SUDBURY -- With a growing need for addiction supports in the city, the Timmins and District Hospital announced Tuesday two new programs.

The in-patient programs are called the Addictions Medicine Consult Team (AMCT) and the Community Withdrawal Management (CWM) Program.

"Both the AMCT and CWM program will provide our community with physician and nursing support to care for those living with substance use disorder and/or opioid use disorder," the hospital said in a news release. "Both the AMCT and CWM program utilize a harm reduction, recovery oriented, trauma informed and culturally mindful approach to patient care."

The AMCT supports hospital patients with substance use disorder and/or opioid use disorder. It provides assessments, treatment and monitoring while the patient is in the hospital, and follow up before and after patients are discharged.

"This program aims to set patients up for success in the community and ensures they continue to receive support and care after hospital discharge," the hospital said. "The AMCT is supported by physician expertise and a Registered Nurse with a focus on medical management."

Safe and supportive environment

The CWM program allows individuals to safely withdraw from alcohol or other drugs, increasing withdrawal management capacity in the community. Once implemented, the program will provide a safe and supportive environment where individuals will receive screening, assessment, counseling, medication monitoring and transition planning.

“This year saw unprecedented challenges, especially for those requiring access to addictions supports,” Kate Fyfe, president and CEO of the hospital, said in the release.

“The development and implementation of these two new programs will allow us to provide increased supports for those in our community, and across the region, seeking care for their substance use and/or opioid use disorders. These programs come as part of the collaborative response from our city, addiction service providers, Ontario Health and the Ministry as we continue to see a rise in overdoses and overdose-related deaths in our community.”

“We continue to see a very high rate of admissions due to addictions in our mental health unit," said Dr. Julie Samson, a physician lead for the AMCT. "Addiction has continued changing and our services need to adapt to meet the needs of our patients.

"Our overdose-related death rate is the highest in the province and these programs mark the beginning of how TADH is adapting to better care for our patients living with addictions.”

Dr. Louisa Marion-Bellemare, physician lead for the AMCT, said breaking down barriers for people needing addiction help is key.

“These programs have been developed to support patients during their hospital stay and ensure services are wrapped around them after discharge," Marion-Bellemare said.

"Our vision is to create a mental-health and addiction system for our region that breaks down historical silos and operates together to support our patients, their families and our communities.”