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Prompt care for addictions

Posted Jun 22nd, 2018

Prompt care for addictions

Our Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic is making a difference in people’s lives by providing effective treatment for addictions and associated mental health concerns.

Launched in 2016, the RAAM clinic provides rapid care for people looking for help with alcohol, opiates and other substances.

The clinical team offers counselling, anti-craving medications and connects patients to counselling and rehab programs in the community or at Niagara Health.

Key to the clinic’s success is treating a client’s substance use and any associated mental health problems at the same time.

The program has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of clients returning to the Emergency Department or being admitted to our Mental Health inpatient unit.

"People with substance problems get better with effective treatment," says RAAM Medical Director Dr. Richard Kimacovich. "We help people to rejoin life, to rejoin their families.

Nurse Practitioner Denis White and Social Worker Nicole Valeriote are also part of the RAAM clinical team.

"This is a great example of a model that works and makes a difference in people’s lives."

As one of the five pioneering RAAM sites in Ontario, Niagara Health contributed research showing the benefits of this care model and that facilitated further expansion of RAAM clinics across Ontario.

The RAAM clinic began at our St. Catharines Site and has recently expanded to our Welland Site and Greater Niagara General Site in Niagara Falls. Inpatient substance use consultations are also offered.

Barb Pizzingrilli, Niagara Health’s Director of Mental Health and Addictions, applauded the RAAM team for the extraordinary care they are providing and the impact it has had on people's lives.

"This is a great example of a model that works and makes a difference in people’s lives," she says. "RAAM provides access to treatment and care within the community without needing to visit the emergency department or be admitted to hospital."

Niagara Health System