Terrified, but safe


I came to Portage as a teenager in 2011 at the west island program. I was lost and in desperate need of healing, my body and mind broken from the lifestyle I was living. When I pulled up to the building and was greeted by the staff and residents, I felt absolutely terrified. Terrified, but… Read more »

Catherine, Québec Day Centre, 2021


THERE ARE NO HOW-TO BOOKS FOR MOMS! For me, substance use is equivalent with loss of confidence, instability and confusion. As the mother of two young children, I looked to my parents to help me provide a healthy living environment for them. Because I was determined to take back my parental responsibilities, I made a… Read more »

Celebrating Graduates Across Canada


During the October 21-22 weekend, Portage celebrated its graduates at traditional Recognition Day ceremonies across Canada. More than 250 graduates received their diploma, symbolizing the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.   50th Recognition Day Ceremony   Every year, Portage pays tribute to residents who have completed their residential program as well as… Read more »

Sivahar, Youth program, Elora, 2023


From a very young age I was looking for a way out, I felt trapped, but I always remained hopeful that there would be a way out, I just needed to get older. For a long time, that was all that was on my mind so all I was trying to do was get by…. Read more »

May, Mother & Child Program, 2022


I started using drugs and alcohol at the age of 13. I lost both my parents while I was still in my teens, prior to which I had experienced abuse and neglect from them. The relationship I had with my parents paved the way for accepting to be treated in a similar way in my… Read more »

From Addiction to Recovery: 5 Stages of Change


Recovery day, which is celebrated every year on September 30, helps raise awareness about the complexity of addiction while also sending an important message: you can overcome addiction. People from all over the world talk about their journey, their challenges and their victories, providing hope and inspiration to those still battling addiction. This article details… Read more »

Samuel, Mental Health and Addiction Centre, 2017


Perseverance and Determination This is the story of the journey that saved my life: I had always enjoyed partying ever since I was in high school. I started using when I was about 17 years old. I gradually moved on to higher doses and stronger drugs. Over time, I became addicted to several substances and… Read more »

Regan, Adolescent Program, Cassidy Lake, 2021


Portage gave me my voice back Growing up I was around drugs a lot. One of my brothers started using when I was 6 years old. He didn’t know how else to cope, I watched his lifestyle destroy him and my family. He got arrested when I was 12 and he now has a life… Read more »

The Dark Side of Dopamine: Pleasure, Drugs and Solutions



Dopamine plays a central role in our well-being and our ability to experience feelings of pleasure and motivation. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter; often referred to as the ʺhappy hormoneʺ, it is the focus of numerous studies in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and medicine. In this article, we look at the role of dopamine, how… Read more »