The North East LHIN’s regional and provincial opioid strategy, which aims to connect clients to high quality addictions and treatment is proud to see Espanola be the first Spoke location in the hub of care for the region.

The opening of the Espanola Rapid Access Additions Medicine Clinic called RAAM took place yesterday.

Addictions Worker Allison Dodge is the first person who interacts with someone seeking immediate care for either/or alcohol or opioid addiction.

She says there is a crisis in the Espanola area and in her role, she follows the patient from the moment they walk in the door to the completion of treatment.

She says that one on one and integration of various services is crucial to successful treatment.

The program was implemented in Espanola in November and is now housed within the hospital and health team complex.

Dodge works very closely with Doctor Brian Dressler, an Addiction Medicine Specialist and facilitator for the clinic and Dr. Lionel Marks de Chabris, emergency department physician, in collaboration with the various service providers within the hospital and the health team. The partners work closely together to develop an individualized program for the care of patients who come in seeking immediate help for their addiction(s).

Anyone needing help can contact the Espanola RAAM clinic Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm by calling 705-862-7991, ext. 4245.

Patients will be seen by Dodge or another addiction worker within 24 to 48 hours after calling the clinic or after referrals. They will then be seen by the Addictions special and create and implement treatment and medication plan. While not everyone with addictions requires pharmacological treatment, some may benefit from prescription medication that may help with lessening cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, the RAAM clinic will support family physicians to ensure they are able to help with pharmacological treatment for addictions.

The North East LHIN’s Strategy uses a ‘hub and spoke’ model, in which larger RAAM clinics are located within each sub-region’s urban centre, the hub, with links, the spokes, to an outlying area. The Espanola RAAM Clinic is the Spoke site connected to the hub in Sudbury operated by Health Sciences North. Other RAAM clinics are located in Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay and Timmins.