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Keeping our patients safe and cared for during COVID

Posted on :  June 24th, 2020  |  By :  Robby Breadner

June 5th, 2020

Keeping our patients safe and cared for during COVID

To our valued patients:

Thank you for staying committed to your recovery during these challenging times. We are very proud of our staff who adapted quickly to be able to continue to provide the best addiction care possible and are very proud of our patients for showing patience and kindness as we figured out how to provide care while “social distancing”. As the Province begins its re-open, we are taking all the steps to make certain that our patients continue to be cared for in a safe manner; i.e. increase cleaning, a continued emphasis on social distancing, and a requirement that staff and patients wear marks when interacting directly.

I want to assure you that CATC is taking a gradual approach to our “return to usual” clinical programming.  Specifically, the first phase of transition will be focused on patients who are showing signs that they need a little more attention, i.e. missed appointments, missed doses, POS UDS.  The stress of the current environment is hard on everyone and we are committed to supporting you through it.  We encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out to the clinic; we are here to listen and support.

We continue to be committed to:

  • Ensuring physical distancing is maintained between patients
  • Reducing the patient volume in our waiting rooms (limits on appointments per hour)
  • Continuing hourly disinfecting and enhanced cleaning measures
  • Most importantly, your success in recovery

We acknowledge that these changes may be frustrating for some and thank you in advance for helping us work through this. If you have questions, please call our toll-free number (877) 937-­2282 (1-877-WE-R-CATC) and we will set up a phone call between you and your doctor.

This too will pass; stay strong and stay well.

With kindness,
Sonya Lockyer
CEO CATC
slockyer@canatc.ca


Frequently Asked Questions at CATC During Phase 2 of Provincial Reopening June 2020

Posted on :  June 22nd, 2020  |  By :  Robby Breadner

 

Q: Are you open?
A: Yes, all CATC clinics remain opening.  We made no changes to hours of operations during the pandemic.

Q: Do I have to come to clinic to be cared for?
A: Yes, unless you have been identified as COVID+ or identified by public health as high risk, it is very unlikely that your regular clinic regime will be altered.

Q: What about my ‘carries’? Don’t I need to leave a urine test?
A: Yes, your regular clinic regime is still in place. We are returning to following the CPSO guidelines for urine samples and appointments.

Q: What have you done about COVID in your clinic?
A: If you do come to clinic in-person, you will find that we have re-organized the waiting room and clinic rooms to facilitate physical distancing. We continue to streamline patient flow to prioritize minimum time spent in the waiting area. There is hand hygiene available throughout. We have a separate room where any patients experiencing symptoms can receive care. Staff will not be working in-person if they have any symptoms.

Q: What if I am sick?
A: Please call before coming, so that we can advise you on what to do. Patients displaying or disclosing symptoms to staff are given a mask, proper hand hygiene is followed by both staff and patients and should they need to see their doctor, are asked to wait in a separate room. In some cases, we will alter your care to help spread infection.

Q: What if the CATC staff and doctors get sick?
A: We have created ways for the doctors to help you virtually or by phone.  We have put several measures in place to keep our teams healthy and we have plans in place to keep our patients cared for.  Your Doctor may continue to provide virtual visits during the re-opening phase.  We are confident all the measures we have been using are working well to keep all staff, doctors and patients safe and healthy.

Q: I’m really worried and I don’t know what to do.
A: Call your clinic and your CARE team can help you. You can also call our CARE Coordinator toll free @ 1-877-937-2282.  Our CARE Coordinators are standing by to help you navigate the systems and find the supports and resources you may need during this challenging time.

Important Numbers During this Time

Telehealth – 1-866-797-0000
Drugs and Alcohol Helpline1-866-531-2600

Public Health & Crisis Line – Each region has their own line, ask your front-line staff for the direct number.

 


“Drug overdoses may be linked to COVID-19 pandemic anxiety” – Belleville health unit

Posted on :  March 27th, 2020  |  By :  Robby Breadner

A spike in both serious and fatal drug overdoses over the last week in Belleville can’t be definitively pinned down for a precise cause but it may be linked to angst being felt around the world due to COVID-19 pandemic anxiety.

The local health unit said Tuesday it’s been apprised by Belleville Police Service of “five overdose related incidents in the Belleville area since Monday, March 16, including two overdoses that resulted in death.”

Read more…

Belleville Intelligencer


“Coronavirus and addiction: For people in recovery, self-isolation can be harmful” — Global News

Posted on :  March 20th, 2020  |  By :  Robby Breadner

It’s important find new ways to connect during this time, to protect your recovery.

“For someone struggling with addiction, fellowship is a big part of the recovery process. Unfortunately, since the coronavirus outbreak began and social distancing became the norm, this process has become more challenging…” read more

Source: Global News.


