North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN Enhances Opioid Treatment for People in our Region

February 21, 2018

In response to the growing need, the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is investing $1.65 million in regional supports to help people impacted by opioid addiction and overdose.

This funding will improve access to addictions treatment care across the region by expanding community treatment and counselling services and creating Rapid Access Addictions Medicine (RAAM) Clinics.

RAAM clinics will form an integrated regional program, which will connect the clinic with different places where clients are most likely to seek care such as emergency departments, primary care providers, and community addictions providers. RAAM clinics will work with clients to develop an ongoing treatment plan and provide immediate short-term treatment. Following this, RAAM clients will be reconnected with their primary care provider, who will be supported by community addictions counsellors.

Interprofessional teams will staff the RAAM clinics in Orillia, Midland, and Barrie. The Couchiching site will provide support to Muskoka, while the North Simcoe site will support South Georgian Bay. The Community Mental Health and Addictions program located at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) will facilitate the NSM regional program.

The NSM LHIN’s investment, part of Ontario’s comprehensive Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose, will also support community addictions counsellors in all five sub-regions through the Canadian Mental Health Association of Simcoe County and Canadian Mental Health Association of Muskoka Parry Sound (CMHA MPS). An Indigenous-Led Opioid Strategy will be developed by CMHA MPS in partnership with the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN Aboriginal Health Circle.

The North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit are jointly leading a multi-sector collaborative effort to create a regional comprehensive opioid strategy inclusive of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and enforcement. The recommended investments were identified through the treatment pillar of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy and the North Simcoe Muskoka Primary Care Network.

Currently, the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN is working with partner agencies to have programs operationalized by March 31, 2018.


“The devastating impact of opioid use disorder and overdose has reached every community in Ontario, and crosses all demographics. Our government has been working closely with partners across the

province to combat this urgent issue for more than a year, and we are continuing to strengthen our strategy and increase harm reduction, addiction treatment and other supports.

It is through this collaborative, evidence-based and comprehensive approach that we will be able to effectively address this crisis and save lives.”

—  Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Our LHIN is committed to bringing more immediate and longer-term solutions to the people and providers in our communities to address opioid use issues, and to continuing to partner in the important work of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy.”

— Dr. Rebecca Van Iersel, Vice-President Clinical, North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN

“This investment will not only strengthen existing community addictions services, but will bring new services aligned with integrated networks of care to clients facing opioid-related addiction challenges in the region.”

Jill Tettmann, CEO, North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN



  • Announced in fall 2016, Ontario’s comprehensive Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose is ensuring people in pain receive appropriate treatment, increasing access to holistic treatment for those with opioid use disorder, and improving the safety and health of people who use opioids, including access to the life-saving drug naloxone.
  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is investing $21 million in LHINs to provide enhanced access to addictions treatment, including community-based addictions services.
  • Over the next three years, Ontario is investing more than $222 million province-wide to combat the opioid crisis in Ontario, including expanding harm reduction services, hiring more front-line staff and improving access to addictions supports across the province.
  • Naloxone kits are distributed for free across Ontario. Find the location nearest you.
  • Ontario is establishing an Opioid Emergency Task Force that will include a province-wide representation of front-line workers and people with lived experience to strengthen the province’s coordinated response to the opioid crisis.


For more information please contact:

Shelby Rushton, Communications Coordinator

North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN

705-721-8010 ext. 2274