Bluewater Methadone Clinic (BMC) has been helping people with opiate addictions along the path to a life free of opiate drugs since 2004. We now have 3 clinics – Sarnia since 2004, Chatham since 2010 and Wallaceburg since 2012.
In 2016 we opened the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic which grew out of our involvement as one of 7 sites from the META:PHI project. This project showed that in Sarnia we were able to make significant decreases in opioid use disorder (OUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients use of the emergency department in the 90 days after they went to the RAAM clinic vs the 90 days before. We just repeated this study in 2021 and showed that the RAAM clinic still significantly decreases visits to the ED after people attend the RAAM clinic.
At the same time we did a quality assurance survey and received positive responses about changes in terms of mood, improved health, reduced substance use, improved relationships, improved activity, more stable home life and feeling more hopeful about life.
We also asked patients about their experiences at the RAAM clinic. Patients were satisfied or very satisfied when asked about the attitudes of staff, referrals to other agencies of physicians, medications prescribed, advice and counseling and the speed of getting an appointment.
At the core of our team are 5 physician-owners. We feel this structure offers an advantage over clinics owned by pharmacists or investors that hire physicians that may or may not practice in the geographical area. We take pride in BMC providing the best possible care in a safe, tolerant and confidential environment that encourages recovery. The responsibility for these goals falls on us.
In addition to the doctors we have 2 nurses, 5 full time and 3 part time case managers and 7 front line and administration staff that have all committed in helping BMC help you through recovery.
BMC has taken the time and effort to develop relationships with several other agencies including:
- local hospitals;
- local public health services;
- mental health agencies;
- in-patient and out-patient treatment programs;
- woman’s interval homes;
- Children’s Aid;
- probation and parole;
- Ontario Works;
- Ontario Disability;
- The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN);
- Community Health Centers in Chatham Kent and Sarnia Lambton;
- Ontario Telemedicine Network;
- Connex Ontario;
- Residential Withdrawal Management at Bluewater Health and Ryan’s House;
- Bluewater Health Emergency Dept.
Our patients benefit from the development of these relationships because these agencies have a better understanding of the needs and goals of the clientele we serve and the value of our program and because BMC staff have a better understanding of the goals and mechanisms of these organizations. Additionally, these relationships may provide the opportunity for BMC to act as patient advocates – that is we can sometimes assist patients navigate through these services or bureaucracies.
We will not discuss any aspects of your care with any agency without your permission except in the rare case this is ordered by a judge.
Each clinic has also partnered with an on-site pharmacy. The BMC pharmacists are very experienced in the treatment of opiate addiction and use the same electronic medical record as the clinics. They can see the prescriptions in electronic form and are able to access the after-hours doctor-on-call by pager or text message. Patients that use these pharmacies may also leave samples 7 days per week. BMC pharmacy adds and extra layer of safety and convenience for our patients.
The Sarnia site offers counselling sessions with our registered social worker. She is very experienced in techniques that can be helpful for chronic pain, anxiety depression, grief, relapse prevention, and more. She is available Tuesdays and Thursdays for half hour appointments in person for those that use the Sarnia site or via telemedicine services if you use the Chatham or Wallaceburg sites. If you are interested and would like to book an appointment please speak with your Case Manager or front staff.
We see people via telemedicine that live in the Forest area at the Community Health Center on Monday afternoon, Kettle Point First Nation Thursday afternoon and Walpole first Nation at the Wallaceburg clinic 4 days per week.