COVID-19 announcement

Posted on :  March 16th, 2020  |  By :  Robby Breadner
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CATC is following/implementing all Public Health Guidelines (for health care professionals) to keep our staff and patients healthy. We have implemented a long list of actions to keep our care environment safe and hygienic.  This week you will also notice a number of social distancing strategies. Please speak to your local clinic team if you have questions.
If you suspect you have COVID-19, please call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
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Why Does Heroin Cause Vomiting

Posted on :  June 9th, 2019  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When people decide to take heroin for the very first time, they are unsure of the way it will affect the body. Usually, they expect that they will feel the euphoria that heroin supposedly gives to users. But, in many cases, users will vomit and not just once.

Drugs Changing the Way the Body Works

When heroin enters the body, it can seriously alter the way the body functions. So much so, that the only response the body can do is vomit. And vomit repeatedly. This happens because of the chemical structure of the drug. It is made in such a way that the drug actually attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. This completely changes the way the body sends and receives messages about pain and pleasure. When the body does not know what it is experiencing, it can attempt to rid the body of the unexpected substance. Vomiting is the natural way for the body to do this.

Altering the Brain

Heroin confuses the brain because the brain thinks it is getting a natural chemical. The brain cannot distinguish between heroin and what the body produces when managing pain and pleasure. The brain does not understand that heroin is addictive, but the concentrated potency of the drug can be overwhelming at first.

Many users report that they usually throw up each time they take heroin. But, the vomiting session is often described as being a good one because when it is over, the user feels better. Once they are finished vomiting, the effects of the drug kick in and the mind begins to experience the euphoria that makes the substance so addicting. Users enter their own world.

Changing the Chemicals in the Brain

The drugs keep endorphins from entering the neuron receptors so dopamine levels rise and so do the feelings of intense euphoria. The body cannot produce euphoria like the one created unnaturally by heroin. Humans cannot control endorphin release in any other way, except by taking an opioid. So, they continue to take it. The high is several times more intense than anything experienced during sex or by eating an exceptional meal.

Cravings Begin

Just like the body can crave chocolate or a glass of water, the brain begins to crave the feelings associated with heroin use. When regular opioid users stop taking the drug, the body begins to feel pain. Since all opioids fight pain, the tolerance to them builds up and people need more of the drug to feel substantial relief and extreme highs. Prescription pain medications can solve the problem, but pain pills like Percocet and Oxycontin get expensive. It is actually cheaper to take heroin instead.

Frightening Facts about Opioids

The fact that heroin and other opioids can cause the body to vomit is not the scariest problem with opioids. The addictive quality is frightening, but more so is the fact that the drug can slow the respiratory system. Despite the fact that the brain develops a tolerance to opioids, the rest of the body does not. The respiratory system and central nervous system can become so overwhelmed that they simply shut down if the opioid dose is too big. People can become sleepy and they can stop breathing. They can die from hypoxia and from high levels of carbon dioxide.

Get Help from Towards Recovery

Along with vomiting and respiratory issues, the addiction to the drug can cause extremely painful withdrawal. The fact that the brain becomes used to the opioids blocking the endorphins makes the body feel pain when people stop taking opioids of any type.

With patient-centered treatment, the pain can be managed and the addiction can be stopped. At Towards Recovery Treatment Centers, we can help addicts work their way back to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. Our methadone treatment can help fight and recover from addictions.

Contact us at our main office at 905-527-2042.


Clinic, naloxone helping city’s significant opioid problem, emergency doctor says

Posted on :  January 9th, 2019  |  By :  Robby Breadner

Photo credit: www.themomentiscaptured.com

“Peterborough Regional Health Centre has third highest rate of ER visits for opioid poisoning in new study”

A report ranking Peterborough with the third-highest number of emergency department visits speaks to the city’s “significant problem” with opioid use, says a doctor who is leading harm-reduction efforts at Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

More overdoses are being seen from use of “fairly accessible” drugs like fentanyl-laced “blue heroin,” said PRHC emergency department doctor Dr. Jim McGorman, the lead physician at the hospital’s Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic.

Read more from this article originally printined in the Peterborough Examiner by staff writer, Jason Bain.


Affecting change in addiction medicine

Posted on :  September 18th, 2018  |  By :  Robby Breadner


Dr. Mike Franklyn ~ Addiction physician, Health Sciences North, Sudbury.

Dr. Michael Franklyn wears many hats in the field of medicine. As a family doctor in Sudbury for almost 25 years, Dr. Franklyn recalls fearing for the life of a female patient in 2002; she was using methadone and forced to travel weekly to Toronto for care. With only one addiction specialist in Sudbury at the time, the wait list for local treatment was about two years. “Then, I had no background in addiction medicine. But out of my complete frustration with the inability to get help for her in the north, I had to go learn about addiction care and it has since become a huge part of my life and my practice,” he said.

