Dr. Johnstone completed the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s “Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder” course, which qualifies him to provide medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) to his patients. He met with community stakeholders to discuss the issue of maternal opioid use and to identify ways that different entities could come together to provide a solution. He met with a number of professionals both locally and throughout the state. After many discussions, it became clear that weaving together existing community programs to establish an intensive, outpatient treatment program tailored to meet the unique needs of child-bearing women with opioid use disorder would be a viable solution.
In May 2017, Dr. Johnstone established Tides, Inc., a nonprofit corporation registered in New Hanover County, NC. He assembled a Board of Directors based on expertise and alignment to the cause. In 2018, he identified community partners and secured funding through the New Hanover County Government as a pilot program for a three year period. He hired the Executive Director and together they worked to establish the infrastructure and all aspects of this unique consortium of partners to provide a total turnkey solution for these women in a recovery program.
In June 2019, Tides opened its transitional living facility in downtown Wilmington to provide housing for women who were homeless, in unsafe housing or with an open Child Protective Services (CPS) case that required supervision in a structured program. The residential program quickly became a hallmark of Tides as it provided safe housing for this population and was unique in the community.
In 2022, Dr. Johnstone embarked on an intense journey and became one of the few board certified physicians in addiction medicine in the region. This distinction allows Tides to expand its treatment spectrum to address all forms of substance use.