Manitoba spends $889K for beds to support addictions withdrawal services
Patients will be people transferred from Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine clinics
Manitoba is adding eight beds over the next three years to support patients going through substance addiction withdrawal.
The additional community-residential withdrawal management beds will include four for men at Winnipeg's Main Street Project, and four women's beds at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba's (AFM) River Point Centre in Winnipeg, a Tuesday news release from the province says.
The cost for the beds and services, which will help an estimated 300 people each year, is $889,000, according to Health Minister Cameron Friesen.
The patients will be people transferred from Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine clinics, he noted.
RAAM clinics, which offer access to intervention and community treatment programs, are typically staffed by an addictions physician and a combination of clinicians, counsellors and outreach workers.
The clinics also integrate opioid replacement therapy with primary care and provide assessment, counselling and prescriptions of appropriate medications. They can refer patients — such as those who need help managing withdrawal symptoms — to other health professionals or community services for ongoing care.
"The ability to seamlessly transfer patients to withdrawal management services when required is critical to the success and sustainability of RAAM clinics in Winnipeg," Friesen said in the news release.
"These beds will support RAAM patients experiencing withdrawal issues, reducing barriers to care, shortening wait times and ensuring quicker access to substance-use disorder treatment."
Since August 2018, more than 4,000 patients have used RAAM services at locations in Winnipeg (Crisis Response Centre and AFM Riverpoint), as well as in Brandon, Selkirk, Thompson and Portage la Prairie, according to the provincial news release.
More than 2,100 of those have registered for RAAM services in the past year alone.
"We see people every day in RAAM clinics requiring various addiction support services," said Dr. Ginette Poulin, medical director with the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and clinical lead for the RAAM clinics.
"Withdrawal management is an important step in the process of substance use treatment for many individuals and increasing timely access can be critical for their recovery journey.
"By adding more non-medical withdrawal management beds in our system, we can better respond to patients needs and help offer more safe places to stabilize."