Information for People Who Use Substances & Alternative Pain Management Resources


People across Windsor and Essex County and those in other communities are facing anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. People who use substances and their loved ones may be especially impacted by this current public health emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

People who use substances may be at an increased risk if you have existing health issues as a result of your use, including smoking and vaping. If you use opioids and methamphetamine this risk increases because of the effects these drugs have on breathing and heart health. It is also important to know:

  • Stress, anxiety, self-isolation during COVID-19 may impact mental health and substance use issues, including worsening of existing mental health and substance use symptoms.
  • The risk of drug overdose may be increased among those who use substances who are infected with COVID-19
  • Sharing drug using equipment may increase the risk of infection
  • Crowded environments increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19
  • Potential risks of disruption in access to drug services, clean drug-using equipment and vital medications
  • Your primary care provider, may be able to provide treatment and support or provide a referral to local mental health and addictions supports over the phone.
  • There are also virtual, online options, such as 12-step meetings that are available.
  • You can also contact the agencies listed below for help or visit for list of agencies that provide help with substance use and mental health concerns.

Where to Get Help: Resources for People Use Who Use Substances

Health Care Access

E-Health Windsor Essex - Essex County Medical Society

This community resource shows where residents of Windsor and Essex County can still receive healthcare, including primary care providers, walk-in-clinics, diagnostic imaging (x-rays) and lab blood draw clinics. A map has been developed to indicate where services can accessed. 

Harm Reduction Services and Supports

Pozitive Pathways Community Services
The Needle Exchange Program (NSP) has returned to regular distribution within a more permanently modified space providing enhanced protection to service users and staff. ACW currently provides services to people living with HIV through food security package drop-offs and by telephone, emails and video-conferencing to perform wellness checks. All in-person activities such as the Red Ribbon Café, Peer Support Groups, community activities, conferences, TTOA meetings are postponed until further notice.

  • Mobile Outreach: Mobile outreach direct to service users and deliveries to all sites throughout Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent is available. All deliveries will be contactless.
  • Women-centred harm reduction is offered at the Welcome Shelter for Women at 263 Bridge Ave, per their COVID-19 policies.

The Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre (OATC) has reduced their NSP services as a result of COVID-19 protocols.

Telephone Helplines:

Community Crisis Centre – Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
24 hour Crisis Telephone Line
Intervention services offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week to individuals who require immediate assessment, psychosocial intervention, medical intervention, and support. Follow-up crisis counselling and referrals. Ages 16+.

Connex Ontario
ConnexOntario offers free and confidential health services information for individuals experiencing mental health, substance use, or gambling issues. It also maintains a centralized and up-to-date database of treatment service information. 

Windsor-Essex Counselling Support Line (WECSL)
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 519-946-3277 or 1-877-451-1055.
The Windsor Essex COVID Care Coalition is launching this support line to help people in the community access professional counselling support services. The Support Line is available to the community starting Wednesday, April 15. The WECSL offers professional counselling by those who are members of the Ontario College of Social Workers and who are experienced in providing personal counselling services.

CACCF Telemedicine Addiction Counselling
Canadian Addictions Counsellors Certification Federation is currently offering online or telephone addiction counselling sessions and are available FREE of charge!

Substance Use Resources and Supports

1883 Turner Road OR 1083 Ouellette Avenue     Monday –Friday- 8am-5pm
Offer addiction treatment, including opiate replacement, alcohol detoxification and behavioural addiction treatment available. Walk-ins welcome or call for an appointment.

Brentwood Recovery Home
2335 Dougall Avenue    
519-253-2441 ext. 206   
Residential live-in program for treatment of alcohol/drug use for men, women and youth 16 years of age and older. They have social distancing in practice at this time. They are taking calls from potential clients to determine if appropriate for the program. For those unable to start program right away, a connection will be made to their Lived Experience Network to support persons on the waitlist via phone.

