The Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic at Niagara Health was one of seven Ontario sites who participated in the Mentoring, Education, Clinical Tools for Addiction: Primary Care-Hospital Integration (META:PHI) project in 2016. The goal of META: PHI is to improve quality of care for individuals with an opioid or alcohol use disorder by establishing an integrated care pathway between the emergency department (ED), addiction medicine clinic, and primary care. In this model, the addiction specialist, ED/hospital staff and primary care practitioner’s work together to provide seamless care to individuals with substance use disorders.
Following completion of the META:PHI project work in January 2017, the RAAM Clinic at Niagara Health was sustained and today provides low barrier, rapid access (within five days) inpatient and outpatient care for individuals seeking treatment for any substance use disorder. The clinic provides assessment, counselling, and prescriptions for medications that may help with lessening cravings and withdrawal symptoms. RAAM assists with accessing other addictions services in the community if required based on individual need or to transition back to primary care.