editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and explains the recommendations.

New tools on stigma related to opioid and drug use: Included are the video “Together, we can stop the cycle of stigma,” intended to raise awareness about the effects of stigma on the quality of life of people who use drugs, people in recovery, and their families; a web page about stigma; and tips about how we can better talk about substance use.


About The Pan-Canadian Collaborative

The CFPC provides educational resources for opioid prescribers as part of the Pan-Canadian Collaborative on Education for Improved Opioid Prescribing, and in response to Health Canada’s 2016 Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis. The Collaborative addresses the harms associated with prescription opioids—including addiction, overdose, and death—while ensuring Canadians have timely and appropriate access to optimal treatments for acute and chronic pain.

The Collaborative is composed of members from these organizations:

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

The Canadian Medical Association

The College of Family Physicians of Canada

The Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada

Memorial University of Newfoundland MDcme

Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre at McMaster University

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

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