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Assessment, Treatment Options & Referrals


An assessment helps us understand your circumstances and helps us guide you to the service that will meet your needs. We want to hear from you about you! We use a standardized assessment package called the “GAIN tools”, in addition to other forms and questionnaires, to gather the information you share with us. Sometimes the assessment begins in a group session before you meet with an individual counsellor. When you meet with your individual counsellor, you will be able to talk about how substance use, gambling or gaming, or other addictions or dependencies are affecting your life and what challenges you face. Then you and your counsellor will discuss your goals and explore treatment options to assist you in meeting your goals. Sometimes it is helpful for your counsellor to speak to other people, such as your physician, employer, probation officer, social workers, or family members. This will only be done in agreement with you and with your prior written consent.

Treatment Options

PAARC values a holistic, person-centred approach. This means that we listen to what is important to you, share our professional expertise with you, and then together you and your counsellor decide on your goals and how you will reach them. Our approach is strength based, and we support harm reduction. We will meet you either in one of our office locations or in the community at a safe location.


PAARC can offer you referrals to a wide range of services. For example, you might want help with parenting or with finances. You might have legal concerns and need help connecting to legal services. You may want to attend a program at another addictions or mental health agency, or to connect with a self-help group or peer support. We can work with you to determine which programs are suitable for you and assist with connecting you to those services. Sometime you will access other services at the same time you are attending PAARC.



PAARC offers supportive counselling to individuals and/or persons concerned with someone else’s substance use, gambling, gaming or internet dependencies, and co-occurring emotional distress or mental illness. PAARC uses a variety of evidence-based counselling modalities, best matched to your needs.

PAARC works from a harm reduction framework and endorses person-centred care.

Some of PAARC’s programs are offered in partnership with other organizations, such as hospitals, other community-based health agencies, Probation and Parole, and Peel Regional Police.

All of our services are voluntary, and no information about you will be shared with anyone outside of PAARC without your consent (with the exception of where we are required to disclose information by law.)


PAARC offers a number of groups depending what your needs are. Some groups are run continuously run, while other groups are run at selected time. Here are the groups that PAARC offers:

  • Weekly Support Group
  • Community Withdrawal Management Day Group
  • Problem Gambling and/or Gaming Group
  • Psycho-educational groups
  • Structured Relapse Prevention
  • Family Support Groups
  • Aftercare Group

PAARC is committed to respond to the needs of our clients, and, if our clients want or need a specific type of group, we will do our best to design and offer it.

Housing Support

Housing and Support Program (HASP)

PAARC is one of several agencies in a partnership that provides rent supplements and housing support to persons with severe mental illness and substance use concerns, and who are homeless or at significant risk of becoming homeless. PAARC’s role in the partnership is to conduct comprehensive assessments in preparation for matching you to appropriate housing and to provide ongoing support to help you stay safely and comfortably in your apartment.

Our Concurrent Disorders Case Managers visit you in your apartment at least once a week to provide support to help you live independently and to help you reach your goals. If you, or someone you know, is interested in this program, you can obtain an application form by contacting the lead agency, Services and Housing in the Province, at (905) 795-8742.

Addiction Services at Short-Stay Crisis Services-Mississauga

PAARC works in partnership with Services and Housing in the Province to provide 24/7 community residential services for individuals experiencing a crisis related to justice and/or mental health. PAARC specifically provides addiction-related supports such as, community withdrawal management, counselling and crisis supports for the residents at the Mississauga Safebeds location.

Addiction Support Housing (ASH)

PAARC works in partnership with Services and Housing in the Province to provide subsidized housing and support for clients with problematic substance use challenges, and who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Our Intensive Addictions Case Managers visit clients in their apartments or in the community, at least once a week, to support clients to live independently, and to aid clients in reaching their goals. If you, or someone you know, is interested in this program, you can obtain an application form by contacting the lead agency, Services and Housing in the Province, at (905) 795-8742.


Withdrawal Management

Community Withdrawal Management

PAARC offers several community withdrawal management programs to offer support to people who want to stay home while withdrawing from alcohol or other drugs and do not require the intensive support of a residential withdrawal management (‘detox’) centre. Medical clearance may be required to ensure you are safe to participate in a non-medical setting.

The program includes either a day withdrawal management program (offered daily for up to three weeks) or with mobile withdrawal management in your home. PAARC also offers a youth and an opioid stream of community withdrawal management.

When you call PAARC, we will ask you questions to determine your withdrawal management needs and the type of withdrawal management that will best help you withdraw safely.


Narcotics Strategy Programs

PAARC offers two narcotic strategy programs, serving Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. These programs are for people struggling with opioid use. A counsellor will meet with you to determine your needs, and provide ongoing counselling. They will also help you determine whether or not you want to consider prescription aids to eliminate cravings for opioids.

Methadone and other Opioid Agonist Therapies Management

People who take methadone or other opioid agonist therapies often can benefit from addictions support to stabilize their lives. PAARC offers specialized support for people who are taking opioid agonist therapies, such as methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone), as a treatment option. We work with the physician who prescribes your medication to support you. If you are considering taking opioid agonist therapies, our workers will discuss the pros and cons with you and help you to determine if opioid agonist therapy is right for you.

