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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...

Experimentation with substance use often begins in the teens and peaks in young adulthood. While most emerging adults grow out of risky use of alcohol, cannabis or other drugs, for others, it can become a lifelong battle against addiction.

The Young Adult Substance Use Program at St. Joe’s aims to provide early intervention so that young adults struggling with substance use can have the best chance possible of avoiding chronic substance abuse.

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
  • People who are looking to make changes to their substance use
  • People with a concurrent disorder
  • People committed to attending group-based treatment
  • Those not in immediate crisis

Click here for an overview of this program.

How this program helps...

Young adults of this age are sometimes referred to as Transition Aged Youth or Emerging Adults given it is often a time of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, which is characterized by instability and uncertainty, self-exploration, relationship building, increasing independence, and movement from youth to adult healthcare. 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 biological, extended or chosen family)

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

  1. Reduce the impact of substance use on young adults’ lives, whether that be through abstinence, reductions in use, or other harm reduction approaches.
  2. Improve mental health and wellbeing by focusing on the whole-person.
  3. Increase engagement in substance-free activities and create a life that is in alignment with their values and goals.

We value:

  • Providing young adult centered care
  • Creating a safe(r) space
  • Caring for the whole person
  • Collaborating with stakeholders and community providers
  • 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!


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 check-in appointment will be scheduled with either the Mental Health Worker or Community Support Counsellor, 4 weeks from the intake date.
  • If needed, consults with a Nurse Practitioner 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.