As a family doctor and Associate Professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), Dr. Franklyn says about 70 per cent of his time is now focused specifically on addiction medicine. While his home base is in Sudbury, Dr. Franklyn is one of several doctors who fly into remote northwestern Ontario First Nations to treat patients in their home communities, where no other treatment is offered. He also uses OTN to service 13 remote communities in northwestern Ontario.

In Sudbury, Dr. Franklyn is Medical Director of the local Rapid Access Addictions Medicine (RAAM) Clinic, one of seven in Ontario. As the only clinic of its kind in the north, Dr. Franklyn notes it as a “very successful model” where patients with any type of addiction can be seen by an addiction expert within 48 hours. The clinic, which opened in December 2015, was originally funded as a provincial pilot program to offer individuals dealing with addictions earl and assertive treatment, while alleviating burdens on other points of care.

Franklyn noted the financial benefits (of treating addictions) to the province’s health-care system. Treating patients at the RAAM Clinic has demonstrated reduction in their use of local ambulance services, emergency room visits, detox and in-patient admissions. “These are all very expensive interventions,” he said. “By addressing the underlying cause of addition, we dramatically reduce utilization of the system, and are actually doing something that is likely to help the patient.”

According to statistics from the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, addiction is a health issue that impacts millions of Canadians. It causes harm to individuals, families and communities. Conservative estimates (from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey) found that 4.4 per cent of Canadians met the criteria for a substance-use disorder. Dr. Franklyn adds that there are almost 50,000 people in the province on methadone, and that that only one in three people who are dependent on opiates are seeking help. “The situation is fundamentally worse and more complex than it was just two years ago,” he said.

In what Franklyn calls the current “opiate crisis,” it’s important now more than ever to jump in with both feet. While working in remote fly-in northern First Nations communities his team will spend an entire week with a group of patients addressing their addictions. People lives are literally transformed in the week that starts their recovery journey.

For Dr. Franklyn and his colleagues, seeing the impact they have on people’s lives is the most rewarding aspect of the work. “I love everything I do…but there’s too much to do,” he said.

When asked what keeps him going back to work each day, Dr. Franklyn says it’s the triumph. “There are times where this field of medicine is incredibly frustrating, but just seeing the successes is what keeps you going.”

Originally published on the Ontario Medical Association’s Spotlight on Health.


What it’s like being a methadone doctor

Posted on :  December 19th, 2017  |  By :  Robby Breadner
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Written by Dr. John Crosby – November 28, 2017 for canadianhealthcarenetwork.ca

I recently had lunch with Dr. Andrew Worster, an old friend from my emergency days 25 years ago. He works at an opioid addiction clinic in Cambridge, Ont., and still does ER shifts at Hamilton General Hospital. He works in the ER one or two eight-10-hour shifts per week but doesn’t do night shifts any more so he enjoys the two jobs. He has been practising for 26 years and also runs a non-profit corporation called BEEM — Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine — which conducts evidence-based emergency medicine courses for emergency doctors worldwide.

Andrew works in the addiction clinic on Monday morning and all day Wednesday. It is a private business and they help patients get healthcare cards He says that 70% of the patients are functioning, with jobs and families.

Many patients start with chronic pain and about 50% work at physically demanding jobs, hence, they use opioids to get through the day’s work as their bodies are wearing out on the job. They start small and gradually require higher and higher doses for relief.

Andrew said he feels opioids are sometimes appropriate for short-term severe pain but not for non-cancer chronic pain.

Andrew noted that doctors and the patients have to accept that in life there will be pain. In the ER, he often gets patients who tell him that their GP has done nothing for their back pain. For ER patients with severe, debilitating pain, he sometimes uses ketamine (15mg I.V. over 15 minutes) to break the cycle of pain and spasm but does not prescribe opioids upon discharge… Click here to read the entire article.


Hamilton music community hosts overdose training as opioid crisis grips city

Posted on :  November 27th, 2017  |  By :  Robby Breadner
ThisAintHollywoodHamilton
Photo credit: Google.

Event happened at This Ain’t Hollywood in downtown Hamilton tonight.

“Ace Piva knows the dangers of opioid addiction all too well.

He’s seen it up close — both as a tour manager across Canada, and as an addictions counsellor in Hamilton.

Now, as overdoses and deaths due to opioid use continue to mount across the city, Piva has launched an addiction and recovery nonprofit organization specifically for the music industry. It’s called Over the Bridge — a nod to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ breakout hit Under the Bridge, which was written about addiction, loneliness and dependency.

Tonight, Piva is hosting a naloxone training and overdose prevention awareness event at This Ain’t Hollywood, in an effort to save lives in an industry where the party rarely stops…”

By Adam Carter, CBC News – Read full story on CBC website, here.




Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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