Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked the most often. Click on any of the questions below for more information.

How do I access a service offered by ASYR?

The first step is to contact our Intake Department a 905-841-7007 or 1-800-263-2288. They will assess your situation and refer you to the appropriate program within ASYR. Some programs may have a waiting list.

How long are the programs?

Many programs will allow 8 to 12 counselling sessions. At any time, you may decide that the program’s service is no longer needed or desired, and exit the program. You may also decide, in collaboration with the counsellor, that you have successfully completed the program. In addition, you and your counsellor may decide that upon completion of one or more program, you may be eligible to be transferred to another program within ASYR or referred to an external agency.

How long are the sessions?

Individual sessions typically last for 50 minutes. Group sessions typically last for a maximum of two hours. The frequency and number of sessions will be based on your needs and the structure of your program. This will be contracted between you and your counsellor in the first or second session.

Do I have to pay for services?

Most of our programs are available to you free of charge. They are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.  A health card is not required in order to access services.

We also offer specialized programs such as Ontario Remedial Measures (Back on Track) Program for which there is a cost. A schedule of fees is available upon request.

Who are the ASYR staff?

ASYR staff are skilled professionals with both educational qualifications and field experience. Our staff receive regular training supervision in order to ensure that the quality of services to our clients meet professional standards. The agency complies with the Social Work Code of Ethics, and staff may be affiliated with other professional regulatory bodies such as the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). You may ask your counsellor about their individual qualifications. The Code of Ethics of the different regulatory bodies that our staff may be associated with is available upon request.

Do you have any residential treatment programs?

We offer community treatment outpatient services only.  However, if you wish to attend a residential treatment program we can provide information about community resources and provide assessment and referral services if required. You may wish to call ConnexOntario for more information about residential treatment programs at 1-800-565-8603 or visit

How is my treatment plan determined?

In the first two or three sessions, you and your counsellor will collaborate in developing a clear treatment plan. It is important to know that your treatment plan will be based on what you want to achieve in life and your goals around addictive behaviour. Once you and your counsellor agree on the treatment plan, it will stay in your file and can be referred to and modified as necessary.

What are the benefits and risks involved?

There are many different approaches to facilitate change around addiction issues. Some people might find it sufficient to attend self-help groups or to gain social support from their significant others. There is evidence that improvement is unlikely if an addiction problem remains untreated. There is also evidence that counselling is helpful to support the change process (although there is no guarantee with respect to success.) Our treatment is based on the results of standardized provincial assessment tools and an assessment of each client’s current or related past life situations.

It is important to know that there may be times during or following treatment or counselling sessions when you experience some emotional distress and/or uncertainty, or physical symptoms due to change in patterns of your substance use/gambling behaviour. Your counsellor will support and help you through this process.

You have the right to withdraw from the program anytime should you decide to do so. Your decision will not affect any services you may receive from our agency in the future.

What happens if I miss my appointments?

If your appointment time is not convenient for you, please notify your counsellor to see if alternative arrangements are possible. We strongly encourage you to keep your scheduled appointment to ensure continuity of service.

According to ASYR policy, if you do not attend 2 consecutive appointments, without calling, you may be asked to go back onto the waitlist.

If you do not attend 3 appointments, without calling, (regardless of order) you may be asked to go back onto the waitlist.

If you cancel or re-schedule 3 consecutive appointments with less than 24 hour notice, you may also be asked to go back onto the waitlist. Your counsellor will outline the attendance and participation expectations of your designated program.

Is my information kept confidential?

The information that you discuss with your counsellor(s) will be treated as confidential, and will not be disclosed outside the professional relationship without your informed consent.

However, while ASYR staff will make every reasonable effort to safeguard your privacy and confidentiality, it may not be possible to maintain absolute confidentiality in all circumstances. ASYR may disclose your information in any circumstances in which it is legally or ethically compelled to do so, including the following:

  1. If you present as a danger to yourself or others, including ASYR staff.
  2. If there are reasonable grounds of suspicion of child abuse under the Child and Family Services Act, or, if you are under 16 years of age, and have been the victim of child abuse. (Example – the witness of violence in the home or risk to children due to the caregiver’s use of alcohol or drugs.)
  3. An order, subpoena or summons is served by a court or other legal authority requiring disclosure.
  4. If there is a legal duty to report to a professional organization. (Example – when it is suspected that you have been the victim of a professional who has breached their profession’s Code of Ethics.)
  5. If you present a risk in the operation of a motor vehicle. (Example – a person arrives at a session impaired and insists on driving: the police will be notified if alternative arrangements are refused.)

What if I have concerns or complaints?

We encourage you to speak directly with your counsellor about your concerns. If this does not seem possible, you may request to speak privately with the Supervisor or Director. You may also submit a complaint or concern by:

  • Filling out our online Feedback Form (a hard copy of this form is available at the reception area in all our offices and can be dropped into our suggestion box for complaints or suggestions)
  • Calling ASYR’s Ethics Hotline at 1-844-792-2278 or 416-369-3797
  • Sending an email to:

If you believe that your counsellor’s action was inappropriate or harmful, you can contact the Regulatory College to which the counsellor belongs.

We are a school interested in learning more about substance use and problem gambling. Will you come do a presentation for our students?

ASYR is pleased to offer a variety of presentations and workshops to community schools and organizations upon request. These presentations can take from 45 minutes to 90 minutes to deliver, and we try to tailor the content to the needs of the organization.  Topics include:

  • ASYR programs and services
  • Substance use
  • Mental health
  • Harm reduction and stigma
  • Problem gambling

Learn more about our presentations and workshops.

How do I refer a client to ASYR?

If you are a physician or working for a community based organization or healthcare service, please complete our Referral Form and email it to or fax it to 905-841-6146.

Still not finding the answer you’re looking for?

Contact us directly and we will get back to you as soon as possible.