first_imgAfter opening the doors last month, the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance officially launched its Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine clinic on Tuesday.The aim of the clinic is to provide addiction care and readily accessible treatment without a referral, officials said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.The clinic, which joins 55 others in the province, is located at 47 Emma St. in Suite 205, separate from the main hospital.Lori Marshall, the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance president and CEO, called it an “exciting day” for Chatham-Kent, noting the service will go a long way in harm reduction.She said drug addiction is a worldwide issue that requires a co-operative approach within the community.“Our community is not immune to what we’re seeing,” Marshall said.Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine clinics offer both medication and psychosocial interventions from the first visit, ensuring a holistic approach to addressing substance use.The clinic is geared to individuals 16 years of age and older who self-identify as struggling with addiction. Services include:Brief counselling and support; Trauma-informed care; Medications for opioid and alcohol use; Naloxone kits; Referrals and connections to community services; Physical health assessment; and Referrals to residential treatment, if appropriate. After discharge from the clinic, patients are referred back to primary care for long-term followup and receive continued support from the clinician, who stays in touch with primary-care providers for patient reassessments, consultations, and advice about addiction management.Dr. Rizwan Rafiq, the health alliance’s chief of psychiatry and program medical director of the mental health and addictions program, called it crucial to provide an “evidence-based” approach to treatment.“(The clinic) is a long-awaited resource we’ve wanted to have,” he said, noting that other community partners and service providers are also involved.Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls was on hand for Tuesday’s ceremony and urged anyone in need of assistance to drop in.The patient entrance at the clinic can be found on the west side of the building. As a walk-in service, wait times can vary. Patients are asked to bring a valid health card and a list of current medications. Hours of operation are 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.For more information, patients can call 519-352-6400 ext. [email protected]/DailyNewsTTlast_img

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