Guelph's Rapid Access Addiction Clinic will now operate 2 days a week

Guelph's rapid access addiction clinic will now operate two days a week starting Feb.15.

Funding received in the fall has allowed clinic to now run Mondays and Thursdays

Guelph's Rapid Access Addiction Clinic will be able to help more people in need starting Feb.15. The clinic will now run two days a week on Mondays and Thursdays. (Guelph Community Health Centre/ Facebook)

Guelph's Rapid Access Addiction Clinic will be able to help more people in need starting Feb.15, as they will now operate twice a week instead of just once.

RAAC is a walk-in clinic designed to help individuals with substance abuse access healthcare, counselling and community services operating out of Guelph Community Health Centre.

The clinic launched in June 2017 and ran once a week — on Mondays — without any funding until November 2017, Kristin Kerr, clinical lead for primary and acute care at Stonehenge Therapeutic Community, told CBC News.

But funding from the Ministry of Health through the Waterloo Wellington LHIN in the fall allowed the clinic to add a second day of operation — on Thursdays.

"Addiction is a health issue that affects every one," Kerr said. "Some people really struggle to find a doctor or primary care provider who can support them with that. Having a second day a week will allow greater opportunity for health equity for this population."

Demand for services

The clinic provided services to 124 people — approximately four to five new patients every week — between June and December, according to a recent report from Stonehenge Therapeutic Community.

"There have been days where the demand for our services was more than our capacity for one day a week," Kerr said.

Over 50 per cent of people accessing services reported alcohol as their substance of concern, but it was the percentage of patients with out a family doctor that stood out for Kerr. 

"About 20 per cent of the patients who came in don't have connection with a primary health care provider," she said.

Kerr adds that connecting people with a family doctor will be the clinic's next goal moving forward. 

"It can be challenging for people struggle with their substance use or addiction to have access to primary care and so that's a piece that we are striving to do with this clinic," she said.