Province provides $325K for new withdrawal transition beds in Lambton


Laurie Hicks says new funding to open 12 transition beds for people trying to kick their addictions “opens the door for hope.”

Hicks’ son died fighting his drug addition. He, like many other in Lambton, had a hard time getting treatment.

Hicks joined forces with local officials pushing the province for a 24-bed withdrawal management center. Sarnia-Lambton politicians calling on the province for a unit for 15 years. Over the past couple of years there has been funding for seven withdrawal management beds at Bluewater Health and out-patient programs.

But Paula Reaume-Zimmer, the vice president of mental health and addictions at Bluewater Health, says the need is still great. Reaume-Zimmer told reporters on a tele-conference, 93 people have been turned away because there were not addiction services available for them in Lambton

Tuesday, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Michael Tibollo, announced $325,000 in one time funding for 12 transition beds to help ease some of the pressure. The beds will be set up at Bluewater Health’s Mental Health backup center on Exmouth Street.

Hicks says the transition beds are important since often people who complete the first week of withdrawal have to return home to wait for further service and can fall back into their addiction.

Reaume-Zimmer says the hospital and community groups are continuing to work toward permanent funding for a 24-bed centre.