The Ministry of Health says it's working to put a plan in place to help First Nations communities in Northern Ontario cope with the OxyContin crisis.

First Nations leaders made a call for help in dealing with the epidemic of withdrawal their communities are facing in the wake of the decision to stop manufacturing the drug OxyContin.

Purdue Pharma Canada will replace OxyContin with a new formulation called OxyNEO, which is formulated to make abuse of the drug more difficult.

According to a Ministry of Health spokesperson, Health Minister Deb Matthews has yet to select members of the group of experts asked to help deal with the crisis.

However, the expert group is expected to include members from First Nations and aboriginal communities as well as those who work at detox facilities, people recovering from opioid addiction and members of the province's narcotics panel.

The goal is to come up with both short and long-term strategies for the Northern Ontario communities affected by the OxyContin problem.

The province has not yet decided how much money will be allocated to this issue.