Addictions Services - Continuum of Care
Sault Area Hospital Addictions Services offers a comprehensive Continuum Of Care for individuals impacted by; Substance Use, Problem Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use. Services offered include:
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Individual, Couple, Family and Group Counselling and Therapy
- Residential and home/mobile withdrawal management
- Relapse prevention and aftercare
Services are coordinated with community, regional and provincial care partners to best support individual needs.
Best practices for managing substance use disorders most often involve medication-assisted treatment combined with individual or group counselling and peer/family support. Counselling programs can include education on; alcohol/opiate use, healthy lifestyle choices, group and individual therapy, help with developing coping skills, and self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Narcotics Anonymous (NA). The providers will work with you to determine what form of counselling and support services would be the most helpful for you.
Emphasis is given to the immediate needs and issues identified by the client and therapeutic approaches are matched accordingly in keeping with evidence-based practice.
Services are provided by a multidisciplinary team comprised of :
- Registered Social Workers,
- Registered Addiction Services Workers,
- Registered Nurses,
- Registered Practical Nurses,
- Nurse Practitioners,
- Addictions Medicine Physicians,
- Those with lived experience.
Advanced practice Addictions Counsellors assist individuals and their families in the development of practical strategies to help themselves to reduce the harms associated with alcohol, substances, smoking, and gambling. Emphasis is given to the immediate needs and issues identified by the client and therapeutic approaches are matched accordingly in keeping with evidence-based practice.
As the designated problem gambling, gaming and technology use service agency for the District of Algoma providing care to individuals, couples, and families impacted by gambling. The Clinic provides, gambling awareness and public education, consultation to other care providers, individual, family and group education, skill-building and therapy.
The AMCT supports both clients, staff and physicians within the hospital. This multidisciplinary team includes a Registered Addictions Service Worker, a Registered Nurse, and an Addictions Medicine Physician. AMCT works to meet clients where they are at when they present at the hospital to connect individuals to proper services.
- Brief Motivational Interviewing
- Harm reduction Education/Strategies
- Withdrawal and Medication Therapy consults
- Treatment/ Recovery Planning
- Service Referrals
- Discharge Planning
- Family Support / Education
MH&A Services FAQ
AKA detox, different from a treatment centre, can be the first step in getting help for substance intoxication or dependence, information hub, symptom management for withdrawal, support/education for harm reduction, drug and alcohol-free zone.
Safe beds are an in-house treatment for up to 30 days for stabilization to divert from mental health inpatient admission or entry into the criminal justice system. Safe beds are designed for those with Mental Health and/or addiction needs that are suitable for non-medical intervention and can be supported in a community/home-like setting rather than in a hospital.
Currently, SAH has two ‘flex’ safe beds for those in a mental health/addictions crisis to divert from hospital or incarceration and support with housing needs- these referrals can come from anywhere in the community and those in care will receive support with mental health, care planning, housing etc.
There are also 4 mental health and justice safe beds that offer similar support however, the referrals must come from police or police/crisis and be suitable for diversion from inpatient hospital- these referrals can stay up to 30 days to stabilize and obtain a treatment plan/housing plan. It is a voluntary service – safe bed workers ally closely with probation and parole, community justice workers, and police services.
Medically supervised management of acute withdrawal, physician and nursing oversight- offering assessment and medications for symptom management, as well as the induction of anti-craving, withdrawal medication and opiate replacement therapy.
Compassionate care, client-centred, non-judgmental, harm-reduction, trauma-informed.
A Safe place for assessment, treatment planning, brief motivational counselling complimented by Medically supervised management of acute withdrawal, physician and nursing oversight- offering assessment and medications for symptom management, as well as the induction of anti-craving, withdrawal medication and opiate replacement therapy.
Currently, we can offer information/education and support over the phone. Recent funding enhancements are allowing for the recruitment of a full-time RN to support those appropriate for mobile/home-based withdrawal management.
MH&A Care/Referral Criteria - FAQ
Anyone who is 16 or older and experiencing a crisis related to their substance use. People who have no ID, people who are intoxicated, people in withdrawal, people wanting to avoid relapse, people with nothing in terms of belongings/”walked off the street”, people who aren’t sure if they are ready for treatment but want help anyways/have questions, people who feel they may be addicted to drugs including alcohol and prescription medications
- Under the age of 16 is excluded
- Patients who are not medically stable
- Involuntary patients
- Patients exhibiting acute mental health symptoms that may be causing a danger to themselves or others
- Those presenting with significant, immediate risk of aggression, violence or other safety risks
Those with complicated medical concerns must be medically cleared/stabilized. Once stabilized, they are welcome to attend. Upon admission to care, close monitoring is required to ensure stabilization is sustained. If one’s health deteriorates beyond WMS/Safebeds scope, a transfer to a more intensive level of care (i.e. ED, hospital) is facilitated.
Addictions Care and Treatment - FAQ
Treatment can be complicated because there may be a range of psychological and physical effects that all need to be taken care of and there is no one treatment that fits all which can be overwhelming if they need several different health care practitioners (counselling, RAAM, psychologists, methadone clinics, groups, doctors/psychiatrists, etc.).
No one factor can predict if a person will develop an addiction, a combination of factors include biology (genetic predisposition, biochemical ethnicity, development), psychological (trauma, psychiatric/mental health, self-esteem) spiritual and social (family, relationships, societal influences.
Managing acute withdrawal is a key element of care. Treatment failures can stem from a lack of readiness, tools, supports, referred to by a program that does not fit their needs.
Not having the basics such as stable housing can be a large contributor.
Like all chronic health conditions, treatment is complex and often changing.
Additional Resources (Related Link/Community Partners etc.)
Where to get help in Sault Ste Marie:
Find Treatment Centres at Connex Ontario
Canadian Mental Health Association Algoma – Mental Health and Addictions Services.
Mail: 386 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie ON P6A 1Z1
Phone: 705-759-5989 or 1-855-366-1466
Additional Education CAMH https://www.camh.ca