Hawkesbury General Hospital and District is receiving $40,640 of annual recurrent funding from Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to expand addictions counselling in the community-based Quick Response Treatment Program related to opioids. The funding has been allocated to the creation of a part-time addiction counselor position.

The goal of this addictions counselling program is to identify clients at risk of deterioration, prevent crisis, and prevent emergency room visits and hospitalizations by offering prompt access to psychotherapy services, family support, access to replacement therapies and navigation to other community resources as needed. 

The Champlain LHIN is increasing treatment services to meet the growing needs of people with addictions to opioids. A total of $1.7 million in ongoing funding is being invested in a number of health agencies across the Champlain region.

The key aims are to expand and better coordinate services, making it easier and quicker for people to get services that fit their own treatment needs. Because each person with an opioid addiction is unique and at a different stage in his or her treatment journey, the new and expanded services offer a range of options.

The new services will be integrated into existing programs along the continuum of care, including prevention, early intervention, stabilization, treatment and harm reduction. For example, new community-based treatment counselling services will complement existing withdrawal management beds, also known as detox, and residential addiction treatment spaces.

New services will also complement harm-reduction programs provided by other organizations, which are providing training on naloxone kits and opening supervised injection sites, for example. Through screening, assessment, motivational counselling, goal-setting, skill-building, and treatment planning, the new and expanded services will assist in addressing underlying issues such as mental-health or other life challenges, and the services will help save lives during a time of a national opioid crisis.

“There isn’t just one answer to solving the opioid crisis. In addition to the existing $23 million investments in addictions services in our region, the Champlain LHIN is providing significant, ongoing funding for new opioid-related programs that meet the differing needs of people in various communities,” says Chantale LeClerc, Champlain LHIN CEO.

“We want to ensure that health services are well-coordinated and highly responsive. Ultimately, along with numerous partners, our vision is to support people’s health and well-being and build healthy communities.”

Some of the new services are already up and running. Others will be implemented in the coming weeks. Currently, the greatest needs are in Ottawa, but investments are also being made in other parts of the Champlain LHIN region including Prescott-Russell Counties.