VANCOUVER -- A new addiction care clinic in New Westminster is providing opportunities for quick access to treatment.

The new Rapid Access Addiction Care clinic, located on the Royal Columbian Hospital grounds, is the second of its kind within the Fraser Health region, according to a news release.

“(The clinic) assesses and starts clients on medications to treat opioid addiction,” reads the statement.

“The three commonly used (opioid agonist treatment) medications in B.C. are Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone), methadone, and Kadian (a slow release oral morphine),” it continues.

Another similar clinic opened in Surrey in 2017 and has since served about 4,200 people, according to Fraser Health.

The clinic is open to walk-in patients from Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and it also dispenses supplies such as clean needles, used needle disposal, and naloxone kits – which can support safer drug use and harm reduction.

Dr. Sharon Vipler, regional department head for Addiction Medicine and Substance Use Services at Fraser Health says the clinic is an “entry point” for addiction treatment and support.

“You don’t need a confirmed diagnosis of opioid use or alcohol-use disorder,” she said in the news release.

“If you feel there is something problematic about your substance use that is resulting in negative consequences, our teams can provide management options.”

According to the health authority, after “initial stabilization” patients are then connected to care providers in their community for ongoing treatment, monitoring and support.

“For clients without a regular health care provider, the (clinic) will assist in linking them to one,” reads the statement.