Community Withdrawal Management and Counselling Supports for Mississauga Safebeds

PAARC works in partnership with Services and Housing in the Province to provide 24/7 community residential services for individuals experiencing crisis related to justice and/or mental health. PAARC specifically provides addiction-related supports such as, community withdrawal management, counselling and crisis supports for the residents at the Mississauga Safebeds location.

Drug Treatment Court

PAARC works with the Elizabeth Fry Society and Justices, crown attorneys, duty counsel, and independent lawyers at the A. Grenville & William Davis Court House (Brampton Court House) to help people who are before the courts with non-violent charges related to their substance use. Once you are admitted into the drug treatment court program, we provide intensive support to help you change your life so that you avoid further legal issues and experience improved quality of life. If you are interested in this program, ask your lawyer or duty counsel to submit an application on your behalf.


Older Persons Substance Use

PAARC offers assessments, case management and supportive counselling for persons aged 55 and older, in the comfort of their homes or place of residence. This program is designed for older people who needs help for substance use and who have mobility or other complex problems.

Problem Gambling, Gaming, and Internet Dependency

PAARC offers assessments, case management and supportive counselling for persons, aged 16 and up, who experience problem gambling, gaming, and internet dependency. A counsellor can also assist in exploring behavior moderation options, such as self-exclusion from in-person gambling and gaming venues.

Presentations and educational sessions about problem gambling are provided to the community, upon request.

Street Outreach

PAARC is a partner in the Region of Peel’s Street Outreach Program. Our workers provide support for people who are homeless and who are experiencing substance use concerns. The Street Outreach team consists of workers who offer a variety of skills, including: substance use workers, concurrent disorder workers, Ontario Works workers, family transition workers, a public health nurse, mental health workers, and housing workers. If you wish to connect with the team, contact the Region of Peel at 1-877-848-8481.


Community Concurrent Disorders

PAARC offers short term transitional case management (for up to 3 months) for people who experience substance use and mental health challenges, and who experience frequent visits to hospital or who are at high risk and need extra support. If you call the crisis line frequently, have been unable to complete a withdrawal management program, or you need extra support after you leave a community-based or residential withdrawal management program, you may be eligible to receive short-term transitional case management and supportive counselling.

Peer Support

PAARC employs Peer Mentors who have had their own struggles with problematic substance use and co-occurring mental health concerns. A Peer Mentor meets with you to share their story of success and to provide motivation and encouragement to you. Your Peer Mentor works with your primary counsellor to provide the best care for you.

Friends & Family

We recognize that many people are affected when someone’s substance use or gambling is problematic. If you are a friend, a family member, or someone who is in a helping position, we will support you. Please call our Clinical Intake Worker (contact us)  to schedule an appointment with a counsellor.

Mandated Clients

You may be told that you must attend for an assessment and/or treatment by your employer, insurance company, probation officer, the courts, the Children’s Aid Society, or another person or organization. You might not agree that you need to see us. We welcome you to come and speak to one of our counsellors. Together, you and your counsellor will consider why you have been referred to us and what is expected of you. In these circumstances, it is helpful for us to speak to the person who has referred you to us to give that person an opportunity to explain why they have referred you to see us – we will only speak to this person with your written consent. It is always your choice to meet with us and participate in our programs.

Breaking Free

What is Breaking Free?

Breaking Free from Substance Use is an evidence-based digital behaviour change program that allows people to recognize and actively address the psychological and lifestyle issues that are driving their use of alcohol and/or drugs, so helping to support their recovery. Based on Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, mindfulness and other proven therapeutic approaches, the program gives people a comprehensive toolkit of resources, positive coping strategies and proven behaviour change techniques to support their long-term recovery.

Who is Breaking Free suitable for?

Breaking Free is suitable for anyone whose life is being significantly affected, or whose health is being damaged, by their drinking or use of drugs. It enables people to address their dependence on alcohol or any type of drug. It is equally effective for people who want to reduce their drinking or drug use to less harmful levels or those who need to stop completely because their substance use has become severe. It can strengthen every stage of the recovery journey, from initial engagement and motivation through active intervention to supporting people’s long-term recovery.

What is the cost of Breaking Free?

Breaking Free is free to those who use it, but they need a Service Code to set up an account unless they live in Ontario, where residents can use their postal code instead. You can get your Service Code from your PAARC counsellor.

How do I know the program works?

Breaking Free contains a structured and clinically validated assessment and a wide range of evidence-based psychosocial interventions and behaviour change techniques.

From the initial development of the program to the present day, extensive research has been conducted into its effectiveness across a wide range of settings. This research follows the UK Medical Research Council framework for the development and evaluation of complex healthcare interventions (Craig et al., 2008), and the Royal Society guidelines for evaluating novel interventions (Wallach et al., 2006; Wallach, 2011).

To learn more about this research, visit

Can I review the EULA and Privacy Policy?

You can review the latest versions of these terms at any time by clicking on the links below:

  • End User License Agreement
  • Privacy and Cookies Policy
  • If you are a resident of Ontario, Acknowledgement and Notice for Users in Ontario