For many clients in treatment at Portage, substance abuse has often been seen as a way to ease the suffering caused by significant traumatic experiences that they have had to deal with in the past. Portage’s Québec City Day Centre provides a special program specifically for clients who present symptoms related to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.
The “Maître de sa vie” project, subsidised by the Bureau d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels du ministère de la Justice du Québec, has been a part of the Portage Day Centre’s service offering since September 2013. In order to provide the best chances for recovery, issues that have arisen because of past traumatic events are treated simultaneously with those related to a person’s drug and alcohol addiction.
The program allows the targeted clientele to:
1. Become more aware of the impact that traumatic experiences have had on them;
2. Develop strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle;
3. Continue to work towards recovery with the help of available resources; and
4. Understand how past traumatic events impact their relationships.
“Listening to others share their experiences, I come out of these sessions experiencing many feelings and emotions,” explains a participant. “Being able to put all the hurt into words is really helpful,” said another.
Research project on the impact of the program
Researchers from the University of Sherbrooke recently published a report assessing the implementation of the program and the evolution of its participants. Data was gathered from January 2014 until April 2015 with a sample of 75 adults in drug addiction treatment at Portage.
The research results point to a solid implementation of the program and a positive evolution of program participants with respect to symptom and stress management. Participants appreciate the environment, the ambiance, and the topics of the meetings, but suggest that they be lengthier and more frequent, in order to provide them with ample time to work through their traumatic experiences more profoundly.
The Portage Québec City Day Centre is very grateful for this report, which will help them make improvements to the program in order to be an even greater source of support to its clientele.
To view the Report …