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Opioid clinic opening in Bonnyville offers relief in crisis

The provincial government is hoping to fight the opioid crisis in the province with new clinics and knowledge, including in the Lakeland. The government announced late last week a number of clinics being open are planned to open soon, including Bonnyville, Grande Prairie, and Fort McMurray. The clinics can treat up to 600 new patients annually, with medication-assisted treatment.

Dr. Sandra Corbett handles Alberta Health Services North Zone. She says a new clinic in Bonnyville will up the number of people that can be helped fighting addiction.

“It will improve access to opioid-replacement therapy for residents in and around Bonnyville to assist approximately 150 patients at any given time.

Dr.Corbett says the new clinic will be on the second floor of the provincial building on Main Street. Along with replacement therapy, patients will be able to seek councilling and support services. It will also be plugged into the Tele-Health network, which allows doctors in Edmonton and Calgary at major clinics to video-chat with patients at clinics around the province.

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Dr. Corbett says using technology can allow a person suffering from addiction to get the best treatment possible.

“Physicians (in Edmonton and Calgary) will be able to asses a patient and start them on substitution therapy and maintain it.”

Last year, 80 people in the AHS North Zone died of an opioid overdose. In the first three months of 2018, another eight people died of a suspected fentanyl poisoning. Alberta Health Services can’t give an exact timeline of when the new clinic will be open.

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