Rapid access addictions clinic in Oshawa goes online


Published May 1, 2023 at 7:12 pm

An Oshawa addiction clinic focused on urgent care is expanding operations online and allowing virtual doctors appointments.

Lakeridge Health, which runs five hospitals in Durham Region, runs a Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic out of the Oshawa hospital. This clinic offers patients with alcohol and opioid addictions, quickly connecting them to medical treatment and counseling services without a doctor’s referral.

The Senior Director of Mental Health and Addiction, Beth Bannon, described the in-person RAAM clinic as having “a critical role in addressing the growing issue of alcohol and drug-related substance use in Durham Region.”

The clinic helps patients through, an assessment of substance use disorders and a review of treatment options, medications for alcohol and/or opioid use disorders. overdose prevention education and take-home Naloxone kits, referrals to Pinewood Centre addiction services and other services, and management of alcohol and opioid withdrawal.

Appointments were previously only available at the Pinewood Centre at 33 Centre St. The in-person clinic is open to walk-in from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday to Friday and patients could set up appointments at (905) 576-8711, ext. 37266.

Unfortunately, this setup made it “challenging” for Durham Region residents living in more rural or remote areas to access the in-person RAAM clinic for substance use issues or concerns, such as alcohol, opioids, stimulants and other substances, said Tara Yim, a nurse practitioner with the RAAM.

Each year, Lakeridge Health has more than 100,000 mental health visits for adults, more than 12,000 visits a year for children, and youth, and more than 14,000 visits to Emergency Departments related to mental health and substance use.



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