Hamilton Addictions & Mental Health Resource


An addiction is a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance. The term has been partially replaced by “substance use disorder.” The concept of addiction has been extended, however, to include mood-altering behaviours or activities.  Addictions can be classified as substance addictions (such as alcohol use disorder, smoking or drug abuse) or process addictions (such as gambling, shopping or eating addictions).  A patient would meet criteria for a substance use disorder if their addiction causes clinically significant impairment or distress.

The CAGE Test for Alcohol Addiction

This brief, validated test can be administered quickly. Ask your patient to answer yes or no to each question.(1)

  1. Have you ever thought you should Cut down your drinking?
  2. Have you ever felt Annoyed when people have commented on your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt Guilty or badly about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had an Eye opener first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

Score: Score one point for each yes answer.

1– 80% likelihood of alcohol use disorder.
2– 89%
3– 99%
4– 100%

The Modified CAGE Test for All Addictions

Most self-test questionnaires apply to alcohol addiction, but can be easily adapted to any addiction. This can be used when assessing any substance misuse or potential behaviour addiction:

  1. Have you ever thought you should Cut down your drug or alcohol use?
  2. Have you ever felt Annoyed when people have commented on your use?
  3. Have you ever felt Guilty or badly about your use?
  4. Have you ever used drugs to Ease withdrawal symptoms, or to avoid feeling low after using?

Scoring is the same as for the original CAGE questionnaire.

The AUDIT test for Alcohol Use Disorder is a more detailed self-report assessment with high validity.


Health care providers can use SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) to provide a structured, brief intervention with patients with any degree of substance misuse. SBIRT is a public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for people with substance use disorders and those at risk of developing these disorders. Many different types of community settings provide opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users before more severe consequences occur.

All treatment programs in Ontario can be located through:

Drug and Alcohol Hotline: 1-800-565-8603

  • Can search for Addictions services in Ontario through the directory CONNEX Ontario Health Information
  • Can search for geographical area and type of service needed

Treatment for substance use disorders in Hamilton includes withdrawal management, outpatient services, and residential treatment.

Withdrawal management: People who need a safe environment in which to stop using substances.

Men: Men’s Addiction Services Hamilton
Women: Womankind

If a patient is experiencing or going to experience medical complications during withdrawal (such as delirium tremens when stopping alcohol) they need to go to the nearest emergency room for assistance.

Outpatient Services

Hamilton Addiction Drug and Gambling Services
Affiliated with the City of Hamilton

  • Assessment, individual and group counseling.
  • Offers CBT and DBT for persons with concurrent disorders
  • Contact: (905) 546-3606

Womankind Addiction Service
Affiliated with St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

  • Withdrawal management, telephone support, supportive housing, day and residential treatment, emergency shelter, Aftercare, Community groups
  • Withdrawal Management /24/7 Telephone Support: (905) 545-9100
  • Treatment Inquiries: (905) 521-9591 ext. 238

Men’s Withdrawal Management Centre
Affiliated with St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

  • Crisis telephone support, residential withdrawal management, programming
  • Contact 24/7: (905) 527-9264

Alternatives for Youth
Affiliated with the City of Hamilton

  • Services for 12-23 year olds, individual, group and family programming
  • Outreach in schools as well as parenting and substance use programming
  • Contact: (905) 527-4469

CMHA-Hamilton Branch

  • Concurrent disorder treatment support
  • Individual assessment and group programming
  • Contact: (905) 521-0090

New Choices
Affiliated with the Salvation Army

  • Assessment, counseling, pre- and post-natal care
  • Provides addiction support to pregnant and parenting women with children 0-6.
  • Contact: (905) 522-5556

Affiliated with Mission Services

  • For males, residential and day programming
  • Group programs, support group for families and loved ones, pre-treatment stabilization and longer-term residential program
  • Contact: (905) 528-0389

Stop Smoking Programs

Hamilton has several programs to help patients who are ready to stop using tobacco products.  Check here for a comprehensive list of programs.

Patient information about medication to stop smoking is available in this helpful document from HHS and SJHH.

Patients can get on-line support through the Smoker’s Helpline.

Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT)

ORT clinics provide a structured clinic setting, frequent appointments and often a pharmacy to assist patients who want to stop abusing opiods (prescription or illicit).  These clinics start clients on methadone or buprenorphine to stabilize them and prevent further harm from opioid abuse.

There are several ORT clinics in Hamilton.

Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres (OATC) – Hamilton
397 Main Street East
Hamilton, ON L8N 1J7
(905) 528-9889

ACT Hamilton
666 Barton Street East
Hamilton, ON L8L 3A4
(289) 799-2135

John Street Clinic
14 John Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 1G9
(905) 522-7206

The Hamilton Clinic – A Fresh New Start
200 Main Street East
Lower Level
Hamilton, ON L8N 1H3
(905) 523-4567

Segue Addiction Treatment Clinic
554 Main Street East
Hamilton, ON L8M 1J3
(905) 522-9002

Check on-line for current clinics as the list of available clinics changes.  Contact individual clinics for specific services available.  A few clinics now offer assessments for medical marijuana.

Treatment for behavioural or substance abuse addictions may also be available through your EAP (Employee Assistance Program), family physician (if part of a Family Health Team), or OW (Ontario Works).

Residential treatment:  to access government-funded residential treatment programs, a client must have “addiction tools” completed by a trained addiction worker (can be completed at MASH, Womankind, ADGS).  If the client qualifies, they can then be referred to residential treatment programs.  Patients in Hamilton may attend programs all over the province.  Local residential programs are available at Womankind, Wayside House and others.

There are private pay treatment programs including TA Patterson (outpatient), Homewood Health Centre (residential) and others.

Wayside House

  • Residential treatment program for adult men
  • Core program is 5-6 weeks
  • Aftercare program available, transitional living is available for men who complete residential treatment program
  • Contact: (905) 528- 8969

Referral Information:

People do not need a referral to access addiction treatment programs. Encourage your patients to contact a program for help with overcoming their addictions.

Specialty psychiatric care is available for patients with concurrent disorders.  Concurrent disorders are defined as both substance use problems and psychiatric illness.  Many addictions services provide care to patients with mild psychiatric illnesses, and psychiatric clinics treat patients with mild addictions.  Patients with a high degree of impairment from both addictions and psychiatric illness can be referred to the Concurrent Disorders Clinic at St. Joe’s.

Concurrent Disorders Program, St. Joseph’s Health Care Hamilton

Referral to Concurrent Disorders Outpatient Service
Contact: Debbie Casperson 905-522-1155 x33954 and specify referral to concurrent disorders.
Services offered:  Assessment, pharmacotherapy, individual and group counselling

Self-help Groups

Many people find self-help support groups useful in their recovery.  Many, but not all, groups use the 12-step format first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous.  There are many self-help groups in Hamilton, encourage your patient to try several different groups to find one where they feel comfortable and supported.

Online Patient Information about Addictions


“Mental Health and Addiction 101” (comprehensive online tutorial)

Dual Diagnosis Information

(also known as concurrent disorders in Canada) 

App Store

Saying When: How to quit drinking or cut down.  Free app.

Online Resources for Physicians

The CAMH Portico education hub includes an Addictions in Primary Care toolkit, plus links to Problem Gambling info and Opioid Resource Hub.

A booklet on pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorder.

Canadian Society for Addiction Medicine.

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Hamilton Academy of Medicine and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.