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Province funds two new addiction clinics in Thunder Bay

Clinics are part of the response to the opioid crisis

THUNDER BAY -- Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinics will be set up at two locations in Thunder Bay.

According to an announcement by the provincial government on Monday, St. Joseph's Care Group will operate RAAM clinics at its Balmoral Centre on Sibley Drive and at the NorWest Community Health Centre on Simpson Street.

The clinics, the announcement said, are in response to Ontario's opioid crisis, and "will provide people with immediate help and short-term addiction treatment and counselling, as well as connecting them to longer-term holistic support."

Across Ontario, new or expanded RAAM clinics are planned for more than 30 communities.

Tracy Buckler, president and CEO of St. Joseph's Care Group, said RAAM partners will work together to provide a spectrum of services including withdrawal management, assessment, residential and outpatient treatment and system navigation to address other needs, such as affordable housing.

In addition to NorWest Community Health Centres, SJCG is working with Dilico Anishinabek Family Care, People Advocating for Change through Empowerment and the Thunder Bay Counselling.

Buckler said "ultimately, all people living with addictions and other health issues will have an opportunity for improved quality of life and overall health and well being."

Thunder Bay MPPs Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle were quoted in the announcement as welcoming the improved supports for area residents dealing with opioid addiction.