UPDATE: The province said on Wednesday, Oct. 18 that two more of the previously announced Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine clinics, also known as RAAM clinics, have opened their doors.

The new clinics are located in Brandon, Man. and Thompson, Man. The Brandon clinic is located in the 7th Street Access Centre and the RAAM clinic in Thompson is at the Addiction Foundation of Manitoba’s Eaglewood site.  

Winnipeg is already home to two RAAM clinics, while the fifth clinic in the province is planned for Selkirk.

EARLIER: The first of five Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinics, which offers front-line help to those dealing with addictions, opened in Winnipeg on Aug. 31.

The new clinic is located at Winnipeg’s Crisis Response Centre, near the Health Sciences Centre, at 817 Bannatyne Avenue.

“RAAM clinics help patients more easily navigate the health system, moving them between addiction medicine specialists, primary care providers and community supports,” said health, seniors and active living minister Cameron Friesen.

“The opening of these clinics is an important step toward addressing long wait times for Manitobans seeking treatment for addictions or substance-related concerns including opioids, methamphetamine and alcohol.”

The RAAM clinics will provide patients with assessment, counselling, medication prescriptions and connections to treatment programs and primary care physicians.

According to a provincial news release, these clinics are modelled after a program in Ontario and are generally staffed with an addictions physician, clinicians, counsellors and outreach workers.

“RAAM clinics quickly connect patients to an addictions clinician for assessment, connection to services and treatment from harm reduction to medication-assisted treatment to abstinence, based on the patient’s goals,” said Dr. Erin Knight, medical director at HSC Winnipeg’s addictions unit.

“In addition to initial assessments and treatment recommendations, RAAM clinics can provide a low-barrier opportunity for ongoing engagement in care to people who use alcohol or drugs, reducing some of the pressure on emergency departments and crisis services.”

A second Winnipeg clinic is set to open Sept. 13 at 146 Magnus Avenue at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba’s River Point Centre.

No appointments are necessary to attend the clinics, but patients will only be seen during regularly scheduled hours. The Bannatyne location is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and the Magnus Avenue location will be open Monday and Thursday.

The other three clinics will be in Brandon, the Interlake and northern Manitoba.

Clinic hours can be found here.