People with substance-use challenges living in Abbotsford and surrounding communities have better access to addiction medicine with the opening of the Fraser East Rapid Access to Addiction Care (RAAC) clinic.
The new clinic serves people who have challenges with alcohol, benzodiazepines, nicotine, stimulants (cocaine, crystal methamphetamine) and opioids by providing low-barrier access to addiction medicine and medication-assisted treatment. The clinic will be staffed by doctors, nurses, clinical support workers, social workers and group therapists.
“When people make the courageous decision to reach out for help, they need access to quality addiction services, regardless of where they live in the province,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “A RAAC clinic is an entry point to a diverse range of substance-use services. I’m grateful that with the opening of the new location in Abbotsford, more people in the surrounding communities will be able to access treatment options that fit their needs.”
Following an initial consultation, patients may be placed on medication or guided to appropriate services. After initial stabilization, patients are connected to care providers in the community for ongoing treatment, monitoring and support.
“It is critical that we work together with our partners to provide low-barrier access to addiction medicine and integrated care to people in our communities,” said Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO, Fraser Health. “By taking a holistic approach to care, our teams are able to tailor services to meet a person’s individual needs and ensure that ongoing supports are in place, helping to create a wraparound system of care that extends beyond addiction medicine.”
RAAC staff will also connect people with a care provider to ensure continuity in their care plan. The clinic provides patients with harm-reduction supplies, including safe sharps disposal, as well as training and distribution of take-home naloxone. RAAC clinics accept referrals from community providers, doctors, nurses and social workers. People can also drop in without an appointment or referral. In most cases, people can start on medication immediately.
The new clinic is part of the Fraser East RAAC network, which includes clinics in Chilliwack and Mission. The Fraser East RAAC Abbotsford clinic is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 101-32463 Simon Ave.
Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission –
“With the opening of the new Rapid Access to Addiction Care clinic in Abbotsford, more people with substance-use challenges will be able to get supports close to home. Our government is listening to the needs of people and investing in solutions that will benefit our communities.”
- Since 2021, the Fraser East RAAC clinics have helped connect more than 700 people to the supports they need at locations in Chilliwack and Mission.
- Additional RAAC clinics are in New Westminster (Fraser North) and Surrey (Fraser South).
Fraser Health RAAC and opioid agonist treatment clinics: https://www.fraserhealth.ca/-/media/Project/FraserHealth/FraserHealth/Health-Topics/Mental-Health-Substance-Use/Clinic-list-for-website---Oct-2021.pdf
Mental-health and substance-use supports in Fraser Health: https://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-topics-a-to-z/mental-health-and-substance-use#.YBNjb6dKg2w