Region's drugs strategy working to bring rapid access clinics to area

A working group under the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy has started meeting in the hopes of opening two rapid access clinics to help people with substance use problems who need medical intervention.

No timeline yet, but working group has started discussing the idea

This collection of drugs was seized by Waterloo Regional Police from a Guelph residence earlier this year. It is believed to be heroin and meth with a street value of $78,000. (Waterloo Regional Police Service)

The Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy is looking to open two rapid access clinics in the area.

"We're very much at the brainstorming stage," Lindsay Sprague, co-ordinator of the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy, told CBC News.

"We are not in a position to launch anytime soon, we've just started our working group meetings," she added, noting that group has met three times since October.

A rapid access clinic is a short-term service meant to help people who need medical intervention for substance use problems.

Often staff at a clinic can provide medications for withdrawal symptoms or alcohol cravings.

The doctors and nurses at these clinics can often handle semi-urgent addiction concerns.

There had been reports two clinics would open in the new year in Waterloo region, but Sprague said that was incorrect.

"There's seven sites across Ontario that have a clinic, and we're hoping to do something similar here in Waterloo region, but we don't have a timeline yet," Sprague said.

A clinic is set to open in Guelph sometime in 2017.