Direction180 - We assist opioid dependent populations reach their full potential.     |     Halifax, Nova Scotia     |     P: 902-420-0566

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How to get in the D180 Methadone treatment program

Direction 180 is funded to treat maximum of 120-150 clients. This number includes those whom are incarcerated, clients with community-pharmacy privileges, and/or carries. Admission into the methadone program is based on priority criteria not on a first come first serve basis. Health professional, community, government agency, and self-referrals are accepted.

Admission Criteria are as follows: IV opioid use by the client for a minimum of one year, who have/are:

  • Pregnant
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis B and/or C
  • Sex workers
  • Children at risk within the home
  • Chronic mental health disorders
  • Homeless or at Risk
  • History of over-dose
  • Endocarditis
  • Poly drug addiction
  • Pending criminal charges
  • Potential termination of employment/education
  • Without support or primary caregiver
  • Inability to meet criteria of another addiction program
  • Individuals transferring from other methadone program

Admissions Process

The following tasks will be completed as part of the admissions process:

  • Psychosocial Assessment (to identify emotional, behavioural, mental, environmental, spiritual well-being)
  • Urine drug test
  • MSI Information gathered
  • Blood work (non-mandatory testing used to identify HIV, Hepatitis A, B, or C, and/or pregnancy status)
  • Complete medical examination
  • Second urine drug test
  • Policy Review
  • Client Treatment Contract/Rights Responsibilities


Types of Treatment Available

All new clients attend a mandatory one-on-one information session with a staff member to review safety issues, program guidelines, and identify any questions/concerns. The session will address the dangers of overdose.

A. Daily Witnessed Ingestion (DWI)

Unless you are a host or transfer, you will start the methadone program as a DWI. During this time you will be expected to come in for your daily dose of methadone between 8:30am and 12:00pm. When you come in, check-in to have your name put on the list and take a seat. You will be notified when it is your turn. If you present with signs of toxicity, your daily dose of methadone may be withheld (See below for details on Rules/Guidelines).

B. Community Pharmacy Privileges

When you have 2 months of clean urines and display stability, then you may be eligible for community pharmacy privileges. Consideration of community privileges will be given to clients who have to relocate for treatment, education, employment, and/or caregivers to their families. Community pharmacy privileges are determined by case-management and a staff team discussion process.

If granted Community pharmacy privileges, the Client is responsible for:

  • Finding a pharmacy that is willing to dispense and witness daily ingestion of Methadone.
  • Covering the cost of their methadone prescription
  • Provide urinalysis (random weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly urinalysis). Failure to produce clean urines and have a pleasant/respectful attitude may result in loss of community pharmacy privileges.

C. Carry Privileges

Active clients of Direction 180 who have already earned Community pharmacy privileges may be eligible for methadone carry privileges. Carry privileges will be determined by the Direction 180 management team after consideration of a number of factors, which include but are not limited to; stability in community, urine drug screen results, and safety of children. Eligible clients are required to sign a “Carry Contract” outlining client rights and responsibilities of take home doses. A lock box, return of all empty bottles to the pharmacy, and random urinalysis screening is mandatory.