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As the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance nears the one year anniversary of its withdrawal management unit, officials are looking to offer more services to those battling addiction.

Caen Suni, Vice President of Clinical Programs and Operations says the organization is working towards creating an addictions hub.

“So that individuals who are managing their substance use have essentially a single place to go as they’re working through some of their treatment options,” Suni explains. “Our Withdrawal Management Services is actually co-located with our Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic as an integration point between both services.”

Suni says area residents battling addiction can also book an assessment at the Westover Treatment Centre in Thamesville.

“The vision for the hub is we’re going to keep making improvements there to keep co-located and increasing that program so individuals in the community have a much less complicated care path.”

As it stands, the withdrawal management unit has an average occupancy of 84%. Suni says they would like to see the unit at 100% capacity to have as many people accessing support as possible, but that’s hard to achieve as a voluntary service.

“The long view isn’t to co-locate them in hospital, obviously, but ensure that the points of integration, that hub where people can access the care they need, which might be something more acute or just some additional treatment our counselling, that can be done in a simple step that’s helpful for patients and it’s also helpful for primary care and other referring groups to streamline access for people in our community.”

Suni says the most common addictions in Chatham-Kent include alcohol, fentanyl, and crystal meth.