Grey Bruce Health Services is expanding the hours of service at its opiate and alcohol addictions clinic thanks to the addition of a new physician.

The Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic opened in December 2015 to help patients manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings related to alcohol and drugs such as morphine, oxycodone, and heroin. The clinic has been operating one afternoon per week and has so far received 200 visits. Starting this January RAAM will see patients two full days per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the GBHS Addiction Treatment Services facility at 495 9th Avenue East, Owen Sound.

Dr. Pauline Armour is an experienced addiction medicine physician who has practiced for 15 years in the field. Dr. Armour will join the RAAM clinic’s psychiatrist, who is also an addictions medicine specialist, and a psychotherapist to offer patients full support in understanding and managing addictions.

“Many people who come to the clinic have very complex medical issues, and we are pleased to add another experienced physician to the team,” said GBHS President and CEO Lance Thurston.

Patients with alcohol and opiate addictions often end up as repeat visitors in the ER and do not get the treatment they need either because they are undiagnosed or they have difficulty asking for help. ER physicians in Owen Sound have received special training to identify patients with addiction issues, and can now refer them to the RAAM clinic for rapid assessment and access to medications to help them manage their addictions. Community pharmacists may also refer clients to the RAAM clinic.

Specialized addictions training will be offered to family physicians in the Wiarton area in January to expand the capacity to assist patients with addictions in that area.

Patients and families who would like more information on the RAAM clinic and how to get a referral can visit the GBHS website at gbhs.on.ca or by calling 519-376-3999. Patient information on treatment options for opiate and for alcohol addiction is also available on the website.

Media contact: Nicole Schmidt, Communications Coordinator, GBHS, 519-376-2121, Ext. 2805, nischmidt@gbhs.on.ca, www.gbhs.on.ca