New Hours and New Role are Increasing Access to Addiction Treatment
April 27, 2018 – People in the Sudbury and across the region are now receiving more timely medical treatment for opioid and alcohol addictions, closer to home.
The Sudbury Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic, operated by the Health Sciences North (HSN), had its grand opening on Friday to introduce patients and partners to its location at 336 Pine Street, its new hours of operation, and regional role. The clinic provides expedited, barrier-free treatment for patients who are addicted to alcohol or opioids.
Funded by the North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN), the RAAM clinic is part of the NE LHIN’s Regional Opioid Strategy, designed to meet the rising rates of opioid use disorder, accidental overdoses, hospitalizations and ER visits in Northeastern Ontario. This strategy was developed by the LHIN’s Regional Mental Health and Addiction Advisory Council who will continue to work with local Opioid Task Forces within each of the Sub-Regions to support its implementation, ensuring Northerners have timely and equitable access to care.
How the Sudbury RAAM Clinic Works
Through new funding from the NE LHIN, the clinic has expanded its hours of operation to five days a week and hired a new Patient Navigator. In addition, it has taken on a new role supporting the three other RAAM clinics (Algoma, Cochrane and Nipissing) in the region as lead agency for research, data collection, analysis, and evaluation as well as to explore opportunities to create a regional platform to increase access.
The Sudbury RAAM Clinic runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday as of May 1st. Patients can walk-in to receive help or call 705-523-7100 ext.1875. No booked appointment or referral is necessary, although referrals from doctors, nurses, social workers, addiction counselors and community providers are welcome.
The RAAM model is designed to initiate therapy for opioid or alcohol addiction and then triage clients to the most appropriate ongoing care provider. It is not intended to replace or duplicate the care provided by a primary care provider or a treatment clinic.
The NE LHIN’s Strategy uses a “hub and spoke” model, in which RAAM Clinics are located within each Sub-region’s urban centres (the hub) with links (spokes) to outlying areas. The Sudbury RAAM Clinic also provides outreach supports to people and providers in West Parry Sound, Manitoulin, and Espanola.
As one of the highest users of telemedicine with 300 Ontario Telemedicine Network sites across the region, this strategy leverages virtual expertise to ensure equitable access to services for Northerners living in the region.