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SJHH / Health Services/ Mental Health & Addiction Services/ The Young Adult Substance Use Program

Young Adult Substance Use Program

COVID-19 Update

Please plan to attend your appointment, procedure or surgery as scheduled unless you are otherwise notified. During the pandemic, the hospital may be required to prioritize emergency and urgent cases, which may result in a change to your appointment. If this is the case, you will be contacted by a member of your care team. As always, our goal is to continue serving our community by providing quality hospital services for as long as it is safe and appropriate to do so during the pandemic.

Click here for more information about  our hospital during the pandemic.

Click here for more information about visiting the hospital during the pandemic.

What this program does...

Young adulthood is an "in-between" period of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. That is why other names for people in this age group include Transition Aged Youth or Emerging Adults. It is a unique time for self-discovery, building relationships, becoming independent, and movement from youth to adult healthcare. Many young adults also experience lots of uncertainty and change. This can make the transition challenging to navigate. The Young Adult Substance Use Program (YA-SUP) aims to meet these unique needs.

Via a three-year pilot program made possible in part by a $600,000 donation from The Boris Family, the Young Adult Substance Use Program (YA-SUP) will provide more than 600 youth and young adults aged 17 – 25 with evidence-based treatment for their substance use concerns. Specifically, the program is for:

  • Young adults age 17-25
  • Young adults who are looking to make changes to their substance use
  • Young adults with a concurrent disorder
  • Young adults committed to attending group-based treatment

The YA-SUP is not a crisis resource. If you are in an immediate crisis, please call the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) at 905-972-8338 or go to your local Emergency Department.

Click here for an overview of this program.

How this program helps...

The program was created to meet these unique needs using the best available research evidence and in consultation with local, national, and international researchers, clinicians, and youth.

We offer 2 separate streams:

  1.  A Young Adult Stream (for people aged 17 – 25 seeking help)
  2. A Loved Ones Stream (for immediate, extended or chosen parents and family or close friends and partners)

Our mission is to provide young adults with the support and skills to:

  1. Reduce the negative impacts of substance use on young adults’ lives. This can be abstinence, reductions in use, or using harm reduction strategies.
  2. Improve mental health and wellbeing by considering the whole-person.
  3. Increase engagement in substance-free activities and create a life that is pleasurable and aligned with their values and goals.

We value:

  • Providing young adult centered care
  • Creating a safe(r) space
  • Considering the whole person
  • Collaboration with young adults and community partners
  • Using evidence-based practices and contributing to evidence

Your Care Team

We have a multi-disciplinary and collaborative team made up of:

  • Mental Health Worker
  • Community Support Counsellor
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Addiction Psychiatrist
  • Substance Use and Mental Health Researchers

Click here to meet the team!

More information about the program is available here.


For clinical care inquiries:
Holly Raymond MHA, MSW, RSW,
Clinical Director General Psychiatry & Addiction Service
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, West 5th Campus
100 West 5th Street
Administration, Room B303
Hamilton, ON L8N 3K7  
T: 905.522.1155 ext. 36267

For research inquiries:
James MacKillop, PhD
Peter Boris Chair in Addictions Research
Director, Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research

Director, Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences
McMaster University & St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
100 West 5th Street, D171
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 3R2
T: 905-522-1155,  ext. 39492

Referral Process

Internal referrals to the Young Adult Substance Use Program can be made via Dovetale.

An individual can self-refer or a healthcare professional may refer a patient via CONNECT MHAP: Telephone: (905) 522-1155, Ext.36499 or visit the CONNECT website for more Information.

Preparing for your visit

  • Please be aware the first appointment will be approximately 3 hours in length.
  • Water and a snack will be provided if needed. Clients are also welcome to bring their own water/snack with them.
  • Please know/bring the name and dose of medications you are prescribed to your first appointment.

Registration Procedure

Please enter through Community Psychiatry Clinic door, check-in at the reception desk, and have a seat in the waiting area.

After your visit

  • Clients who are eligible and choose to be involved with the program will have the group information and group zoom links e-mailed to them.
  • A feedback appointment will be scheduled with either the Mental Health Worker or Community Support Counsellor, 1 week from your intake date. Following the feedback appointment, a check-in appointment will be scheduled approximately 3 weeks afterwards.
  • If needed, consults with a Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatrist, or Psychologist will be scheduled.

Maps and Directions

The Young Adult Substance Use Program is located in the Community Psychiatry Clinic on level 0, area D, at St. Joseph’s West 5th Campus. 

Click here to access the West 5th map and directory.