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Opioid dependency treatment clinic opens in Fort McMurray

PHOTO. Supplied. Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman announces opening of new opioid treatment clinic in Fort McMurray. Nathalia Cordeau-Hilliard. REPORTER.

The Fort McMurray Recovery Centre is home to one of the province’s three new opioid dependency treatment clinics.

Two local doctors work out of the clinic, along with registered nurses and counsellors to provide medication, mental health services and other supports.

Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman said opening clinics in rural and remote areas gives hundreds more Albertans the chance to receive treatment to move toward recovery.

“It is really about meeting patients where they’re at and finding ways to keep them alive and eliminate the street factors and the risks that come with using drugs off the street.”

Patients in rural areas of the region can receive care via telehealth, a video connection with doctors in Fort McMurray.

The clinic, which currently treats 43 people, has the capacity to treat up to 300 people a year with medication-assisted treatment, such as Methadone and Suboxone.

Hoffman said local leaders suggested the 300 spaces because of demand and they want to avoid turning anyone away.

Through telehealth High Prairie and Bonnyville will be able to serve up to 150 people each.