Bluewater Health to Open New Withdrawal Management Facility

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 9:29am

7 temporary beds open while hospital contiues to move head with ask for permanent 24 bed facility

SARNIA & PETROLIA – January 12, 2018 – (Sarnia, ON) Today, Bluewater Health officially opened seven temporary Residential Withdrawal Management beds, noting it will accept clients on Monday, January 15. Additionally the hospital formally announced its progression to the next phase of developing a permanent 24 bed Residential Withdrawal Management facility: site selection commencement.

The need for Residential Withdrawal Management Services in Sarnia Lambton is urgent. Between 2014 and 2017, the number of people accessing Bluewater Health’s Community Withdrawal Treatment has more than tripled. The new facility includes residential withdrawal beds, stabilization beds, community withdrawal management services, day- treatment and referral services.

“We know that our community needs a permanent 24-bed stand-alone facility and today we are delighted to open our first phase – 7 beds which we are opening to clients on Monday.” says Mike Lapaine, CEO of Bluewater Health, “We expect that these 7 beds will be full immediately and we are committed to continuing with our push for a permanent solution in our community.”

With funding announced in October 2017, the planning that had been done for the permanent facility enabled the Bluewater Health team to quickly renovate existing space in the hospital and develop a model of care that will provide residents of Sarnia Lambton with access to services that will support their long-term success in managing their addictions. The learnings from these seven beds will further inform planning for the permanent facility.

According to Gail Czukar, CEO, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, “When someone is looking for help with their substance use, it’s essential that they are quickly connected to the necessary services and supports. This new residential withdrawal management service will fill a critical gap in the Sarnia-Lambton region, by providing a local, safe, 24/7 space for individuals to access treatment. Bluewater’s leadership on this important service is celebrated today with the opening of 7 beds, and we urge the government to move quickly to support the full 24 bed, community-based program.”

For people struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and have decided to stop using, the Residential Withdrawal Management beds are a safe space for withdrawal. Clients who have checked in to these beds will be monitored and supported by professional withdrawal management workers and nurses, who understand what actions to take to prevent or treat medical distress.

Upon completion of their withdrawal, clients will be provided with connections to services to support their ongoing recovery and appropriate to their individual circumstances and needs. Not everybody will follow the same recovery journey. Some people may choose to access a residential rehabilitation program while others may choose to continue with or start working with a community withdrawal team.

Clients wishing to access the Residential Withdrawal Management Centre can call 519-464-4487 to learn more about Withdrawal Services available.

The 24-bed permanent facility is still in development phase and a next-phase submission is due to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care including a potential site. To that end, Bluewater Health real estate broker, Lennard Commercial Realty has identified site requirements for a permanent facility and is prepared to accept enquiries on the potential location.

Noting that Sarnia has multiple locations that may be appropriate, Lennard Commercial Realty has developed site requirements for the new facility. Purchased or leased properties will be considered. The property must be zoned “crisis care” or similar. All services and transit options must be available to the site. Existing building of 25,000square feet or a development opportunity on one to two acres of land will be considered. Enquiries can be forwarded to Bob Drizis at by January 23, 2018.

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Bluewater Health’s programs and services are distributed across two locations, Bluewater Health in Sarnia and Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health in Petrolia. 

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