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Community Withdrawal Management Services

Do you use alcohol and/or other drugs on a daily basis?
Do you want to stop?
Don’t attempt this on your own. It can be dangerous. We can help!

At ASYR we focus on you, not just the addiction. You are bigger than your addiction. You are not defined by your addiction.

Stopping alcohol and/or other drugs can cause mild to severe unpleasant physical and/or emotional symptoms, known as withdrawal symptoms, which can include anxiety, irritability, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea to dehydration, seizures, psychosis or even death.

Detoxification is a process the body experiences as a result of withdrawing from a substance (alcohol and/or other drugs). Some people may need counselling during this process, while others may need more intensive support, such as medical assistance or even hospitalization.

We are a non-medical service. We are trained professionals who have the expertise to help you create a safe withdrawal plan.  Participation in this program is voluntary. You do not need a referral. It’s free and it’s confidential.

Community Withdrawal Management Services (CWMS) provides professional counselling services to people in the process of screening, assessing, preparing, planning, and monitoring of withdrawal symptoms. We also refer people to the safest level of care towards the goal of safely stopping substances (drugs+/alcohol). This is followed by a period of stabilization to maintain abstinence through individual and/or group counselling. Once this is achieved, clients can be transferred or referred to the most appropriate services along the addiction continuum for further service.

CWMS is a voluntary program for clients aged 16 and over. Referrals will be made to the most appropriate and safest level of care according to the client’s health and substance use.  Information, education and/or consultation can be provided to family members, significant others, or the client’s health care team with informed and voluntary consent.

The CWMS Program is a recovery-oriented program that provides assistance through referral or direct service in supporting individuals who want to stop their use of alcohol and/or other substances.  Direct service is provided to individuals who may experience mild to moderate symptoms when substances are discontinued as well as counselling to stabilize physical and emotional health issues and relapse prevention. 

  • We can respond to calls within 1-2 business days.
  • We provide assessments, withdrawal support, monitoring and counselling
  • Our general office hours are Monday to Friday from 9-5.
  • After hours, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, phone support is provided by our community partners when needed during withdrawal.


  • Screening to determine potential withdrawal risks
  • Assessment of individuals’: substance(s) use, duration, and frequency to establish withdrawal needs
  • Information to individuals and supports about withdrawal and recovery
  • Consultation with individual’s physician, as needed
  • Preparation and planning for detoxification
  • Monitoring and support during and after the withdrawal process
  • Counselling before, during, and after detoxification
  • Referrals to other programs within ASYR and/or external services or programs in the community

We provide the following services:

  • Direct client services for stopping and stabilizing alcohol and/or other drugs
  • Referrals to the most appropriate level of withdrawal service
  • Liaise and collaborate with other health professionals and community agencies
  • Consultation to referring agencies
  • Education, information training, and support provided to individuals and their supports
  • Referrals to other programs/services for treatment and relapse prevention

Using a non-judgmental, trauma-informed person centered approach, we:

  • Screen clients for the appropriate level of service needed
  • Assess the level of use
  • Plan a safe withdrawal
  • Monitor withdrawal symptoms
  • Support people through education, information, counselling, and guidance
  • Provide strategies to stabilize symptoms, manage cravings and prevent relapse
  • Refer internally and externally to programs and services for ongoing care
  • Evaluate services to continually improve the quality of our care

CWMS is designed to:

  • Address each person’s unique circumstances
  • Empower clients through a person-centered approach
  • Provide privacy and confidentiality during the withdrawal process
  • Create and provides withdrawal in a person’s own community
  • Result in a safe withdrawal to abstinence with support
  • Include aftercare until treatment is available
  • Yield significant reductions in cravings, relapse
  • Be a proven method of withdrawal from alcohol and/or drugs.


Program Philosophy

CWMS will provide support to people within York Region seeking assistance in stopping their use of alcohol and/or other substances. Supporting recovery through the provision of safe, accessible, supportive and least intrusive approaches to care, we are person-centred, trauma informed, and embrace the principles of harm reduction and theories of behaviour change.

 Treatment Modality

Modality Used

The main treatment modality is the overarching Client-Centred Therapy described by Carl Rogers. All counsellors are skilled in the basic counselling techniques of paraphrasing, reflection of feelings, summarizing, and providing other forms of empathy and unconditional positive regard.

Other treatment modalities are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy for Individuals and Couples, Systemic Psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families.

Credentials of Staff

Staff members vary in their credentials. Some have a college diploma in addictions. Others have a Bachelor’s degree in social work, sociology, or psychology. Additionally, some staff members have earned a Master’s degree in counselling, or couple and family therapy. All staff members are either qualifying or belong to a regulatory body such as a professional college. The two main colleges are the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

Target Population

The target population includes men and women of York Region who are 25 years old or older. The program is voluntary with clients referring themselves.

The CWMS Program will provide substance use education and counselling to clients. The program will provide intensive support to individuals who have complex service needs related to alcohol and drugs. Primary substances of concern must not include opioid substances, tobacco and/or caffeine.

Population Served

The CWMS Program is a counselling program that provides intensive support to individuals who are 16 years old or older in the York Region who struggle with substance (alcohol or drug) abuse or dependence issues.

To access this service:
Contact an Intake Coordinator at 905-841-7007 ext 322
or 1-800-263-2288 ext. 322
Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday - Thursday 9am - 7pm
Friday 9am - 4:30pm

*Please note: If you are in crisis, experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms or needing immediate medical attention please call 911 or go to your local hospital emergency department.  

The following groups can be accessed through the Community Withdrawal Management Services:

Who We Help

This is a non-medical service offered to people who:

  • Live in York Region
  • Are 16 years old or older
  • Are medically stable
  • Apply voluntarily


  • Want to stop using substances

How We Help

The Community Withdrawal Management Services Program offers:

  • Your family or support system with information to minimize the risk of withdrawal
  • Monitoring your withdrawal symptoms
  • Home visits and in office counselling
  • 24-hour phone support
  • Acupuncture Detoxification

Where We Help

ASYR services all of York Region. Our offices can be found in:

  • Keswick
  • Aurora
  • Markham
  • Thornhill