Crossroads Centre for Personal Empowerment  (operating remotely)
226-780-8175 - Voicemail and e-mails are checked on a daily basis
Services Available:

  • Windsor – Essex Drug Treatment Court: is still running - minor changes have been made (teleconferencing for weekly meetings)
  • Relapse Prevention Groups: offered Monday’s through Zoom
  • Men’s Anger Management Group: still running in person, measures have been put in place to ensure safety
  • Individual Counselling: offered via telephone or Zoom

Canadian Mental Health Association-Windsor-Essex County Branch
Information on current services offered and listing of other local services and supports during COVID-19.

House of Sophrosyne
Crisis Telephone Line 519-252-2711 ext. 5 to access immediate support service.
(HoS) offers a continuum of programs and services at no cost for individuals with substance use disorder. Virtual treatment and support groups available.  **For more information or to register for programs call 519-252-2711 X 4. Programs are available to females and males in Ontario.

Erie St Clair Clinic - Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM)
519-977-9772 -Windsor / 519-326-7742 –Leamington
The RAAM Clinic provides fast access to treatment for individuals with opioid or alcohol dependence. The program provides assessment and medical treatment using approved drug therapies, along with other services and referrals.

Mental Health and Addiction Urgent Care Centre
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and Canadian Mental Health Association-Windsor Essex
1400 Windsor Avenue
519.257.5111 ext. 77968
This service is intended for those individuals (16 years +) who are experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis who cannot safely wait for community mental health and addiction support. The Centre will also serve those who are at risk of worsening mental health condition that may require hospitalization.

Withdrawal Management Services (WMS) and Community Withdrawal Management Services
Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
The WMS service at HDGH is a 24/7, 20 bed residential, non-medical, withdrawal co-facility for men and women 16 years of age and older who use substances. Our care encompasses and supports your physical, financial, residential, spiritual, emotional, social, and educational needs to motivate and address positive lifestyle changes which support the recovery process. The first step to seek access to beds is to call WMS directly.

Community WMS is also available for those who don’t require 24/7 monitoring within a residential setting, and who prefer to withdraw from substances at home or in another safe, supportive environment.

Windsor Addiction Assessment and Outpatient Service (WAAOS) Assessment and Referral Program
519-257-5220 ext. 1 Or  519.257.5111 ext. 71458
Designated assessment and referral centre in Windsor-Essex for persons wishing to access various types of treatment for addiction to substances. Works with individuals to determine appropriate treatment options.

Walk-in. Attend our Walk-In Intake on Tuesday 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Arriving at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and 9:00 a.m. Friday will increase the likelihood of receiving service as it is first come, first serve.

Effective October 19, 2020 WAAOS will be relocated to 744 Ouellette Avenue at the Crisis and Mental Wellness Centre.

Community Crisis Centre in the Transitional Stability Centre
744 Ouellette Ave.
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 7 days/week
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s (HDGH) Community Crisis Centre of Windsor-Essex County provides a walk-in service in partnership with community social agencies to provide crisis response services to individuals 16 years of age and older who are experiencing an acute mental illness and/or psychosocial crisis.

One Team Recovery (OTR) - Windsor Team Care Centre
2475 McDougall St. Suite 245
OTR is a harm reduction-based, 5-week outpatient substance abuse program.

Windsor Regional Hospital - Ouellette Campus, Emergency Department
1030 Ouellette Avenue
7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. 7 days/week
Able to provide crisis response services.

Family Services Windsor Essex (Only phone services are being offered at this time)
Offers counselling and mental wellness resources, support for housing and finances, and other services.  Fees are determined through a sliding scaled based on household income and ability to pay.

WE Trans Support
LGBTQIA2S+ Community Health & Wellness Centre
1435 Tecumseh Road E. Windsor ON

Offers harm reduction and chemical dependency programming, including meetings for members of the community dealing with both addiction and recovery. Harm Reduction supplies will be available if needed.

Additional Web Resources for People Who Use Substances